"A Chinese celebrity’s non-apology song is the talk of the Internet "
Recently, one of the most shared posts on Weibo was by the singer Xue Ziqian. In the post, Xue included a video of himself, wearing a mask, singing a cover song on the show《蒙面唱将猜猜猜》or Masked Vocalist Guess Guess Guess.
While normally this kind of post would be washed underneath the tide of other similar entries from celebrities far more popular, Xue’s managed to make an impact—because of his involvement in an ongoing scandal.
The story, very much a case of “he said, she said,” and filtered online through numerous biases, is essentially this:
Xue was previously married to a woman (for the sake of simplicity, we’ll call her Beth). During that time, Xue had not yet managed to craft a successful music career and so started a Taobao store with another friend (henceforth known as Summer).
Xue and Beth’s relationship began to breakdown and soon they separated. After a certain amount of time, Xue and Summer started to fall in love.
Beth asked for a divorce (or blackmailed Xue due to her miscarriage, depending on which version you believe) and stipulated that she wanted several million RMB as her settlement. Because this was pre-fame Xue, the only way he could come up with this kind of money was through Summer. Summer agreed.
Fast forward a few years, and Xue has appeared on many reality TV shows and has a thriving music career.
It is at this time that Xue is reported to have broken up with Summer—and returned to the arms of Beth. Summer goes online to complain about the situation.
According to Summer’s account, Xue and Beth never really divorced—the whole “settlement” was just a well-planned long con. This sorry saga reached its height around a month ago, with Summer posting daily updates which included photos of legal documents and bank transaction receipts, and Xue refuting all such claims. And then—nothing.
Being the Internet, the story was soon forgotten with newer, better celebrity gossip.
Until, Xue’s post: Jst two words, 遗憾, meaning regret (also the title of the song he sings). Unfortunately, he does not go into more detail and the comments are saturated with messages of love and support from his fans.
Fortunately, there is still a source from which to derive some further meaning and maybe glimpse Xue’s thoughts on the matter—the song itself.
Regret opens with the line “Stop discussing who is to blame for turning everything to ash/ Unless we let go of our heart’s fatigue, it will be hard to return to before.” So right off the bat, Xue is telling everyone that they should forget what’s occurred, so, we (or, more accurately, he) can go back to the way things were before.
The rest of the lyrics paint a picture: despite all his lover’s faults, he would rather she go out to experience the world, rather than stay and die with him. After tasting the suffering in the world, she will come to the precious truth.
And what is this truth?
Xue changes the last two lines of song to reveal it to the audience. First he says “to learn that I am most precious.” However, just when he seems to be at his most narcissistic, Xue ends the song with the line “Don’t learn that I am most precious,” which seems to hark back to his previous message of wishing that the subject would just leave him alone.
Despite the confusion arising from the last few lines, the overall message of the song is clear: Xue is not sorry and he loves—himself.
And when not saying sorry is a mistake that even Justin Bieber wouldn’t make, all hope is lost.
Cover image from Sohu