So Yellow, So Violent – John Kennedy

1197_1.jpgIt only took a week for the Chinese Internet to give birth to its first major controversy of 2008: 's broadcasting of an interview with 13-year-old girl who described accidentally coming across a web page that was "very yellow (vulgar) and very violent" (很黄,很暴力). Global Voices has an excellent summary:

‘Websites pop themselves up?' wondered some, as others began speculating on the possible mainstream culprits. True or exaggerated or a line fed to her, her choice of words have seen many bloggers responding with mockery and even malice, making her the victim of what some have concluded addresses an even larger and uglier problem, represented in this case by state mouthpiece CCTV's reporting techniques; all sorts of her personal details were dug up by netizens and posted online, prompting her father to respond in kind with an open letter. [Full Text]


As a number of bloggers have noted, the phrase "Very yellow, very violent" seems to have struck such a chord because it sounds similar to "Very good, very formidable" (很好,很强大), a well-known phrase one Chinese netizen recently traced to a translation from Marx's "Theses on Feuerbach"

[Image: A cartoon depicting Zhang Shufan, the girl at the heart of the 'very yellow, very violent' scandal, posted by William Long]

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