China Attacks GNR’s ‘Democracy’ Album, While Dr. Pepper Crashes

Guns N’ Roses 15 year awaited epic new album “Chinese Democracy” made its official debut on Sunday but, in China, it is being widely criticized for being “an attack on the Chinese nation”.

Despite its censorship in China, reviews of the album in the rest of the world have been decidedly mixed.

A newspaper published by China’s ruling Communist Party is blasting the latest Guns N’ Roses album as an attack on the Chinese nation.

Delayed since recording began in 1994, “Chinese Democracy” hit stores in the U.S. on Sunday, although it is unlikely to be sold legally in China, where censors maintain tight control over films, music and publications.

In an article Monday headlined “American band releases album venomously attacking China,” the Global Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to “grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn.”

The album “turns its spear point on China,” the article said.

The album is not expected to be released in China, however, as of the weekend it could still be accessed online through the band’s website and MySpace account.

Songs from the album could be heard on Internet sites such as YouTube and the band’s MySpace page on Monday and it was not immediately possible to tell whether China’s Internet monitors were seeking to block access to it.

Monitors use content filters that highlight and sometimes block messages containing words such as democracy. That prompted some Internet users to combine English and Chinese characters in their postings about the album to skirt such monitoring.

China approves only limited numbers of foreign films and recordings for distribution each year, partly due to political concerns but also to protect domestic producers.

Meanwhile, back in the US of A, soft drink company Dr. Pepper had promised a free can of soda to every American who purchased the GNR epic but consumers who attempted to claim their free beverage were instead met with frustration as the drpepper.com website crashed Sunday due to the high-volume of ‘Chinese Democracy’-related traffic.

So much for freebies, I s’pose.

It was a day that was supposed to be more fun than Christmas, Hanukkah, and International Talk Like a Pirate Day combined, but as millions of jubilant Americans returned home from Best Buy with copies of Guns N’ Roses’ much-anticipated new album yesterday and tried to log on to drpepper.com to claim their free bottle of soda, they got only disappointment. Despite repeated promises from its manufacturer to furnish every man, woman, and child in America (Slash and Buckethead excepted) with a coupon for a complimentary Dr. Pepper on the day of Chinese Democracy‘s release, the Website for the popular tooth-rotting beverage became overwhelmed with demand, resulting in error messages, unloaded pages, and widespread sadness. Was it intentional sabotage on the part of a company that didn’t want to follow through with an expensive promotion? Or just general Web-based incompetence? Axl worked really hard to make this happen, but the day was ruined (we see they’ve actually extended the promotion until 6 p.m. today — and we still can’t download our coupon).

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