Joel Martinsen, one of my favorite commentators on the Chinese cultural scene, has a great post over at Danwei on the evidently disastrous CCTV Gala this year. I was blessedly spared watching it this year, though in plenty of years past I've been in sneer-and-groan sessions. That's just not any fun for me, but that's the stage that China's going through now. Allegations of plagiarism, flubbed lines, and political ineptitude aside--all that's detailed by Joel in his post--the whole "Whither Chunwan" question must be utterly confounding for CCTV programming directors. It's a relic of a simpler, pre-snarky age in China, and certainly ain't compelling content for younger urbanites. But they can't make the thing inaccessible to the vast majority of viewers out there, who still look forward, even to the costumed minority dance numbers, and who are genuinely entertained. Chunwan's really become something of a marker of the great cultural divide in China. I do pity the folks who have to put the thing together every year.