1. This Story Stinks!

    As if this wasn’t disturbing enough…!

    As if every aspect of this news story isn’t bad enough!

    And it’s at Rhode Island School of Design!  RISD!  One of our nation’s most important art schools!  The art school with such high standards, they even rejected my portfolio!

    If there’s nothing but tolerant, accepting, progressive people at a major art school — an art school people! — I don’t know what to think! Well, for the record, I’m sure there’s a majority of tolerant, accepting, progressive people there…but evidently at least one bad apple.

    And as though all that weren’t bad enough, there’s more!

    To make this story even worse…

    Someone thought “feces” needed to be pluralized into “feceses.”

    Posted by on February 24, 2017, 3:57 PM.

  2. Thrift Store Find: The Black Mikado!

    thriftleftbanner

    After you’ve watched The Wiz live tonight on NBC, if you’re still hankerin’ for a new and different take on a beloved musical, check out this LP I saw in a thrift store (but left there for you):

    blackmikado

    It’s The Black Mikado! 

    Hmm…culturally-insensitively-written Asian characters traditionally played by white actors now being played by African-American actors?

    Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with who I’m offended by this one, but I’ll start with Goodwill, who wanted $2.99 for it.

    Posted by on December 3, 2015, 12:33 PM.

  3. Ted’s Book Club: A Woman’s Guide to Football!

    HERE’S one for you gals among my, what, six readers: Seen on, and grabbed from, the free book cart at my local municipal book-lending distribution center, or library — and just in time for football season, which I understand will be starting up again soon!

    footsballbook

    A Woman’s Guide to Football!

    Featuring the ol’ pigskin right on the cover, but, whaddayacall, femmanized, dere, with a pretty pink bow and a spray of flowers atop!  Adorable!

    It’s a “Dell Purse Book,” so it fits handily right into those purses you ladies are always carrying around.

    Published by the good folks at Dell Publishing in 1969, what amounts to a foreword, under the heading “Forever On Sunday,” begins thusly:

    Had the housewife of 1869 been able to see ahead, chances are she’d have stormed to New Brunswick, New Jersey and plunged her Victorian hatpin into the backsides of 22 students (from Rutgers and Princeton) who were assembled to play the first football game on record. But Granny was no soothsayer and as it turned out, her lack of foresight didn’t matter for the better part of a century. Until the 1950s, Sunday was a restful day — a time for visiting, taking a stroll, enjoying a leisurely dinner. But I guess you know, lady, things have changed . This is the age of television and the era of football, and between the two, you haven’t got a chance.

    It goes on to gently warn readers that “it’s time for the women of America learned this new adage: The family that prays for the home team together stays together.”

    Good advice, you’ll agree. And it just gets better from there, brother!  …er, sister!

    “A Woman’s Guide to Football” was written by Hy Goldberg, and as best as I can divine from thirty seconds of searching on the internet, it’s the only book the man wrote.  A shame, too — the man had such a talent for writing for a female audience. Clearly, if he were around today, he’d be a regular contributor on “Bustle.”

    bookpoint

    Good heavens, even if you become passionate about the sport, don’t start absorbing too much knowledge — the ongoing existence of your marriage may depend on it! Besides, no one likes a smart woman!

    “A Woman’s Guide to Football” is written in a question-and-answer format, with one of those, ha!, typically hapless, sports-baffled ladies posing questions and Hy patiently answering them.

    Well, mostly patiently: Occasionally, even our author gets a bit frustrated (and who can blame him?), such as seen in this exchange:

    visiting

    …and so on.

