If You Want to Reach Me, You’ll Find Me Reading Cosmopolitan

(NOTE: This draft has been lying about in the bin for weeks, but if it’s ever going to achieve near-perfection, it won’t be from fermenting in there. You can see the basic ideas, I just don’t have a hook to hang them on and give them perspective.)

FURTHER TO MY earlier essay about trade advertising in the 1960s and 70s, there was one other magazine whose trade-ad campaigns came at you relentlessly as you strolled through the railway depots and commuter stations, or thumbed through the NYTimes. That was Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmopolitan, an aggressively low-middlebrow sex-and-makeup rag that came out of the Hearst Building. During its high-water mark of the late 60s, early 70s, its man-catching ethos was at fierce loggerheads with a much fresher and weirder bit of popcult, Women’s Liberation.

Cosmo seldom addressed this pop-culture war in its pages, so far as I know, nor did its trade advertising ever discuss how its sensibility contrasted with that of Women’s Lib. (Ms. magazine wouldn’t really be a thing till early 1972.) Cosmo readers and women’s libbers inhabited two different galaxies altogether and neither one ever acknowledged the other.

This is somewhat paradoxical, because both camps were selling a Career Girl persona that liked to imagine itself as “Fun, Fearless, Female”—to use a 1990s Cosmopolitan slogan. It was a rivalry that went much deeper than the magazines’ public personae. At the root was a culture war that neither could openly discuss.

It made for many amusing ironies. Ms. featured actress Marlo Thomas as a contributor in the early years. Her TV persona in the 1960s “That Girl” sitcom—chic clothes, flip-hairdo, man-hungry and marriage-focused—was basically the Cosmo Girl.

And Cosmo definitely leveraged off the Women’s Lib movement—though mainly in the same crude and clownish way that Virginia Slims cigarettes did (“You’ve come a long way, baby!”). For cigarette advertising, “women’s rights” meant that dames could now smoke 100mm cigarettes in public. For Cosmopolitan, it was all about young women being actively sexual—we’ve got the Sexual Revolution now, baby, and the Pill! This was supposed to put them on a par with men.

Sex equality, thus = sexual equality. There’s too much to unpack in that equation; we leave it for another date.

The split between the Cosmo camp and Ms. faction was essentially a political war between Women’s Libbers, one so deep and ideological that neither side even acknowledged the other’s existence. One was deeply rooted in the 1950s and 60s culture of working girls who used sexual wiles to gain power. The other was rooted in journalism, academia, and abstruse theorizing about social dynamics. The first was loud and sometimes coarse, the second was snobbish and priggish.

Of course didn’t take much snobbishness to sneer at Cosmopolitan. Its cat-in-heat crudeness was all over the place, then as now.  Even in the 1970s it was giving its readers tips ‘n’ tricks on sex foreplay. Its raunch wasn’t quite at the level of Penthouse’s Forum, but it was extraordinary for a magazine aimed at the same approximate demographic as Mademoiselle and Glamour.  Cosmo called it being sexually “frank,” but it was widely perceived as being merely lowlife and lurid, and as abjectly unintellectual as its cosmetics advertisements and decolletage covers.  

This social and cultural divide that could never be breached. Many a teenage girl of this era affected a distaste for fine clothes and grooming, lest she be mistaken for a dim-bulb Cosmo reader. No doubt the horrors of Cosmo propelled others into disheveled lesbianism, or at least priggish spinsterhood. Better to die single and childless, the middle-class, educated young woman mused, than to hunt for a man like a JAP or a Cosmo floozy.

I would argue  that Cosmopolitan did far more to ruin relations between the sexes than Ms. or Feminism ever did. It made the heterosexual dating game tawdry and distasteful. It made catching a spouse (and seeking a home and family) something anyone should sneer at, if her ambitions were anything above the level of stewardess or cocktail waitress. A whole generation of women were born and raised under this pervasive yet unnatural mindset.

I recall, in the 80s, being asked by strangers if I were seeking a husband or looking forward to raising a family. I would go into an absolute cringe. What did they think I was? The sort of bimbo who read Cosmopolitan?

Failing Memory? Things I Can’t Remember

Begins here a list of memory lapses, items I reach for mentally before drawing a blank. I am not counting things I forget because I was incapacitated. (E.g., stuff I buy on Amazon when drunk or sleepwalking.) I put an asterisk after anything I actually went and Googled, or otherwise hunted around for.

Stuff I Forget

  1. Name of resort town near Rimini, where I was for WMA in Sept. 2007.  (Riccione*)
  2. That 1910s recording star and performer who sang ‘Over There.’ (Nora Bayes*)
  3. 18th century German homosexual art historian and Italophile. (Winckelmann)
  4. The bibulous ‘red brick don’ with mustache in ‘Tinker Tailor.’  (Roy Bland)

Stuff I Forget: Addendum, May 23, 2017

  • 5. What was the number on my last mailing address in London? 305? 503? (405)
  • 6. Chicagoland guy now in Oxon at SoftPress? Richard Morgan? (Richard Logan*)

Stuff I Forget: Addendum, June 15, 2017

  • 7. What was the name of David Byrne’s singing group? (Talking Heads*)
  • 8. What was boychik’s real name? (Leave this blank.)

