Spoofs of 1970s & 1980s Chinese Propaganda Posters, Reactions

Chinese netizen spoofs 1970s and 1980s Chinese Communist propaganda posters.

Chinese netizen spoofs 1970s and 1980s Chinese Communist propaganda posters.

From Sina Weibo:

@关爱智障儿童成长: I’ve captioned yet another series of ’70s and ’80s-era propaganda pictures!!!!! Hope everyone enjoys!!!!!

This expensive? Forget it.
This expensive? Forget it.
Can you take a look at the time for me?
Can you take a look at the time for me?
No, uncle, we won't 'get together' with you!
No, uncle, we won’t ‘get together’ with you!
Look how good I am to you.
Look how good I am to you.
Sisters, let's go fight other women!
Sisters, let’s go fight other women!
You don't think I'll bash you to death?
You don’t think I’ll bash you to death?
Let's 'get together'? Yes!
Let’s ‘get together’? Yes!
I'm still just as handsome today.
I’m still just as handsome today.
I really can't squeeze out a ninth one.
I really can’t squeeze out a ninth one.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


No, uncle [referring to an older man], we won’t ‘get together’ with you.


Why is it that people can make fun [spoof, satirize] of famous historical people and their current president but in China there are all sorts of saints? [doge][doge][doge][doge] Please go see if foreigners are so serious when people are just playing around. [See below for context]


Why are you glass-hearted saints so fucking annoying?? [拜拜][拜拜] Look at how things are abroad, [拜拜] how happy [carefree people are when it comes to satire]. [拜拜] Why the fuck can’t we be like this? [拜拜] Just how cautious and colorless [nervous and boring] your life must be. [拜拜] Why don’t you get lost, okay? [doge]


Dragging morality into everything, can you people not be so pretentious?


The perplexed expression on the last one is obviously asking, which school provides the best excavator skills?


Seeing all sorts of saints laughing and then beginning to oppress others with morality.


Is it good for you guys to use the revolutionary older generation to amuse those born after it? Please be respectful of them…


To be honest, there are a lot of things and thinking of that era that cannot be casually made fun of. I admit the original poster has talent, but, what you did is lacking in propriety.


Fuck, no, uncle, we won’t ‘get togehter’ with you.


The ninth image: Doctor! I want implants to make them this big! [嘻嘻][嘻嘻][嘻嘻][嘻嘻]

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • AbC

    The ninth image: Doctor! I want implants to make them this big! [嘻嘻][嘻嘻][嘻嘻][嘻嘻]

    Clearly… Best Chinese netizen comment of the year!!! I laughed so hard I almost woke up the kids.

    • Jahar

      Other than that, I don’t see how anyone could find any of it remotely interesting.

      • Kai

        Simple, they’re all subversive commentary about Chinese society, past and present. Even if you aren’t deeply familiar with Chinese society, a long-time reader of cS should be able to identify most of them.

        • Jahar

          I mean the captions.

          • Kai

            The captions are what make them subversive commentary. Otherwise, they’re just old propaganda imagery.

          • Jahar

            Just seem like lame jokes to me.

          • Kai

            That’s not unexpected. These all more or less require some familiarity with Chinese pop (internet) culture, trends, and phenomena. Local Chinese people (esp netizens) are more likely to be clued into them but if you’re a close reader of cS, you should at least have leads on some of the allusions being made.

            For example, the “uncle, we won’t get together with you” one that was arguably the most popular of the bunch. One of the things you might be reminded of is the nefarious intersection of underage girls and (usually aflluent) older men in China, from them being preyed upon to compensated dating.

            The let’s fight other women thing is actually pretty hilarious in Chinese (si bi, literally “ripping/tearing cunts”) and alludes to everything from gangs of girls bullying other girls to wives bring their family and friends along to beat up their husband’s mistresses.

            The kid with the bowl can be taken a number of ways, with one being an allusion to little emperors.

            What do you think the trio of dancers might be about?

            A lot of these are amusing sayings or phrases Chinese people are familiar with that take on different subversive dimensions when paired with the imagery they are. It resonates because they can be interpreted to allude to popular (or, more accurately, infamous) modern phenomenon and societal trends. Some are silly (handsome guy?) but others are cynical, and all are arguably very subversive, which isn’t entirely lost on some of the Chinese netizens objecting to them.

            Like with a lot of cS content, the really interesting stuff is often something you have to synthesize from the content AND the reactions. What does the content tell you about the netizens? What do the netizens tell you about the content? It’s a lot more fun and educational when you try to start figuring these things out on your own, when you start recognizing patterns, trends, and how people allude to them.

