art comedy free speech politically correct

Back When People Could Have Fun

A few posts ago I showed a 1968 advertisement for SAS Airlines which promoted girl watching. You can read my post and look at the ad here (internal link). Harmless fun which would never again be published because of joyless people in the media who are as Puritanical as devout religious goers of the 1890’s.

Well, sort of. Have you seen the trailers for the new Disney film Cinderella? It shows a gay black man as the Fairy Godmother.

Here is an ad from a 1977 National Geographic. A woman’s point of view. Again, having fun that would be outlawed today. I like the word play. John Newcombe was indeed a handsome man, Australian as I recall, and the woman on the right makes a sly joke in that regard.

Today, we can’t have fun like this anymore in print. Sexist? Relax. If you are troubled by this or that SAS ad then you need therapy.

Starting in the 1920s, the Motion Picture Production Code governed what could be shown in American movies. It persisted for decades. Better minds than yours decided what you could see. It’s the same thing today but mostly unwritten.

Large advertisers pressured by dozens of special interest groups now focus on images and copy so bland and so lacking in humor that men and women can no longer have fun being men and women. No one can take a joke.

I’ve seen young men and women not even realize that a joke was being told. And when they realize that a joke was told, they look at each other to see whether it’s appropriate to laugh or not.

How depressing.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

Leave a Reply