Monday, March 14, 2011


Despite everything, the world continues in its infinite absurdity

HONG KONG (AP) - Censors have cleared Bob Dylan to make his China debut despite worries that the country's authoritarian government would block his planned shows given the American folk icon's antiestablishment reputation. China's Ministry of Culture said in a notice posted on its website Thursday that Dylan will be allowed to perform in Beijing between March 30 and April 12. The website of the Dylan fan magazine ISIS reported earlier that Dylan was scheduled to perform in Beijing on April 6 and Shanghai on April 8, although Dylan's official website doesn't list those tour dates. The Chinese Ministry of Culture did not immediately post approval for the Shanghai show. A press official for the ministry declined comment on whether approval was imminent, asking a reporter to keep checking the ministry's website for updates. He would only give his surname as Zhou. The Chinese ticketing website has already listed both the expected Beijing and Shanghai shows, but hasn't started accepting orders. The approval notice requires Dylan to stick to the program vetted by ministry officials, but didn't give specifics. Dylan's publicist at CBS Records didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The 69-year-old American legend was expected to meet resistance from Chinese censors considering his association with U.S. protest movements in the 1960s. Songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin" were inspirations for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. This is Dylan's second attempt to perform in China in recent years. He was originally scheduled to play Beijing and Shanghai last year, but the dates were canceled. Mainland music fans blamed a financial dispute with Dylan's Taiwanese promoter. The promoter denied the allegations, saying the flash point was a demand from the Ministry of Culture for Dylan to sign a pledge promising "not to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" during his performances. (Click here for more)

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