Wonkette’s Holiday Movie Night: ThunderCows Are Go!

  Masters Of Our Public Domain

We remember those happy Thanksgiving evenings when, after the f’ball was over, the networks would show a fine old classic movie: The Sound of Music, or maybe Mary Poppins. Well, at Your Wonkette, we have some classic family viewing from 1965, although it pains us to report that Julie Andrews does not seem to be in these: A reel of delightful Rural Civil Defense TV Spots from 1965, courtesy of the Internet Archive! Watch as a charmingly relatable papier-mache marionette farmer prepares to survive the fallout from a nuclear holocaust — we like how one of his pipe-cleaner eybrows is arched just so.

Also strangely reassuring is the gently chiding voice of the narrator:

  • “Keep calm — panic only wastes valuable time.”
  • “You could have made things easier for youself by preparing all these things before the emergency occurred”
  • Yeah, you slacker! Now that the fallout’s a-comin’ you wish you hadn’t spent all that time readin’ yer fancy agronomy books, dontcha?

    Also, there’s the cheerful suggestion that global thermonuclear war will just be a minor inconvenience:

  • “Suppose you don’t have a fallout shelter, and you have several hours of warning after the attack, but before the radioactive fallout reaches your area”
  • That’s awesome! I’ll have time to tidy up a little!

  • “Remember, the important point about radioactive fallout is shielding. The more shielding between you and the radiation, the more protection.”
  • Yes, but what if I’m just confusing shielding with emotional distance?

    Watch these with your kids. We hear kids just LOVE puppets!

    Yay! No school tomorrow!You know what else kids love? We mean, besides cleaning up their school as part of Newt Gingrich’s Urban Responsibility Corps, of course. That’s right, comic books. Kids just love comic books! So to make it a theme night, here’s a link to a 1953 story about the blessings of the atom, Andy’s Atomic Adventures. Thrill to the story of a little boy who live right next to the Nevada nuclear testing range, and whose mom is getting “treatments” for an unspecified something or other, we don’t know what, but Our Friend the Atom will help make her all better! Comic is from Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine, a treasure trove of strange old graphic arts — check the other weirdass offerings they have! We were disappointed, however, that we could not find a copy of the exciting 1992 sequel, Andy’s Big Downwinder Lawsuit.

    UPDATE: Because we just saw this silly thing on Twitter:

    No word on whether they brined or basted her

    Assume dear derped.

    [Internet Archive / Pappy's Golden Age Comics]

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    About the author

    Doktor Zoom lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his pseudonym after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

    View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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    174 comments

        1. el_donaldo

          First one out of the new Wonkette, last man alive?

          Personally I'm hoping to have to repopulate the human race with Kirsten Boyd Johnson.

      1. sbj1964

        I would suggest rotating shield frequency,and re-routing main power through Gordy's visor while charging the main deflector dish to emit an inverse tachyon pulse.Or duct tape is good too.

      1. sbj1964

        School desk back in the day were lead lined protectors of children until the EPA had them recalled.Damn Government.

    1. coolhandnuke

      Slip Blake Edwards' "S.O.B" in the VCR and be warmed by the warm glowing fallout from Julie Andrews' warheads.

    2. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

      He's got a big ol' can of hobo beans! He's set for nuclear Armageddon and an economic collapse.

    3. secanonymous

      A few things: (i) that cow is definitely a furry, (ii) this video is standard issue for the Tea Party, (iii) did the second amendment not exist in 1965? (iv) hay in a barn isn't going to protect against radiation, so ease up and fuck that cow, and (v) eat and repeat.

      /moo

    4. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

      Ah, the 1960s. When people would drive to the desert outside Las Vegas to watch (and feel the wind from) the nuclear tests on purpose with no more protection than a pair of sunglasses. Good times. Also, Freedom!

      1. boskolives

        I worked on a film shot in St. George, Utah, and the crew was told by the locals about Howard Hughes’ The Conqueror, a movie shot near there in the mid 1950's where the entire production stopped so everyone could stand and watch a nuke test less than 150 miles away. They all wore sunglasses but that didn't stop almost every one of the cast and crew from eventually dying of cancer, including John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz, and Susan Hayward.

          1. boskolives

            Perhaps William Bendix had contractual obligation problems? I'm more interested in how Marrion Morrison (a.k.a. Mr. Wayne) was always cast as a war hero but never had a loaded weapon pointed at him, much less saw the inside of a uniform that wasn't being fitted on him at RKO, Paramount, Warners, where ever.

      1. JustPixelz

        You should see the 1980 film about using hay bales as protection from AIDS. Funny thing. The hay bales didn't work as well as Republican scientists predicted. Oh well, live and learn. Or die. Whatever.

    5. fartknocker

      When I was a young man I worked on my grandfather's ranch in Hereford, TX (yes, its real). I never saw a barn with a basement. Makes me wonder how does one get cow shit out of a basement? Maybe a poop-scalotor or the cows takes an elevator and go outside to shit?

