China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

Dear PBR (China’s World War Two Yes We Can!)

“World War Two Edition in Memory of US Army”

Dear Pabst Blue Ribbon,

We know you. Pibber. P-B-R. We know you embarrassingly well. Pabst Blue Ribbon, unofficial cheap beer of choice for American hipster youth. We charge you with attempting to establish yourself as the representative drink of choice in a slightly different niche market here in China. After making headlines in July for your 300 RMB a bottle Blue Ribbon 1884 beer-for-the-elite scheme, you think the release of your new affordable (4 RMB a can) “Yes We Can” beer (beer for the everyman) will just slip into popularity unnoticed. Well, it won’t get past us that easily – we see you playing to those well cultivated Anti-Japanese sentiments.

Using the War Against Japanese Aggression – clever. You know it is thoroughly covered in history lessons throughout the public school years. Perhaps you are even a fan of our blog and know that students as young as primary grade four have explained Japan to us by pointing to the word “fascist” in the dictionary, and that any mention of “Japan” at the high school level elicits fist shakes and obscenities. You know this blind faith in an apparently necessary hate and hope to harness it. Very noble of you, in a global sense, attempting to turn those angry mobs into ironically apathetic consumers of your low alcohol content beverage who would rather sit around and argue the merits of competing flannel shirt brands than picket and yell.

You are also proud of your history. During WWII the US troops drank Pabst. You geniuses at Blue Ribbon China have combined this non evident fact with a playful use of Obama’s popular slogan for a campaign of your own. Though the can may seem little more than a confused pastiche, another entertaining mash-up of foreign culture lacking definite articles and definite meaning, it’s important to remember that this is how factual ideas are formed in China. There are no gaps in a Chinese history lessons – the missing time segments have been filled in with carefully repeated slogans and ideas – however blaring the non sequitur. China has employed the opposite of the Socratic method: a whole system that runs smoothly on a lack of questioning.

So Pabst, make sure your messages are clear and memorable. You’ve done well with your use of “US Army.” There is no risk of catching anti-American sentiment, as very few people realize that “America,” “US,” and “USA” are all the same place; and, in case they do catch it, the WWII connotations with ensure that the hatred of Japan will trump any angers of the moment. Also, your amazing poster should help. The bullet holes are so realistic!

Pabst, we’re onto you and we’re proud of you. Good luck spreading American apathy in all places where it could do good. Do the world a favor and turn these angry robots into sarcastic zombies.


This Ridiculous World

One Response to “Dear PBR (China’s World War Two Yes We Can!)”

  1. ChinaMatt says:

    That’s amazing. If they sold those cans in the US I might be tempted to buy one…and not drink it. Everyone is amazed when I tell them PBR is brewed in Zhaoqing.

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