Tobacco

Why the Cavemen Went Extinct (Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should Edition)

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This isn't new—indeed it's 40-plus years old—but this commercial is still incredibly funny, strange, and totally fucking bizarre. No wonder the Soviets lost the Cold War!

Watch as Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone goldbrick and debate the merits of Winston cigarettes in a kinder, gentler America:

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  1. Why bizarre?

  2. This is old to the internet, I’ve seen John Kricfalusi cover this on his blog at least a year ago (gushing over the animation, obviously, as it was something created more than 30 years ago)

    Get with the times, gramps.

  3. Get with the times, gramps.

    One of the greatest fallacies of the modern age is the idea that children are cute when trying to be clever.

  4. Well back when this commercial aired we lived in a FREE country(excepting all the liberties we lost under Wilson and FDR).

  5. Just a reminder that product placement is NOT a new advertising idea.

  6. This is far more clever than anything those brats at Truth.org have ever come up with…

  7. Quite a few anachronisms, there. Did you know that if you tried to explain to a caveman about neon signs and currents flowing through noble gases, the caveman would probably just look at you with a blank stare?

  8. I just recently got the Twilight Zone boxed set… and one of the most bizarre things about it is the title boards showing who presented each nights Twilight Zone episode (I think three of the brands still exist…), and the seamless shift into a speech about cigarettes from Rod Serling in his closing dialogs…

    Nephilium

  9. From those of us with better things to do than ceaselessly troll the interblogs, thanks for posting that Nick.

    It’s a tragic/anachronistic ode to the departed soul of the critical consumer.

    Now if you’ll all excuse me, I seem to have a sudden and overwhelming desire for a cigarette.

  10. Hey, guys, WHASSSSUUUP!

    Just a reminder that product placement is NOT a new advertising idea.

    True. True.

    BTW, you know what would go great on that delicious Hunter’s hot dog I wish I had right now?

    Some tangy French’s yellow mustard, some delicious Heinz ketchup, and either some sweet pickle relish or cold, crisp sauerkraut — both from the wonderful folks at Vlasic! Mmm.

  11. Or maybe instead some tasty Hormel’s chili with some wholesome grated Kraft cheddar cheese. That would be good too.

  12. Just a reminder that product placement is NOT a new advertising idea.

    Did anyone say it was? I’m assuming that most here are aware that without product placement, those “old classics” wouldn’t have existed.

  13. Ol’ Timer-

    This is a much freer country than when that ad aired.

  14. You do NOT put ketchup on a hot dog. I will never again be able to trust you, Stevo Darkly, after even suggesting that was appropriate. Although you did make up for it nicely with the chili cheese suggestion.

    BUT NOT ENOUGH!

  15. Damn, now I need a smoke!

  16. Now I want Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, a cigarette.

    And some vitamins.

  17. Wow, amazing. What a flashback that was. I was just watching a Miami Vice episode last night and noticed Sonny Crockett lighting up a cigarette during one of the scenes. Boy times have changed havent they.

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  18. And not a single neighbor complained about the noxious fumes eminating from the Flintstone residence, a single whiff of which–as we are now well aware–can cause instantaneous cancer.

  19. Quite a few anachronisms, there. Did you know that if you tried to explain to a caveman about neon signs and currents flowing through noble gases, the caveman would probably just look at you with a blank stare?

    The Flintstones didn’t take place in caveman days. That was just part of the vast Right Wing Conspiracy. It actually took place in a post-apocalyptic future, where nuclear weapons and chemical waste had caused terrible mutations and played holy hell with the electromagnetic spectrum, forcing the pathetic morlocks stuck on the ground to make do with foot-powered cars and hideously disfigured cows. Meanwhile, the wealthy have fled the surface and live in buildings set on platforms high above the Earth, where there’s no pollution and electronic devices still work. Though they are forced to subsist off pills and supplements rather than actual food.

    How else do you explain how the Jetsons were able to meet the Flintstones?

  20. How else do you explain how the Jetsons were able to meet the Flintstones?

    Hell, if I lived in a post-apocalyptic future but still had access to tobacco, I’d probably be a heavy smoker, too.

  21. “How else do you explain how the Jetsons were able to meet the Flintstones?”

    Because Elroy built a time machine.

    (Crazy coincidence, but this was actually showing today in the retro diner where I had brunch).

  22. In Soviet Union, cigarette smokes you.

  23. lolwut!?!?

  24. Andy Craig | July 6, 2008, 1:10am | #
    Ol’ Timer-

    This is a much freer country than when that ad aired.

    anybody want to vote on that?

  25. Andy Craig | July 6, 2008, 1:10am | #
    Ol’ Timer-

    This is a much freer country than when that ad aired.

    anybody want to vote on that?

    Lessee…

    Black people – yes
    Women – yes
    Gays – yes
    Hispanic people – yes
    Sexually permissive – yes
    Business owner – no
    Illegal drug user – no
    Tobacco user – no

    Feel free too add to this list.