          • Jahar

            oh i get them all. i just don’t thin they are anywhere near funny.

          • MeCampbell30

            Oh damn, I just got some knowledge dropped on me.

          • Xio Gen

            They’re lame jokes but it’s about government propaganda. They’re making fun of the government. 30 years ago that would have landed them in jail. This is progress.

      • ClausRasmussen

        Taken as a whole it is a testament to the notion that Chinese have left the Communist mass-line in the past and that the propaganda of the past today is a source of humor and ridicule

        It is an important message because even though China has moved on, many in the West still view China as it was decades ago. Most of the ChinaSMACK regulars are probably well aware of that already, but I can tell you that when I first stumbled across ChinaSMACK pieces like this changed my mind about Chinese people

    • yes, funny (unless you have to pay for them)
      but that comment seemed more Korean than Chinese….

      • AbC

        Hmmm, possibly. A South Korean is likely to interpret that meaning when they see the original picture. It’s the capital of plastic in Asia afterall (the Thais might disagree, but turning men into ladies doesn’t count).

  • Amused

    Looking at this really shows you where the the Kim’s of NK got their propaganda style… They copied it from their Chinese masters who had already stolen the USSR’s cutting edge, ultra sophisticated commie propaganda! Tho I guess if you look at every country in the world’s propaganda, it all looks rather crude and ludicrously heavy handed.

    • PandasUnited

      USSR copied it from Europe (if you trace the history back to the 19th century).

      It’s funny that China today is so anti-foreign/Western influence, because actually communism is the most notorious of all Western/foreign influence.

      • Alex Dương

        It’s not clear to me that China today is anti-foreign, but yes, Communism came from Germany.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype

          Xenophobic is perhaps a more appropriate description

          • Alex Dương

            oic what you did thar

      • ClausRasmussen

        I don’t see China today as anti-Western but rather as nationalistic

        The only real conflicts between the West (US actually, EU are wimps) and China stems from China’s conflicts with its immediate neighbors that happens to be supported by the US

        • donscarletti

          Agreed, China’s not anti-western, the west is just pro-Japanese.

      • Zappa Frank

        yes because obviously Russia never been part of Europe right?

      • Insomnicide

        If we really have to go that deep then Karl Marx was Jewish, which makes him Middle Eastern. Therefore the origins of communism lies in the Middle East. And Marx wasn’t the first or last Jewish guy to influence the development of the western world.

        • HymietownHero

          Being Jewish does not make one Middle Eastern. Karl Marx was a German Jew. There are Spanish Jews who look and speak Spanish, Ethiopian Jews, Russian Jews, and supposedly Chinese Jews, too. There are Middle Eastern Jews, too, certainly, but the Jewish diaspora starting 2500 years ago has resulted in phenotypically and socially assimilated local Jewish populations around the world.

          • Xio Gen

            The Russian and German Jews are Ashkenazim, the spanish jews are Sephardim. Both of them are just as jewish as one another. After the Romans took Masada, there was a diaspora that never ended until the 1940s. They are also middle eastern by heritage. The point was to be sarcastic but that clearly went over your head.

    • [email protected]

      Meyers in the Cleanest Race would disagree. Many of the North Korean Propagandists he points out were former collaborators working for the Japanese Occupation and the material they used were similar in content and subject matter as the stuff they churned out for Japan.

    • Teacher in China

      Yep, they’re meant to leave an impression on the masses, so they had to be simple with clear images and simple statements. Sticks in the mind better that way.

    • Xio Gen

      They got it from the Soviet Realist style.

  • Maio

    I love them.
    Reading “姐妹们!撕逼去!” I think I peed in my pants a little…
    I had to watch the last one for like five minutes before realizing it was about the pictures… : /

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    China can finally join the halls of mock propaganda like

    • Insomnicide

      The one about riding in a car with invisible Hitler though was not a parody…

      • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

        Never said it was.

        • Insomnicide

          I know, I just thought that poster must have been a parody when I first found it due to how ridiculous it was. But recently I discovered that it was not a parody…

  • Kai

    The “saints” refer to the Chinese netizens who are criticizing this sort of satire as inappropriate or even disrespectful to the older generation. “Saints” as in they are are overmoralizing or being holier than thou.

  • mr.wiener

    There should be more of this… Competition time!!!!

  • Xio Gen

    Jesus Christ, Chinese are so serious about everything! We make fun of the greatest generation all the time. We laugh at ridiculous posters like this http://artnectar.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/world_war_II_horse_sense_poster_1942.png.