August 21, 2010

The Good Habits of an Ideal Boy.



Titus emails this photo of a poster on a shop door in Brattleboro, Vermont.

(Click photo to enlarge and read.)

61 comments:

America's Politico said...

I wonder what would be good habits of a politician (so as to win re-elections). May be this is what GOP needs. Even DeLay agrees with me. The victory of Democrats in all races is virtually assured.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/114827-delay-gop-shouldnt-count-on-big-wins-this-year-due-to-dems-organization

N.B.: The poster looks dated and seems to be based overseas.

Pogo said...

I used to think these things were hilarious. There are books full of such items from the US dating to the 30s to 50s, meant for ironic comedy. Their use as a source of mockery began in earnest, I'd guess, with the laugh-filled viewings of "Reefer Madness" in the 60s.

In the 80s, in college, I recall watching this at a free movie night and thinking the message, though badly overacted, turned out to be not far off the mark. By that point, I'd seen enough drug-fueled damage to wonder why my classmates found it so funny.

So now we're on the other side, where few people are raised in such a way where these behaviors exist at all, and you begin to wonder if there were really societies like that once.

It makes me very very sad, actually.

pm317 said...

It looks Indian. Notice under 'praying', 4 religions are shown, you can pray to any or all of them.

ricpic said...

The closest we have to this are the Amish or Mennonite kids that I see all the time here in upstate New York. What the mockers don't understand is that the sects that raise these kids understand full well that boys will be boys, that there is an excess of energy that must be given its head at the same time that good conduct is taught and expected. Way ahead of us, these throwbacks.

former law student said...

Holy Highlights for Children!

http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/476/goofus_gallant2008.jpg

Was that an Indian store or a hipster store?

miller said...

Archie McPhee here in Seattle carries these posters.

All in good clean fun mocking other cultures! It's OK because it's Seattle. We can make fun of others because when we do it, we're liberals and it's safe.

Imagine a Little Black Sambo poster with the same content! Hilarious, I'll bet.

traditionalguy said...

The first need for raising ideal boys is to find a peaceful place not under attack from invading death squads. How's the Mexican open border working there? Arizona boys may need to find another State so that Obama can win re-election.

Fred4Pres said...

I am glad to hear Titus is no longer upset with Ann. Or at least I assume that.

miller said...

Oh, and yeah, it's foreign. Pay attention to the Indian script at the upper right.

All in good clean fun.

Mock, mock
Who's there?
Superior liberal
Superior liberal who?
Superior liberal who's better than the hoi polloi, that's who

Fred4Pres said...

Imagine a Little Black Sambo poster with the same content! Hilarious, I'll bet.


I liked the play Turning Into Butter.

miller said...

This is an example of "Well, yeah, you have the right to do something like that, but you should be a little more sensitive about other people."

former law student said...

Imagine a Little Black Sambo poster with the same content! Hilarious, I'll bet.

Little Black Sambo is, of course, the tale of a little Indian boy (the prominently featured tigers are one clue), so you get your wish.

peter hoh said...

Little known fact: Little Black Sambo was a Tamil boy from South India.

peter hoh said...

FLS: jinx ten, you owe me a Coke.

Ralph L said...

Cut off at the bottom:
"Learn to kill the infidel"

pst314 said...

"...the message, though badly overacted, turned out to be not far off the mark"

Yes indeed, Pogo. That was at the foundation of the stupidity and evil of the sixties.

Lincolntf said...

Another little known fact, and not really relevant, is that India has a population of lions along with their tigers. Just read a book partly about them (Monster of God) that was very interesting.

Paddy O said...

The Story of the Good Little Boy by Mark Twain

Paddy O said...

The Story of the Bad Little Boy by Mark Twain.

c3 said...

Reminds me of this

(We never subscribed; I only read it as a kid waiting in our dentist's office.)

Big Mike said...

Titus took that photo? I wish he had gotten the captions on the bottom row.

chr1 said...

Madison to Vermont to....Boulder again?....Seattle maybe?....City LIghts in San Fran?

Do the whole circuit Althouse. I hear there's some cosmic energy in the red rocks around Sedona.

Ah well. At least keep pointing out the Marxism and power theory bullshit in a lot of feminism, and the anger, and the danger this poses to our public institutions...