Stuff I Forget: Addendum, July 14, 2017

Now, I’ve been collecting some at random for a couple of months and not putting them in here. But these are some of the best.

  • 9. The gory Gore Vidal movie with Malcolm McDowell about the Roman emperor? (Caligula)
  • 10. The James Bond after George Lazenby? (Timothy Dalton*)
  • 11. Swedish actor who was in The Seventh Seal and Hannah and Her Sisters? (Max von Sydow*)
  • 12. The Negro-Thai golfer, big in the 90s, on skids since? (Tiger Woods)
  • 13. Simone Veil, Simone Weil, Edith Stein: who is who? (Veil’s the one who just died, Weil is the crazy philosophe who worked herself to death, Stein the one who became a nun and died in a concentration camp.*)
  • 14. Pop novelist and Thatcherite pol who got convicted of some obscure crime years ago? (Jeffrey Archer…couldn’t come up with his name on a day in May till I shook my brain a little.)
  • 15. Name of that Scottish c&w girl singer with the 2008 hit about the black oak tree?
    (KT Tunstall — Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, actually, and the song is older, 2004. (This is about the third time in six months I was stumped, had to look up an e-mail I sent someone.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq8hiZPqj_U )
  • 16. That quasi-3D kind of photo or illustration, like lenticular, but not lenticular? (Oh holograph. Took me a few seconds.)

Stuff I Forget: Addendum, August 19, 2017

  • 17. The Alsatian bistro across the street from the Café de Flore. (Brasserie Lipp. It’s mentioned in Hemingway and a Maurice Chevalier song but I gave up after ten seconds and Googled.*)
  • 18. Jewish lawyer and Harvard LS professor who was always on TV and who defended Claus von Bulow. (Alan Dershowitz. Really drew a blank on this one. You can search for, Whom did Ron Silver play in Reversal of Fortune, but that works only if you know the other pieces.*)
  • 19. Word for when someone is older than one ought to be. (Superannuated.)
  • 20. Who was the gourmet popcorn man? Oscar Fliegenheimer? Oscar Redenbacher? (Orville Redenbacher.)
  • 21. French Jew operetta composer who did Orpheus in the Underworld? (Offenbach.)

Stuff I Forget: Addendum, December 2, 2017

  • 22. Ludwig II ‘Sleeping Beauty’ castle. (Neuschwanstein.)
  • 23. Nobleman with eyepatch who ran off with Marie-Louise when Napoleon went to Elba. (Neipperg*)
  • 24. The dotted wire-photo process. (Halftone*)
  • 25. Duchess of Cambridge, maiden name. (Kate Middleton*)
  • 26. Upscale shoe chain with $800 over-the-knee boots. (Stuart Weitzman)
  • 27. Name of Jewish communists who disappeared into Czecho, late 40s, while searching for a relative. (???)

Henry Williamson and T. E. Lawrence

Henry Williamson

December 1st is the 122nd birthday of Henry Williamson (Dec. 1, 1895 – Aug. 13, 1977), English naturalist, novelist, and nationalist.

One of Williamson’s unique distinctions is to have been T. E. Lawrence’s literary friend and personal confidant during the last seven years of Lawrence’s life, 1928-1935. It is a matter of record that when Lawrence had his fatal motorcycle accident, he had just been to the post office to send a telegram to Williamson. (Near end of excerpts, below.) The plan was to meet the following week and discuss Williamson’s proposal to start an ex-servicemen’s organization in the cause of European peace.

These years were Williamson’s noontide of fame, as novelist and essayist, and they were his friend’s most obscure—quite deliberately. For most of this time Lawrence was serving as an aircraftman in the R.A.F., in which he had enlisted in 1925 under the name T. E. Shaw in order to find a measure of privacy and peace of mind, unencumbered by his international fame as Lawrence of Arabia. Shaw/Lawrence served in India 1926-1928, and afterwards in England near Plymouth and Southampton. It is during this latter period that Lawrence first visited Williamson at latter’s farm near Georgeham, north Devon.

Threnos for T. E. Lawrence [1], excerpted below, was written  in 1954. It is less an intimate portrait than a somewhat dreamlike, impressionistic recollection by an admiring acquaintance. Having known of Lawrence as a heroic figure for years before he met him, Williamson is always trying hard to disentangle Man and Myth.

Their friendship had begun by correspondence in 1928. Williamson sent Lawrence a copy of his recent Tarka the Otter, which was about to win the Hawthornden Prize. From India Lawrence replied with his appreciations, along with some condescending advice on how to write; followed by much embarrassment when he discovered that the prize-winning Williamson was indeed an established writer, not some lucky newbie.

Back in England a few months later, Lawrence proposed to drive up on his new motorcycle to pay Williamson a visit.  This was a trip of eighty miles each way. Not surprisingly, the visit was repeatedly postponed. But not forever:

On 2nd July 1929 a letter.

‘If it rained at your end as it did here, all yesterday, then this letter isn’t needed to explain my defection. Only if the sun shone brilliantly, and your hay is made, I must apologise. It was quite impossible for pleasure riding. I can ride (at 30) on a wet road: but that’s transport, no sport. Riding gets pleasant in the 40-50 range.

‘Yours, T.E.S.’

