Reinterpreting Propaganda

To get it out of the way, Charly started it. And reminded me of a delightful bit of propaganda reinterpretation. Puts a smile on my face every time.

The original FB post was this nice, succinct narrative:

The Soviet-Chinese propaganda posters seem to be the story of a beautiful interracial gay couple who met in a metallurgical, got married and had beautiful children and a farm

In any case, some explanation:

In October 1949, Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People’s Republic of China. China and Russia had long been allies and now, as communist states, that relationship was more important to both countries than ever before.

Communist propaganda has always been an integral part of that particular political structure, and Chinese-Russian propaganda attests to how much each country wanted to show the world they had a united front – China and Russia walking hand-in-hand, happy and gay, so to speak. The posters they used to get this idea across, however, may have been a bit too literal.

Here’s a quick sample of a couple of my favourites. Commentary at the link:

Slightly different, but no less amusing, captions available at imgur, too. If only real-life international relations were as friendly.

And too bad modern day propaganda doesn’t lend itself so easily to left-leaning reinterpretation (please point out if I’m wrong).


Trump Toilet Paper.

Mock-up of Trump toilet paper packaging.

Now, this is a good idea. A shame it won’t be marketed in uStates, I imagine it would be a bestseller.

A Mexican businessman says he is introducing “Trump” toilet paper because he’s “really bothered” by President Trump’s past remarks about his nation.

“My thinking was: We can’t keep quiet, right?” corporate lawyer Antonio Battaglia said Wednesday in a phone call with The Associated Press. “So with this insult that was made, [I figured] I’m going to add my grain of sand in response.”

Battaglia said he has signed a contract for a small initial run worth about $21,400, enough toilet paper to fill two cargo trucks. He added that he hopes to create enough demand to expand production.

The AP reported that the product will be marketed under the slogans “Softness without borders” and “This is the wall that, yes, we will pay for.”

Packages are expected to start rolling off production lines later this year, the AP reported, with 30 percent of the profits pledged to programs supporting migrants.

Battaglia gave the AP a mock-up package that says it contains four “puros rollos” — a double entendre that literally means “pure rolls” but can also be interpreted as “pure nonsense.”

The packaging also includes a cartoon roll of toilet paper with Trump’s iconic blond hair, smiling and flashing a thumbs up.

Battaglia’s trademark for Trump toilet paper was approved in October 2015, according to records from Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property.

The AP reported that the Trump Organization failed to obtain a trademark on what is called “hygienic paper” in Spanish.

It seems that the branding company that is the Trump family forgot to trademark Trump in the hygiene products sector. Hmmm, someone, quick, trademark Trump Ass Wash™, and get some cheap soap in a bottle on the shelves.

Via The Hill and The Guardian.


CREDIT: 1600 Daily email.

CREDIT: 1600 Daily email.

This week, the White House began sending out an official email newsletter, “Your 1600 Daily,” to promote video clips of the president, pertinent news articles or endorsements, and other items of note happening that day.

On Friday, there was an odd inclusion at the bottom, where normally one can find friendly headlines from Fox News, Breitbart, or other conservative outlets that have become media safe harbors for the administration. One of the two featured articles was a parody piece titled “Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why,” written by Alexandra Petri, who writes satirical pieces for the Washington Post’s lighthearted ComPost blog.


ThinkProgress asked the White House press office if they were aware the article was a parody, and if so, why they selected it, but received no response by press time.

If this was a simple mistake, then the staff member who chose and approved the article’s inclusion on official White House communications did not read beyond the first paragraph, which makes abundantly clear that the headline is deeply sarcastic:

Some people are complaining that the budget proffered by the Trump administration, despite its wonderful macho-sounding name, is too vague and makes all sorts of cuts to needed programs in favor of increasing military spending by leaps and bounds. These people are wimps. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has called it a “hard power budget” which is, I think, the name of an exercise program where you eat only what you can catch, pump up your guns and then punch the impoverished in the face. This, conveniently, is also what the budget does.



Other sections of the newsletter are anodyne White House agenda items that urge supporters to “get involved” or share important tweets “from President Trump,” promote “Oval Office highlights,” link to press room briefings, and detail Trump’s schedule.

Sometimes these links, always titled “News Reports,” are op-eds or letters to the editor by friendly voices or administration officials, or a straight news piece about a positive economic development or administration announcement. None of the other days of the “News Reports” section featured anything like Petri’s parody.

