27 Comments

  1. Andrea, don’t you believe in “stand your ground”?

    I won’t say I found the cartoon funny on the whole, it was kind of a train wreck at times, but I found it fascinating that this was mainstream humor 60 years ago. It’s like watching a film of a minstrel show and thinking “Holy sh t, this was actually okay then???”

    Of course there are people today who’d like it to be okay again, but this isn’t the place for that rant.

  2. Note this video is a “mash up” of two or three separate cartoons:

    The House Of Tomorrow (1949)

    The Car Of Tomorrow (1951)

    The TV Of Tomorrow (1953)

    There also was The Farm Of Tomorrow (1954)

    Just think, in 50 years or so people may look back at our entertainment media and wonder what we were thinking.

    It’s a weird dynamic: Some of us look back at the old TV programming and think how much better it was then, and that today’s programming is coarser, crasser, more obnoxious, etc, while others will denounce it all as sexist, racist, etc.

  3. Yeah… well….

    I guess this really would be hard to explain but…

    “If Tex Avery were alive today, what would he be doing for a living?”

    He’d be successfully making cartoons that exploit the current tropes of our times. Which is not to say the tropes of the fifties weren’t objectively more sexist. But he played with the current mood; not that he had the mood and was just happened to live at a time when it be acceptable.

  4. If Tex Avery were alive today, what he’d probably be doing is knocking frantically on the lid of the coffin.

    (Classic old/bad taste joke.)

  5. “It’s a weird dynamic: Some of us look back at the old TV programming and think how much better it was then, and that today’s programming is coarser, crasser, more obnoxious, etc, while others will denounce it all as sexist, racist, etc.”

    Probably the same people who think the 50s were the ‘Real America’: white, Christian, cis-gendered straight men. The rest of us are just feeling really grateful to be alive now, and hoping that it will be even better in the future.

  6. Chak: I dunno. If I had to make a binary choice between the culture of the 50s, or the culture of the present, I’d pick the present. Easy choice, no hands down. But there are aspects of culture and media that I feel have gotten worse. I can understand hearkening back to certain aspects of older times without necessarily being in favor of, for example, racial segregation and exclusively-opposite-sex-marriage.

  7. I’ll stick with living in an era where that cartoon is NOT okay (other than as an historical curiosity, that is).

    Of course check back with me in a few years when I’m being fitted for a Handmaid robe.

  8. “Entertaining (though horribly 50s-sexist)”

    For sexism, you have to go to 1930’s science-fiction. There were some works which featured strong, competent capable female persons, but… very few and far between.

  9. An advantage of living now is that we have access to almost all of the entertainment of the past 120 years, “all from the comfort of our home” as Tex Avery might say.

  10. Winter Wallaby said, “But there are aspects of culture and media that I feel have gotten worse.”

    But doesn’t every generation feel that way? “These kids today, they go too far.”

  11. Andréa, no, don’t give up hope. Things get better, I think; it’s just that right now we’re going through a backward swing of the pendulum.

  12. Chak: I’m not saying “These kids today, they go to far.” I’m saying there are aspects that have gotten worse. Even if things have in general gotten much better, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that there are certain aspects that have gotten worse. In fact, I would say it’s unreasonable to think that every aspect of American culture has steadily, monotonically improved over the last 50 years.

    For example, I think over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the development of a culture where people only talk to like-minded people, in blogs with like-minded people, and in news channels that cater to their particular political mind-set. I think that particular aspect is worse. Weighing that against mainstream acceptance of homosexuality, I would still say things have improved, but I don’t think we need to have a knee-jerk reaction that any criticism of societal changes is regressive.

  13. Chak: With the stress since 2016, I don’t know that I’ll live long enough to see the pendulum swing back. But thanks for the encouragement!

  14. “For example, I think over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the development of a culture where people only talk to like-minded people, in blogs with like-minded people, and in news channels that cater to their particular political mind-set.”

    I don’t think this trend is as recent as you think. For example, 100 years ago, major cities had multiple newspapers, each catering to a subset (political and otherwise) of the population.

  15. Out and about for a few days away from electronics,…couple of observations,

    Tex anticipated the fixation on electronic media but he still had it in the form of a console TV, didn’t see it becoming personalized and hand held.

    Lots of the humor is not an acceptance of the behavior, it is a satirical op-ed. I’m afraid that understanding irony in media over the years has dwindled in the masses.

  16. Hey, if one or more of our “niblings” (nieces and nephews- remember) doesn’t get married – and for the older ones soon – or at least get a more or less permanent significant other, they will be strained to deal with their aged parents and us alone in the future. I give his 9 and 16 year old nieces more time than my 30 year niece and 27 year old nephew – the 26 year old nephew has Asperger’s and is excused.

  17. Meryl A, Don’t count out the Asperger’s nibling. There’s somebody for everybody. My grandson is on the spectrum, and I thoroughly expect him to marry someday. (He’s just 18.)

  18. Chak – I am just guessing that his dad and his step mom (my sister) when added to his “real” aunts and uncles will be enough for him. Then again, he was the first of our niblings to move out of his parents home – he lived in Florida and went to a special college program there – but then again his grandparents (my BIL’s parents) lived near by. He now has an apartment in Queens paid for by his dad.

    On the other hand, my niece and nephew lived at home while going to college (I guess a family tradition) and 30 year old niece still lives at home. 27 year old nephew just took an apartment with a friend. So he is ahead of both of them at getting on with his life.

    And step-nephew will have the most money of all them, albeit in trust for him.

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