I wonder what ads from our time…

will be mocked sixty years from now.  Not to be a buzzkill or anything, but the US military was so heavy-handed about treating/preventing syphilis and gonorrhea during World War II for the following reasons:

  • Both diseases are easy to catch and hard to detect in their initial stages.  Syphilis, of course, eventually drives you crazy and kills you; gonorrhea can be transmitted to children via the mother and make them blind (I didn’t know that one).
  • Like it or not, prior to AIDS prostitutes were generally more likely to have STDs than the general population*.
  • Conventional treatments prior to WWII involved silver nitrate for gonorrhea, and arsenic compounds for syphilis.  Yes, they were highly unpleasant.
  • Antibiotics?  Sure, they had antibiotics.  Sulfa drugs, too.  What’s more important: that private with the clap, or that private with the gut wound?

Hence the propaganda.

I wonder about Cracked.com sometimes.  Surely they contemplated what that ‘procurable’ meant?

Moe Lane

*I am given to understand that this has abruptly changed in the USA after the rise of AIDS, but I cannot confirm this.


  • Rob Crawford says:

    I wouldn’t bet on the STD distribution having changed all that much. The high-end call-girls? Probably. The street-walkers? Hell no.

  • Finrod says:

    Heck, there are plenty of ads from our time that I mock *now*. Most of the Geico and the Progressive ads, just for starters.

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