Sick of government buttinski's blaming the internet for
everything? Check out these cool ads plugging
super-violent toys from the 50s and early 60s!
Watch demonic militarized
non-English speaking hoards scrambling for cover from your fantastic
fighting machine, "Big Bertha!" (It's three different ballastic-projectile
devices in one!) Or imagine you're the troubled youth training his cross
hairs on a herd of elephants -- then scurrying over the dunes for bigger
game, as the announcer shouts "Load. And fire!" Sixty full seconds of footage
shows the blood-thirsty eight-year-old armed for a psychotic rampage.
Blame the cold war. Fifties families feared an expansionist, atomic-weapon
wielding superpower, and asked fewer questions about knee-jerk patriotism and
the draft their kids would grow up to face. Using "When Johnny Comes Marching
Home" as the music for a toy commercial seemed like a good idea, and
advertisers even depicted children summoned before shadowy
Security Councils for urgent conferences about counter-espionage
techniques. No imperialist power can stand up to a reserve of grade school
students equipped with the latest state-of-the-art battle toys.
I seem to remember that most violent toys were yanked from the shelves in a
post-sixties backlash -- but who knows, maybe the violent toys got rid
of violent impulses. Teens of today are more and more sophisticated, which
makes the suburbs themselves into a kind of cultural detention center, a
wasteland of disempowerment that lasts until the age of 18. The real
problem is that traditional bedroom communities are becoming less and less
functional in these modern times -- and by showing today's savvy youngesters
nothing but sanitized entertainments with incongruous Smurf-like cuteness,
they're only creating the insane tension that will lead them to pick up a rifle
and start firing.
Next time your blowhard Congressman blusters "You kids today, with your rock
and roll and your internet," show him this vintage fifties footage of Bugs
Bunny encouraging fratricide.