Monthly Archives: November 2011

Blocked on Weibo

I guess it’s about time I “unveil” what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks: Blocked on Weibo is a site where I’ll be posting words that you can’t search for on Weibo. I go into more detail on the site, but essentially, I’ve developed a computer script that is searching Weibo as we speak, uncovering words which return the bureaucratese “Sorry, due to relevant regulations and laws your results cannot be shown.” For instance, you might be amused to learn that “Mao bacon” is a banned search term on Weibo.

毛腊肉 (“hair bacon” / mao larou) is a reference to Mao’s embalmed body in the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong in Tian’anmen Square, Beijing. The character mao means hair, but is also Mao’s surname. larou commonly refers to bacon, but literally means “preserved meat.” Thus, the preserved meat of Mao: his embalmed body. The term is generally used in a derogatory fashion.

Why it might be blocked: Referring to Mao as a slab of meat is undoubtedly offensive to a government that still officially reveres the Great Leader, though only 70% of the time.

More: Among the top results for 毛腊肉 is a facetious recipe for how to prepare Mao Bacon. The instructions (a rough translation):

A fierce boar from the Huguang province [the pre-Qing name for Hunan and Hubei, where Mao lived—ed]: First, empty the internal organs and wash with 7 kg of salt, 0.2 kg nitrate (?), 0.4 kg pepper. For the deboned meat, use 2.5 kg salt 2.5, 0.2 kg fine nitrate, 5 kg of sugar, 3.7 kg of baijiu and soy sauce mixed, 3-4 kg of water. Optional ingredients that can be added prior include salt and crushed pepper, fennel, cinnamon and other spices; dry and flatten, seal up well and bathe in Chinese medicine for three days, until the surface fluffs up, that way the seasoning penetrates through the meat. Then disinfect it with alcohol and dry in the sun. [followed by various descriptions of how to eat/what it tastes like]

I’m currently finding new blocked words every day. I’ll try to post a new one every day or two. Hope you find it interesting.

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