Chinese Olympic Propaganda Posters


Today I happened across a new series of posters on the neighborhood propaganda bulletin boards about etiquette to be observed during the Olympics. Olympics propaganda is not new to Beijing, nor are paternalistic slogans on how to be a “civilized” citizen, but this new series in particular caught my eye because of one poster with a list of rules for how to act around foreigners. Always curious to understand more about Chinese behavior towards us Western folk, I stopped to take a closer look. Most delightful was a list of eight questions Chinese are not to ask us, which if observed, would leave these curious and enthusiastic hosts with essentially nothing with which to make conversation. Following are some translated excerpts along with photos from some of the posters:

(Thanks Tim)

Car Crashes Through a Diner

The story is here.

Kenneth Mack Anderson had just finished dinner Wednesday and was reading the newspaper at the Coffee House on Oakwoods Road when a van blasted through the wall, knocking him out of his booth and pinning him against the counter.

“I’m really sore, but other than that I’m OK,” Anderson said yesterday.

Video-surveillance footage from inside the restaurant shows him sitting there at 8:16 p.m. in a booth in the smoking section. Suddenly glass and debris start flying, and Anderson is propelled eight feet sideways.

Trapped against the counter, he looks around, reaches down for his hat and puts it back on his head.

Three other diners crawled over the counter to get out. A woman stopped and helped Anderson, but he said he doesn’t know who she was.

Anderson, 61, was treated at Wilkes Regional Medical Center and released.

So was the driver, Mary Lou Lunsford Sheppard, 60.

What Generation Kill Gets Right About the Invasion of Iraq.

From Slate:

Premiering last Sunday and running through Aug. 24, Generation Kill also gets the not-so-sugary things right. The program’s obsession with the hyper-real extends to the pitch-perfect sound of a Humvee idling and the baggy cut of the Marines’ chemical-warfare suits, which made these 21st-century warriors seem to be wearing hand-me-down uniforms. The dialogue is un-Hollywoodized, too—the unfiltered use of foul language and military acronyms made me think I was listening to a replay of what I heard five years ago.

Yet the highest achievement of the miniseries is the way it unveils the disordered workings of the American military and the inevitable destruction of all objects in its path, including civilians whose only offense is to tend their sheep or drive down a road. With its $550 billion budget and 1.5 million troops, the military might seem a mechanized colossus of precision-guided violence, give or take a few bad apples and errant artillery shells. But if you have served in the military or written about it from the inside, you know that on the unit level it is filled with men and women of vastly different motivations and skills. The Marines in Generation Kill are intelligent and dimwitted, panicked, sensitive, racist, comic, homicidal, brave. It is a wonder when things go according to plan. “You know what happens when you get out of the Marine Corps?” says one of the characters. “You get your brains back.”