Monday, October 13, 2008


I'll get back to that ongoing list soon enough, but first this little interlude.

Yes, yes, this ad is offensive on many levels. It imagines a blandly white world in which girls had no dreams or future beyond being married off to some straight-arrow frat type, and any guy who dressed (or presumably behaved) in a unique manner was deemed a dud.

Still...It's kind of sweet, isn't it? Achingly innocent, a product of a time in which it still seemed possible for a nation to will its eyes shut and pretend things were okay.

And while girls were being instructed to celebrate their limited options, what were little boys encouraged to do?

Again, a somehow chilling dichotomy: This looks like it would have been the greatest toy in the world (especially if they had sold it with the rayon shirt and skinny tie), even as the realization dawns that it was not-so-subtly beckoning kids to become Junior G-Men, to enlist in Hoover's war against commies, queers and coloreds. Morally despicable...but fun.

So much fun you wouldn't even have known you were being indoctrinated, until you found yourself in a loveless marriage enduring the lie you tried so hard to believe, or dodging the greater than expected firepower of the Vietcong, wondering why the hell you ever thought guns were cool.