Category Archives: The Informative American

Before we were AFFotD, a website powered by electricity and a shocking amount of orangutan blood, we were a bi-weekly publication in the 1950’s called The Informative American.

Sure, our ideas weren’t always “politically correct” or “even remotely close to correct” but every once in a while we like to dig into our archives and dust off an old xenophobic diatribe.

Below are the issues of The Informative American that we have reproduced for your reading pleasure.

The Informative American Presents: What Scares Us? A Terrifying Look at America’s Fears (Originally Published April, 1950)

“Oh God, it’s a man with an unkept beard!  Kill it!”

~Average 1950’s professional

America puts on a pretty brave face, but if you think about it there are a lot of things that scare us.  China, the national debt, the fact that China has us on the hook for a terrifying amount of the aforementioned national debt, all of these things keep the President awake at night (but not for long, because the presidential silk pajamas are so comfortable).

But that’s just what 2011 America worries about.  Sometimes we like to sit back and wonder, how would America in 1950 react to the terrifying truths of the world changing around it?  Well, that seems as good of a time as any to dig into our stacks of The Informative American and see what our AFFotD predecessor was terrified of back in the 1950’s, and sure enough, it was a tried and true mix of understandable and terrible.  So without further ado.

The Informative American Presents:  What Scares Us?  A Terrifying Look at America’s Fears (Originally Published April, 1950)

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The Informative American’s Guide to Proper American Eating (Originally Published June, 1954)

“Casseroles, barbecues, and blind bigotry, that’s what I’m all about!”

~Cooks in the 1950’s

“I like bacon.  I find pork in general to be unthreatening because, like me, it is white and can’t be eaten by the Jews.”

America Fun Fact of the Day likes to talk about foodA lot.  And sometimes we have Wendy’s sponsor it.  We hype food, and fatty foods in particular, so much that many of you privately wonder if we have a vested interest in the success of the Rascal Scooter company.  That’s because eating is a truly American pastime, and eating ridiculously has been around as long as heart attacks.

There’s only one AFFotD staff member who was part of our team back in the 1950’s when we were a somewhat bigoted bi-weekly publication called “The Informative American.”  He’s in his late 80’s now, and we basically keep him around out of deference to the old guard, since he doesn’t do much other than demand that we come up with more offensive slurs for Mexicans.  However, he did inform us that food has always been as gloriously unhealthy, even back in the 1950’s.  He then added something about not liking it when Puerto Ricans touch his food, but we had been tuning him out at that point.

Sure enough, digging through our backlog of The Informative American pamphlets, we did find an interesting time in American culinary history, where mashing all the foods you could think of together was called a “wholesome family meal” and when there were videos made telling “little Billy” that he’ll get a tummy ache if he eats his bacon too quickly.  It truly was a fascinating time in America culinary history, without any of those pesky “gourmet ingredients that are fancier than Velveeta” or “any knowledge of the existence of soy products.”  So in honor of these simpler times, we present to you, unedited from its original form…

The Informative American’s Guide to Proper American Eating (Originally Published June, 1954)

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The Informative American Presents: Buddy Holly, Destroyer of Morals (Originally published January, 1959)

“Rock music and tight-fitting sweaters, nothing is more terrifying to me than these two evils.”

~Old white people in the 1950’s

Hindsight is the greatest.  If you fire enough people and admit something like, “oh I guess natural gas is highly flammable” or “in retrospect, maybe Gays should be allowed to serve in the military,” you can pretty much come off smelling like roses, while appearing “progressive” and “innovative.”  And we at AFFotD are no different.  We’re the first one’s telling you about the glory that is beef jerky potato chips, and as soon as the ghost of Charlton Heston shows up to tell us that the secret ingredient is people, we’ll be the first to tell you that people are fucking delicious.

What we’re trying to say is that we’re not always right about things, and the best way to make everyone totally forget about the terrible, terrible mistakes you’ve made in the past is to make very efficient cars  acknowledge your flaws and put them behind you.

What brings this up, as you no doubt suspected, has to do with our 1950s bi-weekly pamphlets we used to distribute, called “The Informative American.”  We like to go through them from time to time, laughing at the antiquated way most social situations were handled at the time, while cringing at some of the more blatant racism.  It was while going through these that we found a little gem from early 1959 about Buddy Holly.

Now don’t get us wrong, Buddy Holly is clearly American, and is the most responsible person for modern Rock and Roll that wasn’t a black group obfuscated by a racist culture.  But back then, he was clashing a bit with our office’s more conservative ideals.  They didn’t like him.

So now, without further adieu, AFFotD presents an…unfortunately timed release (it came out less than a month before Holly’s untimely death)…

The Informative American Presents:  Buddy Holly, Destroyer of Morals (Originally published January, 1959)

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The Informative American’s Guide For Women in the Workplace (Originally Published February, 1952)

“Misogyny?  I told you, I’m not gonna eat any Jap food.”

~1950’s Boss

Being a woman working in an office in the 1950’s was like being a man working in an office in the bizarro-world 1950’s.  That is to say, if you were a woman under the age of 30 working in an office setting in the 1950’s, you’d have to deal with more creepy old men licking your face than a bowl of hard candies in a nursing home.  Times change for a reason, and one of the benefits of current America is that there’s a general sense of equality when you work here, unless you have a silly accent.

That’s why, as we were looking through our backlog of 1950s issues of The Informative American, we were shocked to see how far we’ve come in regards to women’s rights in the workplace.  Our female staff members get to take advantage of all the debauchery that their male counterparts do, plus we’re LGBT friendly.  But that’s because it’s 2011, if you’re not supporting equality in the workplace by now, West Virginia called and they want their massive debt back.

