China’s Internet Administration Has Its Own Anthem. Why Not American Agencies?
Some ideas for American federal agency anthems in light of China’s new operatic ode to its internet regulatory administration
image via youtube screen capture
China’s online censorship and cyber-security protocols – known commonly as the “Great Firewall” – are known for being among the strictest, and most far-reaching, in the whole of cyberspace. The degree to which China controls what its citizens do and don’t see online is equal parts technologically impressive and alarmingly worrisome for anyone who believes in the free flow of ideas and communication. The Chinese government, of course, is very proud of their internet censorship program – so much so that they’ve created a operatic theme to celebrate their accomplishments. Yes, a soaring anthem for internet censorship:
The Wall Street Journal, citing China’s state run Youth Daily website, reports the song (whose title translates roughly to “Cyberspace Spirit) was created by the Cyberspace Administration of China’s choral group, its lyrics lauding the “cleanliness and clarity of China’s uniquely managed Internet" (one, roughly translated, reads: “Internet Power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for”).
While odes to censorship – no matter how rousing and anthemic – are an Orwellian nightmare set to music, the fact that the government agency tasked with managing China’s internet has its own theme song is, in and of itself...kind of impressive, actually. How many federal departments have an anthem here in the United States? None.
Here then are just a few suggestions, should the U.S. choose to up its agency swag game:
Department Of Education – “Hot For Teacher,” Van Halen
What better way to get young minds excited for a lifetime of learning than with Alex and Eddie Van Halen’s rollicking drum and guitar intro? (Runner up: Husker Du – “Something I Learned Today”)
Department Of Transportation – “Trains And Boats And Planes,” Dionne Warwick
One of her earliest hits, “Trains And Boats And Planes” saw the luminous Dionne Warwick musing on all the ways people get around (Runner up: The Cars – “Drive”)
Internal Revenue Service – “Taxman,” The Beatles
Easily the world’s catchiest tune about the harsh realities of fiscal policy. (Runner up: Barret Strong – “Money [That’s What I Want])
National Security Agency – “Every Breath You Take,” The Police
A creepy song about a jilted ex-lover becomes an even creepier descriptor for the surveillance state. (Runner up: Hall & Oats – “Private Eyes”)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – “Intergalactic,” The Beastie Boys
How could the prospect of astronauts doing their The Right Stuff-esque shuttle walk to the Beastie’s bangin’ beats not get you excited for space exploration? (Runner up: Peter Schilling – “Major Tom [Coming Home]”)
Department Of Housing And Urban Development – “Our House,” Madness
British ska/new-wavers Madness paint a picture of everyday domestic live centered around their house, in the middle of the street (Runner up: Starship – “We Built This City”)
National Park Service – “Tiptoe Through The Tulips,” Tiny Tim
Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms And Explosives – “Ace Of Spades,” Motörhead
Actually a proclamation of the band’s devil-may-care attitude, no song viscerally conjures to mind the volatile combination of booze, smoke, and weaponry the ATFE is charged with regulating quite like Motörhead’s biggest hit. (Runner up: Belly, ft. Snoop Dog – “I Drink I Smoke”)