Thursday, November 9

Stuck Up: Motivation, Soviet Style

Speaking of motivation, no one could do it like the cold-war era soviet communists. The streamlined design ethos of their propaganda posters is simply breathtaking.

There's some soviet propaganda posters here, all of which are fantastic.

Although, my absolute favourite I found elsewhere:

(High quality here)

This mind-blowing poster says "Smite the Lazy Worker." I have this mounted on matte-board right above my computer monitor. Whenever I start goofing off at work, e.g., surfing certain websites that are endlessly fascinating but are like whirlpool time-vortices (see sidebar links), this poster tells me to Smite the Lazy Worker within me. I grab my Soviet hammer, I swing my blocky but athletic silhouette of a body in a wide, smooth overhead arc, and I SMITE that lazy sleeping worker right on the fuzzy pate.

Works every time.

Thanks, Soviet Union!

P.S. Because of the beautiful intricacies of the Russian language, I knew that "Smite the Lazy Worker" would be a prosaic and inaccurate translation at best. So, I asked a Russian colleague to translate it for me. He gave me a half-hour explanation of the many-layered puns that appear in the original language. For example, the word isn't really "lazy worker," it's more of a Russian-only compound with a prefix best approximated by "pseudo," or "faker." E.g., Smite the Fake-worker, or Smite the Pseudo-worker, or Smite the worker-who-appears-to-be-busy-but-is-really-faking. Also, the connotation of smite is "hit," but "to work" and "to hit" are very similar in Russian, to the extent that the word for "worker" is like... "striker." So, it may very well be translated as "Strike the Pseudo-Striker," but that fails on several other levels. Smite the Lazy Worker works for me, so the lazy worker I shall smite.

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