The links included in Tuesday’s newsletter, for example, are representative of Trump allies’ favorite outlets:

CREDIT: 1600 Daily email.

CREDIT: 1600 Daily email.

Wednesday was the second day in a row the newsletter linked to a Breitbart article about Obamacare. Other featured items include stories from Fox News, Townhall, Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Yahoo, and an endorsement of AHCA by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. On Thursday many mainstream outlets were cited, as well as the right-wing Heritage Foundation’s news site, called The Daily Signal.

Oh my. It seems this is amusement Friday, with some kind entity somewhere answering Voltaire’s Prayer. Full story at Think Progress.

A Fitting Trump Logo and Two Border Walls.


© Tucker Viemeister.

American industrial designer Tucker Viemeister has designed a logo for Donald Trump based on Nazi insignia to reflect the billionaire’s “racist hate mongering”.

The logo, featuring a tilting letter T inside a white circle on a red background, resembles the swastika symbol used by the Nazis.

Viemeister created the logo in April last year, before Trump became the Republican party’s official presidential nominee, posting it on Twitter along with the words “I hope they [Trump’s supporters] don’t like it!”

He also published the design on his website with a short statement that says: “Design can show what bad things have in common, like this logo I created for Trump’s campaign of bigotry and violence.”

Following Trump’s inauguration as president and his introduction last weekend of the controversial executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries entry to the United States, Viemeister said the logo had new and sinister relevance.


“Obviously the logo is a spin on the Nazi insignia because there is a correlation between Trump’s racist hate mongering and the Nazis,” he told Dezeen.

“I’m worried that his followers will adapt it for the very opposite reasons I made it,” he continued. “They might like that connection with those white power fascists.”

“I wish I could make something that would help those followers become more inclusive and tolerant so that we can all work together to solve the issues that we all confront.”

Via Dezeen. Tucker Viemeister’s site. Moving on to the fabulous IKEA border wall! Simple! Inexpensive! Can be put together with one hex key! Only two people required!


Washington (dpo) – “Too expensive!” “Too complicated!” “Unrealistic!” – This is the sort of criticism US President Donald Trump is currently facing over plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico. An offer from home furnishings brand, IKEA, could solve all of these problems with a single blow.

The Scandinavian furniture maker has offered the USA a practical, ready-made solution with “Börder Wåll”. All they need to do is pick it up in a van from the nearest IKEA branch and put it up where they want it to go. Totalling US $9,999,999,999.99, “Börder Wåll” is significantly cheaper than a conventional wall. Estimates suggest that a conventional wall would cost between US $15 and $25 billion.

According to government press secretary, Sean Spicer, President Trump is currently inspecting the offer:


The simple, Scandinavian designed border wall (with a 5 year guarantee) is primarily made of pressboard with a birch effect and can be assembled with the help of a hex key. A 12,000 page instruction manual with easy-to-understand pictures makes construction child’s play – as long as there is not a single screw missing.
“However, assembly requires two people: one person can hold the wall while the second screws it together”, it states in IKEA’s offer.
The basic model of the wall is 33ft (10 m) tall and 1,954 miles (3,144 km) long, although the height and length can be extended as desired.
IKEA has already announced that it will design other products in the next few weeks that will be compatible with “Börder Wåll”. According to inside sources, this includes products such as the “Gåwk” watchtower and the “Råtåtåtåtåtå” spring-gun.

Via Postillon. German version here. (No, this is not for real. There’s no Ikea border wall, okay?)

Then there’s the wonder of The Pink Wall:

Mexican firm Estudio 3.14 has visualised the “gorgeous perversity” of US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the countries’ border.

In response to the controversial proposal, a group of interns at the Guadalajara-based studio came up with a conceptual design that would celebrate Mexico’s architectural heritage.




The giant solid barrier would run 1,954 miles (3,145 kilometres) uninterrupted from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, and be painted bright pink in the spirit of the 20th-century buildings by Pritzker Prize-winning Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

“Because the wall has to be beautiful, it has been inspired in by Luis Barragán’s pink walls that are emblematic of Mexico,” said the studio. “It also takes advantage of the tradition in architecture of megalomaniac wall building.”

Estudio 3.14‘s Prison-Wall project – developed in collaboration with the Mamertine Corporation of the United States – was undertaken to “allow the public to imagine the policy proposal in all of its gorgeous perversity”.

