The Wonderful World of Wanzie: What’s behind door number 3?

By : Michael Wanzie
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“Remember, if it doesn’t say Amana it’s NOT a Radar Range!”

How clearly I remember that advertising slogan from my youth. That tag line was always touted whenever the new-fangled contraption would be awarded to winning contestants on TV’s “Let’s Make A Deal” or “Truth or Consequences.”

Microwave ovens weren’t always called microwaves. The leader in retail sales of the new-to-the-consumer invention was Amana who produced the first compact microwave oven for in-home use in 1967. They called their quick-heating innovation a Radar Range. When competing appliance manufacturers started hawking their own consumer-friendly microwave ovens, Amana was quick to end every promotion with the tagline, “Remember; if it doesn’t say Amana it’s NOT a Radar Range.”

Amana stopped making a big deal of the Radar Range moniker during the ensuing heyday of Ralph Nader’s propensity for shining a light on things that might not be safe for consumers and radiation was then thought to be something terrible, possibly terminal. So Amana stopped proclaiming, “Remember; it doesn’t say Amana, it’s NOT a Radar Range.”

Even more amazing was how women were exploited in commercials during my youth. The most memorable was National Airlines’ “Fly Me” campaign wherein scantily-clad, big-buxom women meant to be National Airlines stewardesses—usually a blonde—with breathy hushed seductive tones, would flirt with the camera saying, “Hi, I’m Donna. Fly me to Miami” or “I’m Judy and I was born to fly. Fly me to Houston.”

How about the life-size pack of Doral cigarettes supported by the shapely legs of female dancers in stockings and high heels sashaying around the stage while singing, “Taste me, taste me. Come on and taste me. Take a puff and let me do my stuff.”

Crazy, right? Can you imagine that being on TV now in the wake of the #MeToo movement?

Now in the age of social media, an offensive commercial might air one time before there would be an uproar over its lack of political correctness. This is Madison Ave. responding to the will of the people, but over on Pennsylvania Ave. we have a man-child who relishes in vomiting out an endless stream of offensive, barely-literate proclamations, admonishments, lies and opinions which seem to be designed specifically to outrage those among us who believe in the rule of law and in honoring our Constitution.

While supporters of the current president delight in the appallingly un-presidential bile that oozes from his filthy mouth they parrot the chant “Make America Great Again” as they actively participate in tearing apart everything that has actually contributed to making America a great country in the first place.

We have a president who is so insistent that he is never wrong that he digs in his heels like a petulant toddler, refusing to attend meetings or summits on climate change because he ridiculously concluded it isn’t occurring, even as towns and villages from small islands to coastal communities are undergoing relocation due to rising sea levels caused by global warming. This president has repealed basically every regulation that keeps our water, air and soil safe for us.

Amid all of that nonsense we have a president who has proven repeatedly he is no friend of the LGBTQ+ community. The president is aided and abetted in his homophobic behavior by a VP who mixes no words in making his utter disdain for us known along with his belief that we should be treated as criminals simply for daring to live as nature designed us. If you think all of this is just silly or over dramatic you could not be more mistaken. We have a president who is transparently racist, openly treasonous and blatantly xenophobic. He is a soulless narcissist who has proven himself incapable of empathy.

What we need now more than ever is a leader who can empathize with the plights of those of us who have yet to achieve the fullness of our citizenship, and if you are an LGBTQ+ individual that means YOU! Perhaps you are not old enough to know firsthand the battles your predecessors fought. The blood and tears they spilled and the sacrifices they have made so that you may lead fairly open lives and go about your daily business as an openly gay person with a feeling of relative safety. But believe me when I tell you those battles were fought over a lengthy, sometimes deadly, period of time and your rights were very hard won. We have an administration that wants your rights repealed and wants to see you back in the closet, and if YOU do not get out and vote against this administration YOU will have played an active role in a return to a time in which you will not fare well.

If you are a Republican who is incapable of admitting your party no longer exists—and you can’t bring yourself to vote for a Democrat in 2020—then do yourself and the entire LGBTQ+ community a great big favor and stay home on election day. Because a second term for the current president means our nation’s continued backward spiral toward a “Great America” where the lovely Carol Merrill emerges from behind door number three with a beautiful Amana Radar Range guaranteed to zap the homo tendencies out of your child. If that Radar Range doesn’t do the trick your kid won’t be allowed to serve in the military, be a teacher or marry the person they actually love, and will soon find themselves on a forced bus trip to conversion therapy. Oh, and if that kid is black, they better be seated in the back of that bus!

Have I said too much? There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you. But all you have to do is be honest with yourself to know that every word is true!

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