Bob Hope: Tool of the Gynocrats?

bobhope

I’m still feeling cruddy, but I thought that in leiu of a regular post you all might enjoy this old ad from 1943. You know, back when Bob Hope was doing a lot of work for Pepsodent. And our GYNOCRATIC OVERLORDSLADIES. Click on it for a bigger and slightly more readable version!

About these ads

Posted on March 20, 2014, in evil sexy ladies, evil wives, evil women, life before feminism, misogyny, oppressed men. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Hope you get better quickly, man :)

  2. *takes copious notes*

  3. He only needs to take the Pepsodent if he’s stealing our bon-bons!

  4. Aw, bummer to hear you’re still feeling bad, David.

  5. Buttercup Q. Skullpants

    Irium sounds vaguely radioactive.

  6. That face for step three… well, really all the faces… They scare the daylights out of me. That ad really doesn’t sell Pepsodent very well for me.

  7. Feel better soon, David! Lots of rest and lots of fluids!

    I had no idea Pepsodent and “tooth film” were such great conversation starters.

  8. Buttercup, that’s probably what they were going for. There was a time when radioactivity was thought to be good for you…

  9. Bob Hope here for Pepsodent! Now with Irium, twice the Gold Digging trope and a dash of women are all so uninteresting they have to lie about themselves to manipulate a man into being her walking bank account! Plus, it’s foamy and tastes great!

    -_-;
    More like Bob NOPE.

  10. Not so much a walking bank account as a walking ration book. And if he’s got any money, you’ll be spending it on war bonds or you’re some kind of Nazi sympathizer, sister. Remember, that used tube of Pepsodent you turn in to the scrap metal drive could end up being the bullet that kills Hitler.

  11. My father was in WWII, Pacific theatre. He became familiar with Hope’s USO shows, and loathed the man with vigor for the rest of his days. My father didn’t feel that strongly about many people, so it’s stuck in my head.

  12. O/T but one of the book blogs I read pointed out this tumblr:

    http://googlyeyebooks.tumblr.com/

    It is pictures of books with googly eyes glued on. It sounds amazingly boring, but it is actually pretty funny.

    I like the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe myself.

  13. God, Mad Men is right: most men in advertising are morons…

  14. That googly-eyed book Tumblr is a thing of beauty.

    My favorite is the Jane Fonda workout book, ’cause that’s about the expression I’d be making if I managed to get myself into that position:


    http://googlyeyebooks.tumblr.com/image/78669908584

  15. Hope you feel better soon.

  16. Bob Hope, misandrist…and shill for radioactive tooth powder. Oy.

    Feel better soon!

  17. @nick: my first thought was Mad Men too. Though it was more about how some people see it as a nostalgic look back, rather than it shining a light on how awful and unfair it often was.

    But I don’t think those guys are morons. They don’t need to create something good – just something that sells. It’d be interesting to see stats on how successful campaigns like this were.

  18. Long-time listener, first-time caller. How well was the concept of radiation known in 1943? Oh, sure, after August 6, 1945, but in 1943?

  19. David, please get well soon. You are missed when you’re sick. I’m sure you’re spending lots of time with your furbabies. Speaking of furbaby felinus greatus, there’s a shelter here in Vancouver for zee kittehs and his baby gray mogs are being shown on a big UK Animal Planet show. Check zee gray mog kittehs out:

  20. thebewilderness

    When I was a kid in the late forties early fifties the shoe stores had xray dealios so you could see the bones in your feet. You can watch video of bomb tests where the men were just covering their eyes ad though that would be plenty of protection.

  21. @Kim: I was being a bit facetious, actually – though I’d still argue many of the male characters on Mad Men are more reckless and irrational than any of the women who generally have to deal with their shit (save for Betty Draper, who’s just an unpleasant person). Not necessarily “morons”, but I wouldn’t call them psychologically mature or emotionally stable either.

    That said: I do think a lot of creativity gets wasted on advertising, as the show points out. They have these talented copywriters and artists who create all this amazing stuff…which gets scrapped anyway because the milquetoast corporate clients don’t get it (lacking much imagination or creativity themselves).

  22. Get well soon….we can’t miss your posts enough. Women as marketing target still alive and well though this is too obnoxious for words. Why was he ever thought funny?

  23. @Nick: fair enough. And you’re right. The men are not shown in a very flattering light at all. I wonder how much of that is actual societal roles of the time vs style choices for tv vs people who work in advertising.

    It’s funny, I haven’t found Betty particularly unpleasant. Other than in the episode I just watched where she said she didn’t think it was time for civil rights, to her black housekeeper. But I am only in season 3. I can see she has the potential to get worse.

    Don Draper certainly gets less and less attractive as time goes on, that’s for sure.

  24. I wonder how much of that is actual societal roles of the time vs style choices for tv vs people who work in advertising.

    A little of both, I think. A lot of characters are not exactly “in tune” with the attitudes that were prevalent then – as if they were born several decades too early. There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance involved when it comes to what they really want to do and what others expect them to do. One example I can think of is Harry Crane when he has to deal with some bad news and ponders if he should keep it from his wife or not. He is told not to by his peers because she couldn’t “handle it” – but he decides to tell her anyway, and she’s supportive of him. Unfortunately, Harry Crane is also kind of a racist (the most casual kind) but that’s the show for ya. I can’t stand Pete Campbell personally yet he’s easily the most racially enlightened character in the show (he makes the suggestion that perhaps certain “white” products can be just as appealing to black individuals to his clients dismay – which is based on a casual conversation he started with one of “the help”).

