Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yo, Joe

“Dressed as a G.I. Joe series character, Jessica Jaszczak makes a call outside the exhibit hall on the first day of the Comic-Con International 2008 convention, in San Diego.”
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy, July 24, 2008)

Those of us old enough to remember the first few series of small G. I. Joe action figures and the 30-minute weekly commercial that used to run for them will recognize Miss Jaszczak’s outfit as a somewhat slinkier variation on a standard Cobra footsoldier uniform. (The actual uniforms looked more like simple fatigues, and there were no female Cobra troopers, although the original figures were armed with AKs.)

It struck me as interesting, because the Cobra organization was labeled as an "international terrorist organization." In "reality" Cobra was more of a private army of witless minions (with a remarkable behind-the-scenes logistics organization supplying them with advanced military hardware), doing the bidding of the buffoonish Cobra Commander. They never managed to really endanger anyone, and never seemed to have any real political demands. It was all very "Dr. Evil," and a very different, and non-threatening, understanding of terrorists - idiotic clowns whose plots could be foiled in under half an hour by America's heroic defenders.

Dressing up like a modern terrorist, making terrorist action figures or putting terrorists in children's television shows would be considered almost an act of terror itself in today's paranoid environment. Which is a pity. If we put Al-Queada on a level with Cobra, we could get back to living our lives.


The Constant Consonant said...

I really enjoyed your view on the costume and the take on modern day paranoia concerning terrorists and what COBRA's role might be.
The spandex is quiet comfortable I assure you. :)

Catnapping said...

A side comment...I remember the original GI Joe dolls. They were mostly white...ironic, that, considering how over-represented black GIs were in Nam.

I'm gonna add your link to my blog. Hope that's okay. You write beautiful essays, and I'd like to spread that around.