Jan 31 2012: Forty Further Electronics and Armaments Advertisements from Military Technology Magazine (1982)

Following yesterday’s first forty advertising pages from a handful of 1982 issues of Military Technology magazine, featuring a mix of obscure defence contractors and household names in domestic electronics, a similar pattern is seen here, as we encounter Ericsson, General Electric and AEG-Telefunken in somewhat darker than usual manifestations, with Electrolux expecially unsettling in this context, having transformed its familiar washing machines and refridgerators into blood storage facilities for use in combat. Beretta gives us pages of high-powered machine guns with all the blank moral neutrality of an advert for wristwatches, while Chioke International Corporation offers another spin on the macho business language of the Wall Street of its day with their litany of “Toughens Competitive Muscle” in a context where what’s actually being sold are products like landmines, mortars and military aircraft (“used but in perfect condition”). Add the strangely inappropriate playfulness of Elettronica‘s graphic design, the sterotypical Central American type demonstrating the ‘operator-proof simplicity’ of the transceiver devices made by Cubic Communications (who also, coincidentally, present the almost comical cloak and dagger scenario of “the World’s First Complete High Frequency Radio Station…in a suitcase” elsewhere in the gallery) and the golden Brancusi phallus of Israel Military Industries’ armour piercing missile, and the impact is of a world so lacking in humour or humanity that it’s perfectly incapable of realising just how insane its starting assumptions have become.

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