Big Mike said...

Just had to share this from Instapundit! How bad is the economy?

“Things have gotten so slow that Wall Street traders are giving up coke for pot.”

chr1 said...

Photo taken by someone else?

Whoops, sorry about that. Though you did seem pretty happy about getting into the NY Times. Bring em back from the brink. Out fashion them.

EDH said...

"I'm the bad boy. I've never been the bad boy."

Jerry: You've been the bad employee, the bad son, the bad friend...

George: Yes, yes...

Jerry: The bad fiancee, the bad dinner guest, the bad credit risk...

George: Okay, the point is made.

Jerry: The bad date, the bad sport, the bad citizen... (looks at table as George exits)

The bad tipper!

edutcher said...

I was wondering about the writing (Sanskrit?).

That's the good part of legal immigrants on display. The best of the old country comes with them, including values we 'sophisticates' are too hip to appreciate.

Any bets that the sons in that family will grow up to be productive, successful men?

dbp said...

What are the captions which go at the bottom of the three cut-off panels? I wonder:

1. Coach girl's soccer

2. Join the Army

3. Give presentations to older adults

madawaskan said...

I am glad to hear Titus is no longer upset with Ann. Or at least I assume that.

Ya, but his dog is still dead, right?

And he's in Vermont....

jamboree said...

Goofus and Gallant Indian Style. (I see FLS beat me to it.) Also not far from the 70s Brownie Girl Scout Handbook.

When I was a young child, and very, very orderly, I used to like the idea of there being an order, a set of good behavior the effects of which were a happy little life. It came naturally to me then.

Long, long ago. (See my post on not closing drawers, making beds, etc.) When I realized that girl scout shit didn't work, and in fact, the biggest assholes were generally rewarded, I completely lost my faith in all manifestations of order. [g]

Andrea said...

I could tell this was Indian even before I noticed the line of Sanskrit at the top. Look at how the parents are dressed and how they greet each other. Also, an ideal boy is also high-caste as is evidenced by his white skin. Probably Kshatriya since it shows him in uniform.

wv: "reserch" Really. You can look this stuff up on the internet.

Chip Ahoy said...

participate in sports
protect your country
teach others

Joan said...

This site has a version with the same captions but different illustrations. It also has a "bad boy" version. The captions for the last 3 pictures are "Take part in Games", "Join N. C. C." and "Take part in social activities" if my squinting eyes make out the text properly.

Meade said...

Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent

Ann Althouse said...

1. Titus was mad at me? That's not something I knew, so if it's true.... well, the silent treatment isn't too effective when the other person doesn't know. But I don't think Titus is the passive aggressive type.

2. This is a picture of an Indian store. If you took it as ironic or distanced, you must look into your own soul before insulting other people.

3. As for Reefer Madness, have you ever noticed who wrote the screenplay?

gk1 said...

Sheesh, what a candy-ass. I wonder why the democratic party hasn't push this to the NEA yet?

Pogo said...

Hah!
He is good with plants.

pm317 said...

@Andrea said...
Also, an ideal boy is also high-caste as is evidenced by his white skin. Probably Kshatriya since it shows him in uniform.
------------------

I have seen this high caste white skin meme on several blogs now and it is ignorant. There are all kinds of skin shade even in high castes and especially if you go down to the south. The boy is in a school uniform and in the missing last line, he is shown in a National Cadet Corps uniform, neither of which has anything to do with him being Kshatriya (the warriror caste) or not.

well, I should say I appreciate the interest at least.

The white skin affliction in India is nothing more than falling prey to the world illusion that all things white are better and richer. Tying that to the caste system is not factually correct. On a personal note, my mom was very fair and my dad very dark and he was never mistaken for a low caste in all his life if it were that easy (and black and white).

Michael Haz said...

I'd be more interested in the Good Habits of An Ideal Girl. I think the poster was in Penthouse.

tim maguire said...

What's going on in the bottom middle? What is the ideal boy shouldering the rifle for? (yes, I know he has a right to, I'm not questioning that, I'd just like to know what ideal boys do with rifles.)

tim maguire said...

Never mind, I see Joan answered it. I don't know what NCC is, but I can probably figure it out.

Scott said...