I wrote and asked him if he would be going to the R.A.F. display at Hendon, saying that I was going, during the same visit to London to the award of the Hawthornden Prize for that year. It was to be given to Siegfried Sassoon for his Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man. I offered to take T.E. to the R.A.F. show in my car, but he replied that it would not be fast enough to get him there and back.

‘Noon Sat. to midnight Sunday is so short a week-end, but it is all we get, without special permission, and the seeking that sticks in my throat . . . if you see Sassoon to speak to, tell him that his book (novel) pleased me: but I’d lose it all for his worst poem.

All Quiet on the Western Front is the screaming of a feeble man. It will not last as long as Tarka except as a document. Do not distress yourself about “lasting”: not even our bones do that, except momentarily. I think that to last is only to be in doubt longer.’

A postscript said he would try and reach the village on 28th July, if I would be there.

Lawrence meets Williamson

T. E. Shaw astride the cycle.

In the evening of 27th July the dulcet tones of the BBC foretold a deep depression approaching Ireland and our South-West Coast from the Atlantic. Towards midnight the rain began to drive against  the southern window of the writing room, and I went to bed saying to myself that he would not come. In the morning it was still raining, and I thought of the eighty-mile journey from Plymouth across Dartmoor in the midst of a driving rain, and the narrow twisting roads and lanes, many of them untarred, grey slippery surfaces. It rained and it rained . . . The clock in the church tower a gunshot away (sometimes in boredom I used to fire through the writing-room window at the weathercock, just out of damage range) struck twelve times. I got up and looked out of the window and saw below a red face under a peaked blue uniform cap, intensely blue eyes, short body enclosed in glistening black astride a large nickel-plated motor-cycle showing in the lane outside. As the bike stopped a rubber foot was put on the ground and the cap peak pushed up slightly. After a swift mutual grin I opened the garden door and ran down the steps. He pulled the Brough [cycle] on its stand.

‘Hullo.’

‘Hullo. I had to come. I found myself developing a complex about it.’

‘So was I. Will you put the bike in the shed?’

‘No thanks. I must leave at half-past one.’

‘You shall. That’s a fine storm-suit.’

‘It was designed for mine-sweeping during the war—no longer made.’

They sat and talked. A remembered snippet of conversation:

T.E.: ‘Have you had any Americans calling yet to see the greatest living descriptive prose writer in English?’

This was slightly startling; I didn’t know what to make of it, except to be amiably reticent, non-committal.

‘You will. And to the first fifty or so you’ll look very modest and droopingly acquiescent, and you’ll murmur a mixture of thanks and self-deprecation: to the fifty-first you’ll probably say “Balls”. That’s the only way to keep a sense of self-criticism. If you don’t you’ll become like Bernard Shaw, believing only the nice things said about you . . .’

* * *

On impulse I bought passage to America. Was there hope in the New World, I wrote to ‘T.E. Lawrence’, saying I was leaving England. As I was packing two mornings later, a reply came.

‘. . . I hope you will not hate the U.S.A. So many people do, whereas it all sounds to me so strong and good. Canada less so, but then I like towns, because only by contrast with cities do trees feel homelike, or seas look happy.

‘Will they send this rot on? Probably not…’

Williamson in New York

New York: the young, keen writers and critics, pleasantest people in the world, so eager to know, to understand, and share; new York, moon-strange Broadway: sidewalk fatigue of Manhattan, night and day being one, great skiey cliffs of light and running avenues of fire far down below . . .

The old version of The Dream of Fair Women [2] was rewritten in three weeks, in an empty eyrie downtown, overlooking Sheridan Square. Let them say what they like about a book written in three weeks; slashing into hour after hour, day after day, night after night, one knew what was being done, although one didn’t know how it was done. Afterwards life was empty, an aimless wandering through canyons of light and noise and disintegration until S.O.S. calls brought Loetitia [Mrs. Williamson] from England, and home again in the dirty Leviathan . . . how was my alter ego? Would a short letter be an intrusion? it was risked.

‘Your letter made me pump the tyres of the neglected bike, with a view to seeing you at once . . .

‘It is immoral to write in working hours.

‘I wish I could have seen New York without being seen.

‘T.E.S.’

“I’m Cunard Publicity, May We Take a Photograph Please?”

A few years, letters, and visits later, Williamson decided to go to America again, this time on a trip to Georgia and Florida. He was sailing from Southampton. Aircraftman T. E. Shaw was stationed nearby.

The Berengaria was to sail at noon on the last day of February, 1934. After missing each other in my cabin, we both went to the gangway as the key-position on the boat.

He was standing, hands behind back, patiently, against a bulkhead. He wore overalls, splashed with the sea. His face was brick-red, his eyes cornflower-blue. He looked like an elder, more serious brother of the man I’d talked to . . .five years before . . . He had thrown off his Joseph’s coat of many colours, the chameleonic intakes, the labels and theories of perplexities of his many acquaintances about himself, men lesser in penetration and speed of sight. He had ceased to be ‘a rare beast, will not breed in captivity’ which Winston Churchill, that brilliant exponent of ‘public opinion’, had insisted he must be.

I had brought half a bottle of champagne for J. H. (another visitor), and one of tomato juice cocktail for T.E. T.E. said . . . ‘Thanks, but I daren’t drink anything. One sip, and I go all dithery, and utter the most awful rot’. . .

