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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Fort Worth Telegraph, April 12, 1921. Y’all remember Dr. Andre Tridon, the pioneering grand fromage of American Freudianism, who warned white Americans back in the day that they were committing slow race suicide via their “unspeakable diet” of corned beef and mince pie? Well, doggerelist  James J. Montague refuted him thus. I pretty much agree here with the poet: Where corned beef and cabbage is concerned, quality of life considerations trump  niceties like  personal longevity and the struggle for racial dominance. Then mince pie!

Chicago Tribune, October 14, 1877. “Inoculation” here = infection. Seems weird to me that tattooing should require explanation as “body marking.” Also seems dubious that vermilion ink was the sole fomitic agent here–presumably Mr. the Bum was using the same dirty implements no matter what the pigment. Ick. The standard therapy for syphilis was mercury at this time. It’s not clear whether it had any effect on the disease, which has periods of dormancy and sometimes resolves itself spontaneously. But mercury itself is not specifically too good for the human organism.

San Jose Evening News, September 17, 1890. Read more.

Kansas City Times, June 23, 1918. Read more.

I’ve got no idea who’s running this poll relating to my post for December 10. The survey closes on March 7. Vote early and vote often, as we say in Chicago.

New London, Connecticut, Morning News, September 3, 1847. The mutability of mince and the radical indeterminacy of its contents notwithstanding, one man was willing to set parameters. “Salt junk” is salt pork.

Astute 1981 observation by Wild Man Fischer. My second favorite song in his oeuvre, after The Taster.

I’ve just published a piece about killer prof Amy Bishop at the Chicago Reader. Technically this is Bad News From the Present, I know. So sue me.

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 26, 1895. I like the notion of a “surfeit of suicides.” It’s the opposite of a suicide shortage, I suppose. How do we know when we’re looking at a suicide sufficiency?
Anyway, as performer, this Wunner fellow strikes me as the art brut/outsider version of a more conceptually sophisticated chap we met last fall. I should have thought people would have seen what was coming next, given the prevalence of razor-based suicide at this time. Though maybe they did and approved: It doesn’t seem to have been a terribly refined audience. Nearly cutting your own head off is no mean feat. I tried to find some stats on suicide by razor, but all I found was this medical journal abstract: “Suicide by incising one’s own throat without hesitation marks remains a rare, and only few cases have been reported in the forensic literature.” Seems to be a word missing after “rare,” but what? “Treat?” I’m thinking office Curry may have been a tad bipolar.

Boston Daily Globe, December 17, 1889. It strikes me as beyond marvelous (and too cool for words) that skeletons should be intact or even recognizable after a full year plus change under the ocean. How does that work? Sure must have been cinematic to look upon, anyway.