Producers of educational videos and public-service announcements have been trying to teach kids to look both ways and stay away from strangers for decades. But between teaching children (and adults) the importance of good manners and public safety, they’ve offered some less-than-positive messages.
Now we can look back, laughing and cringing, at the fossilized bits of sexism, homophobia, and simple terrible science immortalized on Youtube. And possibly develop a strange fear of trains.
1. Duck and Cover
In this video obviously written by Mad-Eye Moody we learn the best defense against nuclear radiation is always your own hands and a newspaper.
2. Beware the Rapist
Remember ladies, even a make-believe husband offers more protection than no husband at all.
3. Stay Safe, Stay Out
The most gruesome example of, “just in case you missed it the first time.”
4. Habit Patterns
This film has only one lesson: Don’t be Barbara. If you are Barbara, nothing can be done.
5. Boys Beware
While the narrator is extremely worried about dangerous homosexuals, he’s totally cool with kids hitchhiking.
6. Control Your Emotions
Poor Jeff is having a bad day, and little Roger’s knowing smirk isn’t helping.
7. Always Tell Mummy
Charley is a very articulate cat.
8. The Story of Menstruation
Once a month women could suffer from a devastating absence of pep.
9. Drug Addiction
In the world of this video, cocaine can cause spontaneous fits of Tai Chi.
10. Lonely Water
A film that tried to scare kids into staying away from unsafe bodies of water, but probably succeeded in freaking them out too much to take a bath.
11. Live and Let Live
No matter how long you watch, the T-Rex from Toy Story doesn’t show up.
12. Safety: In Danger Out of Doors
Extremely safety-conscious aliens bestow their knowledge on a young crossing guard through the voice of Alvin the Chipmunk.
13. Better Use for Leisure Time
The disembodied voice probably wouldn’t approve of Tumblr.
14. The Spirit of ’43
What, didn’t you feel a swell of pride when you walked into H&R Block this April?
15. Killing Time
All horror movies should build suspense like this. “Serial killers love to hang out in dark alleyways like this one. The average serial killer will end your life in just under 10 minutes.”
Homepage image courtesy of Flickr, alamosbasement