While we were talking someone came diffidently to Lawrence, and said, ‘Excuse me, I’m Cunard Publicity, may we take a photograph, please? Of course I understand if you’d rather we didn’t . . .’

‘It would get me into trouble,’ replied T.E. Shaw, indicating his uniform, while J.H. and I started to talk to each other about each other. ‘They don’t like individual publicity, I am sorry, but I must say no.’

‘Of course, sir, I understand,’ and the young man raised his hat and rejoined two of his friends who stood by a tripod and camera and sound apparatus among the passengers saying good-bye to their friends. Eyes were now turned upon T.E. Lawrence.

He seemed to be fading. He was fading. He was dulled out.

* * *

The Last Year

The world knows the end of the story. But let me hold my thread of the tapestry of human friendship for  a little while longer. T.E. Shaw was discharged finally from R.A.F., and went to live at his cottage on Egdon Heath [actually Clouds Hill, Lawrence’s home in Dorset]. At once he set tow work with his hands, completing a glass-covered swimming bath among the rhododendrons, and beginning the building of a small bungalow near it for the use of a friend, a local man who helped with the gardening and work about the house: Crusoe and man Friday. Was he happy? No man, working with his hands, is unhappy. Not for him the worried brow of responsibility, the hollowness of political position, the wrinkled foreheads of the white faces of Whitehall. In the peak of his power he had measured himself against the world’s leaders at Versailles; and seen nothing there, except selfishness, finesse, and frustration . . .

How the family man [Williamson is here referring to himself], with a hundred domestic details to distract and irritate him every day, dependent on an unnatural practice of sitting still several hours out of the sun, forcing his vitality into his brain and striving to imagine things, to be turned into words, words, words: for money—how he envied the freedom of T.E. Shaw!

Alvis

1934 Alvis

So one May morning he flung down his pen and went to the garage, and looked at the long low length of the Alvis car. Better first to send a letter: or simply to turn up: which? He wrote a letter. Now this was quite an occasion, he thought—perhaps the beginning of a friendship that…for it was time something was done about the pacification of Europe through friendship and fearless common sense. The spirit of resurgent Europe must not be allowed to wither, to change to a thwarted rage of power. With Lawrence of Arabia’s name to gather a stimulation to cohere into unassailable logic, the authentic mind of the war generation come to power of truth and amity, a whirlwind campaign which would end the old fearful thought of Europe for ever. So that the sun should shine on free men!

He must go at once to Egdon Heath and tell the only man in England who could bring it about. So he wrote a letter saying he would arrive and bring his own food.

The answer came by telegraph.

‘11.25 a.m. 13 May 1935

‘Williamson Shallowford Filleigh

‘Lunch tuesday wet fine cottage 1 mile north Bovington Camp

‘Shaw’

Returning on his motor-cycle from the Camp post office, whither he had gone specifically to send that telegram, ‘T.E. Lawrence’ crashed and broke his head, and knew nothing more, save of strange suns beyond Arabia, beyond the human shores of the world.

Notes

1. Henry Williamson, Threnos for T. E. Lawrence. Henry Williamson Society, 1994.

2. Henry Williamson, The Dream of Fair Women: A Tale of Youth after the Great War. Revised edition, 1931.

The Man in the Lavender Automobile

Nine years ago tonight “Velociman” posted this. His website Velociworld is long gone, but one can still find this copypasted in dank corners of the interwebz.  I have fixed a few typos, but otherwise it’s verbatim.

 

Knowing that we are no longer in the chilly autumn of 2008 is immensely whitepilling for me.

 

There is a scene in Flannery O’Connor’s 1960 novel The Violent Bear It Away, wherein the protagonist, a 14-year-old boy, is picked up hitchhiking by a man in a lavender automobile. The man plies the boy, Francis Tarwater, with whiskey and reefer. When the boy wakes up he’s lying in a field with his pants around his ankles, and his asshole burning. I won’t get into the Catholic allegory in that story, or the implication that the man in the lavender automobile is Satan, or Tarwater’s own inexorable slide into fundamentalist prophecy. I will aver, however, that I find the story relevant. Hold that thought.

 

There have been any variety of temperaments and personalities to hold the office of President. They range from heroes to rapscallions. I fervently believe, however, that not one person to hold that office has ever hated his opposition. There have been the churlish and disdainful, for sure. Carter presumed a moral vanity against his foes, which grievance he nurtures to this day. Nixon was consumed by paranoia and fear, to the point of ridiculous capers in the cause of an aforetold landslide victory.

 

I mention this because I firmly believe Barack Obama absolutely loathes my kind. This man will not be content to win the presidency. He will spend his waking hours thereafter not pursuing the legitimate goals of state, but punishing those who would dare to oppose him. The man is devoid of humility, or any sense of humor. He cannot humbly accept his incredibly lucky break in the crapshoot of American politics. The absolute lack of any pushback or intercessions on the part of the journalist class has rendered him peckish and intolerant of any dissension, if indeed he was not born that way.

 

This man truly hates. As only someone who is quite aware of his great shortcomings can hate. And like the second monkey he can hear, or tolerate, no evil.

