Sunday, December 23, 2012

an ironic "Guardian Christmas screensaver" by Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei's ironic homage to Chinese "door god prints" to be used as a screensaver.  Like the "door god prints," that are traditionally hung on doors in China to ward off evil, this "Guardian Christmas screensaver," put on your computer, is supposed to "ward off the evil river crabs" ( "river crabs" is internet slang created by Chinese netizens in reference to Internet censorship or the other censorship of China. In Chinese Mandarin, the word "River crab" (河蟹), which originally means Chinese mitten crab, sounds similar to "Harmonious/Harmonize/Harmonization" (Chinese: 和谐) in the word "Harmonious society" (和谐社会), Chinese leader Hu Jintao's signature ideology).

Also pictured are the "Grass Mud Horses" or Cǎonímǎ (草泥马), is a Chinese Internet meme widely used as a form of symbolic defiance of the widespread Internet censorship in China. It is a play on the Mandarin language words Cǎonímǎ (肏你妈) (I actually can't tell you what that means in English or it sets off the censorship blockers here in Kuwait! but if you click on the links it is easy to see), and is one of the so-called 10 mythical creatures created in a hoax article on Baidu Baike in early 2009 whose names form obscene puns. It has become an Internet chat forum cult phenomenon in China and has garnered world-wide press attention, with videos, cartoons and merchandise of the animal (which is said to resemble the alpaca), having appeared.
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