One-Minute Magazine: Something's wrong with the Boy

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Boy's Life for September, 1952

Cover (detail):

Story, "Tramp Space Ship" by Robert A. Heinlein

Paragraph 1:

The brothers stood looking the old wreck over. "Junk," decided Castor. "Not junk," objected Pollux.

Paragraph 8:

"Grandpa, are we buying a ship or are we getting to supper on time?" Pollux lowered his antenna and started up the rope ladders. He used hands only and despite his vacuum suit his motions were easy. His twin followed. Castor cheered up when they reached the control room. The space-battered old hulk was not a wreck, but merely obsolete.

Paragraph 27:

"Wait!" Ekizian mentioned a lower price. "Cash," he added.

Paragraph 64:

Pollux: "We've got both certificates, control and power. We wouldn't need any crew."

Paragraph 125:

At breakfast next morning—"morning" by Greenwich time—the family acted out the episode Hazel had dictated the night before for Mr. Stone's adventure serial. He listened dourly. Hazel finished by knocking over her coffee. She plucked the cup out of the air and had a napkin under the flood before it could reach the floor under the Moon's leisurely pull.

Paragraph 216:

It was agreed that they would study mathematics while in space through correspondence courses ordered up from Earth. They would take along spools to keep them busy for a year and mail their lessons from any port they might touch. Mr. Stone was satisfied, being sure that a person skilled with mathematical tools could learn anything else he needed.

Last paragraph:

"And—" Castor's chant was blanked out by the roar of the jet; the Rolling Stone cast herself into the void.
To be continued in October

Photo of Penn captain Big Bob Evans, from feature "Block and Tackle Man," by Edgar Williams:

Illustration: Jack London, unarmed, capturing five Chinese who bristled with knives:

Advertisement: Don't Touch Blasting Caps:

Feature, "The Story of Creation" (detail):

Feature, "Mog-an-ah the mound builder" by Irving Crump (detail):

Feature, "Space Conquerors" by Al Stenzel (detail):

Feature, "Scouts In Action" by Stan Pashko and John Sink (detail):

Feature, "Pigskin Prep: toughen up!" by Frank Giles:

Advertisement, Harley-Davidson:

Feature, "Make It Look Real!" by Chief Scout Executive:

Advertisement, Coca-Cola:

NEXT: Terrorist Plot Foiled In D.C., or, Dr. Thoreau's Combustible Constitutional Conundrum

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  1. The pod people got to him. Sad, isn’t it?

  2. “A gashed forhead may be entirely harmless but can be made to look terrible.”

    First, take one mallet, stick or other heavy object…

  3. I was hoping for an advertisement for Matt Furey’s bodyweight exercises.

    – Josh

  4. You got me Zach. I can’t make head or tail of it.

  5. I don’t get it ?

  6. “Discarding all his clothes…”
    Except for the loincloth…
    Which was his only clothing

  7. I was going to say that it is probably a comment on how our society (used to?) look at masculinity. But now I’m not quite so sure.

  8. my dad was about 13 when this thing came out…and if he read it that blasting cap warning did nothing for him.

    I don’t mean to say he blew himself up…he didn’t but all the same he sure as hell did not stay away from blasting caps…i am pretty sure he fished with them.

  9. Probably not pot. Too well organized for hallucinagens.

    Coke, Tim? Meth?

  10. He’s going to wake up tommorow (probably around 4 or 5) and feel very silly.

  11. “Pigskin Prep”

    Hmmmm… looks like the Carpet Humping Guy of the “Leave It To Beaver” era.

  12. Sorry, I was only a little over a year old then.

    Did get Boy’s Life when I was in scouts.
    I remember one cartoon sent in by a reader showing a boy with a crew cut in a barber’s chair asking the perplexed barber for a “Beatle cut”.

    You can make lots of comparative observations from this post.