 

The inevitability of Barack Obama has rendered the sane lycanthropic, the skeptical bemused, the disputatious fearful. It is no coincidence that formerly reliable conservative pundits are jumping the McCain ship like bilge rats in a galley fire. Most people attribute this craven capitulation to elitism. Noonan, Frum, Chris Buckley, that dithering Converse finishing school twit Kathleen Parker, they’re elitists! No, they’re not. Or that’s not what is compelling them. They are fucking afraid. Afraid to be the last dissenting voice in the face of the Hope and Change juggernaut. The Chinese kid versus the tanks in Tiananmen they are not. They are elitists, but they are cowards first and foremost. We don’t need them. And, unfortunately for them, Obama doesn’t need them. Therefore I will speak their names no more….

 

Did I mention this man hates me? You and me? Yes he does. Why? Because he can. Yes He Can. Beneath that cool persona is a megalomaniac. Cool? Like Stalin after a purge, emotionally and sexually spent. Like Saddam after a torture session, dozing in his chair with someone’s genitals curled in his fist. Like Pol Pot after a petit mal seizure, mumbling a litany of the dead. Cool that way.

 

So I will cast my pathetic vote, and ramp up my relocation to the mountains. Reduce my footprint. Carbon? That will be a nice byproduct, but I mean my personal footprint. My credit footprint. My interface with authority footprint. I’m researching micro-hydro water turbines for that stream, windmills for water, a half-acre patch for vegetables, a few goats, and a bison. Just because I want a fucking bison. My address? Fifty rounds up that gravel road.
I do hate to sound Randy Weaverish. But this is the fundament of my world view right now.

 

Speaking of fundaments, remember that guy in the lavender automobile?

 

Precisely. The whiskey of Hope. The jokesmoke of Change. I am Tarwater. We are all Tarwater.

The Awfulness of Red Lobster, and Other Awful Things

The owner of Stuff Black People Hate apparently thought better of this one, and made it private. But copied from the Google cache, the archive lives forever: http://archive.is/sPGNv . Herewith a sample:

Since you’ve been waiting 45 minutes, you gobble down four of these biscuits and, after drinking two glasses of water, you realize that you’re pretty much full already. Not only are you full, but you feel like shit because your stomach is now filled with a year’s worth of butter and garlic. You’re at Red Lobster, though, and there is no time for weakness. You open up the menu and behold how delicious everything looks – especially the beloved Admiral’s Feast: a breaded, battered, Neptunian heart attack in waiting that could be considered the most humane way to slowly kill a person. The Admiral’s Feast consists of a big ass chunk of fried fish, fried clams, fried shrimp, and fried bay scallops with a side order of your choosing that’s supposed to delude you into thinking you’re eating healthy. There’s nothing more ridiculous than someone ordering the Admiral’s Feast with a side of vegetables, which is akin to asking for a candle and romantic musing while getting raped in prison.

Red Lobster’s owners are aware of their popularity among blacks, but they prefer not to acknowledge it publicly for one reason or another:

Still, it is a well-known “open secret” that the casual dining chain ranks high on the dining-out lists of black people across the nation. Crystal Swiggett, who worked as a server in a suburban Cleveland Red Lobster for two and a half years, noted that black guests kept the joint jumping. The restaurant was located in Beachwood, Ohio, where the population is 87% white and 9% black, but the restaurant’s clientele was a complete flip flop of the town’s racial makeup.

“Ninety percent of guests were black,” Swiggett said. “It was the busiest restaurant I ever worked in. It stayed busy.” Though Swiggett no longer works at Red Lobster, she dines there regularly with her family.  She has cut back on fried fish, saying, “Family health issues led me to start thinking more about that.” Her father recently died of congestive heart failure, she said.

A while back Joe Queenan tried to address the awfulness of Red Lobster in his usual wisecracking style, but he refused to take on the racial issue as he really wanted to talk about White Trash. So it was a limp takedown indeed. He even used this piece as the title essay in his next published collection. Significantly, you never see Joe Queenan cited when other people write about the awfulness of Red Lobster.

I avoided Red Lobsters after trying one in San Diego years ago and noticing the preponderance of negroes. I have nothing against negroes, I just don’t wish to be around them when I eat. Call it an eccentricity, or delicate feelings, if you wish. As SD is not a negrified location, this phenomenon came as a surprise.

For low-cost gluttony I thenceforth depended on a buffet restaurant called Soup Plantation, full of happy, plump white families driving down from Del Mar and La Mesa. It was many years before I ever stepped inside a Golden Corral, which has acquired a reputation that might be called Red Lobster squared. A typical description, from an online forum:

