This Ruthless World

Adventures in absurdity

Archive for the tag “propaganda”

Ban All Images Just In Case, For Freedom

William Hogarth, "A Midgnight Modern Conversation" (1732)WARNING: The artwork contained in this post depicts an occasional nipple and a baby without undies. If you are under 18, don’t look, or you will die!!! If you are 18 or over, proceed at your own risk, but should you believe you may be harmed by the sight of a female breast or a naked infant, I do encourage you to consult your father, clergyman, therapist, your favorite political candidate or your local Chastity Pariah.

You sheeple will be happy to know that conservative heroes have uncovered the real reason Jay Carney’s kitchen has prints of two WWII-era Soviet posters in it: to make you sign up for Obamacare, convert to Bolshevism, embrace the theory of evolution and make Jesus cry. Never mind that these posters are virtually identical to American propaganda posters from the same era. Never mind that the posters convey rather unobjectionable ideas (unless you are a Nazi sympathizer): “Men, enlist! Your country [which, by the way, was actually honest-to-goodness invaded in WWII] needs you.” “Women, do your part on the home front!” (That “Natasha the Riverter” poster actually reads “strong home front — strong war front”.) Never mind that in recent years, vintage Soviet posters have become something of a fad, and their significance to people who hang them in their kitchens, or bathrooms, or dorm rooms, or laundry rooms, is ironic. No — wingnut pundits know upwards of 5 Russian words (including “dacha”, which this native Russian speaker apparently never understood properly), so leave it to them to tell you what these images really say to you, you poor bovine schmucks without understanding or willpower. Read more…

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Potemkin Villages

In 1783, the Russian Empire scored a major victory against the Ottoman Empire: it conquered the Crimean Peninsula. Although nominally independent, the Crimean Khanate had essentially been a client state of the Ottomans, fellow Muslims (even when Crimea was formally allied with Russia). Once the lush peninsula was annexed, the next order of business was to do something about the vast steppes which separated it from the Russian heartland and the Turks to the southeast, smarting from their recent loss. The momentous task of settling and fortifying what came to be known as Novorossiya (“New Russia”), fell to Prince Grigory Potemkin, the lover and favorite of Catherine the Great.

About this, they — as in, the shadowy “they” who sit invisible at the table of every conspiracy, “they” who hide under every bed where an illicit affair is being consummated, “they” who are predominantly flamboyant 18th-century diplomats — they tell the following story: Read more…

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