    Also, based on what my uncle – who works at the advertising department at Disney – has told me about his work environment: it’s pretty accurate. Particularly the contractor-client relationship and feuding between various upper-management. Makes sense to me…

    It certainly explains a lot about my grandparents and why my dad and his siblings came out the way they did. Not surprised about the 50’s being some golden era, ’cause them and the baby-boomers are far from the superior generation they have been venerated as. They’re as messed up as the younger generations they denigrate – forgetting they were just lucky to live in the time they did, nor did all the world’s problems disappear. Some have, in fact, gotten worse even with the positive progress otherwise made.

  25. Oarboar, given that radiation had been known about since the 1890s there would have been some basic knowledge about it by the 40s, as well as there being known applications such as luminescent paint (radium used to mark the hour points on clock dials) that had already existed for a couple of decades (and had been implicated in the deaths of the painters). However, ‘irium’ is not actually radioactive, but was a commercial name for sodium lauryl sulfate.

  26. I can’t stand Pete Campbell personally yet he’s easily the most racially enlightened character in the show

    I can’t stand him either. He has moments where he seems nice, then he does something that shows he’s actually a Nice Guy. I haven’t seen the bit you mention, but I can see him having an attitude of “well, of course they are inferior to us, but that doesn’t mean we have to treat them badly”, which seems to be his attitude to just about everyone.

    Don’t you think Paul Kinsey is somewhat enlightened? He dated a black woman and went with her to a civil rights protest. Though he did seem like he was less interested in her as a person, than for the cool points she’d give him. But the whole show moves very quickly past anything that doesn’t impact the main characters directly, which is fair enough that their thing is focusing on them. But it does leave their side stories feeling very unsatisfying. I guess most other shows don’t even bother touching on social justice issues at all.

  27. Oarboar, you are missing out on some amazing history.

  28. A good source for how radiation was viewed in the 40’s is Lester del Rey’s story, “Nerves”, which is about an accident at a plant that produces radioactive isotopes. This was written after Pearl Harbor and before Hiroshima, and features a Japanese-American scientist who dreams of building a nuclear weapon because he is ashamed of his people’s “cowardly” sneak attack and wants to make sure the U.S. will never have to endure something like that again. Exposure to radiation in the workplace is considered a job hazard just like any other and mostly treatable.

  29. One of my favorite hooks for a soft science fiction story – it is discovered that advertising has no measurable effect on sales. What happens to the economy, society, industry etc. once advertising goes away? Suddenly, a lot of people have to find useful work.

  30. RE: Robert

    One of my favorite hooks for a soft science fiction story – it is discovered that advertising has no measurable effect on sales.

    Interesting. I can’t buy the concept, but it sure would be nice just to have LESS advertising. (My own sci-fi stories involves a world where you need to have a brain implant to be qualified for most decent-paying work… but the cheaper implants don’t come with adblocking software, so your mind gets bombarded with advertising.)

  31. I haven’t seen the bit you mention, but I can see him having an attitude of “well, of course they are inferior to us, but that doesn’t mean we have to treat them badly”, which seems to be his attitude to just about everyone.

    At first, perhaps, but its obvious he has a genuine change in heart about race – given he becomes an admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Don’t you think Paul Kinsey is somewhat enlightened? He dated a black woman and went with her to a civil rights protest. Though he did seem like he was less interested in her as a person, than for the cool points she’d give him. But the whole show moves very quickly past anything that doesn’t impact the main characters directly, which is fair enough that their thing is focusing on them. But it does leave their side stories feeling very unsatisfying. I guess most other shows don’t even bother touching on social justice issues at all.

    Unfortunately, Kinsey is kind of a pseudo-intellectual phony.

    There’s a scene where a pot dealer, one who he knew in college, comes to their office and mentions how different he was before – suggesting he was far less sophisticated than how he acts now and prone to hopping on bandwagons that made him feel superior to others. Kinsey gets mad over it and the dealer, as if a long time friend, acts horribly betrayed when told to fuck off.

    This is further cemented by the fact that, after disappearing for a good while, he shows up again as an adamant Hari Krishna. Meaning his involvement with a black woman and the Civil Rights Movement are done for entirely the wrong reasons (vanity and egotism), as opposed for a genuine interest in race issues. When things didn’t go well there and working at an ad firm – he joined a New Age cult to make himself feel better…about himself.

    Interesting. I can’t buy the concept, but it sure would be nice just to have LESS advertising.

    Yeah, part of what makes advertising work is that it effect at a sub-conscious level – even if, consciously, we may be dismissive of it.

    It is annoying how, even when we’ve found ways around advertising, ad firms find another way to still deliver them. The fact you have sites with “free” material like Hulu which gives you as many commercials as one would find on a cable channel. I particularly dislike the free ads I have to deal with on my cell phone – because they actually get in the way of using apps.

  32. Split the difference and have a story where you can upload software to your brain that makes you immune to advertising.

  33. RE: katz

    Split the difference and have a story where you can upload software to your brain that makes you immune to advertising.

    I write that, actually! The world with the brain advertising… well, there are hackers who work on cracking things like advertising and such and using their implants to their own ends. The society mostly acts like only revolutionaries or crooks do it, but actually, a lot of people do things like break the adware or load their own privacy programs into it.

    They can’t make themselves “immune” to advertising, because at that level, so much is connected to everything else that even if you broke the advertising circuit, it’d probably also break other stuff, like appreciation of art or color theory. But they can definitely BLOCK it so they don’t even recognize it’s there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,988 other followers

%d bloggers like this: