3/22/09

Ads #12: Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute

In the 70s, kids had it beaten into their heads night and day that dropping a soda can on the sidewalk = the total and complete destruction of the planet earth. It was a good message I guess, but if you were a kid in the 1970s, you know what I mean - the anti pollution message got to be a bit overbearing. If you dropped so much as a Dentyne wrapper in the grass, you would not only make a Native American cry, but Smokey the Bear would come find you.

via Boin Boing
This Woodsy Owl comic is from Boing Boing. Again, it's a great message, but Woodsy is such an ass about it, it almost makes me want to pollute.

I do remember it being pretty polluted in the 70s. Look no further than the intro to Welcome Back, Kotter to observe the urban decay in its fullness. Jimmy Buffet's complaint bout stepping on a pop top in Margaritaville was a valid point - I remember pop tops and cigarette butts lying around everywhere!

And I have to admit, watching that famous Iron Eyes Cody anti-pollution ad today still affects me. I'm not sure what it is about this PSA, but it makes me want to go down to the municipal park and start picking up empty malt liquor bottles, crack pipes and used condoms.



Perhaps no song drilled the environmental message more forcefully than the guy who sang "Convoy", C.W. McCall. This trucker makes Smokey and Woodsy look like a couple of creampuffs in "There Won't Be No Country Music".


There Won`t Be No Country Music

Well, it's only gonna be about an hour, friend
'Til they dam your favorite river
So you can water-ski just one more reservior
And them supersonic ships are gonna take you
'Cross a sea of pavement
To one more faceless brickyard on the shore

Yeah, it's only gonna be about an hour or so
'Til they rip off all your mountains, boy
And that one last tired old eagle bites the sand
And all of that high-and-mighty scenery's
Gonna be leveled to the ground, boy
By a bunch a' them mindless strip mines on the land

[Chorus]
So listen well, my brothers
When you hear the night wind sigh
And you see the wild goose flying
Through the gray, polluted sky
There won't be no country music
There won't be no rock 'n' roll
'Cause when they take away our country
They'll take away our soul

Well, it's only gonna take about a minute or so
'Til the junkyards fell the prairies, boy
And them smokin' yellow grass fires start to burn
And the warnings on them beer cans
Gonna be buried in them landfills
No deposit, no sad songs, and no returns

Yeah, it's only gonna take about a minute or so
'Til the factories blot the sun out
You gonna have to turn your lights on just to see
And them lights are gonna be neon, sayin'
"Fly Our Jets To Paradise"
And the whole damn world is gonna be made of styrene

[Chorus]
So listen well, my brothers
When you hear the night wind sigh
And you see the wild goose flying
Through the gray, polluted sky
There won't be no country music
There won't be no rock 'n' roll
'Cause when they take away our country
They'll take away our soul

Yeah, it's only gonna be about a second, boy
'Til they take away all'a this country
And they'll tell you not to listen to this here song
And that far-off sound of freedom's
Gonna be an echo from the past
And the final tune is gonna be sad and long

And it's only gonna be about an eye-blink, boy
'Til they pull out the wool to blind us
So we just can't read all the messages on the wall
But the only words that matter
Oughta be scribbled all over them billboards
In big old black and bloody letters, ten feet tall

[Chorus]

15 comments:

  1. Look how terrible that owl outfit is.

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  3. Apologies for the previous comment, URL didn't work.

    Stopping pollution/saving the planet were popular themes in the 1970s. I remember this PSA in particular:

    "Sparkle City" PSA

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  4. Yup - I remember all the anti-pollution stuff, as well.

    My town had a contest for 'best slogan', to be put on signs around the area. My sister came in 2nd, I think, with: "Where litter is tossed, a garden is lost."

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  5. It's been a long time since I've seen that commercial, but watching it today still conjures up feelings of guilt even though I have never littered. That voice and the 70's music sounds like the weekly NFL program NFL Presents.

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  6. Woodsy, a banana peel is compost, not garbage! Things had gotten pretty bad by the 1970s, that's for sure.

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  7. Zibbs - What was it with the big muppets in the 70s? The New Zoo Revue, all those Sid and Marty Kroft shows, McDonalds characters like Grimace, remember those Kroft puppets on Barbara Mandrell's show? ... but I digress.

    Mr. Posslq- Great link. I'll take Iron Eyes Cody over the superhero thing any day... reminds me too much of that 1980's a-hole, Captain Planet.

    Wings - How about "Put litter on grass, Woodsy will go medieval on your ass. Put litter in a ditch, Woodsy will make you his bitch.".... too harsh?

    Chaka - I was wondering about the narrator myself. Orson Wells? William Conrad? Raymond Burr?

    Retro Hound - Great point! Woodsy's an even bigger ass than I thought!

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  8. Great ads! I wasn't around in the 70s but applaud their efforts.:)

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  9. That Iron Eyes Cody don't pollute commercial is still awesome (the music needs a little work).

    Woodsy the Owl... what. A. Douche. Seriously, that thing had to have been designed by committee--is he in lederhosen? Why no shirt? But he's got on a hat... with a FEATHER in it? Is that to terrify polluters? "Dude, don't mess with that owl, he will cut off your hand and stick it in his hat... look, he's got an eagle's feather in his hat! An Eagle's feather--run for your life!"

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  10. From the "You can't trust anybody" department, Iron Eyes Cody, in spite of his claims of having been raised on a reservation, turned out to be of Italian descent...not Native American. Powerful commercial, though, still!

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  11. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that's William Conrad's voice heard on that PSA.

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  12. Way to burst my bubble Booksteve! :-)
    Next you're gonna tell me Dean Martin was full Cherokee.

    I should've known that was Conrad - sounds just like the intro to Buck Rogers.

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  13. That owl is retarded, but the crying Indian man made me feel really guilty. Not just about pollution, but about life in general. It was a lot to take for a 4 year old.

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  14. Woodsy owl sounds like he has mental issues and is causing children mental anguish!

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  15. god guys u r being so mean to woodsy. he is just trying to help save the environment and that is a good cause.

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