      1. gullywompr

        The barn on the cow farm I lived on had one. What it really is is a two-level deal built into a hillside. On the uphill side you get into the top level, on the other, downhill side you get into the lower level. The top is where you store the hay, the bottom has animal stalls. I gotta say though, the herd would never have fit in there. Luckily, we're upwind of DC, so fallout never really was all that likely. In that regard, most rural areas would have been OK, because nearly all farmland is west (upwind) of the major cities of the East Coast that would have been primary targets during the sixties (assuming Cuba as the launch point).

        I was just a little boy then, so I don't remember much about nuclear fears of the mid-sixties. I do have to wonder what was going through the minds of the people (no doubt ordinary citizens) who were employed in making these films. Were they freaked? Nonplussed? Or just happy to be working in film production? I suspect the last one.

    6. Blueb4sinrise

      Sorry Andy, no saguaros in Nevada . Unless those big green things are the former neighbors who went too close to the nukes.

    7. elfgoldsackring

      Mother needs radiotherapy on her hand. But don't worry, she can catch up on her baking that afternoon.

    8. corthylio

      "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Albert Einstein.

    9. coolhandnuke

      …MrsG cooked…
      Grassley's wife must be one hellofa bird to feed 22 at this Midwestern Donner party.

      1. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

        I remember watching that as a kid. It scared the hell out of me. Then I watched it again when I was a cynical 20-something and found myself laughing and cheering for the bomb.

            1. corthylio

              I remember Night Flight, but not that 'toon.

              I do recall seeing 'Andy Warhol's Frankenstein' (& 'AW's Dracula') on Night Flight in my teen years…

      1. deanbooth

        I saw the best paper mache men of my generation destroyed by fire crackers, blown apart, hysterical naked, as i dragged them to the baseball field at dawn, looking for my pyro fix!

    10. Toomush_Infer

      There was a nuclear meltdown in Detroit this afternoon – the "real"refs made the worst call in football history….

      1. miss_grundy

        We were watching the game while having dinner. The fans in the stadium were not happy campers. It a shame the Lions lost, because at one point, they were leading….

      2. deanbooth

        You threw the red flag on a touchdown play! Well, we'll show you–now we won't even review it, so there, nyah nyah!!

        Worst rule evah!

        (I'm not a Detroit fan, I just want to see teams from Texas lose.)

    11. BathroomGoblin

      Why do I need baking soda in my emergency kit? Emergency quick breads? Emergency science fair volcano?
      Anyway back to mainlining gravy with votes!

      1. boskolives

        No one really understands how important it is to use baking soda to de-stink your refrigerator until you unplug it and go away for a weekend, forgetting that you left food in it. And when I say food I mean fish, which makes it an emergency, too.

        1. not that Dewey

          Did you ever have a Halloween party where you half-peeled radishes so that they look like bloodshoot eyeballs, then served them in gin, as eyeball martinis, then accidentally left some sitting out overnight and awoke the next morning to discover the smell of warm, rancid gin with radish? That sink sure could have used some baking soda.

    12. lefty74

      Those who bought into this batch of bullshit spawned today's Republican Party.
      The name of the surviving country is GlenGlenBeckyBeckyStanStan. No roads, No grid, no sewer,no school,no water and no nothing. Tks Steph.

    13. Mahousu

      I like the one where the guy is apparently storing water in an old paint bucket – probably, considering the date, an old lead paint bucket. On the plus side, the additional lead in your system might provide some radiation protection. On the minus side, it will kill you.

      1. Negropolis

        My dad is not exactly a survivalist – not a devout member, anyway – but he used to keep gallons upon gallons of spring water he'd get from Hot Springs, Arkansas in his garage.

    14. SayItWithWookies

      Thank you for watching How To Protect Your Farm from a Nuclear Blast — brought to you by the moral predecessors of the people who predicted Mitt Romney would win in a landslide because they thought that if they wished for it, it might happen.

      And no, this election will never get old.

    15. Barrelhse

      Holiday Reminder: After you purge, rinse or brush with baking soda to neutralize the stomach acid in your mouth and reduce tooth decay!
      -Karen C.

      1. 102415

        Actually that might have to happen here. Somebody has tried to poison me. I'm sitting here with a bucket and a bottle of Pepto and some aspirin. Thankfully I'm alone now except for faithful doggy and wonkette.

            1. corthylio

              Half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water can often help with those 'something didn't agree with my stomach' or 'I ate too much' feelings… It tastes kinda yucky so use cold water & drink it down quickly…

              For future reference..

    16. viennawoods13

      Well, thank you, Doktor! Something else to show my 20th century history class tomorrow- we just "did" the Cuban Missile Crisis today. I don't think I'll inflict the whole thing on them, but at least let them know how pathetic this stuff could get.

    17. Dudleydidwrong

      We olders always thought that by hiding under our desks we would be protected from nuclear fallout. Something in the desks, I guess. In the event of an atomic attack we probably would not have recess and would have to eat our lunches while on our knees and elbows, trying to look up the dress of that girl who sat in front of us. So drills did have some benefits.

      Maybe today's school desks will protect the little rugrats from the spying eyes of Predator drones and those ever-present blimps.

      1. Sharkey

        "Desks?" Oh right, those things we put our iPads on.

