A reader thinks I was too glib:

There aren't any mentions of river crabs in the video you posted - they're in another video also mentioned in the NYT story.

Second, and more importantly, I think it's very easy (too easy) for westerners to dismiss this video.  Oh, look, the Chinese are using youtube to say dirty words. Chinese social protests have relied upon the "double meaning" of words (made possible because of the phonetic nature of Mandarin) since Imperial times.  Want to get arrested in a heartbeat on Tiananmen Square?  You don't need to unfurl a "Free Tibet" banner - just bring a little glass bottle and hold it over your head like you're about to break it.  Little bottles in Mandarin are "Xiao Ping" - just like Deng Xiaoping.  You'll have plainclothesmen on you faster than you can say "Chairman Mao."  I've seen it happen.

When you live in a country where you can write whatever you want and have it published, perhaps it's easy to shrug off the very real threat of censorship.  But I would think that a libertarian blogger, of all people, would be sympathetic to an online culture that's being "harmonized" by an authoritarian regime.  Even if the only protests getting out involved curse words and alpacas.  Don't a people living under a regime that prevents any real form of political free speech deserve the benefit of the doubt?

In case there was any misunderstanding, I do not mean to denigrate the protests by describing them as South Parky. Longtime readers know I know of few higher compliments. Anything that pricks at Beijing's censors is heroic as far as I'm concerned. 

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