SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Britpop

Britpop was a mid-1990s UK-based music and culture movement that emphasised Britishness. It produced brighter, catchier alternative rock in reaction to the popularity of the darker lyrical themes of the US-led grunge music and to the UK's own shoegazing music scene; the movement brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British popular cultural movement, Cool Britannia, which evoked the Swinging Sixties and the British guitar pop of that decade. Britpop was a media-driven focus on bands which emerged from the independent music scene of the early 1990s. Although the term was viewed as a marketing tool, more of a cultural moment than a musical style or genre, its associated bands drew from the British pop music of the 1960s, glam rock and punk rock of the 1970s and indie pop of the 1980s; the most successful bands linked with Britpop were Blur, Oasis and Pulp, known as the movement's "big four", although Suede and Pulp distanced themselves from the term.

The timespan of Britpop is considered to be 1993–1997, its peak years to be 1994–1995. A chart battle between Blur and Oasis brought the movement to the forefront of the British press in 1995. While music was the main focus, fashion and politics got involved, with Tony Blair and New Labour aligning themselves with the movement. By 1997, many Britpop acts began to falter commercially and break up due to the popularity of the pop group the Spice Girls. Although Britpop's more popular bands were able to spread their commercial success overseas, the movement had fallen apart by the end of the decade. Though Britpop is seen retrospectively as a marketing tool, more of a cultural moment than a musical style or genre, there are musical conventions and influences the bands grouped under the Britpop term have in common. Britpop bands show elements from the British pop music of the Sixties, glam rock and punk rock of the Seventies, indie pop of the Eighties in their music and clothing. Specific influences vary: Blur and Oasis drew from the Kinks, early Pink Floyd and the Beatles while Elastica had a fondness for arty punk rock, notably Wire.

Regardless, Britpop artists project a sense of reverence for British pop sounds of the past. The Kinks' Ray Davies and XTC's Andy Partridge are sometimes advanced as the "godfathers" or "grandfathers" of Britpop. Alternative rock acts from the indie scene of the Eighties and early Nineties were the direct ancestors of the Britpop movement; the influence of the Smiths is common to the majority of Britpop artists. The Madchester scene, fronted by the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets, was an immediate root of Britpop since its emphasis on good times and catchy songs provided an alternative to the British-based shoegazing and American based grunge styles of music. Pre-dating Britpop by four years, Liverpool based group The La's hit single "There She Goes" was described by Rolling Stone as a "founding piece of Britpop's foundation." Local identity and regional British accents are common to Britpop groups, as well as references to British places and culture in lyrics and image. Stylistically, Britpop bands use catchy hooks and lyrics that were relevant to young British people of their own generation.

Britpop bands conversely denounced grunge as irrelevant and having nothing to say about their lives. In contrast to the dourness of grunge, Britpop was defined by "youthful exuberance and desire for recognition". Damon Albarn of Blur summed up the attitude in 1993 when after being asked if Blur were an "anti-grunge band" he said, "Well, that's good. If punk was about getting rid of hippies I'm getting rid of grunge." In spite of the professed disdain for the genres, some elements of both crept into the more enduring facets of Britpop. Noel Gallagher has since championed Ride and once stated that Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was the only songwriter he had respect for in the last ten years, that he felt their music was similar enough that Cobain could have written "Wonderwall". By 1996, Oasis's prominence was such that NME termed a number of Britpop bands "Noelrock", citing Gallagher's influence on their music. Journalist John Harris typified these bands, Gallagher, of sharing "a dewy-eyed love of the 1960s, a spurning of much beyond rock's most basic ingredients, a belief in the supremacy of'real music'".

