AMERICAN INCOME LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF INDIANA Underwriters of the American Income Labor Disability Policy Executive Offices: P. 0. Box 208 Waco, Texas Bernard Rapoport, President three-quarters round to wave at your wife and a small girl in braids, who looks like she may have to go to Hollywood. In lower classes, work involves swinging home with a lunch pail and waving “Howdy” to family with your bared right arm. \(The general subdivisions here: the fedora-wearing, or communications-type worker; and the helmet-wearing, or industrial-type worker. Both are happier than the suited fellow, though he does leave home via a rose-bearing latticework; they let their union worry about insurChoice of automobiles: Station wagon ; good for vacation scenes, and for hauling a large family, which is mandatory. Favorite pursuit: Cooking. IT IS in this last area that you find today’s true, subtle Goof. The anthropologist of a future date will probably list this specimen as Barbecue Man. He will be shown as a young, vague, button-down sort of creature, with his hair neatly barbered to resemble an orderly haystack. He won’t have a sword or a spear or a gun in his handhe’ll have a turning fork. Instead of a mailed fist we’ll see the soft bloated shape of a serving mitten. Sur 12 The Texas Observer rounding him will be the dense foliage of his back yard, with a redwood fence in the background; his ramparta brick fireplace billowing hickory-cUbe smoke. Behind this, Mr. America, 1963, will be seen recklessly strewing seasoning salt. Goof will be a bit harder for the social historian. It might take a panel of cinema-like frames. First of all, it would be important to get Woman in the picture, preferably a little lady who can stand on tiptoes, cut her eyes and raise her eyebrows \(as indicated, eyebrow raising is a thriving busiand pout her lips. It also helps if she has a double-jointed index finger. This is so she can point at curtain fabrics, automobiles, dish washers and new homes, indicating, “I want one!” or, “I approve!”, while Simpering Sam stands by, mouth pursed, brow crinkled, eyes tented up, saying, in effect: “Golly Gee, this puts us in the red, and I’ll have to find a second job in the evening, cutting into my barbecuing time, but you can’t argue with a little lady who has a doublejointed index finger.” Then it would be well to also show our man in the Moony, Smoke Rings seance which seems to afflict the more urbane Goof. The only product visible here is a mintily-aromaed cigarette, which seems to affect our hero like hashish. As the couple wanders through a field of cornflowers, with the lowering western sun playing havoc with the cameraman’s lens, we see Mr. Young America in all his lavish selfnegation. Lean-shanked, appetiteless, egoless, wearer of the drabbest duck and pima he could find at Abercrombie & Fitch, dirty of buck, but shined of face and shocked of hair, he looks at her Highness as she teeters fetchingly on a wet boulder in mid-stream. Smoke from their respective filtertraps creates a miasma that goes well with the copy. You know this is no evil, designing pursuer who follows our slip of a girl, no tatooed roue who is waiting until they reach the gorse to make his sordid play. No! When they reach the grass, what will he say as he pulls her down beside him? “Darling! Look what swell mushrooms! Won’t they be dandy for the sauce tomorrow night?” WHY, MEN, are we allowing this image of ourselves to emerge? We would hate to think the ad men are copying from life. Could it be more of a kind of propaganda, a softening up process spawned out of the collusion of commerce and woman, in a move destined to break the husband’s will and keep him shackled to a treadmill of salary-earning, home consumption, and installment buying? Does the American woman like to see her man docile, daffy, and diligent? Does she buy more products out of gratitude for the daily ego massage the ads give her? And while they’re selling merchandise to the women, are the agencies selling acquiescence to the men? The ads and pictures seem to say to a man \(with an im”See. Act like this, be bland, and everything will be OK around the house.” Already, too many, we fear, have fallen for such blandishments. So we say, Awake, Goofs! Tear off those aprons before it is too late. A little beer and togetherness are fine. But there’s something more to life than a yeasty, harmony-foamed world of croquet, malt-soaked hammocks, and family cook-outs. Perhaps there’s something more to smoking than the nervous compulsive, fantasy-filled world of filter-tips, and all the attendant mythology of ruggedness, roadside eroticism, and executive decision. We might speculate how crusty old W. C. Fields, straw katy cocked over one eye, would have viewed this Charcoal Culture of ours during a little exercise at the felt: “Back to the bars, you men! Might I suggest a little elixir of catnip and a good Roasting wild pigs over a bed of coals is a sporting event fit for a gentleman. But as for that backyard barbecue pit, turn it over to the little lady. Or turn the little lady over it, as you preferr.” Anyway, we suggest to the American man that to jump from the frying pan is not necessarily to land in the fire.
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