Three Chinese Government Officials Levitate, Inspire New Meme

On June 26 the Chinese Huili County Government website displayed the below photo of city officials levitating over a freshly paved road. They went with the caption: “County mayor Li Ningyi and vice-mayor Tang Xiaobing are inspecting the newly constructed country road at Lihong Town.”

Three Chinese Government Officials Levitate, Inspire New Meme

The shoddy Photoshop job caught the eye of a clever internet user who grabbed a screenshot and reposted the photo under the title “Too fake: the propaganda photo for our county” on the Tianya Forum. According to BoingBoing, the user wrote:

“I had nothing to do today so I visited the website for our county government. The headline story was about the upgrade for the road to the countryside. I looked at the photo and I almost coughed out half a liter of blood! Even a rank amateur like myself can tell that this was a PhotoShop job, and they had the nerve to put this on the home page!”

What followed was an explanation from the County office (“the background of the original photo did not look very good”) and the birth of a highly specific new meme. While internet memes tend to be tiresome, we thought any riff on government propaganda is worth sharing.

Enjoy our favorites below or click through to view all of them.

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