The imagery associated with Britpop was British and working class. A rise in unabashed maleness, exemplified by Loaded magazine and lad culture in general, would be much part of the Britpop era; the Union Jack became a prominent symbol of the movement and its use as a symbol of pride and nationalism contrasted with the controversy that erupted just a few years before when former Smiths singer Morrissey performed draped in it. The emphasis on British reference points made it difficult for the genre to achieve success in the US. John Harris has suggested that Britpop began when Blur's single "Popscene" and Suede's "The Drowners" were released around the same time in the spring of 1992, he stated, "f Britpop started anywhere, it was the deluge of acclaim that greeted Suede's first records: all of them audacious and very British". Suede were the first of the new crop of guitar-orientated bands to be embraced by the UK music media as Britain's answer to Seattle's grunge sound, their debut album Suede became the fastest-selling debut album in the history of the UK.

In April 1993, Select magazine featured Suede's lead singer Brett Anderson on the cover with a Union Flag in the back

Religious controversies

There have been a number of religious controversies over the teaching of science, certain religious practices, in the depiction of religion or religious figures in culture. Main articles: Religion and Controversy The greatest contemporary controversy involving religion and science is the teaching of evolution in schools; this debate is most prevalent in conservative regions of the United States and there is little serious debate on the subject outside the United States. The Chinese Rites controversy was a dispute within the Catholic Church from the 1630s to the early 18th century about whether Chinese folk religion rites and offerings to the emperor constituted idolatry or not. Female genital cutting and circumcision attract controversy when practiced outside of the countries in which they are performed; the controversial photographic exhibition Ecce Homo Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy Piss Christ, a photo taken by American photographer Andres Serrano of Jesus Christ in a glass of the photographer's urine Strelnikoff Mary of Help of Brezje controversy Chris Ofili and his Sacred Virgin Mary montage Tania Kovats' Virgin in a Condom attracted protests at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Stanislav Shmulevich was facing hate crime charges for dumping a possibly-stolen Qur'an into a public toilet and publishing a photo of it in 2007 He plead guilty to disorderly conduct and must perform 300 hours of community service. Anonymous artwork of a nude woman on a prayer rug on display at OCAD University; the Da Vinci Code has had many complaints centered on the book's speculations and alleged misrepresentations of core aspects of Christianity and the history of the Roman Catholic Church. There is controversy surrounding Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses and the author was threatened with death. Lajja, a novel by Taslima Nasrin which led to protests and death threats in Bangladesh and the author having to flee the country His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman that has attracted criticism from some religious individuals and groups due to the negative portrayal of organised religion. Religious debates over the Harry Potter book series by J. K. Rowling stem from assertions that the Harry Potter novels contain occult or Satanic subtext.

Monty Python's Life of Brian, a controversial comedy film about religion, attracted controversy and was censored in some British towns, such as Aberystwyth in Wales for 30 years after it was first released. South Park's controversial Bloody Mary episode; the Last Temptation of Christ film, as with the novel of the same name, depicts the life of Jesus Christ while free from sin, was still subject to every form of temptation that humans face, including fear, depression and lust. Innocence of Muslims, a low-budget film that ridicules Islam and its prophet, as a result, it causes furor in the Muslim world including the 2012 diplomatic missions attacks. Censorship by religion

Centre for China Studies

The Centre for China Studies the Centre for East Asian Studies, is located in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, providing interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Chinese Studies taught and examined in English for students from around the world. The Centre was known as the Centre for East Asian Studies, their mission is to promote scholarship on China and understanding of Chinese culture in Hong Kong and around the world. Billy Kee-long So, Director, PhD, Professor of History Ann Huss, Associate Director, PhD, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies Jan Kiely, Associate Director, PhD, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies Bei Dao, Professor of Humanities Sui-wai Cheung, DPhil, Assistant Professor, History John Lagerwey, PhD, Professor of Chinese Studies William Shi-yuan Wang, PhD, Wei Lun Research Professor of Chinese Linguistics and Engineering Stan Hok-wui Wong, PhD, Assistant Professor and Public Administration Dennis Tao Yang, PhD, Economics CCS has been organising large-scale events: International Poets in Hong Kong International Poetry Nights 2009 Official website