It's dismaying how much I write and forget. It's probably unwise to think you're missing anything, though. After decades of blather on this site I think we know how deathless any of these Bleats are. I do wonder I'd feel more of a sense of responsibility to Be Important if I'd changed the name years ago to something that wasn't so obviously part of the Preventative Self-Deprectating Title of the early blog years. If people were going to accuse you of going off half-cocked, well, get there first and call yourself a silly name.

The name I almost used, ten years or so ago? The Delineator. It was an old magazine, and I liked the sound of it.

But then I'd have to delineate.

Anyway. Forgot to post something I wrong about an event Wife / Daughter / Myself attended a while ago We went to see the Walker Art Center’s Arrow Awards, a compendium of all the great British ads from last year. I was unimpressed by the ads whose underlying message was: “you must agree already with this important serious issue, and take smug joy in seeing the message in advertising form, which will no doubt cause consternation to the dullards around you.”

There were many of those. One interminable clever ad was about singing vaginas and how happy women are to be blessed as such, and all I could think about was the furor you’d get for a testicular cancer awareness ad that was two minutes of boastful boners. The most effective ads - by which I mean, they made me feel good about myself for feeling good about the product and/or brand - were warm, simple, emotional, manipulative, centered around small decencies.

One ad - which was not an ad in any sense of the word - counted off all the things people had said women couldn’t do. It was a BBC promo saying yay for 100 years of suffragettes, I gather, and was not surprising to anyone who knew history, but also seemed intended to make you think people were still telling women they couldn’t do these things. It made me wonder about a similar ad that counted all the things men were told they must do, such as labor in mines and get conscripted for war, but uh oh WHO GOT REDPILLED so never mind.

The women in all these ads were awesome and did everything, or at least could do everything if it weren’t for manspreaders on the tube or bosses who - get this - asked them to do something. The men were either louts squatting in front of cameras hollering rhymes while pointing aggresively, or lionized soccer figures who had mythical status, or schlumps who muddled on in small-scale domestic settings. But one stood out.

Here. Take a look.

What I liked about this one: he didn’t turn into Jack Ryan. He modestly improved himself to be a better man by standards men know and hold inside themselves. I should be more fit. I should fix something. I should build something. I should engage in some sport and provide spoils for my children.

Now look at the female version:

Because that’s what Viking women did, I guess; they turned into tiresome loud people? It would have been absolutely unacceptable if her Viking viewing turned her into a better matriarch who was wise and strong in raising her children, kept the house ordered, and could handle a blade when the situation required; that woyuld be an awesome ad. Someone breaks in the house and she picks up a double-bladed axe and cleaves him collarbone to hip!

Kidding. Sort of. You suspect the target market for this ad has no children, no husband, and, being British, would be arrested for fighting off an intruder with a weapon.






DAKOTA CITY, Nebraska. Never heard of it, have you? Unless you’re from there or around there. That’s okay. No on in Nebraska City, North Dakota has heard of it either. Too small for a Main Street, but not too small to have its own paper.
Amount of daily news on that front page: about 7%.

There’s no news in the grand sense on the front page. Some poetry from Edgar Guest; social notes about who’s going where; a story about a man upbraided for stealing a dog.

The Scrapbook provides more home-spun wisdom. Baltimore Sun? Has to be Mencken!

Err, no, I don't think so.


Mad Dorgs

Your Front Page Funny.




  Things are changing with the domestic servant situation, which may or may not have been particularly relevant in Nebraska in a city of a thousand people:

The obligatory serial:

Who? Famous, then:

Joseph Allan Elphinstone Dunn (21 January 1872 – 25 March 1941), best known as J. Allan Dunn, was one of the high-producing writers of the American pulp magazines. He published well over a thousand stories, novels, and serials from 1914–41.

A friend of Jack London, too.

Here’s a cartoon about how the adults crowd around the store window to look at new toys in January:

Now I know why I had a bio page for L V hanging around in the folder for months. Strict bio, not much of an account of his career.


  Wars often produce promises like these. They fall apart the moment it is expedient to do so; it’s a testament to the faith in mankind that people sign them or trust in them.


More “humor.”

Also, disaster!

They still remembered the Tay Bridge disaster in 1925, eh:


The Tay Bridge Disaster occurred during a violent storm on Sunday 28 December 1879, when the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed as a train from Burntisland to Dundee passed over it, killing all aboard. The bridge—designed by Sir Thomas Bouch—used lattice girders supported by iron piers, with cast iron columns and wrought iron cross-bracing. The piers were narrower and their cross-bracing was less extensive and robust than on
previous similar designs by Bouch.

Bouch had sought expert advice on wind loading when designing a proposed rail bridge over the Firth of Forth; as a result of that advice he had made no explicit allowance for wind loading in the design of the Tay Bridge. There were other flaws in detailed design, in maintenance, and in quality control of castings, all of which were, at least in part, Bouch's responsibility.

Bouch died within the year, his reputation ruined.

Check the link for some pictures. Impressive piece of engineering. Alas, it wasn’t.

Finally: get fat!

Get fat, with YEAST!


That'll do. We stay in the era, more or less, with our weekly journey back to the unnoted culture of the 20s. Again: billboards.



blog comments powered by Disqus