Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Atomic Chicken

During the Cold War, a generation of children were warned of the terrifying threat of communism with regular nuclear attack drills which dictated that you climb under your desk and put your hands over your head to avoid being evaporated by the blast. This was in the days before video and computer games gave children a better idea about the realities of war, which include being able to eliminate your enemy with powerful hand-held weapons at close range.

But it wasn’t just innocent youngsters who were targeted with fear-mongering propaganda; housewives also needed to be constantly reminded of the threat to their way of life. Take this photograph from a recipe book, for example. Its real purpose isn’t to show a finished dish — it’s a horrifying glimpse into a future drenched with atomic fallout, where whole chickens are reduced to slimy piles of disjointed parts, and creepy plants like this African Violet flourish like mold from every nook and cranny.

The Russians, they were told, couldn’t wait to do this to you, too. Why, no-one has any idea.

Home-Style Cooking, Better Homes and Gardens, 1975

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