On Tuesdays I usually cook some “Mexican” thing, either a Frontero bag with beans and burritos, or some sort of wrap, I don’t. Basically, it’s pepper day. Today, for some reason, I rebelled, deep in my soul, and thought: screw that. It’s Taco Tuesday.

Walked into the grocery store. Right at the door, a display: TACO TUESDAY!

It was thus preordained . . . or had I somehow felt the psychic emanations from the nice sample lady making tacos? If this was 1971, there would be some mild-mannered fellow in a corduroy suit - you know, Dr. Gary Collins, from the University - explaining that many people have a slight ESP ability. Why don’t we test you on some cards and see what your level is.

Everything was ESP when I was a kid. TV shows, comics, books, radio mysteries (like the generally lamentable CBS Mystery Theater - sorry, E. G. And Hyman), all sorts of popcrap. The question is whether I was susceptible to it because I was a kid. Adults - the sober types with jobs who put no stock in these hoohah hippie drivel - probably paid it no mind, or found it annoying. It was just another variant of something that had been whistling around the culture when they were young: the pseudo-Freudian claptrap about split personalities.

There’s almost no ESP in the old radio shows. People were ten times more likely to be haunted. It’s a lousy premise for entertainment, anyway. The first time you hear a story where someone sees the future, and IT CAME TRUE, it’s interesting, but after a few times, you’re just yeah, yeah, those things dimly glimpsed, with tantalizing specifics, foretold the train crash, I know, I know.

On Reddit someone posted an ad from 1957 for Musterol, a cold / flu remedy. Your child is coughing - could it be Asian Flu?

Hmm. Asian Flu, 1957 . . . let’s go to the newspapers.



One hundred suspected cases!

Here's the thing: it's on page . . . TWENTY THREE.

  Speculation, a monthlater. This time it's page one. The headline: "U. S. Warns Asian Flu May Strike." By which they mean, strike harder.

Months later.

Page eleven. Sixty-three cases, and it's page eleven.

What was going on in South Dakota? What protests? Hospitals refusing patients? Can you imagine that story today?


My South Dakota research turned up nothing about the story above, but there was this column by a doctor trying to calm everyone down.

The predicted pandemics of '38 and '46.

What, VIRUS X? Yes: in 1949 that's what they called a vague complaint sweeping the nation; some doctors said nah, it's just DDT poisoning. The term came back in 1955, and from what I can tell dozens, if not hundreds, of papers ran a Q & A about the mysterious disease - now defined as a respiratory illness. No stats on how many did, or did not, contract it, or whether it actually existed.

Back to the Minneapolis paper: in early 1958, they finally got around to this.

We don't seem to talk about the Asian Flu of 1957, or discuss how the media handled it.

One hundred and sixteen thousand Americans died from the Asian Flu.






It’s 1978.

The good old days.

From a site that collects Officer Down stories:


Officer Cerullo exited the patrol car and spoke to one suspect, while Officer Masone spoke to the other suspect while still seated in the patrol car. After Officer Cerullo had finished speaking to one suspect, he re-entered the patrol car. Officer Masone suddenly exited the vehicle and began to struggle with the one suspect. This suspect then drew a 9 mm handgun from his clothes and began firing at Officer Masone. Officer Cerullo exited the patrol car and began firing at the second suspect. When the gunfire stopped, Officer Masone lay dead. Officer Cerullo was mortally wounded, and one suspect was dead.

As for the shooter:

The suspect is the same person who led a prison revolt at Attica State Prison in New York in 1976 that left seven correctional officers dead. He was later pardoned by New York Governor Hugh Carey and released. After being freed, he was arrested for the murder of Officers Cerullo and Masone. He was later found not guilty in 1980 after three trials. In 1984 the suspect was arrested again for murder. He was later convicted and sentenced to 107 years in prison. He was paroled in 2009.

His papers can be found at Duke.

Other materials include prisoner poetry and writings, personal correspondence between Jomo and his family, prisoner poetry, Attica Brothers Legal Defense materials.

They seem eager to remind us he wrote poetry in prison.

Everything is going swimmingly everywhere:

Murdertopia says:


Hernando Williams (c. 1955 – 25 March 1995) was a convicted murderer, executed by the State of Illinois.

On 29 March 1978, Williams, a young black man, kidnapped Linda Goldstone, a white woman, from the Northwestern Medical Center parking lot in Chicago, Illinois. 

Goldstone, the wife of a physician and mother of a young boy, was on her way to teach a Lamaze class when Williams approached her, gun in hand. He told her it was a robbery. She gave him her money, but Williams made her partially disrobe and get into the front seat of his car. Williams held Goldstone captive for more than two days.

At the time of his kidnapping of Goldstone, Williams was out on bail for kidnapping and rape of another woman. 

He drove around with her in the trunk of his car for several days, even attending a court hearing in Maywood, Illinois with her in his trunk.

After two days of sexual assault he let her go. Gave her bus fare and said scram. Instead she went to a house to ask for help; the man who answered the door said he would call police and left her on the porch. Williams, worried that the woman would not get on the bus, drove around, saw her talking to the man who'd answered the door, grabbed her from the porch, took her in an alley and shot her.

Death by lethal injection . . . seventeen years later.

In 2004 the Chicago Trib ran a story about his daughter, who "Looks for truth behind her executed father's crime."

"I asked him to tell me what happened, and he said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that evidence was planted on him, that he was set up," she said.

Her mother, Williams former wife, was the 16th ward Alderperson.

No word about whether the daughter was able to back up his claim.


How’re ya doin’?

Llewellyn had an interesting life. The man was a force in retail.


When Wizard of Id has completely redefined the national imagination about the medieval period:

How useless it that tower? It serves no function. It can be safely ignored.

Oh, the culture? It's doing just fine.

They can print the ads, but they have to say “Al Goldstein’s Mag.”

I’d google to see if there are any pictures of the FUTURISTIC APOLLO ROOM at the Gaiety, but I’m on public wifi and it would probably violate whatever I agreed to when I clicked Accept.


I love the cartoonist’s convention that switches the scene to someplace miles away, confusing us completely, until we realize the people on the bike aren’t talking, it’s the same people in the Distant City.

It's as if they're talking so damned loudly people across town run into their big, squishy word balloons.

“Oscar’s never been a rocker,” so that’s why we’re showing the statuette playing an electric guitar, and telling you we don’t play music from Oscar-winning movies.

Hard to describe if you weren't there, but that art style is sooooo late 70s.

WNEW was a legend. Most depressing part of the history:

In November 2012, WWFS-HD2 flipped to an all-Christmas format. The Christmas format continued into January and early February. On February 7, 2013, the all-Christmas format changed to a mainstream Smooth Jazz format under the name "Smooth Jazz 102.7". 

A long way from the top, when they wanted to rock and roll.

That'll do! Hope this wasn't too grim, between the long-ago flu and the almost-as-long-ago seventies. Cheerier stuff tomorrow, I hope. My ESP says so!




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