Oils Well That Ends Well

art collage appropriated vintage images

“Oils Well That Ends Well” collage by Sally Edelstein

American Crusaders

OMG! With  our all American can do optimism and a resounding chorus of Onward Christian soldiers, Americans have flexed our formidable global muscles, confident that our take-charge performance would be gladly received wherever we went.

In God We Trust…..

Long before George W. Bush marched into the Bible Lands with God on our side and his belief of America as Crusader state, God has had a long standing in our government. Presidents from Lincoln to Wilson larded their speeches with salvation.

From Gods lips to Harry Truman’s, “We were Gods Chosen nation” charging us with the obligation to assume world leadership and spread our way of life around the globe.

Even in the POW!WOW!ZAP! 1960s, the Johnson Administration echoed Harry’s hubris when they claimed to be conducting a Holy War against those godless Communists in Vietnam. “Holy Hanoi Batman” we were on a crusade.


art collage vintage ad images women

You couldn’t help but stand and admire us. Americans were the most envied people on the planet. No other country so generous and tolerant embodying the best of democracy diversity and tolerance.

Who wouldn’t want to embrace the American Way?

Mission Accomplished

 One need only look at the outpouring of love we received from the Japanese during our Post WWII occupation as the very model of how others embrace us.

An article entitled “Why the Japanese Love us” that appeared in Life magazine on December 2, 1946,  joyfully informs the reader that: “The Japanese admire victory in war above all else…When Americans arrived they obviously deserved admiration as victors.”

“They proclaim they were beaten by Americans…and finally the only way for Japanese to save any face at all was not to admit but to proclaim that they had been beaten by superiors which moreover left them a chance to save face completely by becoming more American than Americans themselves!”

Oil the Way to the Bank- Finders Keepers

art collage appropriated vintage images by Sally Edelstein

After the sunny reception we had received in the Land of the Rising Sun, 60 years earlier we were surprised by the cold shoulder we experienced in Iraq. In the land of Magic Carpets, no one rolled out the red carpet for the USA

Contrary to what we might believe, the image of beefy, swashbuckling American’s racing across the deserts carrying the blazing torch of light of democracy to the darkest deserts of the land of Aladdin were never part of the thousand and one stories of the Arabian Nights.


Treasure Hunt

Sally Edelstein collage of vintage illustrations from the 40s 50s looks atAmerican Crusaders and Middle East Oil

The Middle East has long been The Middle East has long been a battle ground for the hearts and minds and petroleum of the people who live there. Oil and progress go together.

Beginning in the roaring 20’s as Model T’s kept rolling off the assembly line and energy consuming Americans swooned over Rudolph valentine in “The Sheik of Araby” falling in love with Arabian romance, the roving eyes of the US oil companies lusted after more than the harem girls of Hollywood; they coveted the rich oil supply in the enchanted land of Aladdin

Sally Edelstein Collage composed of vintage illustration from 40's 50s looks at American Crusaders and Middle East Oil

The big Oil Companies have been carrying a torch ever since creating a whole new alliance- a religious military industrial complex. In the great American tradition, the better you live the more oil you use! And the US would be on the march to provide it for you.

Perhaps oils not well that ends well, especially when fuels rush in.

Oils Well That Ends Well

Sally Edelsteins Collage composed of vintage illustratios from 40s, 50s looks at American Crusaders and Middle East Oilt

“Oils Well That Ends Well” Collage by Sally Edelstein
Appropriating vintage images from sources as varied as Vintage mass media periodicals vintage advertising, illustration and vintage children’s school books from the 1940’s, 50’s and 1960s, the collage pieces together fragments of Post-War American myths disarming mid-century fictions about war, consumerism, geo-politics and the American Way.

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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