Greetings, loving public. Although it might seem that I have died, been kidnapped by a yeti, or slipped into another dimension with Rod Serling, the truth is, I'm still here. Without getting into details, I'll just say that a lot has happened that has kept me from the blogging keyboard and leave it at that. I'm hoping--HOPING--to get back to some kind of a reasonable schedule before too long, but unfortunately, I can't make any promises that will happen. Just know that I've been really touched by the emails of concern and cheer, and if the good Lord's willin' and the computer doesn't rise, er, crash, I might begin wasting pixels and bandwidth again before too long.
Not only am I looking for better stuff to post, I'm looking for new areas to snark on. This time, it's some selections from the Pictorial Encyclopedia of American History, a multi-volume set published in 1966. I know it's a slight departure, but I thought the illustrations were laughable enough to snark on. What say my adoring public?
The things you learn from a pictorial encyclopedia. All this time I thought Nixon lost the 1960 debate to JFK because he came off all sweaty and icky. Turns out, he lost because Americans preferred a blocky-toothed, blinky guy to a staring machine.
It was in the fifties that evil in the form of telecast clowns began to invade the former wholesome sanctuary of the American home. I think we can all agree that the decline of civilization can be traced to that exact moment.
Also, in the lab, a hawkish researcher attempts to determine whether V-8 or grape juice makes a better mixer.
And the power of the atom is released when the first UN symbol is successfully detonated, setting off a logo war that would last until the fall of the Soviet Union.
This was supposed to illustrate the Supreme Court ending school segregation, but all I can think of is one justice sharing some juicy gossip with another.
But I'll give the artist credit: I don't know how he did it, but he made that lawyer in the green blazer (who'd just come from winning the Masters, evidently) look darn earnest, even from behind. You can just sense the golly-geeness coming from that young man.
A young Joe Paterno mans the clipboard as Marshall Plan supplies are loaded on ships.
Little-known fact: ropes and cables for securing cargo on ships weren't widely deployed until the early seventies. Until then, sailors were forced to take turns holding the cargo down themselves, with limited success. Cargo often slid off the ship, frustrating the crew and causing them to remark, "Man! Overboard!"
"You give the patient a few ounces of uranium, leave it in for, let's say, two or three hours...or was that weeks? Ennyway, we leave it in there for a while, and it kills all the bad stuff. Fixed that one guy up in no time, and still gave the doctor plenty of time to make ironic, pithy asides. And I didn't see him wearing protective gear, so I'm sure we'll be fine."
After perusing my collection of scanned images, I'm again convinced that there's not a lot to choose from. So I'm gonna have to scan up some new stuff. And I'm gonna. Not right now, I mean. There are two episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" on tonight, people!
In the meantime, here are some fairly good selections from the Better Homes & Gardens, Feb. 1939 issue. Now, if you'll excuse me, Sheldon and Leonard are beckoning me.
Evidently, in the thirties, there was a fad in which women, clad in Robin Hood hats and heels, started off in Gotham (no doubt near the headquarters of Wayne Industries), wearing Gotham Gold Stripe stockings, and then covered the whole country while wearing a pedometer. Somehow, this was supposed to sell Ivory Flakes.
It was only last year that I finally gave up and joined the automatic transmission crowd, so I'm aware that, for most of the population, not changing gears is a big plus. And in 1939, not changing gears, or at least having help changing gears, was a big plus, especially for the gentler sex. But "a hidden mechanical servant" doesn't so much say "helpful" as it does "stalker creepy."
Odd verbiage, too. "Lightly a Lady's Fingers" sounds like a Barbara Cartland book title, besides leaving you hanging. Lightly a lady's fingers...strangle someone? Knife the mailman? Vote Communist? The mind boggles at the possibilities.