Speaking in code

june-4-19891

Like the grass mud horse, I wonder whether this is a bold political statement and a sneer at the censors, or just a giggly prank. See the explanation here.

Via Reflections.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Do these youth actually understand the whole meaning behind it or are they doing it only because it’s “forbidden” as a measure of teenage rebellion? I remember an ad on this subject slipped through the cracks and made to a local newspaper in Sichuan only because the editor was too young to remember(and obviously never learnt about) the incident.

March 26, 2009 @ 9:58 am | Comment

That’s really the purpose of this post – to figure out your question. None of the young Chinese I work with have a deep emotional attachment to this date. With the grass mud horse joke, I suspect those laughing the most see it as a delicious prank, not as a serious protest against government censorship.Everybody loves seeing those in power being forced to squirm.That doesn’t mean they are dedicated to any progressive causes for reform and political change. Maybe they’re just having a laugh.

March 26, 2009 @ 10:27 am | Comment

Hehe…Do not blame the lost generation,it is easy to see we find that the banning thing will increase the outlaw appeal.Same things as USA Prohibitions.

Talk to the emotional attachment,we just do not want to talk about that,NOT forgotten. You will find the same like Mrs.Clinton’s China trip.
She just didn’t talk about it ,but not forget.

March 26, 2009 @ 1:30 pm | Comment

Wow. I was wondering about Youtube.com this week. I have to hand it to the authorities when they lightened up last year and stopped blocking Wiki and on rare occasion, BBC.com They were so good about it I stopped using proxy sites for a year. I was willing to accept that obviously I am not going to read about Tibet or issues about Taiwan or download p0rn. That’s fine I suppose. But Youtube?! Hmmm, bad habits die hard.

Nifty shirt. I want one (really.)

March 26, 2009 @ 2:39 pm | Comment

The guy behind this is a graphic designer who does creative business cards, joke ads for porn websites, and clever political comments such as this one. Most of the posts on his blog are incomprehensible unless you are already familiar with the person, site, or topic he’s referencing.

March 26, 2009 @ 3:11 pm | Comment

Thanks a lot for the explanation, zhwj.

Robert, the youtube block is especially absurd. To claim in one breath they are not afraid of the Internet and the Tibet video is a fake AND to then block all of youtube… Well, they don’t seem unafraid of the Internet to any rational observer.

March 26, 2009 @ 3:55 pm | Comment

Richard: I’m sort of surprised they blocked all of Youtube because I thought they already have they ability to block viewing of certain clips on Youtube. So, no need to block access to the whole site. For example, Google…they give you the censored search if you try to look up “Tiannamen 1989″ or “Taiwan” and “Independence”.

There was a few times I requested a clip on Youtube also on Tibet in the past month – had nothing to with Chinese govt or politics at all. But, everytime I tried to go on the clip, my connection was interrupted. I tried this on three separate occassions and Youtube would be interrupted, but when I tried any other clips it was fine. So don’t they have the ability just to block any requests for the fake Tibet video?

I’m hoping they unblock Youtube soon, it’s a primary source of (mindless) American culture while I live here.

March 26, 2009 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

This is hardly the first time they’ve blocked youtube. And while they have the technology to block individual sites and pages, often they take a more draconian approach, blocking entire hosts, such as wordpress and livejournal. But don’t ask me why. Usually they get bored and relax the block after a while, especially when it’s a site as conspicuous as youtube. But then again, wordpress blogs remain blocked as does the Huffington Post. So trying to predict what the Net Nanny will do next or what motivates her, other than paranoid schizophrenia, is a futile task.

March 26, 2009 @ 5:25 pm | Comment

That’s a very nice t-shirt, unique in its simplicity and the use of Roman numerals. I could see this t-shirt becoming very popular with kids in rural parts of China. They wouldn’t be able to read it, but this isn’t very important. Still, the meaning would be lost.

March 26, 2009 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

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