I love August: hot, lazy, thunderstorms, and all the other pleasures of a mature summer. I think we had that last year. Today it was cold, dark, and rainy. Non stop rain. Not the nourishing rain you think “that’ll green things up,” but the rain that makes sheets of dead leaves look slimy. And it’s not even close to thinking about Fall yet. It was a test, though: will the internal calendar click today? Think “soup, nutmeg, gourds - yeah, I could get used to that”? No. It did not.

The image above said “Late summer” to me, which of course is why it’s there. I chose it a month ago when laying out August. It’s the sort of image that should appall people who think Correctly about things; she’s lighting his cigarette, which is subservient; he’s smoking, which is a bad example unless it’s weed; the car - well, say no more. The pool is wasteful and probably not available to everyone. It's all problematic.

The ideal modern version would have two people of indeterminate gender on a brightly-lit tram in matching outfits, and since this is an ad, it would be selling a new social photo-sharing service. The product name would be Helvetica, but there would be a humanizing jot of script for the tagline. You know the kind of script I mean: hand-drawn, shaky, one-of-a-kind, the sort of thing that makes you suspect someone in the ad agency said “I have friend who does cool letters. He could do this.” And the cool friend, who’s decent enough but sort of sad because he never got a career, and hangs around coffee shops and does a lot of weed and always has that half-beard you can’t tell is for style or because he can’t be bothered to shave. His dad sends him money.

Anyway he was stoked to get the job and maybe this would be something because he always wanted to get into, you know, design, and he has lots of alphabets. He calls it a commission even though there’s no money, although the friend buys him a Starbucks gift card which he hates because it’s Starbucks but she said “you could use it for sandwiches” and she’s right, those are decent. So okay.

Okay, think, think! The app is called JUST and the tagline is “It’s Just for you.” This should be awesome. And then a week later he slides a piece of paper across the coffeehouse table.

The friend thinks, well, the line is “It’s Just. For You.” but never mind.

These - these are great, Dylin.

"Thanks! I like the first one, it’s like, Alaskan."

"Uh huh, great."

Maybe the ad could have like a bear in it.

He smiles, thinking this is his ticket in.

Here’s a hard question. I wouldn’t be able to answer it right away. Ergo, you wouldn’t? No; I know that there’s nothing I know that someone else doesn’t. They may not have it at the tip of their tongue; it may be nestled back in the part that perceives “sour” flavor. But given a prompt, they’d get it. I mean, just because I know this now doesn’t mean it’s not known to others. So:is 1939 picture connected to aSupreme Court case?

Hamburger turned to stone before your very eyes? What the hell sort of magic is that, and why would you want to do that? Unless it’s “steak,” but it doesn’t look like steak.

It’s from a World’s Fair crafts pavilion with the same name as the company that runs a craft chain today, and the image is part of a new site coming up next year when I get all my World’s Fair 1939 stuff in one place. There are other sites, yes. They often suffer from Tiny Picture Syndrome and have earnest but unsatisfying designs.

There’s something about the ’39 Fair that silences the usual hairshirt scolds. They get their licks in when it comes to Futurama, decrying the influence the highway had on the cities. Rightly so: those are cool models and interesting ideas, but the spaces would be dead today. The Corbusier idea of tall towers in isolation looks good to technocrats and other people with an enthusiasm for controlling large numbers of strangers. No individual variation; no individual spaces.

The rest of the Fair just makes most people sigh. Things like this. They built things like this.

Things like that existed.

For some reason I recently came across a 1955 pro-interstate film, intended to make people vote for politicians who would build more roads. Of course this was pure FORD PROPAGANDA, making people want something they didn’t need so they could buy more Fords. No one wanted cars! Everyone wanted - that - that other thing that wasn't something you could drive wherever and whenver you wanted.

Look at the movie around the 19:00 mark. It’s a farm family. Because the roads are good - not rutted, muddy, impassable goat-paths - they can drive to market, or take the bus to a large school with excellent facilities. True, perhaps, but that ruined the rural perfection of life when everyone was stuck in one place for long periods of time, which meant there was greater social interaction. And it was pedestrian friendly! Like the time Dad had to walk 3 miles to fetch the doctor when little Dorothy bumped her head and was unconscious for a day.

(By the way, when you were a kid, did you think that “The Wizard of Oz” was a dream? I didn’t. I suppose we thought it might be, ten percent chance, but nah. It was real. That happened.)

Anyway. As one should be fully prepared to accept, the YouTube comments have a few tiresome folks who combine idiocy and dullness into a single element we call Boron. As in, what a boron. Or, if you are a Bugs Bunny fan, what a boroon. Or, if you wish, a Boran. You know, like this famed meme.

One fellow in the comments steps in to reassure us that he’s a good person because he noticed that the high school girls were being taught how to sew. We all applaud him and would like to raise our hand and say we noticed that too and wasn’t everything bad back then GAWD America is the worst. History is just the worst.

Then there’s our hero:

Ladies? Line starts over there. Oh you had better believe he favorited a Sarah Silverman video. Also, his computer was delivered by a bison.





The third entry is usually where the serial reveals itself - whether it's good or just another rote entry. The problem is that the good ones are just rote entries.

Anything new in this setup?

Not really. But acid was involved, so that's cool. Hideous scarring! Bones dissolved!

When last we saw our hero / writer, he had fallen into a vat of acid. Remember?

It would really ruin things if that happened, right? Gosh, it sure would. So let’s go to the wide angle.

Well, really, what did you expect.

Whew! The criminal hears someone calling the cops, so he beats it, and Steve Colt lives to fight another day. Steve discovers that one of the Black Widow’s gang left a cigarette butt, and of course it’s a custom kind. All he has to do is find the person who made the monogrammed cigarettes.

I don’t know if that was really a thing in the old days, but you’d think that would be something of a giveaway. An unforced error if you’re in the henchman business.

By the way, Steve is still a jerk to the young reporter assigned to help him out.

He finds the tobacco store right away . . .

It’s next door to Sondra the Fortune Teller’s place, aka the Black Widow's lair. These guys don’t try very hard. They don't try at all. Well, Blinky the lookout / shutterbug eavesdrops on the conversation, and the gang learns that Al Kabob the Tobacconist - really, see above - will call Steve when the henchman shows up for his smokes.

The Black Widow comes up with a plan: when Steve walks out of the newspaper office, a sniper the roof will take him out. Just kidding! They’re going to send the henchman to get the cigarettes, draw Colt out, make sure he follows the hench, then slip him a bomb. This plan involves leading Colt to the actual lair where they are working on the fuel to power their massive bombs and rockets.

The scene plays out thus.

Real day brightener, she is; I can see why Steve is so mean. He gives the vial to the dame, then sticks around to deal with Hench and scientist. Annnnnnd fistfight.

The man with the hat shall prevail! By now Steve realizes the vial is a bomb, so he has to go after the reporterette and warn her. There being no cellphones, he has to drive up behind her, honking. Alas:

I'm not as broken up as I might be. And there wasn't anything very HIDDEN about that death. Probably wasn't very deathy either. Well, on we go; we're committed to this one now.


That'll do - why not drop by Tumblr and see the GIF I made of a 1939 World's Fair Robotic hootchie-coochie dancer? Then enjoy the conclusion of this week's Industrials entry. It has 40s gals, fire, and Fiberglas.



blog comments powered by Disqus