Catholic Logo Shows That the Internet Remembers Everything
One of the realities about life in the Internet age is that nothing is ever really gone. That time you got drunk and danced naked at a party? Your in-laws can see it on YouTube. We've already seen one example of the Internet's long memory today: David Martz, who probably thought that brief blowjob while he flew his helicopter over San Diego in 2005 was a faded memory, until the video showed up on the Internet. Now here's another: in 1974, the Catholic Church commissioned the logo below to promote the Archdiocesan Youth Commission. Until recently, it was more forgotten than bell bottoms and wide lapels. But now, it's been rediscovered on the web, and it seems deeply prescient of the Church's infamous problems with children. At first, we thought it might be a hoax, but the AIGA web archives document the year it was created and the firm that designed it.
Even in the '70s, it seems incredible that this logo was put forward to represent the Church to the public. After all, if anyone knows striking visual images, it's the Catholic Church. No one would ever accuse them of not knowing their iconography; they're experts in inspiring awe and fear through statuary, architecture, and paintings. So what happened? Did no one see how this might be interpreted, even by those charitably inclined toward the Church? Or was somebody, way back in the '70s, trying to send a warning?