The World's Worst Photoshop Propaganda

Here's a scenario for you: You're a megalomaniac world leader with an obsequious state-run media outlet at your disposal. You've upset your constituency in some capacity and need to regain their favor, real quick. Releasing an image in the newspaper of you doing something they would approve of would be perfect, but you've so seldom done things they approve of that you don't have a photo at the ready. What do you do?

The answer most of these world leaders arrive at is simple—just create a photo and pretend it's real.

After the Syrian Arab News Agency released a ridiculous and obviously doctored photograph of their nation's president yesterday (the image is two separate images jammed together, with no effort made to seamlessly merge the two), The Atlantic decided to take their readers on a Tour of the World's Worst Photoshop Propaganda. The results are amazing.

What always astonishes me about these incidents is that there aren't more Photoshop-savvy people around to make these things look more professional. Or, if not more professional, at least less glaringly inauthentic. Like this:

From The Atlantic: "China's Huili county government got in trouble for posting a photo of officials inspecting--nay, levitating above--a new highway."

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


More from mental floss studios