Why is there a giant octopus hanging over Minnesota?

This old-school public service announcement is warning of the dangers of smut—and for some reason it’s illustrated with a many-tentacled cephalopod hovering above my state. Prophecy?

There are more strange PSAs collected online.


  1. says

    Ah, Perversion for Profit! I remember that from the days when the Internet Archive was the only place you could get weird videos. These kids today with their YouTubes, messing up my lawn. . . .

    Don’t forget the classic remix, Come Join the Fun! (2004).

  2. Liberal Atheist says

    What a bizarre collection of PSA’s… I’ve already seen the homosexual one, but I’ll check the others out when I get home. The bigotry is almost on an impossible level.

  3. Fuodd says

    Hey Beaver, you want to go to the malt shop to get some porn?
    Anyone know the identities of the three major civilizations that blew human kinds perfect record?

  4. says

    Omigawd, it’s George Putnam, the southern California superhero opponent of communism and alternative lifestyles (they’re the same, you know)! Hey, did you know classical Greece and imperial Rome collapsed because their drugstores and delis started selling porn? Damn, the stuff they left out of the history books!

  5. says

    Of course the octopus is hovering in mid-air. It’s jet-propelled. Think British Harrier Jump Jet.

    I’d be more worried if it was tunnelling underneath…

  6. Chris J says

    Really, it seems like that could have been made last week in Alaska.

    But seriously, change the video for today’s equipment, and I’m surprised we didn’t see it on tv today for the last election.

    Must not give nutters on the right the idea.

  7. snibwig says

    This has been one of my favorite videos for quite some time now. :)

    I think I may have the entire thing saved somewhere…

  8. Wowbagger says

    I think it looks non-corporeal and kind of spooky – perhaps it’s the ghost of an octopus. An octoghost, maybe? Pity Hallowe’en has just been; we’ll all have to wait ’til next year to dress up as one.

  9. Autumn says

    Is this the same series that has an episode about the dangers of homosexuality that ends with the kid who was nearly led into a life of perversion getting “probation” for being almost molested?

  10. says

    “A flood tide of filth is engulfing our country…”

    heck yeah. I do what I can.

    Inthemeantime, lay off the alliteration George.

  11. snibwig says

    Sadly, Mr. Putnam reminds me waaaaay too much of my grandfather in looks, mannerisms, and opinions.

    It’s downright creepy, aside from the fact that he was creepy already.

  12. says

    “Word just in to the KTTV News Service undeniably links THIS MOUNTAIN and HIS WIFE to drug abuse and pay-offs as part of a San Joaquin Valley SMUT RING! However, we can assure parents in the Southern California area that a recent NARCOTICS CRACK-DOWN, in Torrance, Hawthorne, Lomita, Westchester, Playa Del Rey, Santa Monica, Tujunga, Sunland, San Fernando, Pacoima, Sylmar, Newhall, Canoga Park, Palmdale, Glendale, Irwindale, Rolling Hills, Granada Hills, Shadow Hills, Cheviot Hills, will provide the SECRET EVIDENCE the Palmdale Grand Jury has needed to seek a CRIMINAL INDICTMENT, and pave the way for STIFFER LEGISLATION, increased FEDERAL AID, and AVERT A CRIPPLING STRIKE of Bartenders and Veterinarians throughout the INLAND EMPIRE . . . ”

  13. Shane says

    You just know this guy was into some serious hardcore kinky bisexual cross-dressing sex on the weekends. And probably felt really guilty about it. Poor schmuck. Thinks he’s destroying society…

  14. Wowbagger says

    What is up with dissing people born on the wrong side of the tracks?

    Tracks? Tracks!? Tracks were luxury when I were a lad; we’d dream of having tracks to be born on the wrong side of…

  15. AlanWCan says

    Who’ll take my bet the guy in the video is wearing a butt plug, Arab strap, and frilly cami knickers under his suit?

  16. Ploon says

    Porn was what done the Egyptians and Romans in? Whodathunk.

    Anyway, from now on this will be my internet sig:

    … and any other kind of deviant

  17. Angel Kaida says

    The Habit Patterns and Body Care and Grooming ones are really just… soul-crushing. I feel like I suddenly understand why a lot of people are as neurotic about appearance and social norms as they are. =( I also suddenly need a hug.

  18. says

    Why can’t this man just allow a cephalopod and a continental land mass to engage in sexual relations the way that God intended!?!?!

    I for one am offended that they would show such a vulgar image. I could clearly see that the cephalopod’s tentacles were enticing and tickling the continental land mass on its earthy ridges. Oh dear! I must take a seat, I do feel ever so faint.

  19. antaresrichard says

    “X”tra! “X”tra! Magnificent Egypt done in by malt shoppes! So says George Putnam!

