BROOKLYN, New York -- Chinese Democracy has finally come to pass. No, the People's Republic of China has not had free and fair national elections, nor has it permitted an independent press, or the free exercise of religion. Rather, Axl Rose and company have finally completed their record that was more than 17 years in the making.
Expect there to be mass arrests of Chinese Guns N' Roses fans who are just trying to use the Internet to find out more about their favorite band.
The New York Times likens Mr. Rose to another singer who had a catastrophic meltdown which led to years and years of promising an album that never came, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields. Rose has shaken that monkey off his back, but as the Guardian described in 2004 - Shields' first interview in 12 years - he was still saddled by an inability to finish off the follow-up to 1991's Loveless, as well as being surrounded by a dozens of chinchillas.
UPDATE: It appears as if Guns N' Roses has genuinely raised the ire of the Chinese authorities. According to the Economist, the Global Mail, a communist party newspaper, said the album was part of a Western plot "to control the world using democracy as a pawn." The government has blocked access to websites related to the band, and not just to the forbidden search term of the new album's title.
Axl Rose does mention the banned religious group Falun Gong in his lyrics, as well as the violent suppression of dissidents. Overall the album is an absurdly overproduced shriekfest devoid of political substance, but it looks like it won't be officially distributed in China - that probably won't stop anybody for getting it who wants it, though.
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