A friend of mine was chaplain of a hospital ship during the last world war, and his ship was among those that steamed into Tokyo harbor for the signing of the peace treaty with Japan on the “Mighty Mo.” Thinking, quite naturally, that this was to be a great historical occasion, my friend decided to write down exactly what happened as the ship moved into the harbor.

He had the word from the bridge as to how he could tell exactly when the ship crossed the invisible line into the harbor, and at that moment he jotted down two things that happened. One, a cook came out of the galley and threw some garbage into the sea. Two, a little motorboat drew alongside and a man yelled through a megaphone, “What movies ya got?” Thus history passed.

Two days ago (as this column is being written), I was glued to the television set watching the flight of the Gemini. This highly serious business had to be interrupted by the people who pay the bills, and the first interruption was an advertisement for “Petticoat Junction.” Never having seen “Petticoat Junction,” I was at the least shocked by such an earthy interruption. The next interruption informed us all, “You are now the Pepsi generation,” which was illustrated by happy, carefree youth. If we are the Pepsi generation, those rows of men watching their dials to keep our precious cargo in flight didn’t seem to realize it. The third interruption had to do with “insured savings,” and we were assured that this sort of thing could keep a man safe for life. This was hard to believe in terms of the Gemini dreams.

Maybe the reason the Russians are out in front is that they don’t get lost in the suds of “Petticoat Junction,” the Pepsi generation, and assured savings.


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