Did Time-Travel TV Really Kill Two Chinese Schoolgirls?

TVAnna North writes on Jezebel:

A Chinese newspaper claims two young girls committed suicide in hopes of traveling back in time like the characters on popular TV shows. Is this a real case of death-by-TV, or is it government propaganda?

The English-language site People’s Daily Online has the story, which apparently originated at the paper China Daily. Fifth-grader Xiao Hua (not her real name) apparently “realized she lost the remote control for a rolling door at her house.” So she decided to commit suicide. Her friend Xiao Mei (also a pseudonym) decided to die with her, “because they were the best friends.” She, however, had bigger concerns than a remote control: “She planned to travel back to the Qing Dynasty (1644—1911) to make a film of an emperor; and she wanted to visit outer space.” The two wrote suicide notes and then drowned themselves in a pool.

This sounds like a cautionary tale about parenting — if your kid thinks killing herself is a good response to losing the remote control, you might not be sending the right message about the value of everyday objects …

Read More: Jezebel

11 Comments on "Did Time-Travel TV Really Kill Two Chinese Schoolgirls?"

  1. MoralDrift | Mar 15, 2012 at 4:14 am |

    Did this really happen? Who knows. 

    But the governments response I think is due to the fact this type of programming creates a nostalgia for an era that was in many ways..well lets just say it is not as nice and lovely as it is being portrayed. Ahhh romance….feudalism…they go hand in hand don’t they? Along with a complete lack of womens rights and bound feet….
    Is there any real danger of young women demanding a return to a feudal system? NO. Or over romanticizing times past? Of course but its for the most part silly fantasy I think its pretty inconsequential.

  2. PRO-TIP: Believe nothing you see on television.

    That is all.

  3. InfiltratedSlacker | Mar 15, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    Personally I think time travel is hogwash, but it is intriguing and amusing that a government would ban the topic.  Why??

  4. That is what happens when you watch too much tv!

    • JohnFrancisBittrich | Mar 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

      China has banned all science-fiction and time travel TV because living in a “fantasy world” does not properly glorify the real-world China. This sounds like the government using two deaths as an excuse to “prove” that that was the right decision. Truth be told, however, people with healthy imaginations and fantasy lives are generally happier and less stressed than those without.

  5. I’m calling bullshit on this one.

  6.  If this is really what happened, we have some serious contenders for Darwin Awards.  But, I think it’s just propaganda.  

  7. Liquidself | Mar 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    Don’t know if the story is true (it s hard to get verification for stories from China I find) but if your read between the lines –  losing the remote could have meant parental abuse for losing said remote.  and her friend may have been more than a friend.  But China s outlawing time travel stories makes perfect sense.  It s easy to justify given the nature of propaganda concerning the cultural revolution,  but more importantly; any imaginative space is threatening to a repressive regime.  People need spaces of alterity in which to rethink their lives for political change. This show represented some kind of ideal (to the viewers) that was dangerous to the regime.

  8. I nominate them for a Darwin Award.

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