only the insane have strength enough to prosper. only the prosperous truly judge what is sane.

1.8.05

World War II Poster of the Week


I found this gem of wartime propaganda while browsing through Northwestern University's excellent collection of WW2 posters. It was issued by the US government in 1943. Simple, direct, and still a bit shocking--this poster gets its message across with ringing clarity. The image is still effective today, and could easily be applied to the Islamist threat posed by Al Qaeda and their fellow travelers.

If you believe we live in a one-party state dominated by the religious right, then pause a moment and consider what the reaction would be if such an image was circulated by the US government today. The sound of the outrage would be deafening. It's pointless to speculate just how strong the opposition to such an image would be, because there is simply no chance whatsoever that the US government would dare to release such an image in 2005! The left's kneejerk rejection of anything vaguely religious (more specifically, anything Christian) has made propaganda of this sort a thing of the past, for better or worse.

Yet the basic premise of the poster is valid, regardless of whether the enemy is Nazi or Islamist. The bible in the image could be replaced with any emblem of Western society, and the poster's message would still be true. Replace the bible with any non-Al Qaeda-approved holy text, and it gets the dagger. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? It gets the dagger. My comprehensive Pet Shop Boys CD collection? Skewer the whole lot (and yes, I'm aware that many non-Islamist types might form a temporary alliance with bin Laden for this one...). Your freshly minted same-sex marriage certificate? Skewered. My DVD of La Dolce Vita? Many daggers ("Um, Osama...we will destroy this evil, infidel Fellini film, but first we must watch the scene with Anita Ekberg prancing about in the fountain in order to, uh...better understand the nature of the enemy we fight...yeah, that's the ticket..."). The thong bikini? Skewered, if you can find enough material to drive a dagger through it. Any and all pieces of feminist literature written since the dawn of time (actually, make that anything written by a woman, just to be on the safe side)? Daggers all around. Our precious little blogs, regardless of the opinions they express? Skewered, provided you burn them off to DVD first so you have something to stab. All that we stand for, all that we value, all that we take for granted, all that we freely debate and complain about and vote for or against--all will get the dagger if bin Laden's fantasies come true.

Just remember what we're fighting against. We might differ on the methods used to fight this enemy, or on the seriousness of the danger. However, do not forget that he is, in fact, our enemy.

3 Comments:

Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

Yeah, it's a nice piece of artwork as well.

I think that we may be in general agreement on this topic...

DK

8/04/2005 08:41:00 PM

 
Blogger david said...

If we must fight for anything... it must be the Thongk

5/27/2008 12:28:00 PM

 
Blogger Inversely Converse said...

Slightly off topic but I enjoyed your writing style. On topic, yes he IS our enemy. Left, middle, right: party affiliations do not make you for or against the most wanted man in the world.

If Bin Laden succeeds it would not be due to the fact of the left or the right, it would both parties fault and quite a bit of luck.

6/20/2009 01:42:00 AM

 

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