Saturday, April 4, 2015

Postwar World: An Eye for the Girls

With my promise to change the subject in my series of cartoons from A Bird's-Eye View of the Postwar World comes an opportunity to print the front cover of the paperback, above. The cartoon by Barney Tobey illustrates the focus of this next series.

These cartoonists predicted that the aftermath of World War II would feature a lot of leering and ogling of shapely females, and not just from helicopters. Fritz Wilkinson, right, warned women of virtue and modesty that even a privacy screen would not protect them from their television screens.

It's hard to argue that these cartoonists were wrong in their predictions. A lot of men spent the prime of their lives cooped up with other men slogging across Europe and the Pacific; they didn't all get to be stranded on a tiny island with Leslie Caron and a dozen schoolgirls.

Even if these men did find opportunity for female companionship, they were far from home for the first time in their lives, where word of whatever behavior they engaged in was unlikely to make it back to their neighbors, schoolmarms, Sunday School teachers, parents or sweethearts.

(And of course, some found that they were quite happy in the company of other men, shipped back to San Francisco and New York after the war, and stayed there; but there is nothing of that anywhere in this little comic book.)

I take it that this male libido thing was a brand new discovery, at least to Mr. Wilkinson, whose cartoon at left doesn't seem at first blush to have anything to do with newfangled inventions. At least, I assume that not every female before 1945 looked and dressed like Ma Joad.

The Interest Department might have been a new thing at the bank. If so, it didn't last long enough for there to be one at any of the banks I've ever been to. I am old enough to remember when it was rare for checking accounts to earn interest, however; perhaps banks discovered that they could save money on salaries by merging the Interest Department and the Checking Department.

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