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Category Archives: Jack the _____

New York Herald May 5, 1891. Do kids still play this game? I remember it as a pretty common part of the pre-adolescent repertoire of pranks. It had a whole bunch of different names, the only one of which now comes to mind was something like “Knock on the door ginger,” which is remarkably uncatchy. The standard praxis was to hit the same house multiple times. I can’t recall ever having been so victimized since I became the proprietor of my own door and bell.

Fort Worth Gazette, June 28, 1891. Classic exhibitionism is sometimes referred to as the “hands-off” paraphilia, but this Jack was that exceptional weenie wagger who couldn’t keep his mitts to himself.
I was bemused to discover this Wikipedia page whose discussion of exhibitionism is almost exclusively devoted to women flashing their breasts. I’m like, huh? But then I got to thinking about the idea of female exhibitionism and I started wondering whether the gender distribution of this ultra-common paraphilia isn’t closer to even than common sense would suggest. Unlike men, women can get naked for pay, and the “victims” of female flashers would be much less likely to report the incident, or even register it as an expression of sexual deviance for that matter. Then there’s the whole issue of Halloween to consider. Perhaps the female of the species is hiding in plain sight. I suppose the whole question ultimately hinges on the intent of the exhibitionee (—ess?).

The Washington Post, December 6, 1927. The cartoon is a reprint, originally published some time in the 1890s during the Slasher crisis. Criminologists and hotshot detectives came from all over the country to try to catch the guy, who turned out to be an illiterate farm hand. Alienists pronounced him way insane and he spent the rest of his days in an asylum. Dunno what molasses had to do with anything. I like the sound of the Jolly Fat Men’s Club though.

New York Herald, June 1, 1891. Hoo-boy, high times at the headline composition desk. Read More »

Auburn Daily Bulletin, something something, 1891. Vigilante violence against dudes, fully sanctioned by the media.Why can’t everybody just abide and let abide? And why such anger against the dudes ? Are we essentially talking about queer-bashing here, in the light of the definition Meylnda earlier supplied?

To wit:

Thanks to the due diligence of Dudespaper (q.v.), I bring you glad tidings of etymological certitude:

“The key to the etymology of the long troublesome *dude* lies in the May 1883 article in *Clothier and Furnisher,* vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 27-28—already reprinted in Com, on Et., April 1997, pp. 2-3. Here is that article once again.
‘In answer to a correspondent, the editor of the New York Journal of Commerce says that it is impossible to give an “exact definition” of the word “dude” that shall express the various ideas in the minds of those who use it. It is not exactly slang, but has not rooted itself in the language[1] and has not, therefore, a precise and accepted meaning. The word pronounced in two syllables as if spelled “dood-y” has been in occasional use in some New England towns for more than a score of years.[2] It was probably born as a diminutive of dandy,[3] and applied to the feeble personators of the real fop.[4] It was employed to describe a young man who had nothing particular in him but an alimentary canal, but who was very careful of his exterior adornment, especially in the tie of his cravat, the selection of his watch chain and appendages, the curl of his hair, and the fit of his trousers; one who eschewed not only all useful occupations, but also any violent exer cise; who was too languid in his manner to speak with anything but a drawl or a lisp; who affected special refinement, but lacked the chief essentials of manliness. In the last year or two[5] the name, now generally sounded to rhyme with rude,[6] has been applied to one who, in addition to the characteristics we [p. 28] have described, makes a feeble attempt to imitate the manners of some effeminate young nobleman about whom he has read in a foreign novel, but turns out to be only an emasculated penny edition of the despicable character he is trying to copy. The name is doubtless applied in familiar speech and in the press to some who have not all the essential features we have drawn; whatever may be the variations, there is one attribute common to all — they exist without any effort to recompense the world for their living.’

Chicago Herald, June 2, 1891. The victimological gamut of “merchants, mechanics and laboring men” establishes that the perp is an equal-opportunity wisenheimer and not some filthy workshy Iowan anarchist targeting the haves and sparing the have-nots. “Mechanic” here is being used in the wider 19th-century sense of a technologically-skilled worker quelconque.

Statistically this was a very strange week here at THC. I can never anticipate which items are going to grow legs and which will not, but on December 7th traffic on this site suddenly spiked from the normal range of 1,000,000 hits per diem to 5,000,000.* To my surprise, the big rainmaker was this. Which was odd because mince, while good for generating comments from the front of the class, has never been a popular favorite. Though it’s 3D celebrity pron when compared to the poor unloved BGN, whose poison extends to the box office.

*Above numbers may differ from reality by several orders of magnitude.

San Francisco Bulletin, June 11, 1891. I appreciate it when some obliging newspaper editor has done all the gleaning and gathering for me. Thank you, nameless long-dead newspaperman.

New York Herald, May 15, 1891. Speaking of branding, the original Mr. The Ripper could have used a good copyright lawyer, because there was no end of this kind of trademark piracy perpetrated by lazy headline writers.

The New Haven Register, April 24, 1891. I’d never heard of this murder case before, but it seems to loom pretty large in the wacky but tedious world of amateur Ripperology. The subsequent criminal investigation got oceans of ink in papers across the nation, which just goes to show the power of branding. Because it’s not like prostitute killings were rare at the time. (They never are.)

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 19, 1893. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the pH-imbalanced contingent. I don’t think I’ve run into a serial acid-thrower before.