4Teens Only Learn Via Snide Criticism
As Learned From:
"Habit Patterns" (1954) and 'Body Care and Grooming" (1948), two delightful films that teach young ladies nothing brings out the best in a person faster than snarky criticism and sneering observations about their appearance.
Habit Patterns tells the story of "Barbara," who is helped along by the fairy Godmother-like narrator who admonishes her for sleeping in, eating quickly, drumming her fingers on a desk and, most unforgivable of all, being an awkward teenager at social functions.
In the most nagging tone imaginable, our narrator compares habitually late and disgusting Barbara to her OCD-riddled neighbor Helen. Of course, telling teenage girls to exaggerate their perfectly average flaws doesn't work in real life. But in a bizarre choice for an educational film, it doesn't even work in the story, which ends with Barbara dissolving into hysterics while the narrator sneers, "It's a little late for tears, isn't it Barbara?"
We're surprised it doesn't follow up with instructions on how to make a noose out of her belt.
Body Care and Grooming, meanwhile, is another film with helpful tips about appearance. Just witness the young man's reaction to the hideously disheveled coed who dares to stand next to him.
He marches off while the helpful narrator berates the woman for not making the man "behave like a human being."
Trust us, young lady. Nothing will make Joe College angrier than the sight of rumpled bobby socks. And you wouldn't like Joe College when he's angry.
Well, look on the bright side--at least you're not a pothead. Because as we'll soon find out, that can lead to only one thing ...
3Marijuana Leads to Heroin Abuse, Pretty Much Immediately
As Learned From:
The old school anti-drug educational films didn't change much from the time they were introduced in the 50s, right through the Reagan 80s. You always had the message that marijuana would lead straight to heroin, and you always got the impression the film makers knew almost nothing about the actual effects:
For those of you keeping score at home, marijuana will make you think you're a hilarious Godzilla ...
...and forget the concept of a three-inch curb.
Adding to the horror is the film's devious dealer.
Far from content to let the drugs sell themselves, his hard-sell tactics include orchestrating a swinging party to entrap young football stars into his lair.
Take a close look at the face of the naive victim. Recognize him? It's John Locke's dad on Lost!
Holy shit, what an amazingly convenient screenshot from Lost.
"Narcotics: Pit of Despair" makes up for all this with probably the greatest narrator in the history of educational films. In a tone that is supposed to highlight the fallacy of counter-culture thinking, the narrator uses words common to hippie slang, but says it in a dry tone that makes it clear he disapproves. "It's just their supplier, Pete. And his number one chick. And a new guy looking for kicks. Forget it, man and get with the countdown. Shake this square world and blast off for kicksville."
When you watched this, you knew you were hearing the soothing tones of what had to be the whitest voice in history.