On the way back to the hotel from work, Xie Yang checked Weibo. Sure enough, there were two topics with Ge Zhuo’s name on the hot search. They were #Ge Zhuo lives in seclusion# and #Ge Zhuo responds to questions#
He clicked on the first topic and found a video of Ge Zhuo’s interview before he won the award. The video title was ‘Exploring Ge Zhuo’s Reclusive Life’. Xie Yang took out his headphones, plugged them in and clicked on the video.
The interview was conducted in Ge Zhuo’s house. In a room decorated in the Zen style, Ge Zhuo and the reporter sat casually on the tatami mats. There was a carved short table between the two of them. Ge Zhuo was making tea for the reporter and himself using a simple and elegant tea set.
After making the tea, Ge Zhuo spoke and set the tone of the entire interview with one sentence. He said, “If you aren’t quiet then you can’t make good works.”
Ge Zhuo and the reporter had a conversation about this sentence, especially the word ‘quiet’. During the conversation, Ge Zhuo led the reporter to visit his home that was renovated from the original nature. He showed the remote mountain with a bamboo forest outside the house, which were the standards for a secluded master. He also played the piano in the forest for the reporter.
The breeze blowing, the bamboo leaves swaying, the afterglow of the setting sun and Ge Zhuo in the centre with his eyes closed and hair fluttering… it was a beautifully composed, artistic video with its own filters.
At the end of the video, Ge Zhuo smiled calmly. “For me, it doesn’t matter if my work wins or not. I participated in the award mainly because I want more people to hear my work. It is hard to find a friend in life. If someone can understand and love the music I compose then I will be very satisfied.”
At the end of the interview, the screen froze on Ge Zhuo’s smile with the big ‘quiet’ written in cursive on the wall behind him.
Xie Yang took off his headphones, gave the interview 100 points and clicked on the comments area below.
There were obvious traces of a water army in the comments area. The hot comments were all lamenting that Ge Zhuo was a clear stream in the entertainment industry and his song was a ‘sincere work that touches the soul’. It was completely different from those who just catered to the market and the fans to make money.
Xie Yang couldn’t stand this style of comments so he quickly quit and clicked on the second topic. The page was refreshed and showed a music critic’s Weibo that was posted just after the Golden Song Awards.
Old Man With Sharp Ears: The Best Composition was given to Ge Zhuo? Am I crazy or are the judges crazy? An excellent composition like ‘IUD’ didn’t win the prize? Even if it isn’t ‘IUD’, it should be Xue Xian’s ‘Survival’. The works of these two young singers are really sincere. No matter how bad it is, at least it should be Tang Xiaoshu. Ge Zhuo’s ‘All Things’ is really ordinary!
There were thousands of comments on this post, most of them expressing the same feeling.
It stood to reason that this type of questioning Weibo post should’ve become popular a long time ago. It was probably because the entire network was paying attention to Mu Zhouyi in the past few days that it didn’t arouse much of a splash.
At the very least, Xie Yang didn’t know there was such a post before this. Under this Weibo was a post that really triggered the topic. It was a short clip of a video of Ge Zhuo being interviewed after winning the prize. There were nearly 10,000 comments.
In the short clip, a reporter asked Ge Zhuo what he thought if many listeners said his music wasn’t as good as the other selected ones. Ge Zhuo replied in a good temper. He said that everyone’s music styles were different and the audience of the songs were also different. It was normal to have doubts and he accepted them all.
The hot comments under this Weibo post successfully incited a battle.
Hot Comment 1: What do you mean by many listeners? This is referring to the fans of two little new stars. Their faces are big. How long has it been since their debut that they think such awards belong to them?
Hot Comment 2: Hahaha, the one who didn’t care about the award won the prize while the people tearing at each other for the prize lost. Sure enough, the judges know what good music is.
Hot Comment 3: I really don’t understand this year’s Golden Song Awards. I can only say that there aren’t many people who make music attentively and not many people know how to appreciate it. Part of it is to cater to musicians who make music with random comments. It disappoints me.