  13. I think it’s a comment on how, fifty-odd years ago, boys were given examples of tough, resourceful, self-sufficient individuals to aspire to. These days children’s media is full of fluffy pastel androgynes and “teams.” Bugs Bunny just doesn’t cut it on Saturday morning anymore…

  14. I think it’s a comment on how, fifty-odd years ago, boys were given examples of tough, resourceful, self-sufficient individuals to aspire to. These days children’s media is full of fluffy pastel androgynes and “teams.” Bugs Bunny just doesn’t cut it on Saturday morning anymore…

  15. reminds me of ummm…..

  16. A&H:

    I can see your point, and for the most part I agree. However, I wonder why is it only “boys” who should be allowed into such a life. Why can’t the distaff side of the coin join in on the fun? Is it because females are biologically inclined to want to bake cookies or play with dolls, or is it another example of the cultural arm-twisting that makes women choose to become little Suzie Homemaker?

  17. During my short stint in the Cub Scouts, I thought Boy’s Life was sooo cool. I remember it had the serialized comic of John Christopher’s Tripod Trilogy.

    In hindsight, I’m sort of glad I never went further than “Bear,” given the BSA’s current policies toward gay and atheist scouts/scoutmasters.

  18. Is it me, or is that woman in the Coca-Cola advert clearly about to administer a handjob to one bottle and fellatio to the other?

    Ah, sexual repression.

  19. God, I loved that magazine. Although I was only one when this issue came out, it doesn’t seem to my memory that it had changed much by the time I started reading it when my older brother was in Cub Scouts. I had such fond memories that I made sure my own son’s subscribed in the 80’s. Not quite as good as I remembered, but I still enjoyed perusing their copies.

  20. Looks pretty much like I remember it being in the 80’s to tell the truth, except for changes in style.

    I loved that mag.

  21. I think it’s a comment on how, fifty-odd years ago, boys were given examples of tough, resourceful, self-sufficient individuals to aspire to. These days children’s media is full of fluffy pastel androgynes and “teams.” Bugs Bunny just doesn’t cut it on Saturday morning anymore…

    Do you not realize that Bugs Bunny flaunted traditional masculinity/gender roles more subversively and successfully than any pop culture icon, ever?

    Bugs was forty years ahead of his time; he was the hippest of the hip, while The Mouse was the squarest of the square.

  22. “All these comments and not one single ‘Tom Swiftie’ remark,” he said punningly.

  23. “In hindsight, I’m sort of glad I never went further than “Bear,” given the BSA’s current policies toward gay and atheist scouts/scoutmasters.”

    Why dump on the boy scouts? I think a reasonable libertarian response would be that the scouts NOT being a “public accomodation” (providing they aren’t trolling for tax-funded public monies and expenditures) have a right to exclude who they want. The scouts have always been a “reverent” organization, and when I finally decided as an adult that I no longer believed in deities, etc., I didn’t expect the scouts to change for me, I just left. Everyone’s happy. I don’t have to have “God” shoved down my throat, and the Scouts get to keep adult leaders who share their religious values.

    Likewise, gay or atheistic organizations are free to start their OWN youth organizations geared toward what they believe are activities that are beneficial to the development of gay or disbelieving youth.

    Incidentally, my path to libertarianism was completed partly in a sense because of the Scouts. When I lived long enough to see scumbag liberals, feminists, gay activists, so-called African-American “leaders,” and assorted Clintonistas spit on little boys at the 2000 DNC Convention, I decided I had enough of those sorry Mike Foxtrots and left their Party.

    Barring any alleged “sexism” of the cited comic book, there’s something to be said for old pulp literature and boy culture that acknowledges the physical and psychological nature of males. But I guess being sentimental about such cultural artifacts makes men like me to be Lawrence Summers-type “Nazis” to the intellectually pussy-whipped.

    P.S. I had to let out a Beavis and Buttheadish laugh when I saw “bear,” “gay,” and “scouts” in the same sentence.

  24. All I remember from Boys’ Life was an ad for some bicycle tire that saved some kid the social embarrassment of swerving to avoid glass in the big bicycle parade.

    And UU who responded to boys’ letters. I don’t remember the details of that one.

    I think a friend subscribed but I did not.