    Here’s how supermarket-checkout-counter-impulse-buying women of the late 1960s and early 1970s learned football, with examples chosen specifically not for Mr. Goldberg’s knowledge of the game, but rather for his approach towards addressing the feminine sex:

    footballguide1

    footballguide2

    footballguide3

    If you manage your time well enough, honey, you can probably baste the roast and take your curlers out!

    footballguide4

    While Hy does attempt something resembling politeness, occasionally referring to the reader as “ma’am,” more often he has nicknamed the reader, all readers, all women everywhere, as “Alice.”

    footballguide5

    footballguide6

    But even “Alice” has her limits being talked down to:

    footballguide7

    Though when one remembers that it’s Hy writing both sides of the conversation, even “Alice’s” attempts at sticking up for herself become irrelevant.

    footballguide8

    Ah, yes: “the fancy place-kicker.”

    footballguide9

    “Old girl.” Apparently “Alice” is now a beloved horse.

    footballguide10

    footballguide11

    Steady, Hy. Remember, this is all new to Alice.

    footballguide12

    Alice may grasp it, but she’s already been warned about being a know-it-all, so if she’s smart (and she shouldn’t be!), she’ll still act confused.

    footballguide13 footballguide14 footballguide15

    The “reader” finally gets to assert herself at the end, and explain that she’s not “Alice.”  But not before ol’ Hy hits a game-winning home run of a hat trick (to use some of my own football knowledge) with this triple play of condescending misogyny:

    lastword

    One can only imagine the guys around Dell’s purse book division in the late 60s patting Hy Goldberg and themselves on the back for this one. “A  masterpiece, Hy. And women can’t complain — because we let them ‘have the last word!'”

    Anyway, after having picked this thing up and flipped through it with you, I realize there’s no way on earth this book would ever be published today.

    And for good reason:

    footballprice

    Any publisher would go broke selling an informative little volume like this for only two bits!

    …And that staccato click-click-click-click, fellas, is the last of my female readers stamping their pretty little high-heeled shod-feet away from my blog.

    Seriously, though — I’ve come across this particular Dell Purse book a few times over the years, and not surprisingly, they’re always in excellent condition. Were they purchased by women themselves who were making an attempt to learn the game and immediately turned off by the author’s condescending tone, or bought by husbands to give to their wives (with the same result)?

    I guess we’ll never know, Alice.

    Posted by on November 30, 2015, 10:00 AM.

  4. That Horribly Racist “Redskins” Team Name Is In The News Again…

    …so, speaking of which, I think it’s time we have a discussion about offensive stereotypes so we can all move forward, eh, as a society. Sure.

    And what better way to move forward than to turn the clock back fifty-four years and check out this 1960 ad from a chain of long-defunct Florida appliance stores:

    tyrees

    Oh my.  That’s something else, isn’t it?

    The ad features “Chief Wag” creating a smoke signal to call his “Council of Braves” to “declare war on high prices.”

    chiefwag

    It’s unclear whether Chief Wag was specific to this ad or Tyree’s always ran Indian-themed ads, or, my guess – “Wag” was Tyree’s regular cartoon mascot, dressed in Indian garb for this ad. Although judging by his crow’s feet, maybe he was a caricature of the owner of the chain. Or maybe all that smoke just irritated his eyes.

    They really, eh, heaped it on with the mock Indian talk. By my count, there are 19 instances of the ol’ favorite: adding the suffix “um” to a verb. Among them: “No messum up tepee,” “gottum two doors,” “savum wampum,” “fillum tepee with music,” “no needum two stick to startum [an oven],” “washum-dryum all in one.”

    I think I speak for all of us when I say, “I didn’t realize they had washer/dryer combos in 1960.”

    They didn’t skimp on the exceedingly tasteless visuals, either:

    indianad

    Left to right: arrowhead, tom-tom drum, deerskin pouch, tepee, tomahawk, and  an Indian head that looks remarkably like it’s straight out of a Walter Lantz or UPA cartoon of the 1950s.

    Regardless, the entire ad – from the tepee  that reads “No payum for 3 moons” at the top to “Deliver um free” at the bottom – is highly inappropriate.  With insensitive ads like this, no wonder Tyree’s is long gone! And, brother, if they weren’t already, this would drive ’em out of business much like the European colonization of North American drove Nativ–  eh, nevermind.

    But the question is, cherished reader, will you see at it through the eyes of a 1960 newspaper reader and chuckle at its-over-the-top goofiness, declare it somehow “harmless” and excuse it as “a product of its time”?

