The Cold War

Sputnik did more than light a fire under science and technology in government, private industry, and academia. It also provided, with its enhancement of the Cold War, a powerful theme for almost everything in popular culture. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was about a research vessel that happened to be the most heavily armed vessel in the US Navy, though the Sea View was not really in the Navy, although it could be commandeered by the Navy at any time and often was, although when it was, its crew tended to act in very non-Navy ways, although they were all originally from the Navy….

How is it that the Sea View was supposed to be doing all this research but was really engaged in the fight against the enemies of mankind most of the time? Perhaps there is a clue in the opening episode.

Oh. I see.

Well, anyway, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and other TV shows like it helped young Americans learn what and who to be be afraid of, and most importantly, what our enemies looked like.

In the following clip we see part of the plot unfold when an Evil Third World Dictatorship messes with a new gas Weapon of Mass Destruction with the support of Nefarious Second World Agents. One can see how a child who feeds on this tit could grow up to be George Bush:

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6 Responses to “The Cold War”

  1. May 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Chuck13 says:

    Your VTTBOTS viewing has been research! And I thought it was purely for entertainment purposes – sorry.

    I agree with your conclusions – the cold war themes continue to this day (24 series has elements of the Russian government using elements of an Islamic country to skuttle a peace treaty (and for possibly other unrevealed reasons). Cowboys vs Native Americans, Allies vs. Germans, U.S. vs. Soviets, etc.

  2. May 3rd, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    travc says:

    The generational cohort 10 to 20 years later (mine) was profoundly shaped by the Cold War too. There was of course this sort of thing (“Wolverines!”), but not quite to the same extent. In a lot of stuff, an underlying theme was how the powers-that-be were probably going to destroy the world out of their stupid warmongering and paranoia.

    Pretty easy to get jaded by that sort of atmosphere.

  3. May 4th, 2010 at 6:18 am

    DuWayne says:

    I find it even more fascinating, the number of shows/novels that utilize ex-KGB or ex-Stasi as their bad guys – extra points to the ones that include someone with some degree of power “today” who wants to bring back the communist power structure. But yes, I recall this theme well. Both in shows that were before my time, shown on Nicolodeon mostly, and “new” shows.

    What I think is rather depressing really, is that after watching a few of the more recent of these types of shows that actually had scenes taking place in U.S.S.R. with a Russian woman I was friends with, she noted that the depictions were usually only very mildly exaggerated,if at all. And this from a woman who’s father was a ranking party member and government functionary which put her in a position of great privilege.

  4. May 5th, 2010 at 6:50 am

    dean says:

    Interesting point. I’d argue that the original Johnny Quest cartoons were more of the same, and probably less discreet. (I also hope that I’m not the only one here who is old enough to remember the original Johnny Quest cartoons.)

  5. May 5th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Greg Laden says:

    With the added benefit of Orientalism.

  6. May 6th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    mark says:

    Unlike the movie, the tv series seemed to degenerate into a constant war against monsters.

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