        Also P.S. that radioactive fallout from Chernobyl and Fukushima? Doesn't exist, please move on… Let's face it, we've got bigger problems than the poisonous environments that we created.

      2. Guppy

        We olders always thought that by hiding under our desks we would be protected from nuclear fallout.

        You ducked under your desk for a nuclear attack for the same reason you did it during a tornado: flying glass and debris. Provided you're not close enough to ground zero to be incinerated outright or to have the entire wall knocked down onto you, it'll let you enjoy any potential radiation poisoning without bleeding out first.

    18. mbobier

      My favorite part is then the farmer deposits the hay bale at the side of the barn, realizes it's not lined up correctly, then abruptly shoves it into position with his shoulder. That puppet can move! Although it's a little disconcerting when he bounces down the basement stairs on his back and then lies there stiffly, with just his rear end and the back of his head touching the steps. Dude, loosen UP!

      The stair-related head injury might at least explain the weird eyelid action when he's waving his hand over the crystal ball (which actually looks kind of like a bowling ball, but one can't be particular in the midst of a nuclear holocaust).

      Last but not least: What's with the extended still shot of the squirrel? Is he the farmer's county agent?

    19. Mahousu

      From later on in the video: "These [radioactive fallout] particles are only dangerous to living things."

      Great. So if we're killed by the blast first, we should be fine.

    20. Sharkey

      ♫ ♪ Mister Grassley, bring me a scream.
      Make it the biggest bomb that I've ever seen.
      Give her two fins like sharks in rivers.
      Then tell her that her lonesome tits are livers. ♪ ♫ ♪

      1. Radiotherapy

        OK, I think this one is finally a simple answer….
        You know who else used our Indian genocide as a model for "living room?"

    21. littlebigdaddy

      This brings back weird memories for me. When I was a wee tot in 1960s SoCal, my mother was some sort of local Civil Defense leader. This consisted, mostly, in showing these movies to other ladies with beehives. Once, it was really cool, there was a film of the Anchorage earthquake/tsunami. But usually, not so much.

    22. ManchuCandidate

      Bajillions for bomber, missiles, submarines, early warning systems and satellites, but none for a moderately entertaining claymation cartoon about the dangers of radiation…

      "Goliath! The Rooshins are nuking us!!!! What do we do?"
      "Gee Daaavy, better bend over and kiss your clay ass goodbye."

    23. Callyson

      Um, is that guy masturbating at 1:08?

      Fuck "Duck and Cover:" this is survival information I can use…

          1. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

            The lord works in mysterious ways, I guess. "You there! Stop that fapping! I will so nuke you!" Seems a tad like overkill.

    24. Callyson

      "Suppose you don't have a fallout shelter and you have a several hours warning…What can you do?"

      So, the answer is to do Michael Jackson's Moonwalk?

      Doktor, this stuff is hilarious! Thanks for passing it on and Happy Thanksgiving!

    25. Callyson

      "Be prepared. Have a good first aid kit available and learn how to use it."

      Yes, that reminds me, time to restock the liquor cabinet…

      1. kittensdontlie

        Papier-mache marionette farmers won't offer much resistance if you just steal their farm. On this blessed day of Giving Thanks, did not your Pilgrim forefathers teach you anything–steal from and murder those who feed you.

    26. DahBoner

      KEEP CALM STAY SOLID

      Because once you become a liquid or a gas things go terribly awry and you hsve to look at my penis…

    27. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

      I just realized that marionette bears a striking resemblance to Mittens only, you know, more lifelike and natural.

      1. kittensdontlie

        With the farmers in their basements,and hay packed around the house and barn, the guvmint could easily incinerate the buildings and their contents….I'm just sayin'.

      1. not that Dewey

        “I am human,” [DesJarlais] said during an hour-long interview with the News Sentinel.

        I call bullshit. Have you seen that photo?

    28. Negropolis

      Please tell me we as a people don't sell "preparedness" anymore.

      BTW, contact your county agent or civil defense director.

    29. Negropolis

      I don't know what it is, but these guys are so much more entertaining than the teabaggers of today. I think it is their subdued monotone that is more my sped than spittle-flecked invective.

      You know, ole Joe McCarthy may have been an evil summabitch, but the rank stupidity of a Louis Golmert gets old pretty fast.

    30. SorosBot

      Wait, what the fuck is the "ThunderCows are go!" supposed to mean? With that reference, shouldn't it be either, "Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCows, Ho!" or "Hear the Magic, Hear the Roar, Thunder, ThunderCows!" I mean, I remember that old-time show very well but don't remember any "ThunderCats Are Go!" from anything.

    31. ttommyunger

      Missed the part about constructing your own coffin, out of asbestos. BTW: "22 ppl ate … at grassley farm" Would that be complete with Mrs. G's sautéed and pee-crusted pubes? I think so…..

    32. docterry6973

      Two-story barns are quite common in my corner of PA, where there is absolutely no land that is flat. It was quite easy to cut into the side of a little roll in the land and have an entrance to the upper level uphill and to the lower level downhill.

      What make me think that anyone cares?

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