Beware of geeks feeling stiffed. Speaking as a blogger who has fallen foul of the Great Firewall of China, I'm guessing the guy who invented it isn't so popular among the people he reckons he's protecting.
It's with a small but delicious sense of schadenfreude that I note computer students threw shoes at Fang Binxing, known as the father of the "Golden Shield", when he gave a lecture at Wuhan University today. The fact that this news hit Twitter in minutes demonstrates the derision felt for Fang by the computer geeks who Fang presumably hopes will follow in his footsteps. The speed with which they disseminated information pertaining to his humiliation demonstrates their technical savvy. We hope that the good president of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunication will give them all an A-plus in appreciation of their skills.
Fang himself owns six VPNs, allowing him to Great Leap over the Firewall. How very egalitarian of him. And what a waste. He says, “I’m not interested in reading messy information like some of that anti-government stuff."
Wadda heel! No sole.
This does beg the question: exactly when did shoes become an international symbol of contempt? We saw it in Iraq when portraits of Saddam were walloped with shoes, and Bush's narrow miss certainly added to the gaiety of the anti-war movement. However, not since sabots (wooden clogs) were thrown into machinery in the Netherlands in the 15th century, thereby giving birth to sabotage, has footwear taken on any political significance here in Yurp.
Lemme tell ya: NO-ONE is getting my precious Imeldas.
Thanks to China Digital Times for much of the above. Just 'cause your "Berkeley China Internet Project" is based in Berkeley University in the US sunshine state of California doesn't mean you have an axe to grind yourselves. No way. No siree! Keep it up, guys.
You can send roses or raspberries to the shoe-thrower @hanunyi on Twitter.
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