But things weren’t always that way, and to bring the point home of how much things have changed over the past 60 years, we’re going to post an Informative American article from the year 1952.  The whiskey was just as strong, but the pomade was stronger, and people were still scared of music made by black people.  So without further ado, it’s time to unleash the time capsule that is…

The Informative American’s Guide For Women in the Workplace (Originally Published February, 1952).

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The Informative American’s Guide to the Ills of the Beatnik Menace (originally published October, 1959)

“Hey, smoking tea, hitting bongo drums, berets eh?”

~Beatniks, probably

Pictured bottom, left

We’ve mentioned the roots of America Fun Fact of the Day previously, we at AFFotD fear the future, and long for the warm, comforting, alcohol-hazed memories of the past.  Beer’s been around for 11,500 years, really good beer’s been around two hundred years, and moonshining has been around just about as long.  What else do we have to look forward to?  Science has already made it abundantly clear they don’t care about our Back to the Future 2 desires for a hovering skateboard, so why should we give a crap about the future?

The “future” means “this terrifying soulless object is going to kill us all.”

So, like most Americans with an archive of company material and a kegerator full of Everclear at their disposal, we’ve decided to go back into our 1950’s archives, when life was simpler and alcohol came without surgeon general’s warnings.  We’ve already given you an inside look into 1950’s parenting styles, as well as a helpful guide how to spot communists.

As it turns out, in the 1950’s AFFotD, previously known as “The Informative American” had a lot of helpful guides about the menaces of society.  Which makes it remarkably comprehensive, because apparently in the 1950’s everything was a menace.  Communists were a menace, cars from Japan were a menace, stores that chose to stay open during Sundays were a menace.  And in this instance, the menace we were reading up on came from a 1959 article decrying the latest “menace” to hit American popular culture.

Today, we have hipsters.  In the 70s, we had hippies.  But back in the Leave it to Beaver age, the most terrifying thing imaginable was…running into a Beatnik, the stereotypical archetype that exhibited the more superficial tendencies of the Beat Generation.  Berets, coffee, bongo drums, bad poetry, basically we’re dealing with Ned Flanders’ father here.

Well, we thought it was interesting to hear why they were everything wrong with America, so that’s why we present to you, straight from our archives…

The Informative American’s Guide to the Ills of the Beatnik Menace (originally published October, 1959)


“What are you doing to Kermit, you damned beatnik!?”

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The Informative American’s Guide to Spotting Dirty Communists (originally published November, 1957)

“The only thing more terrifying than the Russian menace is the outward displays of homosexual behavior exhibited by my son.”

~The average American in 1957

America loves nostalgia, just so long as it only gets in the way of us making changes that cost a lot of money.  The power grid is horribly inefficient?  No need to spend hard earned booze-tax money to fix it, it reminds us of simpler times!  We can make air bags that make cars much saver?  Why do that, it’s needlessly costly and besides, we all love classic cars!  Baseball tickets used to be a dollar?  Fuck you, let’s gouge the shit out of everyone!

The point is, alcohol consumption is the leading cause of moments of nostalgia (as well as incorrectly informing people that you love them).  And this is America, so we’re drunk always (always).  And as we polished off our third keg of 20 year Pappy Van Winkle (special made just for our staff) we started to get bourbon nostalgic, which as you all know ages incredibly.  So we began looking through our stack of 1950’s articles from back when we were known as “The Informative American.”  We’ve previously shown you an example of our bi-weekly 1950’s publication, which pertained to parenting, but we were drawn specifically to a 1957 article we published regarding Communism.  More astutely, it was an informative guide for spotting out Communists in your local community.  Maybe it was the high priced liquor, but we felt like we needed to share with you this unique blend of paranoia, McCarthyism, and surprisingly blunt misogyny with you, the educated, inebriated 2011 reader.  So, without further ado, we present …

The Informative American’s Guide to Spotting Dirty Communists (originally published November, 1957)

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AFFotD’s 1955 Guide to Parenting*

“I see nothing wrong with this picture.”

~American parent in the 1950’s

The greatest generation was also the generation of the worst parents.  Children born in the 1950’s had to dodge carcinogens, tetanus, and medically-caused birth defects like it was their job.  Granted, it’s not the fault of the parents, it was more a sign of the times.  Having some cigarettes and booze while pregnant was just a good way to calm the nerves, and so what if Lawn Darts can be used as a weapon, it’s called survival of the fittest.  Darwin, motherfuckers.  In the 50’s, parents didn’t spend their time drinking while their children took turns playing “inhale the asbestos fibers” because it was fun, they did it because alcohol is delicious, and that entire generation spent most of their time offsetting the effects of Delirium Tremens.

And really, childrearing in America during this time was naïve, but innocent.  And of course, America Fun Fact of the Day was there.  Yes, while we’ve been in existence as AFFotD since the 1970’s, we were still putting out information back in the 1950’s as a bi-weekly informational brochure called “The Informative American.”  Looking through our archives, it wasn’t hard to dig up one of our classic guides to parenting from back in 1955.

Being a parent in the 1950’s didn’t mean you’d expressly go out of your way to make life dangerous for your children.  The rest of the world did that job for you, and you’re never going to be able to out-terrible-parent this woman who used her children in a knife throwing act.  But, in our 1955 guide, we were able to highlight just exactly was expected the 1950’s American parent!

So, for a refreshing take as to the mindset of America 55 years ago, we present…

AFFotD’s 1955 Guide to Parenting*

*Following this advice today will lead to your arrest.  AFFotD is in no way responsible for any injuries as a result of the information in this article.

The look on that baby’s face says “holy shit, I almost drowned just now.”

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