February
28th 2010
Sunday Wonder Woman and Superhunks blogging

Posted under: American history, childhood, fluff, women's history

All the world is waiting for you, and the power you possess

In your satin tights, fighing for your rights, and the old red, white, and blue!

This is the intro from the 70s TV show when it was still set during World War II–and these are the only episodes of the show worth watching, in my view, starring Lynda Carter as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, and Lyle Waggoner as the Superhunky Major Steve Trevor.  (Don’t you love how she’s always rescuing him?)  A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me the DVD box set–see especially “The Feminum Mystique,” parts I and II, which also stars an adorable Debra Winger as WW’s sister Drusilla, and “Wonder Woman versus Gargantua,” in which WW is pitted against a gorilla brainwashed to hate her!  (You can watch full episodes here, friends–enjoy!)

Speaking of Superhunks:  I finally saw Up in the Air Friday night–a very good film.  Here’s some interesting trivia:  I noticed that George Clooney has a chicken pox scar just above his left eyebrow, and that he’s got a large scar from smallpox vaccination on his left shoulder.  (You can’t say I’m not detail oriented, can you?)  I didn’t think the “surprise ending” was all that much of a surprise–but for those of you who haven’t seen the movie, that’s as much as I’ll reveal about it.  The best thing about the movie was the portrayal of how Clooney’s character mentors a younger (smart but quite green) young woman professionally, without any suggestion of any sexual interest or awkwardness.

14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Sunday Wonder Woman and Superhunks blogging”

  1. Janice on 28 Feb 2010 at 6:35 am #

    Who doesn’t adore that first season of “Wonder Woman” in all of its campy glory?

    It’s also easier to stomach her subordinate Diana Prince persona when it’s in the wartime context than when they bump up the timeline to the 70s. I remember being very disappointed when I was a teen in the 70s watching the broadcast to see that leap forward in time and very little shift in her character’s role!

  2. Historiann on 28 Feb 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Heh–no kidding, Janice. Isn’t it interesting to consider that the WWII Wonder Woman setting was 35 years in the past when the show was made–and now the show is 35 years old!

    It seems like there was more change from 1940 to 1975, than there has been since 1975. But, maybe that’s just because I didn’t live through most of that time span from 1940-75.

  3. tanya on 28 Feb 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Thanks for the WW links – I’ll have to check them out!

    I completely agree on Up in the Air. I loved that the relationship between him and the mentee was professional and non-sexual (and the ending also made perfect sense, I thought).

  4. Katrina on 28 Feb 2010 at 8:37 am #

    I also loved Up In The Air, but regarding the vaccination scar (I noticed it too), I also have one just like it – and I don’t think mine could have been smallpox. (I’m too young for it to have been on the regular vaccination schedule for children, and I believe I just got Measles, Mumps, Diphtheria/Typhoid?, and polio vaccinations).

  5. Comrade PhysioProf on 28 Feb 2010 at 11:30 am #

    I had a brutal crush on Wonder Woman when I was a kid.

  6. truffula on 28 Feb 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    It seems like there was more change from 1940 to 1975, than there has been since 1975. But, maybe that’s just because I didn’t live through most of that time span from 1940-75.

    My mother, who did live across both time spans, would agree with you. This theme came up during the recent Democratic Party primary.

  7. truffula on 28 Feb 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    who did live Yikes, and is still living. And the topic came up between the two of us. That comment demonstrates a fundamental problem with written communication via mobile phone.

  8. Amy on 28 Feb 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Dear Historiann,

    I know this is off-topic, but I recently wondered there is a dearth of op-eds by historians responding to the claims of right-wingers about the purportedly wholly individualistic nature of early America. I am not an historian, but used to keep up with some of the literature of the period, and I recall a good deal of work on the communitarian and republican strains of the early republic. All that is contrary to the Tea Party types who seem to think that the founders were Ayn Rand acolytes.

    So, I ask you: Am I wrong about the historical literature? And where are the historians; why do they seem to be absent from public discourse?

  9. John S. on 28 Feb 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Some WW comics trivia (yes, I have spent way too much time reading comic books). The character is one of only three superheroes published continually since their WWII-era introductions (Superman and Batman being the others). But it was only in the last couple of years–over 60 years into the character’s publication history–that DC assigned a woman to be the regular writer on the Wonder Woman series. They did the equivalent of “stunt casting” in 2006 by bringing the novelist Jodi Picoult in for a half-dozen issues, then gave the job full time to Gail Simone (who is still onboard). But before that–only men as regular writers.

    And yeah, Picoult elected to bring back the Diana Prince secret identity back as part of her run. Per Janice’s comment, 2006-7 Diana Prince was every bit as lame as 1970s Diana Prince was.

