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AN OPEN LETTER TO CHINA

Dear China, I see you’re having some PR “issues” over the whole Tibet debacle. Although your attempts to avert this potential image crisis are admirable, in reality they are futile. Back in the Golden Age of citizen control (anytime before 1995), all you had to do was arrest the most outspoken protesters (most likely a poor person that no one would miss) and pay off a few high power network executives and you’d stave off a veritable countrywide riot. But now, within the digital age, there are far too many facets and cracks for people to gather and information to trickle from for you to control. And even if you do manage to somehow plug all those leaks one day, there will be at least twice as many the next. Take, for example, your complete block of YouTube. The next day there was 100 more sites to replace it and you were caught red-handed trying to cover your tracks, making the problem exponentially worse. You’re using pen and paper tactics on a paperless society. It’s understandable considering you’re still a fledgling capitalist society, but you’re going about this all wrong. It takes time and money to sedate the masses.

And most of all, it takes Coke (ke kou ke le). And Levi’s (li wai sz). And Cadillac (kai di la ke). Well, You get the point. Open your lungs and let the corporate crawl in. Soon enough they’ll be flowing through your streets, much like the blood of Tibetan monks. It’ll start slow and obvious, making blatant connections like “buy this and you’ll be more beautiful/smart/happy.” And that’ll work for a while until your infrastructure expands and even the most common of people become educated. Consumers will soon realize that these companies are mostly making false claims, completely legal claims of course, but still false. The companies will start to ask themselves “How are we going to get people to buy our cars if people are smart enough to realize we’re lying?” The next logical step is branding and image based marketing. Brand ‘A’ car will be for “Manly” men, age 34 - 50 who like drinking beer, watching (insert whatever contact sport you play in China), and makes below ¥50,000 a year. Brand ‘B’ will be for bleeding-heart liberal women, aged 18 – 34 who like dogs, political blogging and make anywhere between ¥75,000 – ¥100,000. And so on until every demographic feels like if they buy a specific product, they’ll somehow further convey an image that an ad agency probably created in the first place. “If I buy Brand M deodorant spray, I’ll become more of an individual,” they’ll all say to themselves.

But then the most educated consumers will soon realize your underhanded schemes and they’ll not only stop buying, they’ll also feel slighted. Naturally they’ll take an anti-corporate stance. Little do they know, these radicals will actually be playing right into your hands. The companies will make a subsidiary company or covertly buy a smaller company to appeal to the counter-culture / rebellion demographic just like it was any other demo. These products will subconsciously and ironically scream, “buy me and you’ll be promoting your anti-consumer ideals.” They will also be substantially more expensive. Marketers will bombard this culture with ads and pseudo-causes that even the most intelligent people won’t be able to decipher what news is important and what news is just an elaborate front to sell them shampoo. The masses will become so confused, jaded, and numb that they’ll give up on actually thinking they can actually cause a revolution. In fact, they’ll probably stop thinking altogether! Exactly the kind of populous you want. I know it’ll be painful considering the timing with the Olympics, but you’re going to have to weather this storm and by the time you host the next Olympics, the High Jump will be sponsored by wo er ma and the 100 Yard-Dash will be called the “nai ke presents the 100 Yard-Dash.”

Unless you want to just kill everyone that opposes you. XOXO United States of America

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