This Was Your Multicultural Life!

This Was Your Life!, originally released in 1972, is Chick Publications' flagship tract. Translated into 65 different languages, you can buy copies in anything from Blue Hmong to Tagalog. Some translations of the text are just the original art with alternate text, but others include art redrawn to match Jack Chick's conception the ethnic identity of people who speak that language. We can learn a lot about racial identity by examining these editions.

Chick, like all good storytellers, puts a kernel of the entire story in each part, making it possible to extract a tract's pedagogical content from just a portion of the story. A familiar dictum holds that there are three-- and only three-- lessons to be learned from any story. For each version of This Was Your Life! below, the three (3) lessons can be drawn from just the first page.

[White graphic, Russian translation]

  1. White guys enjoy smoking their pipes and drinking refreshing beverages.
  2. White guys leave the television on when they go outside.
  3. Crime dramas are popular.

[Arab graphic, Arabic translation]

  1. Arabs are just white guys who don't smoke and don't shave.
  2. Arabs don't enjoy refreshing beverages. They prefer what looks like a lamb chop stuffed into a tumbler.
  3. Arabs like crime dramas as much as any white guy.

[Asian graphic, Japanese translation]

  1. Asians prefer modern houses to the mission-style houses so beloved by whites and Arabs.
  2. Asians prefer cigarettes to pipes.
  3. Asians enjoy wine and other drinks that are served in stemware.

[Black graphic, Zulu translation]

  1. Although black women may partake of wine, the preferred sin of black men is fornication.
  2. Unlike other peoples of the world, black men do not wear turtle necks.
  3. Like Asians, black men eschew televisions.

Bonus links

Secrets of Dark Dungeons
Mystery Science Theater meets Dark Dungeons