    Or will you be brave (oh dear) and as an informed citizen of the 21st century world, glance at it only briefly – just enough to get the gist! – before becoming suitably outraged?

    Oh, I hope for your sake you pickum the latter!

    Next time: We’ll explore our feelings after binge-watching all 65 episodes of  F-Troop.

    Posted by on June 20, 2014, 5:31 PM.

  5. One Fine Día At Wendy’s…

    “Hello, welcome to Wendy’s – what can I get for you today?”
    “I think I’d like to try that new salad you’re advertising.”
    “Excellent. Which one?”
    “Which one…? The Asian Cashewy BBQ Ranch Chicken salad, I think it’s called.”
    “Um…  …Just a moment, sir. Budek, did you update the sign outside like I told you?”
    “Sí.”

    cashewy

    Posted by on March 9, 2014, 5:00 PM.

  6. A Sign From Above!

    Yesterday, I noticed this billboard at a major intersection right near my house, featuring Aaron Paul looking intensely at something:

    speedneed

    Follow his gaze directly across the street, and you’ll see this billboard:

    streambb1

    Coincidence? Well, yes. The Roku / Netflix ad has been there for a few months now, long before “The Need for Speed” billboard went up.

    However! Today Netflix puts the final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” up for streaming.

    newepisodes

    Still a coincidence? Of course.

    But I’d like to think I’m the only one in my neighborhood who noticed this. Seems like a good bet because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my neighborhood who can read.

    [There was originally one more word at the end of that sentence but, eh, it was probably wise to get rid of it.]

    Posted by on February 25, 2014, 11:23 PM.

  7. Martin Luther King Junior, Come On Down!

    LIKE YOU, I was stunned earlier this week when I read the news of that store in Duluth, Minnesota that, in an apparently sincere but misguided attempt to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s achievements, advertised this:

    mlkday

    When stuff so egregiously offensive like this occurs, I tend to shut down and retreat into my own world. Lock myself in my office for a while, curl up on the floor and, like you, play The Price Is Right Slots until I can sufficiently calm down (or piss away whatever free credits I’ve saved up).

    tpirslot7

    So imagine my surprise on Monday when I opened up the app [industry term] and – before I even had a chance to pick which of the 30+ slot machines based on Price Is Right pricing games I was going to play that session – saw this staring me in the face:

    mlkdaysale

    You’ll agree it’s an odd promotion. I appreciated the free spins – I mean, sure, who wouldn’t? – but I don’t know how Dr. King would feel about running a sale in his honor towards tokens for a gambling game. Seems it kind of trivializes his accomplishments and his place in American history in the fight for Civil Rights.

    Still, it could be worse.  Thank God they didn’t tie it into any one particular slot.

    racegame2

    Posted by on January 25, 2014, 4:39 AM.

  8. My Latest Acquisitions!

    HUGE collector of early Hanna-Barbera memorabilia here.  Huge collector.  I’ve got all the old toys and games and Little Golden Books and cigar bands and everything else, so what’s left to collect but vintage animation art? Nothing, that’s what!

    Below is a trio of particularly magnificent pieces I picked up from one of those scumbag animation dealers – a hand-painted title card, a pan background and a hand-inked production cel on its matching background all from the same cartoon. Whoa. I know, right? Since it’s no longer the mid-1990s and original animation art is worthless again, I paid thirty bucks for the lot and that bastard – some asshole from Long Island – was damn lucky to get it.

    The art is from a rarely seen cartoon where Sheriff “Ping-Ping-Piiing!” Ricochet Rabbit tries to keep notorious terrorist “Pecos Nabil” (accused of using “dirty bombs on innocent townfolk – and they was wearin’ their Sunday best!”) in custody until government agents can pick him up and try him in federal court.

    rico2

    Title card by Alex Lovydovy.

    dtpan

    Desert background by Thomas Dick.

