Apocalyptic Vietnam

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Macaulay Honors College Doomsday Course - Fall 2009

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  • Apocalyptic Vietnam

    1. 1. Extra! Extra! The Four Horsemen Set out for Vietnam! Apocalyptic subtext hidden within Political Cartoons of Vietnam War By: Angela Y. Ho
    2. 2. Goals • Look for apocalyptic references within political cartoons published during the Vietnam War • Reasoning: War brings associations of apocalypse
    3. 3. Vietnam War: • 7 May 1954 - 30 April 1975 • USA & South Vietnam VERSUS North Vietnam (Vietcong) & China • Agent Orange - herbicide used to destroy crops & forests • Conscription • Both USA & China have A-Bomb • USA evacuated Saigon, NLF moved in
    4. 4. Guess the Apocalyptic References!
    5. 5. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. -Revelation 6:4
    6. 6. After the Victory 6/12/1972, Choe (Nguyen Hai Chi) • Emaciated limbs and bullets in the bowl suggest famine and hunger • And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. -Revelation 6:5-6:6 • Bullets in the bowl and the skeletal state of her hands could also suggest death. • And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. – Revelation 6:8 • She is Unelect, as the Elect would not be hungry • They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. –Revelation 7:16 • Judging by the hairstyle, the skeletal figure is female, which goes along with the misogynistic trend of the Book of Revelation.
    7. 7. "Let this session of congress be known as the session - which declared all-out war on human poverty" - President Johnson, January 8 1964 12/01/1965, Vicky (Victor Weisz) • The bombs can be the hail and fire that was cast down by the first angel • The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. -Revelation 8: 5 • It could also be the star that brought man-eating locusts to the world. The star would be the bomb, which explodes and gives off a great deal of light, like a star. It also brings great destruction and gives off much smoke, obscuring the sun and the darkening the ear. The locust might symbolize the plague of American soldiers.  • And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. –Revelation 9:1-9:3 • The woman’s hallowed cheekbones hints at great hunger, or famine. • And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. –Revelation 6:5-6:6
    8. 8. ‘Oh-h-h UN where are you-u-u-u?’ 5/22/1964, William Papas The robed Grim Reaper is the symbol of Death. • The balance shown is also a characteristic of famine, who is said to weigh out the wheat and the barley. • And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.–Revelation 6:5-6:6 • Johnson, who wears the loincloth, carries a burden on his shoulders and is staggering is a symbol of Jesus about to be crucified.
    9. 9. “Allow me to introduce an old friend of mine.” 05/24/1964, William Papas • Dien Bien Phu was the location of a major battle during the First Indochina War. It set up the events that led to the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam War. • The Grim Reaper, the symbol of death, is shown as a solemn warning to Nixon who does not recognize him. • That the Grim Reaper is said to be “an old friend” means that the French were very familiar with death, from the first war.  
    10. 10. On the Lip of Hell 4/2/1954, David Low • The White House is teetering on the edge, about to fall into hell, symbolizing that the decisions about to be made could be what makes the president elect or unelect. • The angel is fishing with an olive branch, a traditional symbol of peace. The cartoon is a plea for Congress to make a peaceful resolution.
    11. 11. Apocalyptic Cartoons in which the main reference is Death in some form
    12. 12. Political Cartoons with other Biblical References
    13. 13. Unknown • The tiny Ho Chi Minh is tossing a hand grenade at the giant Johnson, reminiscent of David’s defeat of Goliath.
    14. 14. The End
    15. 15. Bibliography • Choe. “After the Victory.” Cartoon. Vietnam Era Editorial Cartoons. Wellesley. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/Vietimages/Cartoons/choe.htm> • Katz, Harry. Cartoon America Comic Art in the Library of Congress. New York: "Harry N. Abrams, Inc.", 2006. Print. • Low, David. “On the Lip of Hell.” Cartoon. British Cartoon Archive. Web. 14 Dec. 2009. <http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/browse/cartoon_item/anytext=vietnam?page=3> • Papas, William. “Allow me to introduce an old friend of mine.” Cartoon. British Cartoon Archive. Web. 14 Dec. 2009. <http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/browse/cartoon_item/ anytext=vietnam?page=403> • Papas, William. “Oh-h-h UN where are you-u-u-u” Cartoon. British Cartoon Archive. Web. 14 Dec. 2009. <http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/browse/cartoon_item/anytext=vietnam?page=36> • "Vietcong troops attack the US Embassy in Saigon." Cartoon. Illingworth Exhibition: Cartoons of the 1960s. Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru The National Library of Wales, 2004. Web. 14 Dec. 2009. <http://www.llgc.org.uk/illingworth/illingworth_s060.htm>. • Weisz, Victor. “Let this session of Congress be known as the session-which declared all-out war on human poverty.” Cartoon. Vietnam Era Editorial Cartoons. Wellesley. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/Vietimages/Cartoons/brit.htm>

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