Man of the Week: The Tire
The Word of the Week 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 censorship and political correctness.
Nickname for former president Hu Jintao. The South Korean tire brand Kumho is called 锦湖 Jǐnhú in Chinese, a name which can be read in reverse as the first two syllables of Hu Jintao’s name. “Tire” came into common netizen parlance around March 2012, when Bo Xilai was replaced as Chongqing Party chief.
I heard that after Teletubby cut off Hot Pot*, parent company Master Kang was strangled by Tire and Teletubby. This was that firecracker bang you heard before dawn on the 20th [of March, 2012], the sound of Master Kang’s crushing defeat. While Teletubby’s film and TV careertook off over the past nine years, his heart is still in the right place. He is, after all, the man who 20 years ago stood outside Bacon Hall** behind Yangzhou Fried Rice. All thatsinging and hot pot eating depleted nine years of effort. Thank goodness Tire never took off his camouflage, so that he could ultimately take down Instant Noodles.
* Bo Xilai was Party boss of Chongqing, a city renowned for its hot pot.
** Mao Zedong is also known as cured meat by netizens.
Want 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.