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yep, this is offensive (duh, water is wet too).....i'm sure texaco was just being 'patriotic' at the 'offensive' tag!

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That word needs to make a comeback. I'm going to work it into conversations about Edward Snowden.
We've gone from "don't be guilty of blabotage" to "if you see something, say something." I guess at some point the Powers That Be realized the potential of having everyone be a snitch.
Don't worry, Big Bro has cut out the middle man. But they might have to hire him back just to help sift through all that data.
During WWII, people saw the leaders of the Axis powers, particularly Hirohito and the Japanese, as truly evil individuals. My family used to send records to my uncle in Pearl Harbor. Someone made a tape of one such record, and every last person (including my mother, who was about nine when the war started) would end whatever they said with "slap the Japs!" There was a little grocery store back in the old neighborhood that had all kinds of non-perishable stuff that never sold but they didn't take off the shelf. One of the items (had to have been from the '40's) was a dartboard: the standard game on one side, and a nasty yellow caricature of Hirohito running away on the other, with the bullseye right in the center of his right buttock, under a legend that said "SET THE SUN!"

None of this is meant to excuse the animosity shown to the Japanese, merely to point out that the world was a much different place eighty years ago. Seen through that lens, this is a pretty classic ad. I'd be interested to know whether Texaco did similar ads featuring Mussolini and Hitler.
I've often wondered when I see these types of ads: exactly what was the average, everyday, John or Jane Doe supposed to know that would help the Axis in any way? I doubt they knew the ins and outs of troop movements, for example, or knew about D-Day or the atomic bomb ahead of time.
They could have information about the movements of their own family members that were in the service, or could be doing war work building bombsights or radar components or something. Bits and pieces of the bigger puzzle, that intelligence agents could accumulate and start to put together.
Letters home from troops were often censored to remove any potentially sensitive information, including locations. But I understand the part about war work. That could be useful to the enemy.
Very true about the censorship. I was thinking more of, say, a relative who'd been home on leave, or had just finished boot camp and was about to ship out for the first time.
I honestly can't figure out what the message behind this is supposed to be. Don't spill secrets to Japanese spies?