  10. Historiann on 28 Feb 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    In the 1970s, every kid had a crush on Lynda Carter’s Diana Prince/WW–gay girls and straight boys fell in love with her, and the gay boys and straight girls wanted to be her, with the satin tights & everything. (My fave were the cuffs she used to deflect bullets. It was a wardrobe that had everything you could ever need!)

    Amy–welcome. You ask a really good question. You’re completely correct that most early Americans were not libertarians. But my guess is that historians haven’t leaped into this particular fray for two reasons: 1) the whole communitarian-individualist debate isn’t one that fires up a lot of contemporary scholars–it got a lot of play in the 1970s, but it hasn’t been big since then. 2) the picture in early America is rather complicated, and doesn’t really give cover either for a contemporary left- or right-wing agenda.

    Examples: On the one hand–some early Anglo-American communities (such as in early New England) were very communitarian, in that they lived in each other’s back pockets and were always giving testimony about moral and legal violations they had spied through their neighbors’ keyholes. (Call them the Dobson-Robertson wing of early Anglo-Americans.) Most Anglo-Americans got more libertarian about the sexual license of white men in the 18th C, but held everyone else to a much higher standard, so that wouldn’t exactly thrill liberals today. Economically speaking, the myth of self-sufficiency has been pretty thoroughly demolished: early Anglo-Americans and most of the Native American communities I know of were very market-oriented profit maximizers from the get-go. People built complex local and regional economies, and then eventually were linked to a transatlantic economy. (And, to the bubbles that bubbled up therein! Plus ca change. . . )

    Unhappily, in the region I know best (New England), Anglo-Americans were incredibly stingy and evil about poor relief. If a rich guy’s ship went down, they’d vote him a pile of public money to help him get back up on his feet. But if people begged a mite of charity simply because they were poor–they went away empty-handed, more often than not. Shades of the bailout versus the extension of food stamps and unemployment in 2009. (In New England, poor relief was done not by the churches, but at the discretion of town government usually. This is different from the English tradition, where poor relief was handled by parishes.) Seeing material wealth as a sign of God’s favor, and seeing poverty as a sign of God’s judgment, is a lamentably deep-seeded strain of Americanism, in my view. (Maybe people who know more about Dutch NY, or Quakers in NJ or PA can tell a happier tale.)

    I’ve always thought that most American right-wingers would be perfectly happy living in John Winthrop’s Boston, or anywhere in Massachusetts or Connecticut in the 17th C up to about 1730 or 1740. (The Dobson-Robertson wing especially, although colonial New England offers a lot for the Goldman Sachs-Visible Signs wing too, the Aplogia of Robert Keene notwithstanding.) Whereas the vast majority of modern U.S. American would not be happy living there at all. That was the region that was supposed to have been ordered according to the “fact” that “some are high and mighty, others mean and in subjection,” which is a pretty far cry from “all men are created equal” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (IOW, not very American, if we go with the popular notion that it’s the values of 1776, not the values of 1630, that are foundational.)

    (Maybe John S. or Indyanna will have another take on this.)

  11. Historiann on 28 Feb 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Katrina–on the vaccination scar: well, I’m no expert. But I had a smallpox vaccination (and the scar to prove it), and Clooney is older than me. (There may be other vaccinations that left similar looking scars.)

  12. GayProf on 01 Mar 2010 at 8:58 am #

    So many haters on this post. 1970′s Diana Prince was actually a real agent instead of being assigned as a secretary. Plus, Wonder Woman didn’t spend all of her time simply rescuing hunky, but useless, Steve Trevor. As a bonus, 1970s Diana also got to drive around in a hot Mercedes.

  13. Indyanna on 01 Mar 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Historiann, could I get an exten-shun on this? I thought about trying to jump on this question late last night, but I pretty much figured you would be doing a clinic on it in the morning. I think you’re all well and good on this stuff. There are ironies-within-ironies all over the map, of course, and maybe esp. in New England, but that’s always true about history, no?

    I have to motor across sixty miles of frozen tundra tomorrow to “teach” five sections of social studies to c. 50 8th grade “middle schoolers” in each section, with three minute breaks, before lunch. I haven’t been in a middle school since…well they didn’t have middle school back in my time. Then I’ll come back and hug my 4/4 TWTr schedule. Will think about the communitarian part, though.

  14. Tom on 01 Mar 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Wow, Historiann–so often I just don’t even bother to watch videos online, even on your blog. But I watched this one, and it was quite a blast from the past. It was so “Electric Company” I almost expected to see Morgan Freeman pop out.