Tag Archives: Communism

Stasi Style


Foreign Policy magazine is carrying a rather funny set of photographs gleaned from Stasi (East German secret police) records. They were originally intended as tools to aid agents in remaining inconspicuous in public while carrying out their duties:

A portly man wearing a cranberry-colored cardigan stands uncomfortably still, his hands clasped together over the paunch of his belly. Behind tinted sunglasses his downcast gaze is awkward, avoidant. But wait, there he is again … or is he? This man in the next frame — possibly, obviously the same man — in a long shaggy brown coat and Ushanka style faux-fur cap, is wearing the same sunglasses but now there’s a dark swipe of a mustache under his nose that wasn’t there before.

There are others just like him posing in self-conscious stance with impassive expressions — a tourist impossibly conspicuous in bright red pants, outfitted with not one but two cameras; a somber-faced woman in casual jeans and a forgettable black leather jacket is later “transformed” donning a lush winter coat, her hair tucked under a fur cap, gold earrings dangling. These men and women were trained to blend in; they were trained to infiltrate, observe, and inform. They were Stasi agents, part of the East German secret police.

Stasi Style!   [ForeignPolicy]


Slavoj Zizek at Occupy Wall Street

The brilliant Slavoj Zizek speaking at Occupy Wall Street in NYC. The continuous breaks in the speech come from the uploader having edited out the human microphone.

The Hedgehog in the Fog

From the Daily What:

It’s a little-known fact outside Russia that Soviet-era (namely Cold War-era) cartoons are something of a sight to behold. Unlike their Western counterparts, animators working for the influential Moscow-based Soyuzmultfilm animation studio were not constrained by commercial concerns (the success or failure of a film had no bearing on an animator’s paycheck), and were therefore free to experiment with styles and techniques that would otherwise be considered commercially precarious.A perfect example of the end-result can be found in Yuriy Norshteyn’s “Hedgehog in the Fog.” Considered by many to be one of the greatest animated films of all time — Hayao Miyazaki is reportedly a big fan — the 1975 Soyuzmultfilm classic tells the tale of a curious hedgehog who stumbles upon a thick fog and decides to explore its mysteries.


What Does China Censor Online?

The great firewall of China.

[via Information is Beautiful]