  26. I would add:

    Employee – no
    Alcohol user – no

  27. RC Dean, yep.

    Also

    Atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew … Hell let’s just say non-Christian – Yes

  28. Feel free too add to this list.

    Individuals – No

  29. Property owner – No
    Person who uses phone – No
    Former member of US Communist Party – Yes
    Person who engages in “hate” speech – No
    18 year old who doesn’t wish to enter the military – Yes
    Car owner – No
    Person who wants to buy nonflourescent light bulbs – No
    Air traveler – No
    LSD User – No
    Person who wants to conduct financial transactions with a bank – No

  30. This is a much freer country than when that ad aired.

    Define “freer”.

  31. Person who wants to conduct financial transactions with a bank – No

    People who want to pay cash – No
    Teenagers – No

  32. Because Elroy built a time machine.

    Ah, so naive.

  33. people who want to sell goods on Sundays = yes
    people who want to buy goods on Sundays = yes

  34. People who want to own slaves: no
    People who want to sell houses only to whites:no
    Business owners who don’t want to serve blacks, jews, or meixcans: no
    People who murder: no
    People who abuse children: no
    Old men who like to have sex with 16 year old girls: no
    Lynch Mobs: no
    People who like to burn crosses in front of people’s front yards: no
    People who think that we should all just get along: yes

  35. “People who want to sell houses only to whites:no
    Business owners who don’t want to serve blacks, jews, or meixcans: no
    People who like to burn crosses in front of people’s front yards: no”

    Freedom of thought and expression: no
    Freedom to use your property as your see fit: no
    If we don’t agree with someone, then its okay to strip them of liberty. Right?

  36. People who want to own slaves: no

    It is conceivable that someone born into slavery watched the Flintstones cigarette advertisement.
    He would have been at least 96 years old and free for nearly as long.

    All the freedoms lost since 1961 were lost to all of us, including those who have had some gain in liberty. Unless I missed something the only gains for all individuals are in sodomy and sunday sales.

  37. Just a reminder that product placement is NOT a new advertising idea.

    R-E-M-E-M-B-E-R T-O D-R-I-N-K Y-O-U-R…

    Feel free to add to this list.

    Beer makers – yes.
    Airline owners – yes.
    Interstate truckers – yes.
    Bankers – yes
    Issuers of debt – yes.
    Brokers of securities – yes.
    Television broadcasters – yes. (in net aggregate)

    And this is disregarding technical advances that have made people freer (internet, credit cards, atm’s, camcoders, etc)

  38. In case it was not clear, I think the increase of freedom to those entities listed have made great benefit for glorious nation of ours (and the world)

  39. One last one to revisit one from above

    Person who uses a phone:
    1964 – Ma bell or SOL
    2008 – local tel, 8 big cell companies, a few local cell companies, the cable company, Vonage, skype, etc.

  40. One last one to revisit one from above

    Person who uses a phone:
    1964 – Ma bell or SOL
    2008 – local tel, 8 big cell companies, a few local cell companies, the cable company, Vonage, skype, etc.

    Strictly speaking, this was more of a limitation on the liberty of people who wanted to offer phone service.

    The lack of consumer choice arose from the restriction of the liberty of providers.

    So I guess we should balance “Person Who Uses a Phone: No” with

    Person who wants to start a phone company: Yes

    While additional consumer choice can be looked at as a liberty issue, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and CALEA make a person using a phone less free in their relationship to government directly.

  41. Andy Craig | July 6, 2008, 1:10am | #
    Ol’ Timer-

    This is a much freer country than when that ad aired.

    anybody want to vote on that?

    Andy Craig and Ol’ Timer,
    You started an interesting comnversation. It’s appreciated.

  42. Unless I missed something the only gains for all individuals are in sodomy and sunday sales.
    Written by a white male Christian, I expect.

    I’m not blindly ignoring the rights that have been curtailed in America since the early ’60s (did somebody mention gun owners?), it’s an important issue. It would be equally foolish to ignore the rights that have been gained by the majority (women, minorities, the mentally ill, the eccentric, et al) of Americans.

  43. Person who uses phone – No
    Air traveler – No

    I think there’s some myopia focusing on the recent past. While I’m as outraged as anyone over TSA, domestic spying, etc. We need to look a little harder at the state of things fifty years ago.

    There’s no question in my book, we are freer now than we were then. In addition, the march of progress is, I think, inherently pro liberty. The mere existence of cell phone, and the internet, gives us more options and opportunities, in spite of government attempts to regulate.

  44. Don’t want to get all socialist here, or anything. But when you talk about loss of freedom re airlines and phones (long distance, that is), 40 years ago these were unaffordable for most.

    Forty years ago, you would have been free to waltz onto a plane, you just couldn’t have afforded it. (I don’t recall now when the whole “fly me to Cuba” madness started; that started the airline security business, I think.)

    Maybe you didn’t need to worry about the gubmint listening in on your phone calls, but you weren’t calling anyone but your neighbors. (And with J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI, I don’t know that ANYONE was really safe from being bugged, anyway.)

    For quite a bit less than that price today, you can get pay-as-you-go cellular and pay with cash. I think that lets you maintain your anonymity.

