2 comments on “Popeye the Weatherman

  1. Although seemingly more like something from a slapstick comedy movie, more finely targeted efforts to achieve the same ends included the Riotrol brand “banana peel,” a slippery substance that was applied to the so-called Ho Chi Minh Trail in order to interdict shipments. This particular substance, as well as others, including the opposite (a super-sticky glue-trap type of concoction), came to be investigated both for overseas use and domestic law-enforcement use. In Seth Rosenfeld’s book Subversives, which has been receiving a lot of attention, the banana peel gets a mention. He says the Chicago police tried it out, a claim supported by other research I’ve done. It seems like interfering with the weather or targeted application of a particular chemical, one terrifying and one silly, are both on a spectrum of tactics that grew out of the fundamental belief that the war would be won through the prevention of outside interference. It just didn’t seem to be possible within the dominant worldview that the causes of the fighting were more internal, not due to external communist infiltration and subversion, and that the real outside interference was that of the US.

  2. Pingback: Danger on the shore « geographical imaginations

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