Friday, January 22, 2010

Schadenfreude, The Newsweekly, June 15, 1958

Schadenfreude, The Newsweekly, was never afraid to cover the stories that its readers would have much preferred that they sweep under the rug.  The alarming trend of girl on girl violence - which was later tied to televised games of roller derby - shocked middle America in the 1950s.  Why, you ask.  "Girl fights are as old as time, you point out.  Well, its because by 1957 "good girls" were tired of simply sticking their tongues out of their mouths and shrieking "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" at other girls.  Without another outlet, they borrowed a few moves from the Boise Bombshells and starting taking great pleasure in slapping, scratching kicking, punching each other.  To counter this, Mattel introduced the Barbie doll, which they could dress up and comb its hair.  But all Barbie did was push the anger just below the surface, and by 1967 it started to seething to the top... in more rebellious forms.

Schadenfreude, The Newsweekly, June 15, 1617

What can we say.  Its human nature to take some satisfaction in the suffering of someone else, even if it makes Jesus weep.  Napoleon's final defeat.  The Fall of Hitler. Parker " Jolly" Wentworth's missed polo goal attempt during the 1940 Southampton Polo Club's Invitational Tournament.  Its all good.  Yet for as appalled as they were to discover that the "rape" in the context of the Leucippus daughters simply meant "kidnapping" and "marriage under diress", the Dutch were oddly attracted to this painting, voting it the painting they would most like to have in their windmill's for 1617. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bee's Knees, March 13, 1923

Copyright 2009 Stuart J. Koblentz
Good Golly, the folks at home just thought that the Bee's Knees (the word "the" was never capitalized) was just about the snappiest rag in its day!  Filled with all sorts of good gumbo and if it was in the Knees then it had to be so!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Worth Repeating, Empress Magazine, Brumaire 1801

Copyright 2009 Stuart Koblentz, All Rights Reserved
Though it had a limited audience, Empress Monthly was a favorite with its readers because it understood what they were up against.

One would think that its subscribers, who had all the comforts afforded royalty, would have a full dance card in life's little fete. Truth be told, aside from producing a male heir, the only other duties were dressing well, and appearing at the ribbon cutting ceremonies whenever a new bakery or meat rendering company opened its doors. Wait, I take that back; as Empress you changed you clothes a great deal - like six or seven times a day. And with all that dressing and undressing, there was no time left for being able to take a mad lark every now and then and go junking like the commoners do - but they, of course, called it "shopping."

For the readers of Empress, life was made up of little trade offs; and there is that constant reminder that with power comes great responsibility. A palace here, a castle there, and all of those furs, the gold and ah yes, the jewels. But at what price? Well, you can't have everything in life; if one can not roll in the hay with the farmer's son because it would be slumming, then one must be content with starting a multi-national conflict over the batting of your eyes at some other Queen's prince royale, or having the head of the Church of State drawn and quartered for disapproving of your extreme wealth, and good fortune, no?

Indeed, it is lonely at the top.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

KVETCH, January 1965

Copyright 2009 Stuart J. Koblentz
KVETCH, the International Magazine of Complainers, everywhere served to remind the unhappy, that they too had a legitimacy to their being.  Each issue was jammed packed with stories about those who give and give and give and give some more only to have the door slammed in the readers face, a cold meal served when everyone else gets something nice and hot and seat in a drafty corner.  Its most popular feature was its Seek and Find, which the readers always complained was printed in letters that were to small and words that were too hard to find.