Super-Shell Gasoline - A little comedy.

"'In 25 years you'll swing into main street at 50', says Norman Bel Geddes." BAH HAH HAH HAH HAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! OH man, stop it, you're killing me!! Oooooh god, BAH AH HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

"Main Street won't be a 'stop street' in 1960". "Nationwide, the average motorist makes thirty stops a day..." Oooooo, so scary! Thirty whole stops! Madness! Surely this must be the end times! Oh man, my frikkin sides. Stop it! Norm, you're adorable. Last night I made thirty stops in my car on my way to get a Diet Sunkist out of my fridge.

Norman Bel Geddes was a theatrical set designer, then an industrial designer, and then a hilariously dark comedian. He loved art deco, which was pretty much swimming with the current, in 1937. He also fancied himself something of a futurist. Futurists are people who not only like thinking about The Future - they like prophesying about "what will happen". This is all hunky dorey. SOMEbody's got to think about The Future. However, when you use language like "you will", you're setting yourself up to look like a dope. The good thing is, you'll probably be dead by the time your reign as King Doofus, Lord of Delusion, begins. Better to use phrases like "I think we should..." and "if we built things this way, it would..." etc. etc.

Observe this other miniature that Geddes built for the 1939 New York World's Fair. It illustrates his idea of separating pedestrians and vehicular traffic with elevated sidewalks. A fine idea, and fun to build in miniature! It slightly didn't happen, though. Wait. Did it happen somewhere? Well, it sure didn't become the standard.

Partly sunny, with areas of urine smell.
In fact, here in Chicago, we have Wacker Drive, upper and lower versions of it. It's a double decker mishmash of people and cars all mixed together in defiance of Geddes' prediction. In fairness to old Norm, Chicago predates this Shell ad by like fifty years, so by the time old Norm came around to redesign the American city for us, we weren't exactly working with a blank sheet of paper. But when Chicago didn't like the direction its river flowed, they beat it with a length of pipe until it went the other way. You'd think if we really wanted to do the Norman Bel Geddes thing, we would have done it, probably funded with parking tickets. Ah well. Plus ten points for our total lack of good intentions, right?

Lower Wacker. So dank, even cars are afraid of being murdered down here.
There is one thing I'm definitely glad Geddes was wrong about: teardrop cars. Maybe they were very "aero", but man do they look retarded. The Toyota Prius (the car powered by smugness) was designed to be sort of teardrop shaped, and man does it look retarded. We can do better.

Goo goo g'joob!
But I do love me some miniature cities. Whether the're made of Lego or matte board, I'll take it. We don't know why he built the miniature that features so prominently in today's ad, but he seemed to just build them. Since the world's fair was two years away, it may have been something to do with that. Who wants a special crop of this picture? I do... and I have two thumbs! I think I got that joke wrong. Know what's NOT wrong? Having a picture of this miniature future city, complete with horrible spermdrop cars! If you need to ask why, shut up! Right click these mofos into your heart immediately!

Click for big.

Click for big.


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