Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Correspondence Monthly, Febraury 1921

Its hard to imagine, but once upon a time, letters to loved ones were amongst the most intimate and prized possessions.  Now we throw our email in the trash bin before we even open it.

Correspondence Monthly, "The Journal of Informal Letters & Postcards" was once as common place as the Saturday Evening Post in American households, and just as highly regarded as that august publication.  With its finger on the pulse of letter writing propriety, Correspondence Monthly set the pace for all that was fit to write between people. 

The magazine was the first to suggest in 1850 that penpal relationships require registration "as to prevent the innappropriate communication betwixt unmarried people." 

"We find that there is considerable evidence to worry about the outcome of an unmarried man and an unmarried woman communicating to one and other, blindly and without proper supervision.  Suggestiveness and base familiarities, most certainly, could enter the communication leading to inappropriate actions, ultimately leading to an undesirable marriage, built upon a foundation of salacious yearnings and unmoderated lust...A national registry of these so called Pen Pals is suggested, however the chaperoning and censor of "Pen Pal" letters must be enacted immediately to save the moral fiber of the nation's young and innocents."

Well, there you have it.

Correspondence Monthly enjoyed great success until the forerunner of email - V-mail, during WWII - broke down all of the carefully crafted rules of writing ettiquette.  Like the Axis powers were crused by the Allied Forces, the tissue thin nature of V-Mail, along with the encrochment of abbreviations doomed Correspondence Monthly to ultimate defeat and failure.  It, along with other it's offspring (Love Letters Monthly, Penny Postcard Digest and the Journal of Greeting Cards) to moldering in the dank basements of second hand book stores and the trash heaps of history.

Monday, December 20, 2010

ALIBI, June 1956

ALIBI, The Magazine About the Escapades of Men was a well know periodical of the 1940s and 1950s, and provided a road-map for those who wanted to listen to that little voice inside of them and try things that they may not have considered before.  Men, and the men who enjoyed the company of other men, found that ALIBI had its own special code - like reading between the lines, if you know what we mean.  As popular in San Francisco as it was in Greenwich Village as it was in sassy New Orleans or morally righteous Oklahoma, ALIBI's core audience was broad and the magazine enjoyed great sales until an ALIBI sponsored party a New York City bar got out of control one night, and the purpose of the magazine was snuffed out in one paltry riot for equality.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fag Hag Confidential, April, 1958

Well you know that this one was nothing but trouble.

There have always been women who fall in love with the wrong man.  A sizable percentage of women are drawn to men who are drawn to other women.  These are the women who love too much.  Then there are the women who fall for the guy who shares her adore, in men that is.  Fag Hag Confidential was their magazine.  A monthly expose of stories written by women just like you, who fall in love with a guy who would rather make goo-goo eyes at Guy Madison than look at your breasts.  These men have needs, and they all look like Fess Parker.  Well, thats an overstatement - a couple of guys had it bad for Wally Cox.  But in the Fag Hag's mind, they are all the women that her "gay" will ever need.  And truth be told, thats a true statement.  But also truth be told, the guys never need these women as much as these women are willing to put out.

So Fag Hag Confidential fill that one lonely void that only another Fag Hag could understand - that she'll spend the rest of her life waiting for him, and he'll spend the rest of his life wishing that he could find a man as wonderful as she is, but not as needy...