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Mainland China is working hard to spread its influence across the globe. Who can blame it? So are the United States, Russia, France, Liechtenstein and Malta. But unlike small countries, the ChiComs have a budget. And invest in places from Greenland to Africa.

With that money comes more than a bit of control. Video game companies like Blizzard are willing to ban players from its gaming tournaments if anybody voices support for the Hong Kong democracy movement. Now DC Comics has bowed to China, too, removing a poster advertising an coming Batman comic, if you can believe it, and you can.

The reason? The poster/ad supposedly had "coded messages" supporting those in Hong Kong who dare fight for their freedom. More from Variety:

"The poster came under fire from Chinese Internet users who contended that it contained coded messages in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests. They said that the Molotov cocktail alluded to young Hong Kong protesters' more violent tactics, that the 'dark knight's' choice of black attire referred to the black-clad Hong Kong protesters, and that the 'golden child' of the book's title was a veiled reference to the color yellow, which was taken up by previous pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong five years ago."

Sure, and Paul McCarthy is dead because he had a red background on the Let It Be album.

Conspiracy theories take turns for the strange, no doubt. But we'd call the claims against this Batman poster reaching. As a matter of fact, somebody might pull a hammy.

The hilarious irony in this whole mess is the social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram) where these posters were released are blocked on mainland China, so who we gonna tell? Chinese whiners who took offense at these "coded messages" had to go to a communist-approved website (Weibo) to complain about the poster.

The real question might be: Why did an American company remove the ad? We'd love to. Tell. You. All . . . . But we can't because it doesn't make sense.

American companies control American media. Or should.

Now back to regularly scheduled all-American conspiracy theories. Because they're more fun. (You see, Paul was barefoot on Abbey Road, and John told us all about the car crash in "A Day in the Life" . . . .)

Editorial on 12/03/2019

Print Headline: Meet the new boss

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