Seriously, this had to be a bizarre and wrong competition prize even in 1960. I think it’s a safe assumption that both then and now, relatively few children have a burning ambition to go on holiday in Russia. The only person who immediately comes to mind as voluntarily having a holiday in the USSR in the early 1960s is Lee Harvey Oswald, and we all know how that turned out. Continue Reading
Keep your boring straight Sellotape, we want to be wrapped in properly homosexual adhesive tapes and emblems.
I know it’s a really cheap laugh, but come on: “gay panda stripes”? I suppose I could put some kind of sociological fig leaf on this post by claiming it as evidence that right through the 1960s some people in Britain were still unselfconsciously using the word “gay” to mean jolly, carefree or bright and attractive rather than homosexual, despite the brazenly gay Joe Orton, camp comedians like Kenneth Williams spunking Parlare into the mainstream, and the first slow, tentative creeps out of the closet that became something like a viable option in England after the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults in 1967. This advert is from 1963, but the publishers of the Eagle comic it comes from were still gaily using the word gay as late as 1968. And this was in a comic meant for boys aged eleven to fifteen, the prime demographic for sniggering innuendo and insecurity about sexual terminology, so Eagle and the advertiser must have been fairly confident that most of the boys wouldn’t detect any double entendre.
Anyway, how about “crackerjack” for obsolete slang? Was this ever a thing that a kid would actually say, or an embarrassing dad-ism? I suspect there weren’t many twelve year old boys describing things as gay, either, even in 1963. Also observe the bottom right panel of this ad and marvel at the fact that not only could they confidently and solemnly suggest that boys make their bikes look gay, but they could also market a product called Sellotape X without having to consider that anyone would think it had something to do with porn.
Eagle was very like this blog– and indeed it prefigured the internet– in the sense that it was full of random and sometimes weird shit; weird at the time, even, not just with hindsight. I’ve done some scans, so there’s more crap like this to come.