Me and Chairman Mao
Last Saturday we took a trip to the Dongtai Lu Antiques Market, which, while it doesn't actually have that many antiques--almost everything is a reproduction--does have a lot of cool little chotchkies (AKA crap, depending on your point of view) to look at and possibly even buy. (Note to those of you who may receive Christmas presents purchased by us at Dongtai Lu: we only got you the cool, non-crap stuff, so no worries. Seriously.)

While we were there, the poster below caught my eye. When I first saw it, I figured it was from WWII, what with the swastika and all. Big give away, that. Naturally, I had no idea what it said, but based on the picture I figured it was roughly along the lines of "Quake in fear, you Japanese and Germans! We could destroy you with our guns, but instead we will destroy you with our books, which are not only large but freakishly light for their size, since we can hold them by the spine with just one hand! Die, die, die!" Well, something like that, anyway.

Yeah ... At any rate, here's the poster:

Of course, as some of you might have already realized, I was completely wrong about the poster. It's not a WWII poster, it's a Korean War poster, so the people quaking in fear below the large yet light books are, in fact, capitalist American pigs like myself. I'm not really sure what they (we?) are doing down there besides cowering in fear or why the flag has a dollar sign and a swastika, but the large text on the bottom says "If America attacks us, they WILL lose the war."

(Random side note: in Chinese, America translates as "Beautiful Kingdom." Apparently, this name was selected before anyone from China visited New Jersey.)

Anyway, when you look at the poster knowing what it says, it makes more sense. I think the books are to tell us Capitalist Nazis about past Chinese military victories, hence the Chinese gun/flag shredding the flags of China's enemies. I'm not sure what country the flag on the far right represents--possibly South Korea?--but the other two flags remind us how the Chinese destroyed the Germans, despite the fact that they never actually fought a single battle, and how the Chinese smashed the Japanese, despite the fact that it was pretty much--and by pretty much, I mean completely and totally--the other way around. But then again, I guess that's why they call it propaganda ...
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