Confucianism and Trade Imbalances

The enlightened dictatorship of money

“Occupy Obama”

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I recently learned a new Chinese word: 屌丝, which translates directly to something like “pubic silk.”  In a way, it’s a more elegant term than it needs to be, since “hair” could be used instead.  Anyway, even though I’m not sure I quite understand the full connotations, it’s clearly an insult – something about people who have no pride, no money, etc.

I then ran into this article about “屌丝” “occupying” Obama’s Google+ page last February (so I’m a little behind on this story…I don’t exactly get paid for this.)  For a short period, the GFW failed and allowed people in China unfiltered access to google+, and Chinese users took the opportunity to post messages on his wall.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to promote the Chinese language.”  These words now appear on US President’s Obama’s google+ page; how do Obama’s fans feel?

“Mr. President, I want to teach you Chinese, so that you can read all these posts.”

“Can such high popularity help you in the next election?” Chinese 屌丝 asked on Obama’s google+ page.

Funny enough, I hadn’t heard anything about this in the Western media. So I decided to check it out.

The comments have been almost uniformly free of the vitriol that often rages on the Internet. And, to the extent that harsh sentiments have been expressed, the criticism has been more often directed at the Chinese government. One user did write that it was disappointing to see how “weak” Obama was on the issue of human rights in China.

Even more surprising is the unusual absence of jingoistic China defenders who commonly rebut pro-democracy, pro-America comments in Chinese internet forums.

As you can see, the comments range from fawning to mischievous to thoughtful. More than a few ask for a Green Card or American citizenship. And, of course, there are a few Americans who resent these Chinese users posting in their native language as opposed to English – or who simply use it as an opportunity for sarcasm.

Although the last commentary seems to be more along the lines of the Chinese coverage, it seems like a real gap on the way internet commentary is perceived.


Written by Maofucious

January 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Posted in Confucianism

Tagged with ,

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