Comic books should be about adventure! And electricity! And corporate sponsors! Why not wrap all three of those things up into a neat 1946 package, General Electric? And so they did.
Come, children! Come and meditate before our god! It only hurts for a moment, and then your minds will become as blessed and as empty as our Holy Tube itself!
Cue thrilling music, gape in awe as a mighty war trireme raids a Mediterranean city in search of pillage and plunder... and electricity is nowhere to be seen? Huh?
Oh, it's just a setup by our teacher, highlighting how terrible the primitive non-electric world of our forebears was. Why, there were no convenient pipes to bring water, unless you lived in various culturally-advanced cities dating as far back as 2500 BC! I mean, you can still see Roman aqueducts all over Europe. But whatever, just pretend you had to haul water fifteen miles uphill both ways from the well, or that handmade pottery still isn't a thing, or that you don't really, really miss the institution of slavery, because we see where you're going with this, Teach.
Dude, not a lot gonna grow there. You are plowing a ROAD.
"Of course nowadays we don't permit slavery, until Proposition 217 is passed next month. Remind your parents to vote! That's YES on Prop. 217!"
But of course until then we must make do with electricity. Now I know everybody wants to ditch school to go see the circus, but first you have to go home and list 100 things around your houses that depend on electricity! Yes, a hundred, talk out loud guy!
Why, I can only name nine or ten things that General Electric would love for us to purchase and use on a daily basis. Maybe we can think of a few more... maybe.
"Hey Johnny, your brother is an electrical engineer, which is to say he has a dungeon laboratory filled with mysterious equipment and high voltage electricity, for his, ya know, forbidden experiments! Let's go!"
And like all mad scientists, Ed explains natural forces through the use of tiny anthropomorphic imps that crowd through your wires, rustle up against each other, and generate so much heat that the filament glows and gets hot and then eventually breaks forcing you to buy a new light bulb, thanks General Electric.
Here Ed demonstrates with his Academy Award. No, ED didn't win this Oscar himself, this is Marisa Tomei's. We don't know how Ed got it, but... we don't know how Marisa Tomei got it, either!
ALTERNATE OSCAR JOKE: This is one of the many that Leonardo DiCaprio SHOULD have won.
When you push electrons through a vacuum, many amazing things are possible, like for instance television, seen here in a size that won't be available for the next, oh, forty years.
And just when the electric-gadget counting is starting to get interesting, Ed throws a vacuum tube in the works by pointing out that in our modern industrial society, all of our manufactured goods count as electric products because the machines that produce them are powered by electricity. Had somebody pointed this out in the classroom, they'd all be at the circus by now! Enjoying those circus peanuts! Ugh!
Here in the modern world we don't make stereotypes the old fashioned way with bigotry and prejudice, we use electricity. Much more efficient.
Take these ordinary beans for instance! General Electric doesn't make farming or harvesting equipment so we won't discuss them, but GE's bean-counting photoelectric sorters sort 80,000 pounds of beans every day... and nobody knows why! And you may think this oil furnace is electricity-free, but you're wrong. Wrong!
Yes, even the house itself is made out of lumber and bricks, pipes and siding, screws and paint and plywood, all composed of molecules, which are composed of atoms, each of which is a complex conglomerate of electrical forces we only dimly understand, yet are already tampering with in ways that could destroy us all!
Whoa, sorry there kids. Got carried away. Circus, think about the circus.
Of course we still had houses before General Electric forced us all to wire them up for electricity, but they weren't too comfortable or convenient, and we had to hire Moustache Man and Ponytail Dandy to pump all our water after they broke our windmill and our cistern. Paid 'em in bottle caps. They were both pretty simple.
And of course back then we didn't have meat kept fresh long past the slaughtering season. Let me say that again. SLAUGHTERING SEASON. It's the season of raw terror! Rated "R". Coming soon to a theater near you. SLAUGHTERING SEASON. It'll season your slaughter!
Gosh, remember that time Johnny Power broke his widdle arm? Adventures in Electricity sure does. Cue flashback music!
Here Johnny gets his arm X-rayed while the doctor gets the hell away from the deadly radiation and his assistant cowers behind a lead-lined shield. No, you didn't feel a thing, Johnny. Not yet, anyway. Just let the cumulative effect of this X-ray, combined with the chest X-rays you get every year and the X-ray machine down at the shoe store that they use to X-ray your feet to get your size "just right", let all those X-rays just settle into your bones there and start working their magic. See you in the oncology ward!
And Johnny's arm wasn't even broken. Now Johnny knows just how Roentgen felt that time Roentgen slipped on the ice in Zurich and sprained his wrist!
Through mass X-rays of millions of school children and adults, we're on the way to stamping out tuberculosis... and perhaps replacing it with amazing new diseases! It's the future, Jane. You can't stop it.
I never knew X-ray was so important. I'm going to dream about X-ray tonight! Not ALL X-rays, just ONE X-ray in particular.
Yes, X-rays and their ability to see through clothes and skin via X-Ray Specs are just one use of electricity. But what about railroads? Do mighty locomotives use electricty too?
Sure they do. Here we see our harried housewife, formerly plagued by soot and cinders and smoke from the train that passes inches from her window, now pleasant and smiling. There's still, you know, a giant train passing inches from her window, but the pills are finally kicking in and she's a lot calmer.
You know what? Maybe with his "find 100 things" assignment, the teacher was actually trying to... what's the word... TEACH us things! Things about electricity! Did WE teach you anything about electricity today? Or did you spend the whole time thinking about the circus? Ringmasters? Clowns? Elephants? Trapeze artists? Carnies? Don't miss it!
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