Well,here I go,trying to find a nice place to eat on a budget.I work out of town alot and I get tired of microwave dinners and the like….We have a place called Golden Corral around these parts…It’s a really good buffet type place with good food at good prices ($10.00 all you can eat).I found one close by were I’m staying and went in and sat down,making sure that there was not a nigger in sight. I had just gotten my tea and salad when,you guessed it,3 fat she-boons and their 4 niglets came in and sat right beside me…I had already paid for my meal so I hoped for the best..it was not to be…These nigger sows took off on the buffet like Grant took Richmond…add to that the 3 niglets and of course a newborn nigger and the carnage was complete…Golden Corral was niggerfied…..loud talking and cell phones going off and the she-boons bragging about their new cars….Damn,it was totally disgusting….But while I ate I did get to observe the feral nigger close up and so I would like to share some of my field observations…
#1 Golden Corral has a very good selection of food,seafood,roast beef,vegetables and a great steak place where you can order steak, cooked like you like it, straight off the grill..really tasty…Well with this vast selection of food do you know what the niggers got?…That’s right…Fried Chicken….every nigger bitch and the niglets got a big heapin’ order of yard bird…..I guess there is truth in the statement that niggers and chicken go hand in hand…..
#2…every nigger sow had on bright red lipstick and blonde hair….why,if niggers are so much better than us why do they copy everything about us?
#3…Every nigger sow got or made at least 5 phone calls while I was there…what the hell is so important?
#4…Niggers are truely animals…The niglets, after eating began to roam the aisles..being a bother to all of the well behaved white persons and only calming down for a second after a nigger mammy hollars so loud that the whole parking lot can hear..”Dontarius,you get your ass over hears or you ain’t gettin no ice cream!” You could see the whites rolling their eyes at the young nigger thugs…
#5.. Niggers aren’t poor..This meal alone costs the niggers right at $60.00 bucks…and these niggers paid right up…In fact,any time you go out to eat you will see niggers with brand new cars,new designer clothes and loads of cash………courtesy of the “white debil”……..
#6…….Niggers always trying for free stuff….of course before leaving the niggers say to the young Hispanic waitress that “Dey,not be eating all dey food,so dey be wanting “snoop doggy” bags for later”…Golden Corral, being a buffet does not have take-out unless you pay….Naturally a chimpout ensues and the manager has to explain about 10 times to the she-boons why they cannot take food home without paying…..And of course the young waitress doesn’t get a tip even after bringing,I know at least 4 glasses of tea apiece to each of the she-boons and wiping up at least 3 spilled drinks courtesy of the niglets…
#7…..niggers are simply disgusting and every white knows it….I know by the look on the white faces….when these niggers walked in,every white person was secretly wishing…”Please God, Don’t let these niggers sit next to me and my family.”

Well, that was my $10.00 niggerfied Golden Corral dinner…..I try to avoid places were niggers work or eat but,nowadays it seems,especially down here in the south, that you just can’t escape from the feral nigger anywhere…..unless you can eat at the high class places where the rich, nigger-loving liberals go when they want to eat out….niggers don’t like caviar or duck l’orange……

TIME: Where Young & Rubicam Outdoor Trade Advertising Totally Disappears

A seldom-remembered detail of the commuter-railroad experience back in the 60s is the prevalence of ‘trade advertising.’ These were posters and car-cards and billboards that you passed but barely noticed in the train car and on the platform. They didn’t advertise a product per se; they advertised advertising space where you could sell your product.

Catching the train in Bronxville or Cos Cob or New Haven you’d see these ads, often mystifying and surrealistic, lining the station platform alongside the enticements to Broadway plays and musicals:

Gilroy IS Here! The Subject Was Roses. Pulitzer Prize Something.

What? You Haven’t Seen Man of La Mancha (“The Impossible Dream”) Even Once?

Now, those theatrical posters were straightforward. They were clearly selling something, and you knew what they were selling. But unless you were in the business, you might not know what a trade ad was up to. If it was plugging WNEW Radio, you’d probably vaguely imagine it was telling you to listen to WNEW Radio . . . but actually it was telling ad buyers to buy time at WNEW Radio.

Ceci n’est-pas «le TIME trade-ad campaign»

One baffling but long-lived trade series was a Young & Rubicam campaign for Time magazine.  There might be eight or ten of these in a single location. Imagine you’re walking down a long station platform or concourse, and every few yards you see a mockup of a Time magazine cover. There’s a stark, simple image, and one short line of copy mentioning a Time advertiser.For example, you might see the arm of a chalk-stripe suit surrounded by the Time branding, and the copy would go: “TIME / Where Brooks Brothers buttonholes the upscale Madison Ave. man.”

I can’t show you an example of this trade advertising because…

That example is made up; I don’t think Brooks Bros. advertised in Time anyway, and they weren’t featured in this  series. In fact I can’t remember any specific copy from Y&R’s trade campaign for Time. This forgettability was sort of intentional. The agency was trying to get Mr Advertising Man  to buy space in Time right now, this week, in 1969 . . . they weren’t hoping consumers would go around mouthing a brilliant tagline for the next fifty years.

Because that would be tragic. Nothing fails worse than a clever campaign that doesn’t hit the right target. “You don’t have to be Jewish . . . to love Levy’s . . .Real Jewish Rye” is the Y&R line from the era everyone remembers now, though almost no one today has ever eaten Levy’s rye bread. Do they even make it anymore?

I suspect the Levy’s campaign was like the cartoon ads for Piel’s Beer a decade before, appealing mainly to people who wouldn’t ever buy the product.

But while we may remember the Levy’s ads, the Y&R trade series do not stick in the public imagination at all. In fact they’ve essentially been dropped down the memory hole. I’ve been Googling and otherwise researching Advertising Age and Young & Rubicam histories to see if there’s any mention, any image of the Time campaign. No luck.