It's a lovely day in Clifton, New Jersey. Temp in the high 70s. Cute Mexican-looking guy is out with the weed whacker trimming up the lawn. Smelling cut grass with traces of oily two-stroke exhaust.

Partner is working nights doing stock at a grocery store in Jersey City; so now he's in the bedroom sleeping. I'm out here on the notebook watching Funimation, a 24-hour Japanese animation channel. Current favorite programs are Mushi-Shi and Kenichi.

While partner is asleep, I'll head out to H Mart for some lunch in the food court. See you later.

Siva said...

@Andrea, Trying to find caste from skin color is not as easy as one might think. Most schools in India require uniform and the NCC (the uniform in the bottom panel) has nothing to do with caste.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The ideal boy prays to Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim deities, just to be safe.

pm317 said...

@jason, I consulted a surgeon (here in the US) one time whose name was Robert Ahmed (didn't look Middle Eastern in any way) and I asked him what the deal was and he laughed and said he was well covered.

Ann Althouse said...

Titus emails:

1. "The posting of the picture is great and yes, this picture was from an Indian store. Not some hipster place." The family who runs the store said that they believed in the poster. It wasn't a joke. "I am sure there are some places where this would be considered kitsch but this store wasn't one of those places. They have a store in India as well."


2. "I was never mad at you. I have just been traveling and unable to post as much. You know I love you girl." Yeah, that's what I thought.

former law student said...

Titus, thanks for answering my question. I just figured if it was a hipster store, the poster was ironic, while if it was an Indian store, the poster was sincere.

Steve Skubinna said...

That poster immediately reminded me of Singapore. I hadn't seen that particular one, but Indian culture is filled with reminders to young people, which for the most part they take very seriously.

And I see a few are piling on Andrea for her racist and neocolonialist suggestion that higher status attaches to lighter skin color. Fine. Once you climb down from your high horses, perhaps you could address the actual obsession with light skin color in India. But don't take my word for it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1556188/Indias-hue-and-cry-over-paler-skin.html

Incidentally, I have been in South Asia and seen these whitening products for sale. I doubt they're all Andrea's fault.

Ankur said...

haha..that gave me a big chuckle. I remember having those handed to me when I was in primary school (and yes, this was a school run by the catholic chuch. Plenty of Indians go to church run schools, even if they don't belong to the church - and we were never prosletyzed to).

Anyway - to clarify the language - it isn't Sanskrit. Its plain old day to day Hindi. And the script is Devnagari, which is the script used in the Hindi language.

I enjoyed seeing the 'pray to God' panel. I am an atheist, for the most part. But I don't understand american atheism. In India, there is separation of church and state (imperfect, but functions pretty well). Yet, we never have debates about the appropriateness of Crosses or Om symbols or Islamic Moons, etc in public property. The attitude is more like "Rather than banning all symbols, include all symbols - as long as the tax payer doesn't have to pay for it". Religion is such a big part of the Indian lifestyle that stuff like that is almost considered mundane and not worth fighting about.

And yet, there are other religious aspects which are far from perfect. India is probably the country that has suffered most at the hands of islamic terrorism - and yet, you can't really get mad at a religion if your neighbours, and friends you have grown up with since you were young belong to that religion, can you? Similarly, hindu nationalism - look up the babri masjid controversy if anyone is interested - also seems to cause more harm than good. Yet, despite all of it, despite kashmir, despite pakistan's aggressive tendencies, despite bangladeshi illegal immigrants - somehow India lumbers on. I miss it.

Ankur said...

And Steve - you're exactly right about Indians' obsession with skin color. I hate to admit it, but Indians can be pretty racist sometimes.

On the other hand, instances of that have gotten fewer and fewer over the years. Most sociologists who have studied this phenomenon say it is the colonial hangover - if you were white, you were in charge, and therefore, you must be better.

And second order effects - In the past, if you were a wealthy man, you got to marry a fair skinned woman (and yes - Indians come in many skin colors, from almost caucasian like skin colors in some parts of rajasthan, punjab and kashmir to really dark skin in some parts of South India, Orissa, Jharkhand etc and varying degrees of beige everywhere else).

