Friday, July 23, 2004

Bite the Wax Tadpole, Mao 

I have always been fascinated by propaganda posters, and have a little collection going of my own of vintage ones from The War to End all Wars and The War to End all Wars II. Today my branch received a brand new copy of Chinese Propaganda Posters, and I have had a death grip on it all day. I could not recommend it more. Doesn't Mao just look like the most benevolent, huggy wuggy teddy bear? It's hard to believe that he starved 30 or so million of his own people to death just 'cause he could, but he did!

The pictures are hypnotically beautiful in their otherworldly, super idealized kitschiness, but the best parts are the text and slogans written on each poster.

Some of my favorites:

People of the world unite and defeat the US aggressors and all their running dogs!

Eschew the worlds of literature and art and become familiar with the lives of workers, peasants and soldiers.

I love the blue sky of the fatherland!

A bad element is to be publicly criticized!

The atom bomb is a paper tiger the US reactionary uses to scare people! It looks terrible, but in fact, it isn't.

I'm sure they have lost a little something in translation, like the Pepsi's marketing slogan "Come Alive with Pepsi!" which loosely translates as:

Come alive out of the grave with Pepsi
Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead

Coke had its problems as well. Coca-cola phonetically translates to:

female horse fastened with wax
wax-flattened mare
bite the wax tadpole

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