The Net Nanny makes all of our lives a little more annoying, providing hours of infuriating slow and often inaccessible browsing.
But aside from teaching us all valuable lessons on the importance of patience and perseverance, every once in a while the Great Firewall produces a real gem.
Today’s New York Times provides a comprehensive overview of the latest censorship-related Chinese internet phenomenon: The Grass Mud Horse.
Yes that’s right, the Cao Ni Ma (草泥马), a delightful alpaca-esque animal from the deserts of Malegebi (another dirty pun about your mother’s *ahem*), has arrived to fight back against the recently stepped-up censorship regime.
The Cao Ni Ma has its own catchy children’s song and popular Youtube video to boot, and has even earned the support of various academics throughout the country.
The horses are “courageous, tenacious and overcome the difficult environment,” a YouTube song about them says.
But they face a problem: invading “river crabs” that are devouring their grassland. In spoken Chinese, “river crab” sounds very much like “harmony,” which in China’s cyberspace has become a synonym for censorship. Censored bloggers often say their posts have been “harmonized” — a term directly derived from President Hu Jintao’s regular exhortations for Chinese citizens to create a harmonious society.
Want a grass mud horse of your very own? Danwei has been kind enough to provide instructions for the acquisition of these cuddly pals sure to brighten all of your future searches for subversive materials. They come in two models: Male and Gebi.
And, in case you felt the whole affair needed a nice dash of hip hop, here’s a rap remix:
Don’t understand the joke? Show the video to a Chinese friend or colleague and enjoy.
Photo from Danwei