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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

200, a Celebratory Animation

Posted by on July 4 at 10:23 AM

This animation, created in 1975, is closer than almost any other depiction to how I see America—a hypersaturation of trite symbolism, a cornucopia of consumption (automobiles, burgers, TVs, hotdogs, baseball), a frenetic pace capable of inducing seizures; but all of it completely ecstatic—psychedelic, even.

Surprisingly, this presentation was produced by the United States Information Agency—an office pro-American propaganda. It was funded by a Bicentennial Project Grant and animated by one Vincent Collins. It’s pretty clear—to me, at least—that it is a sly jab at American values of the time, but this was probably lost on the folks at the Information Agency, who were probably just given a recommendation about Collins (who was known to be a psychedelic animator). It’s not dissimilar to what happened with Stephen Colbert and the Press Corps dinner.


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What the heck is Whistler's Mother doing in there (at the :40 mark)? Whistler was American, but lived, worked and died in England. Kinda ironic to throw something British into a Bicentenial cartoon.

Unless Collins is ripping off/paying homage to the use of the image as "Mother Neccessity" in the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon.....

I don't know that it's really so much subversive as just boring.

Yikes! That was a yawner. It was probably shown in the "National Visitors Center" which was a HORRIBLE place, carved out of the ruins of Washington Union Station. I was there, and it looked like the sort of thing they showed there.

Thankfully, they closed it and restored the station to its original beauty.

I felt like I was on LSD just watching it. It's high-larious that the USIA paid for this obvious stoner cartoon.

I liked the giant, tri-colored colon spitting out hot-dogs.

America makes me dizzy...

America makes me dizzy...

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