  25. Abidemi,
    She is neither about to jack off the one bottle nor felate the other. Here’s how it breaks down:
    The bottle in the left hand is hers; we can see by her distance from the group and the look of dismay on her face that she did not intend to share her precious cola with so many. The second bottle she has removed for the young man coming toward her; the remaining bottle represent a bond of trust and fidelity between her and the boy; they and they alone will drink the soda together. Thus, the Coca-Cola represents her virginity/fidelity, now threatened by the background group which represents either peer pressure toward orgiastic promiscuity, or possibly straightforward gang-rape. Can’t say which without seeing the rest of the series.

  26. Also note how the tow girls at the grill, beckoning here to join them, are giving away THEIR wieners to anyone who comes along.

  27. I can’t spell.

  28. Wasnowski,

    Deep. Deeeeeeeeeep.

    Now could you please decode the infamous Coppertone ad with the rapacious dog and little girl?

  29. Now that I think about it, I NEVER received a single issue of my subscription to Boy’s Life that I paid a dollar for in 1974.

    Damn y’all for bringing up unresolved childhood issues!

  30. I wonder what the Harley ad was in there for? Were kids in the 50’s allowed to ride motocycles? And the guy isn’t wearing a helmet, the horror!

    Actually, Is the theme here all the things that were acceptable in a random issue of of a 50’s boys magazine (during the “golden age”” that would be shocking now?

    Helmetless motocycling, Homeschooling space travelers, football with no fask mask, Coke ads aimed at kids, biblical cartoons, Jack London beating up Chinese stereotypes, etc.

  31. Huh, I must have hit the wring bookmark. I thought it was Hit and Run, but apparently I got Lileks.

  32. I’m pretty sure Coca-Cola didn’t run that ad in “Girls’ Life,” eh?

  33. smacky! Wake up!

  34. Likewise, gay or atheistic organizations are free to start their OWN youth organizations geared toward what they believe are activities that are beneficial to the development of gay or disbelieving youth.

    Gay people already formed a youth organization–it’s called the Boy Scouts. Like most homosocial institutions, the scouts was always attractive to folks with homosexual inclinations and provided opportunties for homosexual behavior. This is a feature, not a bug, and it has been since the days of Baden-Powell. In fact, google “Baden-Powell gay” and see what you get.

    Barring any alleged “sexism” of the cited comic book, there’s something to be said for old pulp literature and boy culture that acknowledges the physical and psychological nature of males. But I guess being sentimental about such cultural artifacts makes men like me to be Lawrence Summers-type “Nazis” to the intellectually pussy-whipped.

    No, it just means you are gay.

  35. That was much more than a minute, Tim.

  36. Well, I thrown. I had some REALLY nasty emotional problems when I was a eight-years-old that the scouts felt they just couldn’t handle.

  37. EDIT: …an eight-year-old…

  38. No, it just means you are gay.

    oh yeah will i think your mom is gay.

  39. Edit: Well, I was thrown out.

    Forgive the typos, I just got up and I haven’t had my morning dose of caffeine.

    I’m not exactly proud about this little factiod from my childhood, though. I was really one-messed up little kid and how my parents and the educational system (not to mention my childhood and adolescent peers) handled my situation is what I attribute it to my becoming a somewhat messed up adult.

  40. The Vestal Virgins here in our H&R temple, dearly love tending to African Violets such as Akira MacKenzie.

  41. “No, it just means you are gay.”

    Silly me. And here I thought that engaging in sexual contact with other people of the same gender is what made one gay.

  42. I just noticed in the Absinthe ad in the upper left corner of this site, a Bush between two legs!

    smacky, you awake yet?

  43. Never mind all this. Why’s the guy on our left (their right) in the Porcupine Gathering ad on the left of the main Hit & Run page sticking his finger in the fire?

  44. If “One-Minute Magazine” is about to become a regular Hit and Run feature, I’d like to request the following:

    Playboy Dec. 1953, Especially Marilyn Monroe’s piece
    Hustler Aug. 1975, Particularly “The Agony, Ecstasy & Nudity of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.”
    Penthouse Sep. 1984, Specifically “Here She Comes, Miss America” However, a full scan of the “Pet of the Month” would be even more prized.