Visuals show the barrier traversing hills, desert, a river, and the border city Tijuana. The structure would also incorporate a prison to detain those attempting to cross into the US.

“Moreover, the wall is not only a wall,” said Estudio 3.14. “It is a prison where 11 million undocumented people will be processed, classified, indoctrinated, and/or deported.”

The team suggests that the wall could employ up to six million personnel. It could also incorporate shopping centre straddling its width, and a viewpoint from which US citizens could climb up and look down onto the other side.

A series of graphics to accompany the proposal range from posters calling for workers, to US currency emblazoned with the wall’s pink trail.

Via Dezeen. Estudio 3.14.

The Twilight Zone Returns…

The Sunday Herald, Scotland.

The Sunday Herald, Scotland.

President Trump: The Inauguration.
4pm, BBC One/ STV.

After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive, and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the “What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War” setting – but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build and ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful.

A standing ovation to the writers at Scotland’s The Sunday Herald.

Via Raw Story.

Facebook, Oh Facebook XVI.


Facebook banned God, who has over 3 million followers, for the above post. Facebook God is a progressive sort of god, and I guess that got up some FB angel’s nose.

While God might not be safe from the wrath of Facebook, his swift reinstatement shows that hell hath no fury like millions of social media fans who want their deity back.

Last week, God – the verified Facebook page with more than three million followers – posted the following: “Dear Americans, Stop making your military so damn huge and give people medicine and education because you’re sick and stupid. Thanks, God.”

Two days later, God was slapped with a 30-day ban.

God, being God, wasn’t having it though. “I posted this opinion on the day it was announced that Obamacare will be defunded and 24 million people will lose their healthcare,” he said in an article on Good. “The opinion goes viral, gaining over 100,000 likes and 15,000 shares. A few hundred people disagree with the opinion. Rather than move on, or even use the ‘angry’ reaction face, what do they do? They report the opinion as being offensive.”


“Today I was notified by FB that My Account has been restored! THANK YOU, HUMANS! I am sure that the huge response from you yesterday was the difference in achieving this so quickly,” God wrote.


Via Scary Mommy.

The National White Male Registry.



All white men must be signed up by January 20th. Do your duty, White Dudes!

As you may or may not know, in America 57% of reported rapes1 and 64% of mass shootings2 were committed by white men. 45% of all serial killers are white men3. 1 in 3 women will experience some form of domestic violence during their lifetime4, and 97% of those domestic violence perpetrators were men5.

According to a Newsweek article from earlier this year, Right Wing Extremists pose a greater threat to National security than ISIS6, and in the past week alone The Southern Poverty Law Center has registered over 400 reports of hate crimes enacted in the name of the nationalist, racist, and sexist campaign rhetoric espoused by Donald J Trump7. Every day, as shocking staff appointments and Muslim registry plans start to emerge from the President-Elect’s transition team8,9, one thing has become increasingly clear: the safety of American citizens– all American citizens– is in danger.

Forget the nation of Islam, our most immediate threat to domestic security is and always has been white, straight men.

That is why I have decided to do my part as a Red Blooded Patriot by creating The White Male Registry. It is a simple google form complete with questions that will help identify just how much of a threat to American security any individual white male may pose to the general public.

Until January 20th all white men may voluntarily register themselves. Special consideration may or may not be granted to those who register before this date. After January 20th, however, I will be encouraging anyone and everyone to add to the list any non-registered white male they may personally perceive as a threat to their safety.

I will also be registering every white man in Washington one by one. I started with Donald J Trump himself and sent him a message this morning via his website:

Hi Mr President-Elect and your esteemed team of assistants,

I am writing to inform you that I’ll be adding your name to the National White Men Registry I have just created. I’m trying to keep America safe from the ethnic group that, statistically speaking, poses the largest threat to national safety: white, straight, CIS-gendered men.

I hope you’ll join me in asking other white men to register in the interest of national safety, for as you so wisely said, “We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People that are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great again.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

All the best to you and your transition team. I sincerely hope that we have the chance to meet in person one day so that I can grab you by your most esteemed man-pussy. But be forewarned: once I grab it I will never, ever, ever let go.

To the White Men of America, I humbly ask that you do your part for National Security and American Freedom. We can not rest until @allwhitemen are present and accounted for.

In solidarity for All Americans. Be Well.

*Because there will be at least one person who doesn’t get it, see here, and please note use of the word satirical.