Once upon a time there was a war in a faraway magical place called Vietnam. This was before the Internet! (Well, the public internet at least. DoD geeks started building their internet in 1969. Manhunt was probably a lot hotter then!) And all the hippies made angry silkscreen posters against the war, and some of them were kind of awesome. You see, before the Internet, people had to print and distribute things as a means of communication. And there was a thing called “graphic design.” Smoke a bowl with Choire, after the jump.
Some of this “graphic design” was totally laughable and clearly the product of too much marijuana. This is a poster of hippies after they were forced to take a shower, but before they all got in the hot tub. (Note the sign held by the black man, who just might be a presidential candidate today, with the Muhammad Ali quote. You try holding that shit up in the streets today.)
And there’s this Angela Davis poster by Ricardo Levins Morales:
Ha ha, that is awesome. That was when Professor Davis was on the run from angry Vietnamese people or something, I think, and people could put up that poster to let them know they were not Vietnamese and would shelter her.
As time went on, more people, not just people who were against The Vietnam, made posters. They’d just willy-nilly say whatever they wanted and stuff! Also they had ‘zines and phone-sex lines back then.
The Guerrilla Girls were a group of “feminists” who were pretty much angry about everything and wanted to make as much money as men did:
Apparently lots of ladies were angry. They wanted to have jobs and abortions, just like men could.
After the ladies were all angry, the gays got AIDS and were very angry about that. (Before AIDS they were carefree tie-wearing white men just like everyone else.) The gay, it turned out ,were VERY GOOD at graphic design (like they are with ikebana and making dresses) so they sort of reinvented the poster art and stuff.
This was around the same time that Barbara Kruger took over design and then apparently everyone’s mind was blown and no one else could ever design anything again.
So like, it’s been THIRTY YEARS at least since propaganda artists started re-purposing corporate logos, as in this Vietnam-era poster.
But now they have The Photoshop, because all liberals are freelancers for book publishers and Viacom, and they can do it in their sleep.
(Various designers, from Campaign On Iraq Poster Exhibition. OMG you should look at all of those because the vast majority of them are terrible.) What does this particular image salad mean anyway? Nothing, that’s what. Toys ‘R’ Us is … killing people? It’s just liberals hating on everything.
WHY DO THEY HATE BIG MACS? Big Macs are fucking incredible.
There was a brief revival in propaganda around the time of the Republican National Convention in New York City, four years ago. All the gays in New York were super-mad about the Republicans coming to town to have sex with our boys so they made some posters, some of which were not bad. (None of them had the McDonald’s logo at least.)
And now a bunch of people who do not like the current wars have posters in their house that say “you can not hug a child with Kim Jong Il’s arms” or whatever because apparently NO ONE HAS ANY IDEAS ANY MORE. Probably because they are busy watching “Lost,” which was kind of awesome last night. Everything is sort of a mish-mash of Kruger, May of ’68, and 50s-era propaganda design, so that stupid people know from the form of the thing that it’s supposed to be propaganda.
Also everyone is on the internet looking at amputee porn and too lazy to even go wheatpasting.
So these days even the London police are making better propaganda than the supposedly smart arty leftists. That is what the hippies use to call “getting schooled.” The end.
Choire’s “Endless Bummer” column appears whenever he is not too bummed out to write it, right here on Wonkette! Write to Choire at his email address, here!