    One minute apiece should work out nicely.

  45. mediageek, our definitions of “gay” are complementary, not contradictory.

  46. Warren,
    Motion seconded.

    Hey, what was all that hysteria about blasting caps? I recall the hysteria, but I never actually saw a blasting cap until I was in the military, and, by then, I more-or-less had to “touch” the thing. (Making big booms was part of the fun of the military.)

  47. sticking his finger in the fire?

    Robert,
    That’s what the Porcupine Freedom Festival does for you: turns you into G. Gordon Liddy!

  48. My first issue of Boy’s Life had Greg Louganis on the cover.

    Just sayin’…

  49. Akira,

    You raise good points, but the images and text in this post are, presumably, from an old edition of Boys Life, hence the focus on male role models. I wholeheartedly agree that there have been a dearth of individualist/independent female role models.

  50. Steven Crane,

    I do indeed realize the points you raised about Bugs. He was, after all, America’s last popular anarchist.

  51. “And UU who responded to boys’ letters. I don’t remember the details of that one…
    Comment by: Ron Hardin at June 11, 2006 07:23 AM”

    It was Pedro the Mailburro, ‘UU’ was his mark.

  52. Nice time capsule, Tim. Makes working weekends a little less boring.

  53. Why dump on the boy scouts? I think a reasonable libertarian response would be that the scouts NOT being a “public accomodation” (providing they aren’t trolling for tax-funded public monies and expenditures) have a right to exclude who they want

    First of all, they DO troll for tax-funded public monies and expenditures.

    But that’s beside the point. Even if they were entirely privately supported, the fact that they have the *right* to discriminate against atheists and homosexuals doesn’t oblige me to respect them for doing so. I’m free to refuse to support them and to speak out against them.

  54. smacky! Wake up!

    Hzuh? wha-? I’m up! I’m up!

    It was Pedro the Mailburro, ‘UU’ was his mark.

    I remember that guy.

    *used to read male sibling’s copies of Boy’s Life*

    …*wonders to self if that makes me gay*

  55. *wonders to self if that makes me gay*

    No, that would make you a fag-hag

  56. Warren,
    If you knew smacky like I know smacky
    Oh, oh, oh what a girl!

  57. No, that would make you a fag-hag

    /probably

    *puts Antony and the Johnsons MP3s in listening rotation*

  58. Is it because females are biologically inclined to want to bake cookies or play with dolls, or is it another example of the cultural arm-twisting that makes women choose to become little Suzie Homemaker?

    Yeah – women HATE being a homemaker. *rolls eyes*

  59. Were blasting caps just lying around in the 50’s?

  60. Marcvs,
    No. Search my earlier.

    Hysteria doesn’t need to be reality-based.

  61. I think a reasonable libertarian response would be that the scouts NOT being a “public accomodation” (providing they aren’t trolling for tax-funded public monies and expenditures) have a right to exclude who they want.

    The Fuck? How does; In hindsight, I’m sort of glad I never went further than “Bear,” given the BSA’s current policies toward gay and atheist scouts/scoutmasters. translate into “I disagree and so the law should be changes to reflect that?” He made a statement that he was glad he stopped particpating, not that the force of law should be put into play to make the Scouts agree with him.

    Sometimes I wish people here would start having discussions with each other instead of the voices in their heads.

  62. Silly me. And here I thought that engaging in sexual contact with other people of the same gender is what made one gay.

    wait so is it impossible to be practicing celibate virgin and be gay at the same time?

  63. I do indeed realize the points you raised about Bugs. He was, after all, America’s last popular anarchist.

    what about woody wood pecker?

    they were almost exactly the same character.

  64. Were blasting caps just lying around in the 50’s?

    yes…and disregard ruthless says on the subject.

