Pun of the Week: SARFT (State of Anxiety on Film…)

comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around and political correctness.

广电总急 (Guǎng Diàn zǒng jí): State of Anxiety on Film, Radio, and Television

Play on the abbreviation for the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (广电总局 Guǎng Diàn zǒng jú), the administrative body that directly regulates state-owned media. The last character, 局 jú (bureau) becomes 急 jí (anxious) to jab at the agency’s role in sanitizing the media.

was merged with the General Administration of Press and Publications in 2013 to form the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television, but the acronym SARFT is still used officially. In addition to regulating the content of broadcast media, the administration also plays a role in regulating Internet content.

In November 2014, the administration banned puns.

Sample Usage:

胡泳: SARFT: Internet celebrities and scandalous personages prohibited from appearing as special guests on TV

广电总局:禁止网络红人、有丑闻劣迹的人物上电视做嘉宾 http://t.cn/zOC8Qjp

崔向红: The State of Anxiety on Film, Radio, and Television sure is busy. (May 18, 2014)
广电总急真忙 [Chinese]

草泥马-greenWant to learn more subversive netizen slang? Check out Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang. Available for $2.99 in the Kindle, Google Play, and iTunes stores. All proceeds from the sale of this eBook support China Digital Times.