Phrase of the Week: Very Erotic, Very Violent
The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.
In a December 2007 segment produced by CCTV’s flagship program News Simulcast (新闻联播 Xīnwén Liánbō) on the easy availability of “unhealthy and vulgar Internet content,” a young girl fretted, “The last time that I got on the Internet to search for information, a web page popped up suddenly. It was very erotic and very violent. I hurried and closed the page.” (Her appearance is available in Chinese on YouTube here.)
Netizens wondered how a web page could be both violent and erotic (sadomasochistic web pages are extremely rare in China) and how such a website could appear unless the girl was looking for such content (which would be unlikely given her age). People suspected that she had been fed her lines.
“Very erotic, very violent” has stood the test of time: a search for the phrase on Weibo in February 2013 returned over two million results.