    (note ruthless might have actually been alive in the 50’s i was not…so I am the definatve authority becouse as we all know anyone who was alive during the 50’s or even might have been alive durring the 50’s tend to distort the facts of history)

  65. “Tramp Space Ship” is part of Heinlein’s The Rolling Stones, which is, if you can’t tell from the excerpt, crazy/hilarious and damned good. And David Gerrold ripped off one subplot and came up with “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode of Star Trek.

  66. I’m dying to know what Jennifer thinks.

  67. C’mon Tim, no scans of the adverts in the back of the mag? I started reading it about 30 years after the issue you scanned, but between Boy’s Life and Popular Science I could order the supplies to trick someone with fake vomit, taser them, and ride away in my hovercraft.

    (did anyone here ever buy the hovercraft plans? I always wondered if they would work.)

  68. I bought the hovercraft, Rich. It was the size of a dinner plate and floated maybe a milimeter off the ground. Even more disappointing than the X-ray specs.

  69. C’mon Tim, no scans of the adverts in the back of the mag? I started reading it about 30 years after the issue you scanned, but between Boy’s Life and Popular Science I could order the supplies to trick someone with fake vomit, taser them, and ride away in my hovercraft.

    Even better were those silly coupon sales promotions. In the old (pre ’68) issues, you could win a .22 rifle and have it mailed to your house if you sold 150 books or something like that.

    Ah, the good old days….

  70. I bought the hovercraft, Rich. It was the size of a dinner plate and floated maybe a milimeter off the ground.

    Ha, ha!

    I was always curious about the hovercraft, too. One of my life’s great mysteries solved.

  71. Wow. Stripped of help from his usual editors at his publishing company and the big sci-fi magazines, you really get to see how awful a writer Heinlein was.

  72. Even better were those silly coupon sales promotions. In the old (pre ’68) issues, you could win a .22 rifle and have it mailed to your house if you sold 150 books or something like that.

    There are several rifle ads in this issue. Not air rifles either: Winchester and Remington 22s, along with a couple ads for DuPont ammunition and one quarter-page pitch to “Become an NRA Ranger.” I didn’t spot these on the first skim or I would have included the Remington one, a great comic strip ad in which a kid shoots seven rats in a barn-at the request of a farmer who’s at his wit’s end, having tried poison and traps.

    I’m confused about what point or theme people were trying to find in this post. It’s a collection of interesting stuff from an old magazine that I figured people would enjoy. I selected stuff that caught my eye on a spot check, and there’s no theme other than whatever you might figure out about my selection bias. (For the record, I have probably underreported the amount of football-related matter in this issue-which is not surprising given the month of publication.)

  73. I was kicked out of the Boy Scouts for eating Brownies.

    Oh, wait. This was suppose to be posted in response to the blog entry about the world’s funniest joke.

  74. Rich,
    I ordered the hovercraft plans out of a mid 80’s Boys Life. Plans ustilized 1-3 vacuum motors and in theory could float a person under 160lbs. Of course you could only go as far as your extension cords would allow.

  75. A&H: “These days children’s media is full of fluffy pastel androgynes and “teams.” Bugs Bunny just doesn’t cut it on Saturday morning anymore…”

    Team = more merchandise to sell.

  76. The Rolling Stones reviewed here.

    A Scout could want to make a wound look grisly when he was participating as a “victim” in a First Aid training exercise, I suppose. There’s also Halloween.

    Kevin

    (cheated out of the chance to enjoy The World of Scouting by my older brothers’ lazy-ass attempts at it. I did read many a stack of our local library’s BL, though.)

  77. All the warnings we got about blasting caps at P.S. 108 sure made me interested in at least seeing some. Maybe there would be some at a nearby construction site, I wondered. But they were never in evidence there.

    Meanwhile, I recently acquired via eBay an Oct. 6, 1910 “The Youth’s Companion”, New England Edition. I bought it for its football feature, which helps with an issue that was delved into considerably lately in a Delphi forum, namely the reason for the populariz’n of the single wing formation and related systems. The rule changes of 1910 had a lot to do with it, as I’d suspected, although the formation has been traced back to 1906.

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