Monday, October 25, 2010

Anti-American Art: Beyond Thunderdome

Here's the cover of an early 1970s Chinese Cultural Revolution booklet calling for preventive measures against imperialist weapons of mass destruction: it urges preparation for chemical, biological and nuclear attack. The booklet itself contains all sorts of instructions for building bomb shelters and carrying on the struggle. While the title doesn't mention the U.S. by name, little doubt is left as to who might be pointing these WMDs at the People's Republic. While the central motif features the typical resolute trio of resistance, waving AK47s and the quotations of Chairman Mao aloft, the background is darkly hilarious. Like some kind of post-apocalyptic revolutionary tableaux the typically diverse crowd massing under the red flags is now clad in a combination of haz-mat suits and surgical masks. One wonders how they would operate their AKs with their toxin-proof mittens. China itself has had nuclear weapons since 1964.

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