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'''被时代 (bèi shídài): passive era'''
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<h3>''bèi shídài'' 被时代</h3>
  
[[File:Eraofpassivetense.jpg|250px|thumb|right|''Will you be "made [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaokang relatively well-off]," or will you be "suicided"? (Source unknown)'']] A time when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions—that is, the present.
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[[File:被代表.jpg|250px|thumb|right|''"We don't want to be represented." (Source: [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/11/residents-protest-garbage-incinerator-in-guangdong/ @LEMONed])'']]Time period when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions—that is, the present.
  
In Chinese, the grammatical construction [[be X-ed|被X (bèi-X)]] means "to be X-ed," and implies that that the X-ed party is unwilling or will suffer from the effects of X. For example, someone invited to [[drink tea]] (i.e. called in by the police for interrogation) could say she "was tea-drinked" (被喝茶 bèi hé chá). The current frequency of such situations has given rise to the term "passive era."  
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In Mandarin, the passive marker (''bèi'' 被) typically [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_grammar#Passive indicates adversity or misfortune]. If your homework '''is eaten''' by your dog (zuòyè '''bèi''' gǒu '''chī le '''作业'''被'''狗'''吃了'''), you are not looking forward to explaining this to your teacher. In the current political context, the passive voice implies that the subject is forced to perform or endure, usually by the party-state. Perry Link and Xiao Qiang call this the "[http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2013/01/in-chinas-cyberspace-dissent-speaks-code/ involuntary passive]."  
  
See also [[be X-ed]].
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<h4>Common ''Bei'' Constructions</h4>
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'''be employed (''bèi jiùyè'' 被就业)'''
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In 2009, universities and colleges began using contracts between recruiters and students to [http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%A2%AB%E5%B0%B1%E4%B8%9A inflate the graduate employment rate].
  
[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]] [[Category: Prison and Law Enforcement]] [[Category: Quotable Communist Party]] [[Category: Chinese Society and Popular Culture]]
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'''be increased (''bèi zēngzhǎng'' 被增长)'''
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Coined by netizen Xia Yucai, who in 2009 expressed disbelief at a [http://www.hudong.com/wiki/%E8%A2%AB%E5%A2%9E%E9%95%BF government report showing that average wages had increased].
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'''be represented (''bèi dàibiǎo'' 被代表)'''
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To have your wishes disregarded by the government while it ostensibly speaks on your behalf. In December 2009, the city of Jinan held a public hearing on water utility fees. Netizens suspected that the [http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E8%A2%AB%E4%BB%A3%E8%A1%A8 "representatives"] present, who supported the fee increase, were actually government plants.
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'''be suicided (''bèi zìshā'' 被自杀)'''
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To be compelled to commit suicide. Used in connection to the [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2010/09/suicide-as-protest-for-the-new-generation-of-chinese-migrant-workers-foxconn-global-capital-and-the-state/ spate of suicides in 2010 at Foxconn electronics factories], where some speculated that poor working conditions pushed workers to the brink. In 2012, after activist [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2012/06/activist-li-wangyang-found-dead-in-hospital/ Li Wangyang's death was declared a suicide] by officials, "being suicided" also came to mean that one's possible murder is labelled a suicide by the authorities.
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'''be tea-drinked (''bèi hē chá'' 被喝茶)'''
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To be interrogated by the police about political subversive activities. See [[drink tea]].
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'''be wall-raped (bèi qiángjiān 墙奸)'''
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To be [[wall-rape|blocked by the Great Firewall]].
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[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]]

Revision as of 23:57, 25 February 2016

bèi shídài 被时代

"We don't want to be represented." (Source: @LEMONed)
Time period when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions—that is, the present.

In Mandarin, the passive marker (bèi 被) typically indicates adversity or misfortune. If your homework is eaten by your dog (zuòyè bèi gǒu chī le 作业吃了), you are not looking forward to explaining this to your teacher. In the current political context, the passive voice implies that the subject is forced to perform or endure, usually by the party-state. Perry Link and Xiao Qiang call this the "involuntary passive."

Common Bei Constructions

be employed (bèi jiùyè 被就业) In 2009, universities and colleges began using contracts between recruiters and students to inflate the graduate employment rate.

be increased (bèi zēngzhǎng 被增长) Coined by netizen Xia Yucai, who in 2009 expressed disbelief at a government report showing that average wages had increased.

be represented (bèi dàibiǎo 被代表) To have your wishes disregarded by the government while it ostensibly speaks on your behalf. In December 2009, the city of Jinan held a public hearing on water utility fees. Netizens suspected that the "representatives" present, who supported the fee increase, were actually government plants.

be suicided (bèi zìshā 被自杀) To be compelled to commit suicide. Used in connection to the spate of suicides in 2010 at Foxconn electronics factories, where some speculated that poor working conditions pushed workers to the brink. In 2012, after activist Li Wangyang's death was declared a suicide by officials, "being suicided" also came to mean that one's possible murder is labelled a suicide by the authorities.

be tea-drinked (bèi hē chá 被喝茶) To be interrogated by the police about political subversive activities. See drink tea.

be wall-raped (bèi qiángjiān 墙奸) To be blocked by the Great Firewall.