  20. Mark says

    Hot damn!! The half-naked dude in that video is hot!! I think I’m gonna run off a be one of them ho-mo-sexchuls.

    It’s no wonder that kids born in the fifties were all smashed to the eyeballs 20 years later.

  21. antaresrichard says

    I like to think the film shake and fade-to-black at 1:17-1:20 was the cameraperson fainting from deviant excitement!

  22. Arnosium Upinarum says

    Say, that’s one of them pathological types with extra and branched tentacles, ain’t it?

  23. Cowcakes says

    I wonder how poor old George Putnam would have handled these Australian commercials.

    and the sequel

    I can see him reaching for the oxygen.

  24. scooter says

    The octopus makes perfect sense. This was before video rentals, the porn was retailed from seedy news stands, and it was all in ink.

    The drawing was rendered shortly before the hideous octoperv, air-brushed a couple of giant boobies on Minnesota that can only be seen from space.

    There’s nothing worse than a masturbating self-a-lapod, especially the ones with hundred mile arms that hover.

    They must have sent Commander Cody to shoot it down.

  25. Nikki says

    OMG. Ancient Greece fell because of gays? Egypt was awash with masochistic lesbians?

    Guys, they’ve totally been censoring our history classes. I demand a more accurate education. Ideally with pictures.

  26. negentropyeater says

    It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

    Mark Twain

  27. RedGreenInBlue says

    Wazza wondered:

    Step 1: Perversion
    Step 2: Cephalopods
    Step 3: ???
    Step 4: Profit!

    Newfie suggested:

    Step 3: Anime Tentacle Pr0n.

    I thought Step 3 was “And then a miracle occurs!”

    Anyway, a big hmmmm to George Putnam. In the aftermath of Armistice Day, it seems particularly poignant that if you try a new way of having consensual sex, it’s perversion, but if you develop a new method of killing people, it’s technological innovation and good for GNP…

  28. says

    Funny thing about Putnam. Unless someone has hacked the Wikipedia article, he got a clue about gays later in life – said on his radio show that they’re born gay, and he had gay friends.

    Good for him.

  29. Nick Gotts says

    With their Hunnish practices? ;-)

    Actually not – the Huns were beaten off by an alliance including both Romans and various German tribes in 451; but by then the Western Empire was a “dead man walking”. After the battle of Adrianople in 378, where the Visigothic cavalry annihilated the army of Emperor Valens, the Romans were dependent on hiring German mercenaries to protect themselves against other Germans, and any other invaders such as the Huns. The East was rich enough to continue doing this, and had in Constantinople a nearly impregnable capital. The downfall of the much poorer west was probably sealed when Emperor Honorius brought down his generalissimo, Stilicho the Vandal on (probably false) charges in 408, and an accompanying massacre of the families of German foederati (mercenaries) by the Romans drove the foederati to swap sides. Shortly after, the Germans crossed the Rhine and the Alps and devastated much of Gaul, Spain, and Italy, while troops were withdrawn from Britain.

    It is remarkable to the modern eye what sexually explicit imagery the Romans went in for in wall decorations and household objects – but if this caused their downfall, it took quite a few centuries! Even Christianity is probably not to blame – rather, a shift in the balance of population and military technology between Romans and Germans.

  30. johannes says

    Homosexuals AND lesbians? So Putnam believed that there were heterosexual lesbians?

    # 40,

    the cigar-munching caricature you can see from 0.38 to 0.50 is even more blatantly antisemitic.

    # 41,

    and they were just Goths. Now try to imagine Herulians and Taifals ;-)…

  31. Anders says

    It does provide thrills and kicks to practice homosexuality. That’s sort of the point of the excercise. I wonder what Putnam thought motivated homosexuality.

  32. Fernando Magyar says

    Nick Gotts @47,

    It is remarkable to the modern eye what sexually explicit imagery the Romans went in for in wall decorations and household objects – but if this caused their downfall, it took quite a few centuries!

    I don’t think The Romans, Greeks or Egyptians can hold a candle to these guys.


    Hunnish descendant here, well, Magyar really…

  33. Cincinnati Kid says

    This little film was financed by Charles Keating. As in The Keating Five/Savings and Loan Scandal.

    It’s amazing how far some people will go to force their BS on other people. Cincinnati is the conservative millstone around Ohio’s neck because of Keating and his legacy. Oh if only there were enough pitchforks and torches to run them out of town.

  34. says

    Transvestites? Men in women’s clothing? Does this guy consider a towel to be women’s clothing? Since he was showing a guy covered with a towel when he was talking about transvestites. Or was the implication that is is only proper for a women to display themselves as sex objects?

