They're fun. They're quirky. And they're full of surprises. Now more than a century of adventures and photographic memories from the magazine's archive are just a click away.
Wouldn’t that be grand if that were the case? But the surprise of which the above quote speaks is a beastly, sick sense of humor prostituted by none other than National Geographic Magazine.
This quote is National Geographic’s description of their Flashback feature that displays old photographs in attempt, as it seems, to horrify and disgust for the purpose of gathering a few yuks. The Flashback series appears (or used to appear, I don’t have any recent issues of the magazine) on the last page to send their audience home with a gruesome smile. It also appears on their web site, which is where I nabbed the above quote.
Below is scan of the last page of the December 2006 issue. Get ready to have fun.
(You may have to click it to make it bigger to read it. Or you can rub it - that seems to work for making some things bigger, too.)
As you can see, just in time for Christmas, the quirky image is that of a World War I soldier with half his head blown off while a Salvation Army worker takes a letter from him describing to his mother how much fun he is having in Europe. “I’m having a blast, Mama!”
I have circled in red National Geographic’s directive to go to their web site to access the Flashback Archive where they have these kinds of photos stored under the Fun Stuff section. Bloody war wounds – what could be more fun than that? To find out, I took a quick look, hoping to experience a whimsical beheading or some regaling pestilence. Sadly, National Geographic was not as hilarious as I had hoped, but I did find desolation in an icy world, instant death in the Alps, wild goat abuse in Ireland, earth quake destruction, and what kind of a fun web site would forget a reference to pedophilic royal guardsmen on all fours? Not National Geographic, that’s for sure!
Apparently, the editors at National Geographic aren’t as serious as we thought they were. How can we entrust them with documenting and protecting our natural world? How do I know those naked pygmies I masturbated to in high school (and last week) weren’t staged clay animation extras from Rankin and Bass holiday specials? I feel so cheap and dirty right now.
I need to renew my subscription.