Chinese Bloggers Riff Off Worst-Ever Doctored Propaganda Photo

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Eager to mock the cheesy propaganda they've endured their whole lives, some Chinese hit back with spoofs

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Just because the Chinese government is incredibly practiced at propaganda doesn't mean that each and every official is particularly good at it. The distortions -- why tell people the truth when you can just lie? -- have become, for many, simple habit. But some officials in Huili, which the Guardian defines as "a distinctly modest county in a rural corner of south-west China," got perhaps a bit too lazy in their latest effort.

Wanting to advertise a newly constructed road, three local Huili officials paid it a visit, bringing along a photographer. But, the original photos were apparently insufficient in displaying the majesty of the road and of the officials, so it was doctored to the obviously, hilariously fake monstrosity above.

The officials apologized and withdrew the photos, but it was too late. Chinese bloggers, understandably eager to mock the cheesy propaganda they've spent their whole lives enduring, struck back by producing their own fake photos of the Huili officials. A sampling of the images, taken from popular Chinese website tt.mop.com, are below. It's not quite a pro-democratic revolution, but humor is often more subversive than we realize. If nothing else, it's a fun way for Chinese to thumb their noses at the government.


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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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