Wednesday, August 24, 2016

IS THIS TOMORROW?

Communists know how to make an entrance, anyway.

Having grown up through the tail end of the Cold War, I honestly thought I'd get through the rest of my life without ever hearing another theory about secret Russian operatives undermining democracy in these here United States. What I clearly hadn't counted on was the "obvious Russian front" narrative which emerged from the scandal surrounding the DNC email leaks in July of this year. The suspicion, involving spirited Russian hackers acting under direct orders of a cartoon-dictator version of Vladimir Putin, bore so much resemblance to the Red Panic of my youth that I instinctively checked my legs to make sure I was wearing long pants.

"Yay us. I think this calls for Cold Stone Creamery..."
If America is once again going to embrace the "Russia wants the death of the West!" narrative, it'll benefit from having a guideline. Luckily, way back in 1947, the Cathetical Guild Educational Society of St.Paul Minnesota put together a little booklet entitled "IS THIS TOMORROW," documenting the deep-seated schemes which the international association of Communists were planning in order to overthrow the stability of the United States. I mean, I know today's Russians aren't Communists, but ... but they're Russians!

Oh, and to answer the question - no, this is not tomorrow. Because that would be our yesterday and, according to today, it's not.

How will the Commies conquer America? Let's go step-by-step, as the book exhibits for our approval:


STEP ONE: WAIT FOR A (double checks notes) DROUTH
An unfortunate combination of unseasonably dry weather and plagues of locust signal a seemingly-apocalyptic fate for America's breadbasket, in the opening pages of this comic. Communist leaders in New York City (as the city is pointed out specifically, there's almost certainly a dog whistle being blown in relation to its location) act quickly to take action upon the subsequent "drouth."

"It's fuckin' RAD!"
No one involved with this book can spell "drought" to save their lives, and I feel like I know how it happened. I'm sure the writer or the letterer or the editor or someone (Maybe it was Russian hackers) tried to spell "drought" as it sounds -- "drout" -- and then thought to themselves "Now hold on, I know there's an 'h' in there somewhere." Unable to otherwise suss it out, they slapped it on the end and called it a day. No wonder we're such a soft target for foreign insurrection.

In any case, the Commies' propaganda peeps have done the groundwork of setting up other dog whistles all over the country. The media has been taught to parrot socialist ideals, liberal politicians have been coaxed into surrendering their authority to Party leaders, doctors start doing things like "caring for the quality of life" and all anti-semitism and racism turns out to be an insurgent plot. I feel like a lot of this might be baloney juice -- but it's step one!

STEP TWO: UNIONS!
It's tired to the point of exhaustion to equate Unions with blood-soaked rebellion -- it wasn't Andrew Carnegie's head that the Pinkertons were busting, you know -- but Is This Tomorrow certainly ties them together with violent Reds. Although Union forces (or, according to the book, evil Commie plants in the Unions) are depicted stringing up capitalists and smashing mansions (a good start!), the most insidious act depicted in the pages is gaming Roberts' Rules of Order! The fiends! They filibuster a Union meeting for so long that all but the Communist members go home, and then the Commies vote the way they want! OH THE FIENDLY FIENDS!

New orders from the Ministry of Irony
STEP THREE: APPOINT A FINK TO BE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
It wouldn't be the first time, right? With the Speaker in the pocket of the Reds, all it takes is a grenade (and you know what they say -- when life gives you grens, make grenades) and the president and vice-president both riding in the same motorcade (and you know what they say -- when life gives you motors, make motorcades) and you've got a Commie president!

What does a Commie president do? Well ...

STEPS FOUR THROUGH: EVERYTHING ELSE
First thing Commie president does is to nationalize food distribution in the wake of the (ahem) drouth, and get the populace to work on packaging, storing and distributing food. This doesn't sound like a bad thing to me, but I sometimes vote Green so I may be the enemy.

Whatever the case, the Commie brain trust in New York City start burning the food stores which they'd worked so hard to set up in the first place. We're all our own worst enemy, isn't it true? Not only does this raise the desperation of the people, but the brain trust blames it on anti-Communist forces, and go about arresting judges and schoolteachers and (gasp) especially Catholics. If only a comic book produced by a Cathetical Society had warned us about this!

Professor Bellows teaches Internet Arguments 101
Then the president's cabinet are gunned down, about two-thirds of the population are forced to starve in the streets, telephones are nationalized (I assume we're all on the same ... PARTY LINE! Thank you, everyone, I'll leave now), schools are overtaken by very loud atheists like some sort of live-action YouTube, and there's events where people come to football stadiums to watch books being burned. It's better than going to a stadium to see U2 perform, I tell you what.

By the end of the year (!!), starving bums are killing cops just to use their horses for food, money is shredded to dust and kids are ratting out their parents. In a chilling scene of dudes in suits being loaded on boats, a caption reads "concentration camps come to America" which is pretty smart talk consider it's 1947 and the last Japanese-American Internment Camp had been closed in 1945.

STEP FIVE: PROFIT

Yeah, "became..."
Apparently -- if this comic book is to be believed, and why wouldn't it? --  if you remove all of the Communist influences in America, it turns out that we have no problems whatsoever and we're all sitting pretty (except the farmers, suffering their drouth). The premise of the book is ludicrous, but the exhibition between its covers is so aggressively awful that it's granted the patina of grim likelihood. This would be a good way to sell books, and yet they waste it on a screaming-mimi giveaway comic for children nursed on paranoia and swaddled in incoherent dread of foreign systems. They oughtta crank up the price; you can charge whatever you want to terrified people.

The one scene from the comic which sticks in my memory is the one where racial strife is fomented exclusively by agents of Communism. Without the marching proletariat, apparently, blacks and whites would wander hand-in-hand in perpetual peace. Please keep in mind that this book was released in 1947 and it was not unlikely that there were people yet living at that time who had been owned as property in their youth. Even if you're one of those "It was actually about state's rights" types in regard to the Civil War, I think we can all agree it wasn't Communism that powered America's slave trade.

BOY THIS ONE GOT GRIM
Blame it on election season. As an outro, though, enjoy the back cover to the book, which lists the assorted means by which to resist becoming a stinking Commie yourself --- but which, in my experience, is also kind of a blueprint for turning a shocking shade of Pink before college is over. Oh my gosh, what if the Cathetical Guild Educational Society of St.Paul Minnesota were the actual Communist fifth columnists! We're through the looking glass here, people. We're gonna need someone to write a whole new Is This Tomorrow ...

Worth printing out and hanging on your  mirror.


3 comments:

GOODSTUFF said...

TWO FACES OF COMMUNISM (1961)
32 page anti-communism comic produced by the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade (CACC)

https://www.facebook.com/goodstuff4u/media_set?set=a.10154851220583677.1073741842.805278676&type=3

The Two Faces of Communism was published at a time when communism still represented a threat to the world's democracies. This comic accurately recounts communism's shameful and deadly history.

Remember boys and girls, the Red Menace is real!

Mickey Coalwell said...

Good stuff! But don't be too hard on drouth:
Beth Simon, co-editor of the Wisconsin dictionary, said ''drouth'' is heard throughout the United States but used slightly more frequently in the South and among older people with less formal education.

Webster's New World Dictionary lists both drought and drouth. While the Oxford English Dictionary says both pronunciations have coexisted since at least the 14th century, drouth is the more traditional form, closer to Old English ''drugoth.''

David Hanson said...

That dirty commie on the far left of the cover appears to be wearing French cuffs. Fancy!

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