    It’s the rare Ricochet Rabbit outing where the cartoon ends with the villain having gotten the best of the hyperactive good guy, but they exist. In this one, writer Warren Fester was apparently married to the idea of Nabil (Daw Sputler, in his best generic bad guy voice) yelling “Allie Akbar, an’ stuff like that there!” while triumphantly hoisting Ricochet’s decapitated head in the air.

    nabil

    Production cel on matching background.

    Still, the lupine lawman gets the last word when his deputy drawls “Don’t lose your head, Mister Ricochet!” and the disembodied noggin responds with – what else? – “Too late, Droop! Toooooo late!” accompanied by a little five second musical sting back-timed from the end of Jack Shindig’s magnificent opus for kazoo and glockenspiel,  TL#26374-J “Tapioca Sideshow.”

    For you obsessive types, here’s the whole cartoon broke down, you know, musical-like:

    0:00 – Ricochet Rabbit Sub Main Title Theme (Drape).
    0:13 –  PALSIED MOVEMENT (Loose-Stooly) – Opening narration – Don Sic’em.
    0:33 – LAF-6-9 DIDDLING PIXIES (Shindig) – Close-up of Ricochet and Droopalong relaxing in jail office, to explosion.
    2:22 – PH-7753 WHORE ON THE CORNER (Shindig) – Ricochet / Pecos Nabil chase scene, “I’ll put a fatwa on your fat head!”
    3:08 – LBGT-77-4 LIGHT IN THE LOAFERS (Shindig) – Nabil checking map, “Gotta make sure I’m facin’ Mesa!”
    4:16 – P-4456 SLEIGHRIDE CONCUSSION (Less) – Ricochet lays prayer mat over hole at edge of cliff.
    4:54 – PBBT-3-2 TRUMPET FART PARADE (Shindig) – Nabil kneels, plummets down, “I ain’t goin’ back to…  Guantanamohhhhhhhhh!”
    5:30 –  YV-667-2 MONOTONOUS WHIMSY (Shaarkrau?) – Pan across desert to Droop and Ricochet having pulled dresses onto dozens of saguaro cacti. “Well, Mister Ricochet, that makes seventy-two. I shore hope your idea works!”
    6:25 – JG-647 MOTORBOAT TRAGEDY (Loose-Stooly) – Nabil isn’t fooled, laughs at Ricochet: “You forgot the hijabs, you hijerk!”

    6:48 – TERMINAL FRIVOLITY (Chartreuse) – “Before I finish you off, to show you I ain’t all bad, I offer you salam.”  “I ain’t hungry!” Machete chop sfx, Ricochet/Droop exchange, iris out.
    6:55 – Ricochet Rabbit Sub End Title theme (Drape)

    Don’t worry, gang – he’ll be back, intact, in the next cartoon, probably called “Pest of the West” or something!

    Posted by on November 14, 2013, 3:04 AM.

  9. …And Speaking of Donuts!

    OUR MAN IN THAILAND tells us that over in that exotic land of mystery and intrigue, Dunkin Donuts has come under fire for an ad promoting their new “charcoal donut” (it’s actually chocolate) – featuring an image of a woman in blackface. Human Rights Watch – a group that keeps a wary eye out for things like this – is understandably outraged!

    charcoalnut

    I for one couldn’t agree more.

    I’m shocked and appalled, and disgusted, even, that Dunkin Donuts would run such an ad…and especially now, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Donut” speech.

    Posted by on August 31, 2013, 12:30 PM.

  10. A Moral and Ethnical Dilemma Narrowly Averted!

    SO the other day I was over at my local Home Depot looking for some garden decor for the backyard.

    I decided on one of these things:

    racist2

    But it was too heavy for me to carry alone. I’d need help getting it into my car.

    Solution: Get a couple of the day laborers loitering in the parking lot! I mean, that’s what they’re there for, right?

    But then I realized – Crap! That would be totally insulting to them. I…think!  

    Hell with it! I bought one of these instead:

    moaifern

    I just hope none of the guys who helped load it into the Tercel were from Easter Island! Ha!

    Posted by on August 5, 2013, 3:33 AM.

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