What part of “ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES” are you dense motherfuckers missing? It’s time that Smokey the Bear stopped politely asking and starting telling. Fire safety has become a joke because the mascot obviously fails to inspire fear. I’ve been thinking on this for some time, and the solution I’ve come up with is to rebrand Smokey from a kind-hearted forest ranger into the feral grizzly he was born to be.
Smokey the Bear actually existed once- in 1950, New Mexico park rangers rescued a badly burned cub after a wildfire. His wounds were treated, and he became a symbol for conservation when the story of Hotfoot Teddy caught on. He was later renamed to Smokey Bear, with “the” only being added to fill a needed syllable in a folk song written about him (which we’ll be keeping, it just sounds better like that). This is where the first problem with Smokey comes in to place. Society has always idolized this little orphan bitch bear who couldn’t even escape a fire. This is the hero we look to? Pathetic.
Heroes never fail, and neither will my new Smokey. That old story is out the window. Now, kids will learn Hotfoot Teddy’s true origin, about a fully grown grizzly who stepped on the embers of a campfire some teenagers forgot to put out, and then was so enraged he went into their tent and ripped them to shreds, leaving only one maimed survivor to tell the tale. A nice boogeyman-esque story is a surefire way to promote a healthy dose of anxiety.
A new line of propaganda is in order as well, here’s an example of how to repurpose classic posters for a more current Smokey.
Drivers might recognize those familiar caricatures of a solemn Smokey, standing poised in blue jeans and hat with a shovel in his grip, next to a sign detailing the danger of a fire on any given day. The fire danger signs are great, but his pose is too refined. Under my rebranding, Smokey will be in an action pose, looming with his claw raised over an irresponsible camper. Bloodstains on his teeth will indicate he’s already struck and is finishing the job. No smile, no joy- there is no pride in killing for justice. It is the burden Smokey bears for the greater good.
It may seem absurd to expect a mascot so terrifying to have net positive results, but the proof is in the pattern. Take, for example, Gritty, a being so powerful God could not kill him, despite His best efforts. The city of Philadelphia knew that humanity craved chaos when designing their hockey team’s mascot. How better to deliver than with a being derived solely from havoc and discord? Consider also the anthropomorphic pitcher currently known as The Kool-Aid Man. His existence predates the drink, and the first records of him can be found in cave paintings through the Indus River Valley. There’s a reason every cult drinks Kool-Aid and it is the raw power of the face of the brand. Harnessing the raw energy of mayhem produces results, be it selling juice powder or preventing wildfires.
Under my new guidelines for Smokey the Bear, I expect a drastic decrease in wildfires. With a better story and higher stakes there’s no way we’ll lose so much land in uncontrolled blazes. Striking fear in the hearts of anyone foolish enough to play with fire will teach them there is no excuse for getting burned… or savagely mauled, by a massive grizzly bear in denim.
Smokey The Bear Needs To Stop Being Polite And Start Mauling People.
Get your own Smokey the Bear propaganda poster via this link, help rewrite Smokey’s story today.