Yesterday's post about the new-vs-old Woodsy Owl generated some good reader comments.
First, the amazing satirist and podcaster James Lileks, writes:
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Woodsy was a cute guy, but he had the soul of a narc, as demonstrated by
this 1975 comic book. I'm putting up a site next month
devoted to peculiar and/or substandard comics, and Woodsy will have a
place in the first few pages.
Second, a reader named Tom wrote:
Your comments about the revamp of Woodsy Owl (I agree--it looks hideous) reminded me of outdoors/adventure humor writer Tim Cahill's essay, "The Clown Owl's Bitter Legacy." Cahill doesn't care very much even for the old-school Woodsy; he much prefers Smokey the Bear, whom he considers to be a grim, Dirty Harry/Punisher-type avenger:
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"Everything about Smokey had meaning. He wore a hat and pants to show that he was an orphan, to underscore the fact that he was raised by rangers. Mom and Dad were mere spots of bear grease, long since absorbed into the mute forest loam. There was a certain sadness in Smokey's gruff, gentle warning: "Remember, only you can prevent forest fires." But for all his enforced domesticity, despite the pants and hat, Smokey never wore a shirt. He wanted you to know that he was a bear--a great big powerful bear with a score to settle, an orphan's rage burning in his massive chest. You got the distinct impression that if you were careless with matches in the woods, Smokey might show up on your doorstep one day and rip your lungs out."
Cahill also thinks that the Japanese movie monster Rodan would make a good environmental mascot. The link is to his collection of essays, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, which is not only one of the best book titles ever but also an homage to the classic Frank Zappa album, Weasels Ripped My Flesh.
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