Xie Yang raised his eyebrow. He clicked on the first and second comments and read through the replies to them. Sure enough, he saw that his name and Xue Xian’s name were frequently mentioned. A fan came in to speak for him and Xue Xian, saying that they didn’t think the award was theirs. However, the fan was mocked by the group. A passerby came in and said that his and Xue Xian’s works were better. Unsurprisingly, they were labeled as secular and ignorant of real music.
It had to be said that this type of ‘everyone is vulgar, only I am clear’ and the ‘clear stream is suppressed by the market’ would always work. It was because this world never lacked the audience that prided itself on being clear, sober and unique in taste.
They were aloof and unreasonable. Except for the songs they listened to, the songs of others were vulgar and low level. In this regard, they were more of an overbearing president than real overbearing presidents. A fight was inevitable. He believed that if this rhythm continued, more and more people would step on Xie Yang and Xue Xian.
His mobile phone suddenly vibrated as the real overbearing president sent a message. Xie Yang opened it.
Qiu Xing: Don’t look at these bad things. Eat well, have a good rest and don’t stay up late.
Xie Yang smiled and typed.
Xie Yang: Are you looking at Weibo too?
Qiu Xing typed for a long time but in the end, he only sent three words.
Qiu Xing: Go to eat.
Xie Yang: I’m not at the hotel yet. I’m in the car and it is interesting to scan Weibo. I can watch a free monkey show and it will be appetizing to eat after seeing it.
The other person typed for a while again.
Qiu Xing: Then you look at it in an hour.
Xie Yang: What did you do?
Qiu Xing replied in seconds: Helped you out.
Seeing the message from Qiu Xing, Xie Yang put away his mobile phone instead of replying like he intended. He got out of the car and started looking at his mobile phone all the way. He looked at his phone as he walked into the hotel, returned to his room and washed his hands and face. He was still looking at his phone as he went with Wu Shui to the dining room for dinner.
In this hour, Xie Yang witnessed public opinion on Weibo ranging from ‘Ge Zhuo is questioned’ to ‘Ge Zhuo is well deserved’, ‘the words of Xie Yang and Xue Xian are too commercial’ and ‘Xie Yang and Xue Xian are arrogant’.
There were some people who made a left-right comparison chart. On the right, Ge Zhuo said it wasn’t important to win prizes. On the left, Xie Yang said that he entered the entertainment circle to sing and make money. On the right, Ge Zhuo sat on the ground, made tea and played the piano. On the left, Xie Yang sat in the luxuriously decorated Yang Xing, playing around with Tong Jian and the others and singing a naive and rough song on the guitar. On the right, Ge Zhuo smiled politely at Xie Yang and Xue Xian when he got up to accept the award. On the left, the new IUD and Xue Xian changed their expressions and clapped reluctantly when the award was announced.
Leaving aside other things, based on this alone, it could be seen that Ge Zhuo and Xie Yang were two completely different types of musicians. One was a ‘being out of the world’ and the other was ‘too mixed into the world’.
The ‘commercial hat’ was about to be placed on Xie Yang and Ge Zhuo’s clean personality was about to be set when a topic suddenly rose on the hot search. The topic was #Golden Song Awards Apologizes for Dirty Tricks#
Xie Yang raised his eyebrow. He knew it was coming and threw away his chopsticks to concentrate on Weibo.
After clicking on the topic, he saw a statement of apology just released by the Golden Song Awards official Weibo. In the statement, they announced the acceptance of bribes and the unfairness of the awards by certain judges and officials. They solemnly apologized to the public and all participants for this matter. Then they announced the punishment of several people and the permanent blockade for bribery. They also said that this year’s Best Composition Award was invalidated.
There weren’t many comments under the statement. Most of the comments were question marks. Xie Yang closed the comments and was preparing to take a closer look at the statement when a WeChat message from the real overbearing president jumped out.
Qiu Xing: Eat well and don’t play with your phone.
Xie Yang paused as he looked at Weibo and glanced at Wu Shui sitting next to him. Wu Shui didn’t dare look at Xie Yang. He advised with a guilty conscience. “Boss, it isn’t easy to digest the food if you eat while playing with your mobile phone.”
