The Shoe-throwing Party versus Internet Sovereignty
In my previous post I wrote about Dr. Fang and his radical vision of a Chinese Internet that is isolated with the open Internet. Unfortunately power holders like Dr. Fang have already made the Internet in China one of the most censored and distorted. But Chinese netizens have that unique spirit that can turn every tragedy into a comedy and darkness into chocolate. Let’s amuse ourselves by reliving the online party of irony and parody that happened before and after Dr. Fang’s speech in Wuhan University in May 2011.
Before Dr. Fang arrived in Wuhan, netizens were already discussing how to protest during his speech. Many netizens who cannot make it to Wuhan offered thoughtfully chosen prizes to whoever would throw eggs or shoes at Dr. Fang, the implication of these prizes can only by appreciated by veteran netizens. The prizes included:
- Vintage DVDs of Sola Aoi 苍井空 (the Japanese AV star turned Chinese Internet Icon).
- Any goods from Taobao up to 2000 RMB.
- Full Service Package in the town of Dongguan in Guangzhuo (Dongguan is a center of manufacture and export industry, also the first area to apply ISO standard quality control system to sexual service).
- 10 VPN accounts.
- Total Power Leveling Package in World of Warcraft, on Taiwan server.
There are also the less original prizes such as one-night-stand, dinner or travel package. The netizens who offered one-night-stand must have waited with anxiety before they found out the gender of the shoe-thrower. It turned out that the only person who did throw a shoe at Dr. Fang during his speech was a boy, whose online nick name is “Coldness Leaning on You” (寒君依). Mr. Coldness was almost caught by the security guards in the lecture hall after he threw his shoes, but many students threw themselves in the way of the security guards and earned time for him to escape. Besides the netizens who did have one-night-stand with him, all we know about him is that he has big feet, judging from a photo he posted online after the shoe-throwing event.
Dr. Fang was furious at the organizers in Wuhan University. He said it was an unforgivable security mistake of Wuhan University, because obviously the discussion about shoe-throwing during his speech had been quite open and widespread before his arrival.
According to the live broadcast of the shoe-throwing event on Sina Weibo (microblog), netizens are disappointed that only one of the two shoes thrown by Mr. Coldness hit their target, but many still offered to buy new shoes for Mr. Coldness. Among those who offered new shoes, only one was generous enough to specify that they will be Nike rather than any local Shanzhai (山寨）brand. But the most generous donor is a person whose online name is Siming Tian: Tian declared that if one day he won a lottery of 100 million, he would give Mr. Coldness 50 million. Here is a screenshot of the weibo broadcast at that time, hope you were there!
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