The Gipper as “Major Kong”

The Gipper as “Major Kong”

By mike flugennockMonday - May 4th, 1981Categories: Reagan Years, war and peaceTags:,

“Survival kit contents check! In them you will find: one 45-caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleepin’ pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshian phrase-book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewin’ gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair’a nylon stockin’s… shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff…!”
–Slim Pickens, as Major Kong in Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove.

reaganridesbomb650wActually, to be honest, I actually wasn’t consciously trying to directly mock Kubrick in this piece — I hadn’t seen Strangelove in some years, not since early in college — but was whacking on the whole media-manuafactured image of Reagan as some good old cowboy type; at the time, it seemed like every other issue of Time or Newsweek or the magazine supplements in the Sunday papers had some glorifying portrait shot of Reagan in his old buckskin jacket and his big ol’ hat sitting on a horse at his ranch, looking all raw-boned and macho, ready to fight Ivan with just his ol’ six-guns

This was picked up in the late spring of ‘81 for the cover of the Yipster Times — or, the Overthrow, as it was renamed in early ‘80, to commemorate the fall of the Shah Of Iran. This, in my opinion, wasn’t such a hot move as even though the Shah was walking scum who got what he deserved, his replacement by an opportunist gang of theocrats wasn’t exactly what everybody was hoping for. Besides, I thought, Overthrow just didn’t have the same kind of upbeat, laid-back “ring” as the name Yipster Times. I thought Overthrow sounded like the name of a ‘zine put out by the Maoist International types, or the Spartacists, or one of those other teeth-grinding vanguardist outfits.

medium-res jpg image, 258k; high-res tiff image, 387k


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