thinking stupid: what made america great

by Art Chantry ( )

this is a page form an old promotional advertising coloring book (“you, know! for the kids!”) created to promote washington state to tourists. it’s from before the seattle world’s fair (1962) so, it goes back a ways.

one of those odd things that fascinates my twisted mind is promotional advertising coloring books and comic books and the like that are created to sell somebody (or some population) on an idea or product. this tourist coloring book for the kiddies sells washington state to everybody. in that process, it also promotes all the major industries (it’s the pocketbook who helped pay for this little coloring book for the kiddies) and local attractions. so, there are pages about hunting, logging, hydroplanes, airplanes, and stuff like that. and this little clever take on the wonders of nuclear energy.

--- ed roth put out a coloring book full of rat finks and monsters. always wanted to find one.

one of the things that’s so interesting to me is the thinking and the artwork in these things. even though i have some advertising comic books drawn by famous name comic artists( who are always notoriously underpaid and desperate), the coloring books are so crummy that they are usually drawn by near incompetent or perhaps just-beginning illustrators. you don’t need to be da vinci to draw a coloring book page, ya know? just make it simple and bold with lots of space to fill in with coloring crayons.

this page looks pretty sharp considering the genre, actually. but, the ideas in it are appallingly looney. just about everything in this little image is a lie and ignorant and dangerous as all hell. i doubt you could make an image/story like this as stupid bad as this is with conscious intent. this image is all about idiocy, wishful thinking and self-delusion and hubris.

but, it was likely done with completely naive and innocent good intentions, maybe even some pride (armed guards! yeah, right). it’s just that ‘common knowledge’ is notoriously short sighted and the fact that both of these guys would now have died from cancer (or even radiation poisoning), and that the little red wagon is now rusting under the ground at hanford and sending out plumes of radioactive crap into the groundwater that is now entering the columbia river and creating radioactive salmon runs? well, geez! who knew, huh?

we’re so stupid. thinking stupid is what made america great. and we stupidly sell it to our kids, too. monkey see,monkey do. think about it.

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Marketing/Advertising/Media and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>