Make X Not War

I’m sending out some postcard versions (from Syracuse Cultural Workers, an excellent source of lefty-progressive materials) of this poster by Shepard Fairey:

The model expression here is the 1960s counterculture anti-Vietnam-War slogan “Make Love, Not War” (Wikipedia page here), which has been varied in a number of ways. Comedian George Carlin, for example, said  that his preferred variant was the plainspoken direct “Make Fuck, Not Kill”.

The ultimate model is, of course the straightforward “Make Peace, Not War”.

You can google up all sorts of variations: a t-shirt with the slogan “Make Levees Not War” in support of the reconstruction of New Orleans (as opposed to spending money in pursuit of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan); the suggestion, from several sources, that in Afghanistan American forces should “make tea, not war”; a slogan of the Muslim Students Association (of the U.S. and Canada), “Make Chai Not War”; a suggestion that young children should be taught to “make cookies, not war” (as a diversion from violent games); t-shirts for peace with “Make Fufu Not War” (fufu being the West/Central African starchy staple food) on them; other t-shirts for peace, from other culture zones, with “Make Samosas Not War” and “Make Falafel Not War” on them; away from the food theme and back to love and sex, jokey t-shirts with “Make awkward sexual advances, not war” on them; an ad for the UnderGarden video game with a contest slogan “Make Flowers, Not War” (referring to the violent content of so many video games); and on and on.

This isn’t a snowclone, just playful variations on a formula, like many other examples I’ve discussed here and on Language Log and even on my X blog (most recently, here).

4 Responses to “Make X Not War”

  1. kwabena Boateng Says:

    Funny you should should mention fufu – check out my make fufu not war shirts here Thanks

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Ordinarily I’d delete comments from commercial sites as spam, but this one provides the link to the site I found via Google: more “Make Fufu Not War” shirts that you could have imagined. The other sites can be found by googling on the slogan in question.

  2. Boldly going « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] soon after that posted on playful allusions in porn titles and on the template Make X Not War. Not long after that (on 11/18/10) James Harbeck posted on ADS-L about A new […]

  3. Dr. Zippy « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Eastern food falafel, see the Wikipedia entry and the posting “Make Falafel Not War”, here; on the pasta farfalle ‘butterflies’, see […]

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