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Kenny G has become China's goodbye music and no one knows why

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Kenny G
Kenny G

In what can only be described as a marvelous (if somewhat sinister) example of social engineering, Kenny G's 1989 adult contemporary classic Going Home has served as China's de facto end-of-day song/meme for more than a decade. As The New York Times reports, Going Home can be heard on loop on loudspeakers throughout Beijing at day's end, signaling for shopkeepers, students, and everyday folk that it's time to, well, go home. So embedded is the song in China's cultural fabric that, even though people have developed habits around when the song is played, no one is sure anymore why Kenny G became so popular there in the first place. As one shop manager in the Panjiayuan market asked (echoing Barthes in the process), "Isn’t it just played everywhere?" Read the entire piece here.