Xie Yang suppressed his heart that wanted to eat melons. He obediently put down his phone and ate. Once the meal ended, Xie Yang immediately picked up the phone and went back to his room. He settled on the sofa and opened Weibo again.
Previously, there were few comments on this statement that was at the very top. Below it was a Weibo authenticated as the person in charge of the Golden Song Awards. This person posted dozens of minutes ago the evidence of Ge Zhuo buying the award and it hung at the top conspicuously.
The evidence published was very comprehensive. There were photos of Ge Zhuo and the person bribed having a meal, transfer records and chat records. At the end of the evidence, there was the award letter stating the original work selected for Best Composition. The letters ‘IUD’ were clearly printed.
These two Weibo posts successfully detonated public opinion. The people who previously despised Xie Yang and Xue Xian stopped talking and the music critic who had been chased all day finally spoke again.
Old Man With Sharp Ears: Buying a prize? The Golden Song Awards is awesome. Okay, Ge Zhuo. You are really shameless! Buying a prize is buying a prize. But you dared to pull the newcomer down? You were afraid of being killed on the beach by the waves but this wave ended up squeezing you to death!
The topic #Ge Zhuo Buying the Award# went on the hot search. It seemed very ironic next to the two other topics about Ge Zhuo.
Qin Cheng suddenly called. “The team I arranged was completely useless. None of the evidence collected was useful.”
Xie Yang told him, “Congratulations on saving effort on a job.”
Qin Cheng was amused and hung up.
After eating the melon, Xie Yang felt this matter should be almost over. He put down the phone to take a bath and didn’t pay attention to online matters.
Early the next morning, Xie Yang brushed his teeth while habitually taking out his phone to open Weibo. Unexpectedly, he found that the hot searches still had the topics from yesterday and the position on the hot search hadn’t changed at all.
This wasn’t normal. A hot search couldn’t remain unmoved all night. Didn’t Ge Zhuo have a public relations team?
Xie Yang was puzzled. He clicked on the hot topic and almost choked on toothpaste.
The top one was the Weibo post of a certain marketing account and it had tens of thousands of comments. This marketing account stated that Ge Zhuo’s so-called ‘reclusive residence’ was actually a fake. This house was temporarily rented by Ge Zhuo. Ge Zhuo’s real residence was in a luxury community in B City. In addition, Ge Zhuo had the hobby of going to clubs and his life wasn’t ‘quiet’ at all. He also uncovered evidence that Ge Zhuo bought a water army to speculate on the character he set up and to step on other stars.
At the end of this Weibo, the marketing account made a left-right comparison.
On the right, Ge Zhuo said it wasn’t important to win the prize. On the left, there was evidence of Ge Zhuo buying the prize. On the right, Ge Zhuo sat on the floor casually, making tea and playing the piano. On the right, Ge Zhuo teased a sister in the club and smoked. On the right, Ge Zhuo got up to accept the award and politely smiled at Xie Yang and Xue Xian. On the left, there was evidence that Ge Zhuo bought a water army to step on Xie Yang and Xue Xian.
Xie Yang put down his phone and quickly finished washing. Then he picked up his phone again and called Qiu Xing. Qiu Xing answered in seconds. “You just got up?”
“I like this way of venting.”
Qiu Xing scoffed in a modest manner.
Xie Yang smiled. “My graduation ceremony is the day after tomorrow.”
Perhaps it was an illusion but Xie Yang felt the other side of the phone becoming really quiet. He asked, “Do you want to attend my graduation ceremony?”
A popular star openly brought another person to attend a special occasion like the graduation ceremony. The meaning of this could be understood by any fool. Qiu Xing didn’t speak and he seemed to stop breathing. The phone was completely quiet.
A shallow exhale was heard and then Qiu Xing’s forced calm tone came through the phone. “Are you begging me?”
Xie Yang smiled. “Yes, please.”
Qiu Xing snorted heavily and had obvious joy in his tone. “I have never seen you acting so spoiled… When will your plane land? I’ll go and pick you up.”
Proofreader: Mnemo & Paranoid Kitten