I am talking 70-80 years ago, but some of it still holds. Anyway, because of that, a wealthier person had a higher chance of having fair skinned children. With this repeating every generation (because wealth was often transferred down the family line rather than being earned, in the past), Fair started implying Wealthy. Thus, in a country where so many people used to starve, fair skin became a symbol of everything that represented freedom, lack of hardship and comfort.

Things changed a lot in the mid nineties when Sushmita Sen (a beautiful, dark skinned bengali model from bombay) won the Miss Universe title. All of a sudden, we had these models, actors, actresses popping up who were dark skinned. Still, it hasn't completely changed and much work remains to be done. I hope that helps give you some insight.

Scott said...

"And I see a few are piling on Andrea for her racist and neocolonialist suggestion..."

You know you're dealing with a pseud when they use the word "neocolonialist."

Neocolonialism used to be the gripe of socialist dictators who couldn't keep the locals from listening to Elvis on their shortwaves.

Now, with the internet, culture has no borders. Maybe North Korea can beat back foreign influences, but for anywhere else, the war against bad thinking is lost.

So, the word "neocolonialism" has been officially retired. It's just a meaningless filler word for leftish liberal arts B.A.s who graduated in the 70s.

Try again.

David said...

I wish I could read the part where the kid has the rifle. Other than that, it seems pretty much what I tried to teach my sons. It's just so unfashionable to put these aspirations in writing.

Steve Skubinna said...

Scott, I was mocking those condemning Andrea for noting the light skin in the poster and commenting on its implications of status.

That whizzing sound you heard was my whole point passing you by. Help yourself to a clue and try again. Or perhaps you could have read my entire comment - your response suggests you couldn't get past my tongue in cheek remark on the outrage expressed.

I do appreciate your incisive razor sharp flaying of my whole identity. It's uncanny how precise you can be and yet so wrong - you must be a government economist. Thanks for playing.

pm317 said...

@Steve Skubinna said..

I write this response only to dispute your characterization. I was not condemning Andrea but correcting her impression because I know a thing or two about the culture. And there was no need for your snide ('get off your high horse') if you had read my comment about why I think Indians want fairer skin. Here is more: Unfortunately perceptions rule in a society, especially in a society that is besot with inequity in every way. If Africa had been the wealthiest place on earth, you guys (assuming you're white) would have wanted to get that tan badly, I venture to guess. Wanting to be fair because it brings innate advantages does not necessarily mean they would treat others who are not fair badly. On the other hand the reverse is the more problematic -- how the fair with all the advantages treat the less fair.

Fred4Pres said...

The tigers in Little Black Sambo run in circles so fast that they turn themselves into butter. Which became the theme and metaphor of a play about allegations of racism in a small New England college. I liked it.

Glad to hear Titus is not mad at Ann.

And an Indian boy following Muslim, Christian and Hindu principals? When is the movie of Life of Pi coming out anyway?

Ah Pooh said...

Really enjoyed Ankur's comments (3:48 PM) - I hope Ankur becomes a regular.

Siva said...

@Steve, it is a common misperception that lighter skin color = higher caste. How does one equate pointing that out to claims of racism is beyond me. However, finding caste in a politically correct poster with all religions is a stretch.

Andrea said...

Thanks Steve, for attempting to defend me. It's pretty useless, though -- political correctness has apparently taken over the world, and I see now that the whole white-is-better (or at least identified with higher ruling classes who made more money and thus could afford to stay indoors out of the sun) thing was totally the fault of the British Raj. I even saw that in the Wikipedia article I looked up to make sure I didn't dream all that stuff I'd read over the years about the caste system in India and the identification of pale skin with success and wealth: sure there was a caste system, but the British came along and made it worse!

Andrea said...

(Sits back and waits to be sneered at for using Wikipedia.)

PS: thanks to the commenter who corrected me on the name of the script. I just use "Sanskrit" because I don't know all the different writing systems in India; perhaps I should have said "Sanskrit-like."

liljuldad said...

The posters are made in India by Indians. They are widely posted in schools. The Indians drew them and
they like them. Has nothing to do will liberalism or scorn or any other weird spin some posters are putting on this.

Expat(ish) said...

@Ann - Heh on Reefer Madness reference. I used to know that but forgot.

_XC

Ralph L said...

I thought Indians were caucasian, even the dark ones.