I can’t even find online photographs of station platforms where these ads appeared. I guess no amateur archivist ever thought to snap them. It’s almost impossible even to find photos of Broadway posters online. That’s why I show a Playbill above instead of the actual 1964 theatrical poster for The Subject Was Roses.

What does stick in my recollection is that the Time campaign was resolutely upscale.  A place to advertise hi-class products for hi-class readers, was the subtext. That may sound laughable today, when Time is reputed always to have been a middlebrow rag. Time now survives in a scrawny print edition that is filled with ugly pharma advertising and is read mostly by 80-year-olds, probably because they got in the habit of reading it in the 1960s, back when Time ran real news and half its full-page insertions were for gin and scotch.

But however nasty it may be now, in advertising demographics Time was the class act for decades, far outshining the ad-stuffed Life and Look, which were perceived as picture books that subscribers thumbed through. Readers read Time.

Trade campaigns for other magazines imitated the Time model to a certain extent—e.g., the endless variants of “Forbes: Capitalist Tool,” which made a subtle pitch to the advertisers by flattering the readers. This series of ads, which ran in and around commuter trains in the 1970s and 80s, almost looked like a subscription promotion aimed at ambitious young commuters. Actually the ads were reminding posh advertisers on the train that if they bought space in Forbes they could reach those ambitious young commuters. (The kind of people who read Forbes do not need a train ad to tell them to read Forbes.)

The Sunday Giant

The most pervasive and long-lived of the trade-ad campaigns was probably for the downscale, big-circulation Sunday supplement called  Parade. “Parade is the Sunday Giant!” went the slogan, generally on a poster or car-card showing a line-drawing cartoon of a towering figure looming over lilliputian Sunday rags (NY Times Magazine, perhaps?).

Having mass nationwide circulation was and is basically Parade’s only selling point, but advertisers needed to be reminded of this because Parade was easy to overlook. It was and is a one-of-a-kind publication: a bland, friendly downmarket supplement, with content kept so generic it can never seem out of place in Salt Lake City, Sarasota, or St. Louis. This is a difficult trick, and Parade’s done it for, whatever, 70 years? (Look it up!)

Back in the 60s and 70s, every town worth mentioning had at least a couple of big Sunday newspapers, and one of them—generally the one with the better funnies and the shorter editorials—carried Parade. In such locales you’d actually see people in stores and newsstands on weekends, thumbing through the hefty Sunday paper to make sure the sports section and Parade were there! The same way parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena in Greenwich might head for the newsstand after Mass, full of beady-eyed intent to ensure that their Herald-Tribune or New York Times wasn’t missing its Book Review section.

Parade emphasized its mass-market, downscale orientation in a dozen ways. In the 50s and 60s, when newspapers boasted of their sturdy newsprint stock and excellent rotogravure processes, Parade went in the other direction and made itself as shoddy as it possibly could. Tabloid-sized and unstapled, its pages were all different sizes, some with rag edges, others cut sharp or with extra dog-ear flaps at the corner. Even on the cover, their color printing was often somehow out of registration, like a 3-D comic book. (It’s neater today, like most color reproduction.)

Parade left a spot on its nameplate where the local newspaper could print its name or logo, and this just added to the cheap feel, since the newspaper’s name was usually printed crooked or looked like a rubber stamp.

The “editorial matter” was mostly filler dealing with celebrities and fads, the kind of stuff any of us could write off the top of our heads, so long as the words aren’t too big, and the sentences aren’t too long, and the attitude is relentlessly chipper.

The main rule, though, was that if you mentioned a celebrity, it had to be someone recognizable to 95% of the population. That was the secret of “Walter Scott’s Personality Parade,” an inside-cover feature that started around 1971 and still runs today, although Walter Scott himself apparently has no more actual personality than Betty Crocker.

It was a brilliant addition to Parade, because it ensured that there would be at least one feature that everyone would read. It’s still the first thing you see on the inside: pithy queries and answers about stars and politicians that everybody’s heard of, usually with very upbeat, anodyne answers.

(One I remember from circa 1974: “Does Elton John always wear a hat because he’s ‘bisexual’? No, actually he just likes hats! Also he’s having hair transplants!“)

Parade’s own advertising mechanism I never figured out. The rag’s low-budget, rec-room-floor style would never have been a good fit for most advertisers. (Toothpaste, yes;  Tanqueray, no.) And since the same edition was distributed across the country, there was no way it could pick up lavish display ads from retailers or car dealers.

Maybe they did try local-market ‘spot advertising’ at one point, but if so I never noticed it. The logistics of the thing would have been extremely complicated, and probably would have required a drastic upgrade in format and a more specialized, target audience. No more Sunday Giant.  So mainly Parade survived on cheesy, cheerful national ads for things like two-dollar muumuus, and anti-itch powder for dogs.

Their perennial full-page advertisers mostly sold stuff you might never see advertised anywhere else, or at least outside a Sunday supplement. There was Zoysia grass, a magical kind of turf that evidently never needed watering or weeding, and then there was an amphetamine-laced weight-loss candy that had the merry name of Ayds. The latter’s ads were always disguised to look like editorial matter and invariably consisted of a first-person narrative by a former fat-lady, “As told to Ruth L. McCarthy.”

One hears sometimes that Parade is a family-run, closely held, business. I find that easy to believe. There’s just enough work here, and just enough money, to support one extended family.

