“Weird Al” Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun Chinese propaganda posters!

“Weird Al” Yankovic is promoting his latest album Mandatory Fun with two Chinese propaganda poster spoofs. One poster has Chinese. To find out what it says, mouseover the Chinese characters here or scroll down:


“I’m not wearing underwear”
wǒ méiyǒu chuān nèikù

And here’s the other one:

Click the images for the original source.

Anti-Japan protests channel uncomfortable amounts of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution

We were more than a little stunned when we first came to China a few years ago and discovered that people, even young, educated people, had strong, positive feelings for Chairman Mao and his legacy. I thought we’d gotten used to it, but seeing these photos and slogans from the anti-Japan protests made me realize I’m still amazed at how, despite everything that was done in his name and on his orders — in living memory! — the Party has altered his legacy in the minds of the people. Click the link or the photos to see more pictures of Mao at the protests:
Mao comes back to life amid wide spread anti-Japan protests in China

“Chairman Mao, the Japs are bullying us again.”

“Grandpa Mao says: ‘Get the dog-f—ing Japs!'”

On the influence of the Cultural Revolution in current Chinese politics: Total Denial and the Will to Forget

A collection of riot photos: In Photos: China’s anti-Japan fury

More about Mao’s legacy, real and imagined:

More about the Anti-Japan protests:

Your blog is just an online Dàzìbào

From China in Ten Words, by Yu Hua (translated by Allan H. Barr):

In the Cultural Revolution era we were even more passionate about writing big-character posters than people are today about writing blogs. The difference between the two genres is this: The posters tended to be tediously alike, basically just a rehash of articles from the People’s Daily, their text riddled with revolutionary rhetoric and empty slogans, blathering endlessly on and on. Blogs, on the other hand, take a multitude of forms — self-promoting or abusive, disclosing intimate details here and carried away by righteous indignation there, striking affected poses right and left — and they dwell on every topic under the sun, from society and politics to economics and history and goodness knows what else. But in one respect the two genres are the same: writing big-character posters during the Cultural Revolution and keeping a blog today are both designed to assert the value of one’s own existence. [p.63]

I can’t tell if the author really means to make that distinction between dà zì bào (大字报) and blogs, or if he’s just being sly and in fact means that blogs are also “just a rehash of articles from the People’s Daily, their text riddled with revolutionary rhetoric and empty slogans, blathering endlessly on and on.” It’s hard to tell during an American election year. Either way, admit it, bloggers. 40-something years ago, this was you:

Long live our invincible thoughts! :)

For more about propaganda, mostly of the Chinese variety, see our Propaganda topic.