Monday, October 9, 2017

Have you renewed your National Geographic subscription?

Having grown up in the 40’s and 50’s, before television became the all consuming distraction for the entire family, we remember magazines and newspapers as the dominant forms of media in our house.

Side’s parents subscribed to and/or purchased multiple newspapers.  We lived within eyesight of the New York skyline, and numerous dailies were available.  They held little interest for us in our elementary school years; way too adult and serious.


Magazines, on the other hand, were glossy and fascinating, loaded with high quality photography and carefully composed ads for all sorts of glamorous products and post-war breakthroughs in domestic convenience.  The Saturday Evening Post even featured cartoons.


We’re guessing that at the age of 3 when WW II ended, we probably learned to read by thumbing through these magazines, along with help from parents and older siblings.

Then there was that more refined looking magazine – National Geographic – that looked like it was intended primarily as an educational journal.  It had a consistent and highly recognizable cover theme, and was considered an item to be saved for future reference.  There were stacks of them all over the house.                  


We think this is where we first saw horrible images from The Holocaust, and truth be known, is also the first place we saw bare-breasted women, albeit from places far, far, away.

We subscribed to “Nat Geo” in our early married years (the ‘60’s), but before long, too many other things were taking our attention, and we never could get around to reading the saved stacks, so we gave it up.  None-the-less, we continued to think of the monthly as a high-tone, semi-academic journal of exotic places, fauna, and flora.

Fast forward to last week.  We had a routine Doctor’s appointment, and arrived a bit early.  The magazine selection in such waiting rooms seems intentionally biased away from male interests, especially for those of us in our golden years.  We resigned ourselves to other distractions, until we noticed the telltale yellow binding of the old reliable National Geographic.

We pulled it from under the stack of other periodicals, and what to our wondering eyes should appear but this:

To say we were stunned by the apparent change in National Geographic editorial focus would be an understatement of ginormous proportions.  You’d think our habit of staying abreast of the interests of the Bowdoin College student body and administration would have prepared us for this.  But it didn’t.  Clearly the world is changing around us, not least because the attitude formation industry is force-feeding us with the latest cultural restructuring and linquistic transformation.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, as they used to say on Seinfeld.

Above is an illustration that accompanied the cover article, and below is a secondary cover visual.

Suffice it to say that based on this single sample, National Geographic has re-invented itself, no doubt in a last ditch attempt to find relevance in the bizarre media climate spawned by rampant social justice warfare.

And disdain for objective reality, as emphasized primarily by academia, like the faculty “teaching” at our very own highly selective, elite, liberal arts college here in town.

We had a brief chat with our Doctor on our find, and it’s probably best that we spare you the details.

But make a note to yourself; if you’d like to buff up your smarts in the area of world geography, National Geographic may not be your best bet.

And chances are good that there isn’t a single horse in the race at this point in the history of humanity.  (Please pardon our use of that sterotypical term; we hope it didn’t trigger you.  We just didn’t have an alternative term approved by Big Brother handy.)

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