Jane Austen and the White Supreeemists

Our colleague over at mmetroland.wordpress.com has a draft critique of the ongoing Jane Austen/Alt Right controversy, which should shortly be published elsewhere. While the article is exhaustive, not to say tiresome, I’ve noticed that a few press references from March 20-26 escaped MMetroland’s eye.

threesome

Jane Austen fans denounce leftist hacks

Most of these are little more than copypastas of what appeared in the New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education, but each has its own little quirk. The Huffington Post gives the kicker “She’s the Pepe of Regency-Era Fiction,” which is strangely witty for HuffPo, just as the writeup, by Claire Fallon, is unusually fair-and-balanced (though she sinks to using the 1950s Daily Worker/Civil Rights Congress expression, “white supremacist” to indicate anybody right-of-left-of-center).

Contrariwise, the formerly witty and balanced Independent (London) is now lost forever to the fever-swamp Left. “Jane Austen has alt-right fans who have clearly never read her work properly, scholar suggests,” goes the Indy’s hed, but the story describes no such scholar, nor in fact anyone else, making such a statement. The Daily Telegraph (London) isn’t much better, basing its writeup entirely on the original Chronicle story and its expansive endorsement by Jennifer Schuessler in the New York Times.

The Times’s (London) coverage, picked up in The Australian (Sydney), is even worse. Hack Ben Hoyle arranged his sensationalist bilge to showcase an old throwaway remark from Andrew Anglin that does not all pertain to the issue at hand. No doubt the fact that it’s a quote from America’s highly entertaining “top hater” made it irresistible:

In a post for The Daily Stormer, which has been called the “top hate site in America” by The Southern Poverty Law Centre, a white-supremacist ­approvingly described pop star Taylor Swift as “a secret Nazi”, whom he imagined “sitting at home with her cat reading Jane Austen”, while her contemporaries indulged in loose sexual ­behaviour “with coloured gentlemen”.

Following the local style-book to spell “Southern Poverty Law Centre,” though it’s a proper name, is also a funny touch, as is the respelling of “coloured” which should not be Briticized since it’s in a direct quote.

The Guardian’s Danuta Kean, despite her piece’s Commie jargon, is breathtakingly original by comparison. She actually did a little research on this one, and got some entertaining quotes:

Fellow Austen scholar Bharat Tandon, who edited the Harvard University Press edition of Emma, is sceptical that Austen’s fans on the far right have actually read her books. Citing Ayn Rand, another of the far right’s favourite female writers, he said: “[Austen] would have had Rand for breakfast. That rootsy post-Randian demagoguery that they all follow would have been completely alien to the society Austen chronicled.”

According to Tandon, the only character in Austen’s work who could possibly have voted for Donald Trump would be Mrs Norris, Fanny Price’s cruel and snobbish aunt in Mansfield Park. “She’s a nasty, greedy and abusive piece of work,” says Tandon. “Trump would speak to her.”

Claire Tomalin, whose biography, Jane Austen: A Life, revealed a woman more radical in her roots than her popular image allows, doubts the writer would find anything in common with white supremacists. “[Austen] loved the poetry of William Cowper, who was opposed to hunting and shooting,” she says.

Picture Post

Elizabeth Bishop was young once.

“Etymology time! I was in a meeting yesterday and the consultant must have used the word “boilerplate” 10 times in 10 minutes. It took me nearly 3 decades to get motivated enough to want to know the origin of the term, but that meeting yesterday did it. So here goes! In dem der olden deys, steam boilers were built from very heavy tough steel sheets. Similar sheets of steel were also used for engraving copy that was intended for widespread reproduction in multiple issues of newspapers—things like ads and syndicated columns. Regular, here today, gone tomorrow copy was set in much softer, durable lead.

“So the stuff that stuck around became known as the boilerplate. According to Wiki: “Until the 1950s, thousands of newspapers received and used this kind of boilerplate from the nation’s largest supplier, the Western Newspaper Union.” Today, of course, boilerplate is used to describe anything that’s standard language, say in a contract or even in computer code.”

— John Crowe Ransom

COLOGNE, GERMANY – JUNE 19: Taylor Swift performs during ‘The 1989 World Tour’ night 1 at Lanxess Arena on June 19, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images for TAS)

ANTIFA NYC

Margot Darby says this is an ugly hat

I love Taylor Swift

Floreal, par Margot Darby

Inspiration for Cindy Sherman

House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia gestures while meeting with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 4, 1995. The Rangers were invited to Capitol Hill to entertain congressional children who attended the swearing-in ceremony for the 104th Congress. From left are, the Blue Ranger, Pink Ranger, White Ranger, Black Ranger, Gingrich, and the Red Ranger. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

antifa negress

“Can you make the Person of Color even uglier?”
“I’ll try!”

Actress Linda Christian alone at beach, dressed in bathing suit.


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All-American Family

Taylor Swift kehrt in ihr Apartment in Tribeca zurueck / 180714
*** returning home to her apartment in Tribeca, July 18, 2014 ***

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margot darby is back

Margot Darby

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neville

Neville Chamberlain as Chancellor of Exqr, 1936

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Margot Darby

STYLE PARADE

The Margot Darby Picture Post

The Margot Darby Picture Post

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