    Thanks for the video. Though I’m not sure whether to laugh or spit at it.

  35. Sili says

    Thank you, Mark.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to think so. Thank GUT, that I’ve come to terms with bisexuality! (Now I just need to learn to be more accepting of asexuals.)

    Pssst, Ploon.

  36. bernard quatermass says

    “It’s amazing how far some people will go to force their BS on other people. Cincinnati is the conservative millstone around Ohio’s neck because of Keating and his legacy. Oh if only there were enough pitchforks and torches to run them out of town.”

    Whew. Yeah. I grew up there. It’s a straaannngggee town.

  37. says

    I particularly like how the only example of “smut” they show is a buff, young boy. No pictures of women aside from barely distinguishable covers of books.

    Nothing like appealing to a closet homosexuals sense of self-loathing.

  38. says

    Oddly enough, I downloaded the first nine minutes or so of Perversion for Profit to my YT account a while back…
    I can’t check the link from work to see if it was my video PZ mentioned or not though. If I find a sudden deluge of comments on it when I get home, I guess I will know I have been Pharyngulized.

  39. says

    Also, his emphasis on “homosexuals” and “sadists” tell you exactly what he does behind closed doors. (Sorry for that mental image.)

    I still can’t get over the long shot of the buff young boy. That makes it so obvious that whoever edited this film was gay.

  40. James Haight says

    I particularly like how the only example of “smut” they show is a buff, young boy. No pictures of women aside from barely distinguishable covers of books.
    Nothing like appealing to a closet homosexuals sense of self-loathing.

    Not to come to the defense of it or anything, but the linked YouTube movie is a very heavily edited and abbreviated cut of the original. Which featured far more varied and interesting “smut.” Mmmm, smut.

  41. Pierce R. Butler says

    That ain’t no octopus, and it ain’t hovering over just Minnesota.

    Beware the tentacles of the Canadian Duodecipus, young Americans!

  42. Nick Gotts says

    Fernando Magyar@53,
    Unfortunately I can’t make out most of the details. I’ll need to get a larger version and subject it to detailed inspection before I can make a proper assessment!

  43. Justin says

    Cthulhu comes, my children. His sleep is about over, and his coming will cleanse the world… Yet another sign granted by our great savior… Prepare yourselves for the end…

  44. itwasntme says

    I’m an Los Angeles native, and that’s George Putnam all right, a notorious right-wing nut job at the time. His ilk have never gone away, sadly, but they used to be marginalized.

  45. papa zita says

    Aw, I’m disappointed in the lists Cracked has for their drug PSAs. There was one shown around 1970-71 that was the height of hilarity. It hits all the high points – racism, bad information, and a know-it-all little brat who somehow has the details of the downsides of every drug the dealer has. The dealer (who’s off-camera) is made out to be a black man and starts with “Hey, hey! The goody man is here!”. Not surprisingly, it goes downhill from there, as the (of course) white kid parries every drug offer with the bad side effects of using each illicit drug…until they get to marijuana, where the kid is finally defeated: Dealer -“Anything wrong with pot?”, Kid – “We don’t know yet, they just started studying”. The first antidrug commercial that actually admitted they didn’t know if there was any bad side effects to pot.

  46. Levi says

    It also appears that the Cephalopod of Perversion has moved Texas several hundred miles to the west. Oh, the humanity! When, when, when will people finally learn to not be turned on by sexually arousing things? When will they realize that the only way to prevent acts of sexual violence is to bottle up all your sexual urges and never under any circumstances seek any sort of outlet for them?

  47. the pro from dover says

    If a person such as a male is a transsexual, in that he identifies his personal sexuality with the female gender but is also a homosexual in that his female gendered self identification is sexually attracted to women, how would that be objectively differentiated from normal? and has anyone succesfully used that as a pickup line?

  48. JimNorth says

    Oh woe unto my bespectacled eyes,
    when I did first espy,
    the writing under the cephalopod doth read,
    and I tell you no lie,
    “PZMyers.com for profit”

    (time to get the eyeglass prescription changed, or simply change my meds)

  49. Qwerty says

    Anyone notice that the Octopus actually has eleven tentacles and one has a split-end. This atomic octopus must be inspired by a Japanese horror flick of the ’50s. Ahhhhh!!! Run, hide, the pornopus is going to eat your children and end civilization as we know it!!!!

  50. frog says

    God, I don’t even want to know what that guy thought was “normal” sexual practice!

    But note the implied racism — the octopus is -always- the secret conspiracy of Jews in the 20th century, and porn comes “from the other side of the tracks” which was the black side, of course!

    Them Jews and Blacks are gonna rape your kids, and take your wimmins with their perverted sexual practices or extra-sized schlongs!

