Thursday, June 1, 2017

Campsite Quickie

You must keep in mind, as these pathetic high-school-cafeteria delights pass before your eyes, that this represents their best possible presentation. They'd never look anywhere near this good if you made them yourself. The fact people thought they WERE good - these recycled war rations, most made of glistening processed meat that looked as if it slid out of an Alpo can - only adds to the sense of incredulity. I mean - Green Bean Bunwiches? Chipped Beef in Popovers? Frank-Bean Bake? Hot-in-a-Bun for 48? End of the Trail? Who thought up these names - some dyspeptic ad executive in a boardroom, a la Mad Men? 

I just keep finding these, there seems to be no end to them. Hundreds. Thousands. There are whole YouTube channels devoted to trying out these recipes, actually cooking them and attempting to eat them. Army chow, to be bolted without thinking about it very much. Mess hall fare. Grub. Cooking wasn't a devotion or a pleasure back then so much as a utilitarian process, a necessity to be gotten over with, then the results quickly swallowed, tolerated like a dental appointment or bad sex.  

Fred and Wilma had sex!

They did. They really did, or they wouldn't have gotten Pebbles.

You know. Pebbles. She happened round about the third season, The Flintstones was beginning to sag a bit in the ratings, so the show's writers decided to add a new wrinkle. They took a truly bold step for a cartoon series.

They made Wilma pregnant.

Imagine it. A PREGNANT cartoon character! Wilma went around for a number of episodes with a big jutting fertility-goddess belly covered by a demure white maternity blouse. What does it all mean? If we're going to imagine this is any kind of normal scenario, we'll have to think of it in the same way we do in real life.

If anyone dares go there, we have to come to the conclusion that Fred and Wilma were - you know. THEY WERE HAVING SEX! Try to picture it. No, don't go there! But try. They are merely cartoon characters, after all, and not real. But they had a "real" baby, didn't they?

Picture it.

How good a lover would Fred Flintstone be? How long would he last? How adept would Wilma be at pleasing her man and keeping him satisfied so he wouldn't go after some cheap floozie in the gravel pit? I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine Fred Flintstone having sex, and deciding one day to just throw the rubber away and wing it. Or was Pebbles really just Daddy's little accident?

Another bizarre issue: the Rubbles, becoming envious upon seeing the adorable new Flintstone baby, began to sigh over the fact that they couldn't have babies of their own.

INFERTILITY! The writers had broken yet another major taboo.

Cartoon characters struggling with infertility: it seems unthinkable, especially in the early '60s. Betty had blown her ovaries somehow-or-other, or else Barney must have had a low sperm count. Picture him in the fertility clinic with a plastic beaker and a Playboy.

Well. IF the writers were going to introduce such ideas into a cartoon series, aren't we within our rights to just sort of sit here and think about how it all went down?

So there was no IVF then, no surrogacy, and a cartoon character masturbating in a clinic is just too weird to contemplate. So the Rubbles wish upon a star, and. . . voila! Bamm Bamm appears on their doorstep, his biological parents abandoning him because he is such a little freak.

It's good for Barney, because it means he never has to have sex again. And Betty no longer has to keep track of her cycles on a calendar to see when she's ovulating. (Hey, they ARE talking about having babies here!) She doesn't have to think about breastfeeding either. The advantages of a baby on your doorstep!

So Pebbles turned out to be the Flintstones' only child, at least for the duration of the show. Does that mean Fred and Wilma no longer had sex? Did they use birth control after that? Was Wilma orgasmic? Did Fred suffer from premature ejaculation?

These are the things that perplex my soul.

 This is an exact transcription of that sappy "Let the Sunshine In" song that Pebbles and Bamm Bamm sing in one of the episodes. I was - gobsmacked. It's religious! I mean, REALLY religious, in a creepy kind of fundamentalist way that was unusual even back then.

Open Up Your Heart and
Let the Sun Shine In

Mommy told me something
A little kid should know
It's all about the devil
And I've learned to hate him so
She said he causes trouble
When you let him in the room,
He will never ever leave you
If your heart is filled with gloom

So let the sun shine in
Face it with a grin
Smilers never lose
And frowners never win
So let the sun shine in
Face it with a grin
Open up your heart and let the sun shine in

When you are unhappy
The devil wears a grin
But oh, he starts to running
When the light comes pouring in
I know he'll be unhappy
'Cause I'll never wear a frown
Maybe if we keep on smiling
He'll get tired of hanging 'round.

If I forget to say my prayers
The devil jumps with glee
But he feels so awful awful
When he sees me on my knees
So if you're full of trouble
And you never seem to win
Just open up your heart and let the sun shine in

So let the sun shine in
Face it with a grin
Smilers never lose
And frowners never win
So let the sun shine in
Face it with a grin
Open up your heart
And let the sun shine in

(YouTube random comments): 50 years later, it's still timeless. And still true :) Thank God for Pebbles and BamBam.

If the Almighty and Powerful God didn't create Pebbles and Bam Bam on the 8th day where would we be now. Praise baby Jesus.

I had never realized how religious this song was. Creepy.

Me neither until tonight. I heard the written lyrics and it was wonderful for me too! And I'm 59!

i love it, and i am 62



You don't hear songs like this anymore, such wholesome lovely songs. Compared to today's garbage.