    And while banking privacy basically *isn’t* anymore (is it, now, Mr. Spitzer?), the three local banks you had access to knew you and your business anyway. When I was taking Money and Banking in college (ca. 1980) a lot of the talk was about how these tricky holding companies were getting around the laws against (gasp!) “branch banking” and (shudder!) interstate banking. They called them “non-bank banks”. That term had, like, cachet at the time.

    Oh, and owning gold was illegal. Gold!

    Perhaps a lot of the governments interference in these matters over the last decades is that the masses have gotten their hands on this stuff, and they’re trying to shut the barn door after the livestock have gotten out.

  45. Warren –

    I know what you’re getting at on the phone and air travel issues, and it’s an interesting question.

    Consider two different governments.

    One government does not routinely wiretap its citizens [or if it does place wiretaps, rarely attempts to use the results of those wiretaps for law enforcement purposes] and imposes no more restrictions or barriers on riding a plane than it does on taking the bus. This government, however, strictly limits the right to provide phone and air travel service to a monopoly provider and/or a tightly controlled oligopoly of providers.

    The second government routinely wiretaps its citizens either without a warrant, and places onerous restrictions on your ability to be an air passenger, up to and including intrusive searches AND the outright banning of large numbers of citizens and aliens from planes. OTOH, a larger number of service providers are allowed to enter into these markets, so you have a wider range of choices of what phone company will tap your phone line when the state asks or what airline gate you walk to after your patdown, interrogation, and watch list test.

    Which one is more free?

    I think they’re difficult to directly compare, because different types of freedom are being restricted in each case. I also think that you have to remember that our government’s total amount of regulation continues to rise – it’s just that, for the moment, the state has chosen to lower barriers to entry in a handful of fields. So is that an increase in “freedom” [because of the greater number of regulated consumer choices under the scheme], or simply an adjustment of the exact manner in which the state chooses to express its escalating control of everyday life?

  46. Person who wants to start a phone company: Yes

    How is this “yes”? If you want to start a phone company, you have to first lick the FCC’s balls.

  47. Fluffy-So I guess the old jokes and sketches where Lily Tomlin said “We don’t care, we don’t have to, we’re the phone company,” were funny because of the incongruity of the statement, and not because Ma Bell treated everyone who used a phone like an exceptionally poor tenant, thereby sparking recognition in the viewers?

  48. How is this “yes”? If you want to start a phone company, you have to first lick the FCC’s balls.

    A) Skype and all the other internet phone services have done no such thing.

    B) In the 60s and 70s, there was no way that anyone could start a new phone company, no matter who they sucked up to. Enforced monopolies. Please try to keep up.


  49. Oh, and owning gold was illegal. Gold!

    Of course, real silver currency was mandatory.

    Unless I missed something the only gains for all individuals are in sodomy and sunday sales.
    Written by a white male Christian, I expect.

    Jsub

    Male yes, I prefer Caucasian,not a Christian.
    I consider the overturning of sodomy and blue laws to be gains for liberty.

    We have lost a lot of property rights(and consequently privacy) since 1961.
    iPods, cheap air travel and internet are irrelevant in comparing the degree of liberty today to that of 1961.

  50. Well back when this commercial aired we lived in a FREE country

    Especially if you don’t count, say, blacks, women, gays, the sick, the elderly, the mentally retarded, those seeking to abort a pregnancy, those wishing to die with dignity, those with exonerative DNA, etc.

    I suppose you could say that we certainly were a lot freer from these types of people back then. Is that what you mean?

  51. Skype and all the other internet phone services have done no such thing

    Note you change the subject by saying “phone service” rather than “phone company” which usually means a company providing bandwidth (which Skype does not do). The bandwidth required fellating of the FCC in order to exist.

  52. You’ve lost the freedom to engage in cash transactions of $5000 and over without having to file special forms to notify the IRS.

    You’ve lost the freedom to transport cash in amounts of $5000 or more in or out of the country without permission.

    You’ve recently lost the freedom to melt down and/or sell US coins (your own property) for their metal content.

    And you’ve recently lost the freedom to transport more than a small amount ($200?) of coins out of the country.

  53. Especially if you don’t count, say, blacks, women, gays, the sick, the elderly, the mentally retarded, those seeking to abort a pregnancy, those wishing to die with dignity, those with exonerative DNA, etc.

    Given the level of actual, state discrimination against blacks, gays, and women, I’ll grant your those. Ditto for pregnant women.

    I suppose there might be very marginal gains in “death with dignity”, but really, it was just as legal 40 years ago for your doctor to withdraw care at your request as it is now. We’ve just made the paperwork easier.

    As for the sick and the elderly, I’m not sure what has been done to make them more free of state control in the last several decades.

    The concept of exonerative DNA didn’t exist back in the day, so that one’s just nonsense.

  54. Note you change the subject by saying “phone service” rather than “phone company” which usually means a company providing bandwidth

    No actually, I addressed that with the comments about how the lousy service was a target of constant jokes, then I pointed out that there are new options that people didn’t have before. Which I notice you conveniently ignored. Seems to me if anyone is changing the subject, it’s you.

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