I bet the proud sailors of the United States Navy dislike the fact that their service is virtually synonymous with, as Winston Churchill put it, "rum, sodomy, and the lash." Being obsessed with World War II era propaganda, though, I am starting to think the Navy has done things to encourage this line of thought. Not encourage it explicitly, of course, but some of their propaganda did little to dissuade the public perception that naval service was mostly about glistening, shirtless Seamen ramming long, stiff objects into appropriately-sized holes. To wit (and these are all real, courtesy the National Archives, and not modern faux-vintage snark), here is a composition entitled Man the Guns:
Let's give the Navy every benefit of the doubt here.
Yes, it was very hot in the Pacific Theater and God knows how hot the decks were with all that burning gunpowder, so perhaps work was best done without a shirt. And, well, that long, rock hard, and round-tipped artillery shell certainly needed to be thrust into the cannon's magazine. Otherwise the cannon would not be able to have an explosion and cover the face of the Earth with American firepower. But I have to say, U.S. Navy, that this is kinda gay. I'm sure that my creative imagination running away with things.
OK. Navy, maybe you should think about this a little more.
The message communicated by this poster is supposed to be "Stop Accidents." But what it's really saying is "Stop Accidents – or else." While threats can sometimes be good motivators, why is the Seamen A) shirtless yet again and B) threatening the viewer with the omnipresent penis-shell, held here at a semi-threatening, semi-aroused angle? And as far as intimidating our enemies, well, all I have to say is watch your cornhole, Tojo. OK, Navy? Good talk. I feel like you understand my concerns. Back to work.
Oh, for fuck's sake!