Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bad Dating Films from the Swell Age


The 1940s and 1950s were an odd time in the development of education. Particularly in the development of the very affordable 9mm film projector, meaning that school across the United States could afford to own multiple units. Once this occurred the educational film industry began to boom. Much like the development of computers and most currently smartboards, the use of educational shorts was considered to be the magic wand that would transform education into something easy and affordable. The educational films were often touted at the time to be  the ultimate font of knowledge for students to suckle at.  
Which of course it turned out not to be. Eventually various companies found that they could not compete with topic covering the normal range of academic subjects: Literature, science, mathematics, etc. They decided to branch off into  social guidance areas. This essentially began with Sid Meyer's classic The Dangerous Stranger, a short about being wary of people you don't know. Students at the time took these with the required pound of salt, but administrators thought they sent an "important message" so they kept ordering them.  
Among the topics covered the ones about relationships and dating are the most hysterical. As sex was a taboo subject, the films tended to flit around the subject in a ham-fisted manner, sometimes eliminating it entirely. Often the "bad relationship" or the "wrong girl/boy" are depicted as the ones having the most fun, while the good youths are boring, drab, and ultimately lifeless.  
            Below for your amusement, we have four examples of dating social guidance films. Enjoy and Caveat Emptor. 

                                                Dating Dos and Don't (1949) 

                                              Beginning to Date (1953)

                                            The Prom: It's a Pleasure (1963)


                                           Better Use of Leisure Time (1950)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Conversation on Matters Best Left Buried

“So I’m down in New Orleans right and I rent out this prostitute…”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Who else am I gonna talk to? So I’m down there for my friends Ian and Rachelle’s wedding. Actually I’m performing the ceremony.”

 “You’re performing the wedding?”

“Right yeah. Remember I got that mail order ordination certificate from the back of the Weekly World News, back when it put out paper issues.”

“I uh…”

“Yeah yeah. I was ordained by the World Christianship Ministries and got an honorary Doctorate in Divinity for only an extra $10.” 

“But that’s not real.”

“Yes it is!... Well the state of Louisiana recognized it at least, so I could do the service.”

“I’m sure that it was truly special for them.”

“Right! So we’re out the night before…”

“The night before?”

“Before the wedding. The hotel was right on Bourbon Street so we didn’t have to drive anywhere and could just go out and get wrecked all day.”

“You know I’m not really interested.”

“No listen listen, it’s important. So at the end of the night a whole bunch of us are staggering back and the streets are filled with nothing but reeling drunks and street hookers and they all want to go back to the hotel and go to bed, but I must’ve drank myself sober because I’m still raring to go.”

“Uh huh.”

“I mean I kinda felt tired earlier on in the night, but when I get that I just drink on through it with determination and it goes away.”

“…”

“So, they go upstairs and I’m stuck out in the street by myself. What am I gonna do?”

“…”

“You there?”

“Yes, I’m listening.”

“There’s this strip club across the street right? And I figure why not? It was called the Pussycat Club or something like that…. I don’t know. It was like that but not that.”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“I didn’t think you would <Burp>.”

“Lovely”

“Anyway, I sit there and there’s only like one other guy in there but me, and there was this stripper on stage and she was nice.”

“I don’t need the details.”

“I don’t mean nice in some bullshit Hollywood idea of beauty, but like I mean a real woman. Not some blonde stick figure with a couple of beach balls stapled under her skin. She had you know… curves.”

“…”

“Real curves and she looked soft. Like it’d be real nice to lay down with her and have her flesh caress you, and not have to worry about being poked by a tibia or a rib bone. And she had a big  beautiful nose, which accented her face, and you know how much I like those right?”

“…”

“You there?”

“…”

“HELLO?”

“YES! I’m just listening to you.”

“Okay. So after her, set she comes over and sits down and starts talking to me. I can tell she’s good because she pretends like what I have to say is interesting and that I’m real funny and stuff and it’s great, it’s great. We have a couple more drinks and then it reaches that point. You know that point?”

“No, I don’t.”

“It’s that point in the conversation when you’re talking to someone of the opposite sex when you either have to take it to the next level or it will be shut down. It’s like a chemical pheromone thing that you both just sense instantly. And if you don’t seize it, it will be gone forever.”

“Huh.”

“So we get there and I say, why not? Right? Why not?”

“I DON’T KNOW! Why not? Why not do it and then go around and tell everyone?”

“That’s my point though. That’s my point. There was this room in the back and…”

“I DON’T WANT TO HEAR THIS!”

“Okay it was paid for, but that’s not even the issue. Look remember when Charlie Sheen got busted with all of that coke and hookers. His attitude was like, ‘You don’t pay for hookers to have sex with you. You pay for them to go away afterwards.’ It’s just sex. It’s like nothing to be ashamed of, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“Right, so it’s just like it’s illegal because of society’s opinions, and those can be changed. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the act itself. And it needs to be changed….”

“<Sigh>.”

“I… I think that this is something that is true and we can all do something about it. It’s like the hypocrisy of the world. We can do this, we can do this, we can change people’s perceptions, if we’re all honest.”

“…”

“Honest that’s all we need to be.”

“…”

“Okay? You understand?”

“… I understand.”

“Good. Look I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay. Bye then.”

“Love you, mom.”