Crazy Crabs

crazy crabs 205x300 Crazy Crabs

Crabs? Yes. Crazy? Perhaps. Or more likely irresponsible.

There are so many things about this ad that scream WTF. You have to love the drawing of Suzy, though, but would any of you out there who own a hermit crab name it Sexy Snooky? I hope not. And I love the “actual ‘crazy crab’ photos” which in glorious 1970s comic quality print look like drawings done by a first-year art student. And Transcience? What is transcience? Is that like transsexual or transcontinental? What exactly are they trans-ing to and from?

I knew nothing about keeping hermit crabs as pets when I came across this ad, but I did some quick investigating and found this handy guide. After reading it, I was a bit alarmed at all the bad advice given in the ad. If this was the instruction set that people who bought Crazy Crabs used in caring for their pets, I’m sure 90% of them died very soon after they arrived.

For one thing, the ad fails to mention that hermit crabs need very high humidity and a relatively warm environment to survive, as well as access to both fresh and salt water. They also need soil to dig into while they molt. Without these things, they usually die.

And another piece of bad advice is feeding them cookies. They should properly receive fresh foods, and they need calcium supplements. They’re also social animals and need the companionship of other Crazy Crabs, and painting their shells may not be a good idea.

I can see lots of kids bugging their parents to buy them Crazy Crabs after seeing this ad. Hell, I want one too. But I know that if I would have had a hermit crab as a child, it would have been dead within a week, especially if I’d taken this ad for a care manual.

(From Betty and Veronica #258, June 1977)

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Who Mourns for Adonais?

Apollo meets Carolyn 300x224 Who Mourns for Adonais?Next up in my examination of the original series Star Trek is the early second season episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” Like “The Apple”, this episode also explores religion, the ancient Greek religion to be exact. The story, however, isn’t anti-religious in tone. Indeed, it features one of those rare times in TOS when someone makes a positive reference to the Christian deity. Instead, the episode appears to be more about domestic abuse than about religion.

The story begins with the Enterprise visiting Pollux IV, an unexplored world, where they encounter a mysterious, disembodied hand floating upwards from the planet’s surface. They stare at the hand for quite some time, speculating what it is rather than taking any evasive maneuvers, and thus when they do try to escape, it’s too late. I don’t know about you, but if there was a giant hand reaching out towards me I’d probably at least step out of the way. The Enterprise crew is caught in one of those deer in the headlights moments though, and they let the hand grab the ship, holding it in place with a force field. Further hilarity ensues as the disembodied head of a man appears and invites them to the surface. (more…)

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Alien Nation

blair Alien Nation

According to the information that I could find, Blair was a multi-level marketing company that sold home remedies, pudding mixes, pie mixes, spices and seasonings. But I ask you, would you buy these products from a kid named Tim Newcomer? Neither would I. Good luck to you, Tim, in your new profession. I am glad, at least, to see a Tenctonese child making his mark in the world.

(From Betty and Veronica #256, April 1977)

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The Apple

Vaal 300x224 The AppleLately I’ve been rewatching the original Star Trek television series, and I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m no longer able to watch anything without analyzing it to death.  That’s one of the bad things that taking cultural studies in grad school does to you.  Once you’re exposed to theory, your life is over.  You can’t observe anything without trying to understand the underlying causes that shaped it.  It’s particularly bad if you pursue film or television studies.  Suddenly all the things that you once watched for enjoyment now have taken on new meanings.

Such is the case for TOS.  I’m constantly observing things about the series and trying to put them into some sort of framework that can be understood on a cultural level, and I decided that I might as well share my observations here, as this is part of what this blog is all about.  I’m going in no particular order in the series, at least not at the moment, so my first post is about the second season episode “The Apple,” because I find it particularly interesting.

On its surface, “The Apple” is an anti-religion episode, a fact which it does little to hide.  The episode title makes that point clear, as well as dialogue references to the Garden of Eden and allusions to Kirk being cast in the role of Satan. It’s an attempt to create an allegory to the Christian myth of the fall of man.  The episode’s story concerns the Enterprise landing party discovering a group of tribal people who live forever, have no diseases, have abundant food, experience perfect weather year around, and are extremely happy.  They live in a veritable Garden of Eden. No worries. No cares. The one catch is that these people serve a machine named Vaal, which they revere as a god.  It’s Vaal who provides them with all their benefits, and in exchange they feed him several times a day. (more…)

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