River Crabbed: Skirting “Truth From Facts”
When something disappears from the Internet in China, netizens joke that it has been “river-crabbed,” a play on “harmonized.” The River Crab Archive is a collection of blog post titles, weibo, and other materials deleted from their original sources on Chinese websites, either found by CDT or brought to our attention by outside projects. The editors have selected river-crabbed information of note from CDT Chinese’s ongoing compendium of the same name (河蟹档案).
CDT Chinese’s latest roundup of deleted posts from Sina Weibo includes one mocking the Central Party School and the Maoist call to “Seek Truth From Facts.” Its irreverent tone clashes with Xi Jinping’s repeated calls for ideological orthodoxy and faithfulness to Mao’s legacy.
Qinrenlaoxuekan (@秦人老薛侃): At the front gate of the Central Party School, there’s a great stone engraved with the four characters, “Seek Truth From Facts.” To get through the gate, students have to walk around it. Someone came up with this rhyme:
Because of “Seeking Truth From Facts,”
They skirt around Seeking Truth From Facts,
Study with backs to Seeking Truth From Facts,
At work, leave behind Seeking Truth From Facts.
If you run into Seeking Truth From Facts,
Your head’ll end up with bloody cracks.
(October 15, 2016) [Chinese]
In another deleted post, a user commented:
Zhengzhoufanqiang (@郑州范强): Thanks to this rhyme, they’ll move the rock behind the main building. Then, people will add: “No more sign of Seeking Truth From Facts.” (October 15, 2016) [Chinese]