Thursday, April 5, 2012

Boy Are We Having Fun Now!

You can't make this crap up. This is No. 6 in the series It's Fun To Live In America aimed at pipe-smoking white guys working in huge factories for the man. And the man should show a little more respect for Futura too! 
:: From the Letterology Crap Collection


  1. So you think this is crap? Well, by your so very up to the moment sensibilities, perhaps it is, but it wasn't aimed at you.

    It was written for the people who had grown up with the privations and uncertainties of the Depression. They then faced WW II and the chance of losing loved ones in battle or taking on new functions on the home front in an effort where victory was not preordained. Having survived all that, can you imagine the appeal of being able to live and raise a family in a stable atmosphere? A reliable income, not worrying about food on the table for the kids, sufficient leisure (for the first time in their lives) to enjoy a pipe once in a while and socialize with neighbors, even pride that their efforts had helped make these things possible, must have been pretty appealing.

    The pamphlet was aimed at my parents. You may think the pro-America, rah rah approach is crap and quaint and amusing, but it is essentially correct. This country did lead the world in all categories mentioned and did so by people freely chosing to be a part of it. They worked for 'the man' because it was better than anything else they had known. And there was nothing to stop them from venturing out on their own.

    I don't know your age but your comments come across as young and sneering on a matter you know little about, judging everything by the latest fashion. I grew up in the 1950s. I don't idealize the period but I do appreciate what it offered and understand why it developed as it did.

    Jeff ( a white guy who sometimes smokes a pipe)

  2. So sorry you took offense Jeff. I also grew up in the 1950s. My crap remark is a loaded word I realize, but in this instance it was intended as a glib euphemism for ephemera. I've collected it for years, and often refer to it as my "crap files". I was find irony in the message of a FREE AMERICA, "FREE to work FOR OURSELVES or for whom we please", and "PLENTY OF GOOD JOBS ARE FUN TOO!" I appreciate the great optimism of the 40s and 50s, but something went horribly wrong since then. Many of the jobs we were promised disappeared as did the American Dream for so many. We didn't get jet packs either.
    I have no intention of making Letterology a political forum. My irreverent remark was more about "how is this working out for you now?" It hasn't gotten "better" for many as this pamphlet suggested. It was pie in the sky optimism. More to the point, Futura has never been so violated by type crimes.

  3. Jeff Reynolds, Type Lover, SeattleApril 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    If I am not mistaken, the "crap" comments were directed mostly at the typography, um, maybe because that is what this site is about. Sheesh. Lighten up a little. I am sure we would all like to live in that world were such optimism was appropriate, well, except for large portions of society. Thankfully most of those formerly excluded people are allowed to benefit from some of the great things we still have here. But the optimism? Well not so bubbly.
    (and by the way, I grew up partially in the 50's, too, my Dad was in the depression, three wars, and all that.)
    But again, the typography!! I want to shake the guy who put this together and yell KERNING at the top of my lungs. And the arbitrary use of caps reminds me of my mothers' notes reminding me to do this or that (STOP SMOKING). It makes me crazy, but still I love these casually set print pieces. They have a freedom (there's that word again) and innocence that you can't seem to get away with today.


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