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Category Archives: Violence

Wilkes Barre Times Leader, October 16, 1922. We’re not talking about the pituitary here, nor the thymus. But do not leap to the conclusion that we’re looking at the Chicago equivalent of bang-utot or that African hysteria whereby a stranger shakes a feller’s hand and the latter’s johnson disappears. The above-named victims really were sporting conspicuously clean trouser lines. Some of the blanks will be filled in, others not. But is “gland banditry” not an awesome phrase? [Thanks to krrraft for putting me onto this phenomenon.]

Anagrams for “gland banditry”:

Try bang, Dad: nil.

A dry blind gnat.

A dirndl by Tang.

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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.
‘DEFINITION OF THE WORD DUDE
‘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.’

Haverhill Daily Evening Bulletin, March 22, 1889. Odd, skeletal bit of reportage. Did the fact that the combatants were Japanese substitute for a motive behind the fracas?

Dallas Morning News, March 25, 1891. Such are the perils of miscegenation between the red-gummed and the blue.

Augusta Chronicle, January 23, 1891. This is tonally ambivalent in a bet-hedging kind of way: They’re not calling bullshit, but still just need to get that shot in there about the credulity of black folk.

“Nimple Brown” is a strange name. Nimple = nipple + dimple. Brown = brown.
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The Daily Boomerang (Laramie, Wyoming), March 19, 1890. Judging from the sources I’m looking at, the deadly bite of the blue gum negro was a leading cause of death in the rural South at the turn of the century. You’d be better off eating mince in the shade of a upas tree than tangling with a BGN.

Ths Brattleboro, Vermont, Reporter, June 14, 1806. Hoo boy, heref a meffed-up ftory about a terrfically unhappy family. Bafically a confpiracy of children to kill their drunken, violent old man before he killed again. Gotta feel forry for the kidf, though my guess is the teenage murdereff probabaly fwung for thif. Read More »

pockBoston Daily Journal. December 5, 1889. Tom Stoppard and Richard Powers are collaborating on an operatic libretto encompassing these items. Johnny Greenwood is signed to write the score.

Oh, just kiddin’. But the longer I stare at these old newspapers, the more I am bewitched by the cumulative insanity and variety and intellectual free-fall of these deep stacks of randomly interesting nonsense.

They put me much in mind the work of Neil Postman, whose books The Disappearance of Childhood and Amusing Ourselves to Death seemed to me very profound when I read them in my 20s. The guy’s basic theme was that print imposed rationality, but video annihilated it. That, according to Mr. Postman, was because TV equaled vaudeville and vaudeville equaled chaos. Whereas print was inherently rational.

But that’s fundamentally utopian, i.e. stupid, because vaudeville is the default condition of the human mind, regardless of prevailing medium. Am I right? I got Shakespeare and Chaucer on my side here.

P.S. I see some boffins at a Harvardian thinktank are on my side too. I would have tidied up, avoir su.

Chicago Tribune, September 16, 1916 (left) and December 24, 1895. Beautiful editorial cartoons from the Trib (click through twice for optimum magnification). The one on the left speaks for itself, I reckon. The one on the right pertains to the boundary dispute between Venezuela and Britain. Britain was preparing to kick some ass when the U.S. forcibly reasserted the Monroe Doctrine (“Nobody fucks about in South America but us”). The Brits initially said “Pshaw!” but then backed down–a watershed moment in global power politics. The profile on the target is of course John Bull. I love it that newspapers once had leeway to depict Uncle Sam as a dissolute old carny, and on Christmas Eve day no less. Imagine the ensuing uproar if it happened today.

cow vampireSpringfield Republican , November 17, 1895. Said to labor under the hallucination that he is a vampire?! The first time I read that, I thought, ‘Who the hell has the nerve to question this guy’s monster credentials?’ But it’s true that he lacks the suavity of your classic, card-carrying 19th-century vampire type. Diet and behavior-wise, he could almost be a chupacabra foraging outside of its regular habitat, but those are reputed to be ugly suckers that wouldn’t long pass for human even in South Dakota.
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