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Monthly Archives: August 2009

wapo 3 11 07Washington Post, March 11, 1907. Perhaps if our Treasury officials still ate mince pie while standing, we wouldn’t be in the fix we’re in. Then again, perhaps mince pie caused the Crash of ’29. Either way, note again the asserted primacy to mince over apple as the central pie of American life. And observe how hot mince is at once a fast-food staple and a perpetual source of mirth


2 in 8San Francisco Chronicle, June 3, 1893. It’s been a while since we rocked the selbstmord. The Kirks are actually not the most suicidal family we’ve met, nor even the first pair of self-cancelling siblings. But as usual, the journalism steps all over present-day CDC guidelines on responsible suicide reportage. Read More »

Chicago Tribune, September 8, 1936. Here’s our lowbrow cartoon pal again. I’ll admit to being the “eskimo” type condemned in panel number 5. I’m also opening windows that others want closed.

standardsstandards2New York Tribune, May 6, 1921. A moving feat of cooperation among America’s 75 pie magnates.

Speaking of pie, bakers, etc.:



CSI Pie Ami

For realAtlanta Constitution, December 25, 1912. From a Southern paper we should expect such Yiddish syntax in a headline? On Christmas Eve already?

More generally, this obviously speaks to the primacy of mince among institutional mystery meats. I love it that U.S. marshals once occupied themselves with mince busts, and that the “filler” remained so mysterious to the gov’t lab that it could only be said to have “looked and smelled like mincemeat.” My guess is that it was protose, if not Italian beef.

free tradeLos Angeles Times, July 28, 1892. Fin de siecle Angelenos apparently found economic issues easier to grasp when couched in racist stereotypes and dialect humor.

snatchingChicago Tribune, June 23, 1878. Could be this interview is vaguely on the level, could be it’s a total put-on. It’s worth noting that “cunny” was then a well-known term for ye nether lady-parts of the fairer sex at a time when the general vocabulary lacked polite equivalents. It’s a noun now generally forgotten except by attentive followers of HBO’s Deadwood. Anyway, the ensuing description of the mechanics of body-snatching has an impressive verisimilitude. Read More »

liverAssociated Press, January 9, 1878. No idea whether these reports of the liver-eater’s demise were premature, though a guy named Liver Eating Johnson surely has got to go sometime . Anyway, this one was the inspiration for a hokey ’70s eco-Western starring Robert Redford, but the entire liver-eating angle somehow got lost along the way. Time for a remake, I think. Casey Affleck looks like he might eat your liver.

Chicago Tribune, December 2, 1903. The pleasure I take in these cartoons is generally inverse to the number of references I understand. So this one is pretty awesome.
The Encyclopedia Chicago tells us this about the Irving Park Woman’s Club:
“Rich or middle-class, the population of Irving Park was generally native-born, Protestant, and white-collar. They participated in community events and activities of a literary and musical nature. Both men and women were active in neighborhood organizations. The Irving Park Woman’s Club formed in 1888 with an agenda of cultural and reform activities.” So, basically we’re talking about a legion of Margaret Dumonts. But WTF is “the kangaroo walk”? Are “side talks with girls”? And why does the no-breakfast dude look just like William S. Burroughs?

2 cratesLos Angeles Times, November 7, 1901. Weird stuff tends to happen once you assign a cash value to dead people. And this is far from the worst of it. Read More »