Friday, September 5, 2008

INSECTS AND VIOLENCE


Nothing twists the spine into Escher-esque loops of impossibility quite like the prospect of giant animals. No, not blue whales and elephants, but shockingly enlarged versions of more pedestrian animals. In fact, the smaller the original animal, the more face-crushingly terrifying the giant version will be. So, like, giant cat? Deadly, but not scary. Giant rat? Way worse. Giant cockroach? WAY worse. Let's not even discuss giant amoebae, paramecia, and hydrae - you wouldn't be able to manage your bowels when confronted by a CGI re-creation, let alone the real thing.

We have recently had the grim pleasure of uncovering this 1930 article from Modern Mechanics magazine, which was recently uncovered by the grimly pleasant people at the Modern Mechanix blog (presumably some form of ebonics spelling or the like). It details the havoc that would be wreaked on mid-20th-century America by the advent of giant insects.

What the Mechanix entry isn't brave enough to fess up to is the fact that this article, though ostensibly intended as a speculative lark, was actually a carefully placed piece of government propaganda. Attempting to address Middle America's locust crisis, Department of the Interior scientists had the brilliant idea of engineering a mega-locust, injected it with the notorious cannibal gene of the common praying mantis to induce it to devour its tinier brethren. The experiment, as such experiments tend to do, went horribly wrong, and resulted in a bunch of mega-locusts eating American crops and then each other, leaving nary a trace of their brief, freakish existence. Thus, the dust bowl was born.

The article, of course, was designed to remove government culpability. "See?" the text seems to plead, "It wasn't us - it was the evil doctrine of EVOLUTION. Maybe if we pray on it real hard, it'll go away."

And for all intents and purposes, it did. Proof of god? Or just another case of the U.S. government being too incompetent to go all the way with the world-domination thing? You decide. And please keep it to yourself.

16 comments:

jawaan oldham said...

I vote just another case of the U.S. government being too incompetent to go all the way with the world-domination thing . . . oh, shit, sir, we were supposed to keep that to ourselves . . . dammit . . .

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