  51. Cerberus says


    Hee hee, we’re rather quite nice actually.

    And who here bets that the japanese took one look at that and said, dude, I’ve got an idea.

  52. Fiziker says

    As a member of the first generation to grow up with the World Wide Web, I think the guy got it pretty much right for the consequences of smut are. The moral debauchery part was wrong but everything else sounds right (and fun!).

  53. uncle frogy says

    I guess thanks are in order for reminding me of my childhood sitting on the floor watching “good old george” on TV?

    fox news before fox network

    rush before rush.

    it was reassuring when I heard of his death.
    nothing is forever except maybe change

  54. says

    Ah, the “normal attitudes to sex” of the McCarthy era. Straight, missionary position, in the dark inaction. And now look at what the perverts have done to America! Dirty commie sex, that’s actually pleasurable! The tendrils of the smut picture racket reach far and wide.

    Hs anyone seen Ed Wood’s The Sinister Urge? Makes a great companion piece to this. “KLINE!”

  55. MReap says

    Is it just me, or does that map make the Minnesota Northwest Angle really, really large? It looks like Manitoba loses even more land.

  56. KiwiInOz says

    Cuttlefish, OM – if you aren’t making millions of dollars out of your work then there is something wrong with the world!

  57. KiwiInOz says

    Oh, and Digital Cuttlefish, can we expect to see some traditional Cephalopodomas carols before too long.


    O, Little Town of Squidlydom
    Away in a kelp bed
    Jingle shells


    (I know, my efforts pale in comparison to your luminescence).

  58. Longtime Lurker says

    George Putnam? I kept waiting for him to introduce himself as Troy McClure. Funny how he was filmed from the shoulders up immediately after the muscleman photo… hey, didn’t Arnie do a lot of those photo spreads when he needed the money?

    Thanks for the link, Mr Magyar- I thought that this, written about a site known for its erotic imagery, was unintentionally hilarious:

    The name Khajuraho is derived from the Hindi word khajur meaning date palm.

  59. Mad Hussein LOLScientist, FCD says

    Holy fucking hell, I remember George Putnam from when I was a kid in California. He was an asshole, but I had forgotten. what an idiot he was until I saw this. GAAK. Good thing I don’t eat breakfast, or I’d be buying a new keyboard.

  60. Brownian, OM says

    The use of the octopus trope is a bit Protocols-of-the-Learned-Elders-of-Zion-y.

    That’s the first thing I noticed too, Matt. For those who don’t know, a few of the published Protocols had cover illustrations depicting a Star of David-wearing octopus betentacling the world.

    With respect to the PSA, I’d be less skeptical of the Great Porn Conspiracy if instead of a map of the USA, that placard showed the average hotmail spam folder.

  61. Andrew says

    Oh, yeah, that’s classic. Here’s a fun little cut and splice job from a few years ago.

    “George Putnam: Things I’m Into”

    There’s even a minor cameo from the ho-mo-sex-yoo-uhl in the “Boys Beware!” video. :-p

  62. says

    “We know that once a person is perverted, it is practically impossible to for that person to adjust to normal attitudes in regard to sex.”

    Irony meter just blew.

    Has anyone informed Westboro Baptist, Focus on the Family, and the rest of ’em?

  63. says

    So, is George Putnam telling me that the reason I want to bang that sweet ass piece of livestock I see on my morning drive is Minnesota’s fault?

    I’m confused. How will I ever be able to adjust to a normal attitude in regard to sex?

  64. varlo says

    Having reached the age where the only PSA that matters is the prostate specific antigen test, it may be faulty memory, but I was never exposed to any of these fascinating studies. Of course that may be because my pre-college education was courtesy of THE Board of Education as in Brown vs BE. (If you believe that we lily whites did not go to school with blacks, you are wrong; it was much stranger than that. K-6 was segregated, thereafter full integration EXCEPT that black kids could play football and run track on the regular teams, but were unwelcome on the basketball and baseball teams.) I wonder what the genious who dreamed up that scenario would think about the 2008 election.

  65. says

    Gadzooks … is that fellow holding a dress in his hand?!

    He must be a homo-secks-suelle or some other kind of deviant!

  66. CanadianChick says

    another version of the video – slightly edited for humour value (and to take it totally out of context, of course…)

  67. Richard Smith says

    Anybody else notice that one particularly long, dark tentacle is heading down to Florida? Not satisfied simply with corrupting the nation, the giant cephalopod is intent on touching it in its bathing-suit area!

    (Would that make the west coast a reach-around?)

  68. Grendel72 says

    [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386713/fullcredits]Produced by Charles Keating[/url].
    Yes, [i]that[/i] Charles Keating.