Guys, I found something pretty amazing yesterday. In 1956, the American Petroleum Institute commissioned a really spectacular cartoon, titled:
I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that it is the most awesome piece of horrible propaganda I’ve ever seen.
Here’s the premise. Mars is run by a dictator who hates free enterprise. (I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT WHO THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT.) Because his limo doesn’t work right (or something) the dictator, Ogg, sends Captain Cosmic to Earth to figure out how cars run (or something). And there, Captain Cosmic experiences a revelation.
What Captain Cosmic learns — what we should all learn — is that oil is what makes (made?) America great. That it is competition that ensures all that oil will be slurped out of the ground. That drilling for oil is risky and that anyone who does it is a galactic hero now and forever.
I mean, here are the two books that Cosmic “steals” from an Earth library, bringing them back to Mars to inspire his fellow Martians. I won’t spoil how it ends, but: USA! USA!
(Neither is available on Amazon, because Captain Cosmic stole them.)
Now, the full cartoon, via the Internet Archive. If you don’t go running out to buy a big ol’ glass of oil as soon as this thing is done, you’re not a real American. And/or you are the dictator Ogg, which could also have some benefits.
Get Grist in your inbox