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Category Archives: Wild women

Aberdeen Daily News, July 17, 1877. I’m not sure what’s the correct lifeboat logic to implement here. Is it better to start by feeding on the youngest and then work your way up the line, or should the mom have begun at the top by feeding the 16-year-old to the wee ones, then worked her way down? Tough call.

Columbus Inquirer, July 28, 1908. We confront one of two probabilities here: Either Leppo was an early method man and very dedicated to staying in character, or else this carnival was exploiting a bona fide crazy person as its geek. more

New York Times, April 26, 1871. This is kind of cool: an editorial devoted to the subject of journalistic coverage of wild man stories nationwide. That’s pretty much the same theme I was working when I gave my talk on stage the other night, except I was focusing on wild women exclusively. But it’s time to acknowledge that wilding was numerically a male-dominated field of endeavor. Read More »

Fort Worth Telegram, September 19, 1907. The veracity of these wild women stories is of course always judged by the reputability of the witness, so this one is pretty much the gold standard. The man’s a Harvard professor, for God’s sake!
If only the learned Dr. Macauley had managed to chat her up a little, maybe he could have coaxed her home for a My Fair Lady-style program of domestication and uplift. He teaches her language and manners in return for her savage and uncomprehending attempts at domestic service. Could have made for a great Edwardian sitcom.

Washington Post, July 6, 1890. I gave my mini-lecture on Wild Women last night at the Talent Show. The show was a hoot from start to finish, my talk seemed to go over well, and I met some really fun and interesting people. Made me feel like I should work all of this Wild Woman material up into some kind of structured and publishable Thing eventually, as the intelligent laity does seem to find the topic interesting.
The illuminating angle to this entry in the Wild Woman sweepstakes is the admission that such a story could have been woven from whole cloth just to sell newspapers and otherwise contribute to the gaiety of nations.

But note that this description of the Wild Girl of Catahoula is relatively weak tea, and doesn’t have anywhere near as intense a lusus naturae vibe as our previous recorded sighting.

Baltimore Sun, July 4, 1892. Lately I’m finding running across a lot of wild women whose exile from civilization is attributed to a past episode of seduction and heartbreak. But I’m half inclined to believe that these gals are actually Jungian archetypes on the hoof, especially since, like this one, they almost always reside in caves. And sure, sometimes a cave is just a cave, but only sometimes.

Assuming my my flight gets me there on time, I’m going to be giving a brief lecture on Wild Women as part of this here cultural event at the Gershwin Theater in New York on April 29th, 8 PM. The rest of the program sounds entirely legitimate though, and admission is a mere fin. Come one, come all.

San Antonio Daily Express, July 7, 1873. Here is a singularly pitiable instance of FBAS (False Bender Arrest Syndrome). In the headline of the post that inaugurated this thread I made a casual comparison between FBAS and contemporary hysteria over blue gum negroes. The resemblance actually runs deeper than I’d deeply thought about: Both are basically semi-secularized versions of witchcraft panic. In this case, we have a bit of an overlap with the whole rural wild woman phenomenon too. Everything that plummets must converge, see? Read More »

Two items of apocalyptic import in this week’s Chicago Reader, here and here.

Okay, so I’ve roughed out a provisional draft of alternate lyrics to “My Favorite Things” for our own Jackie of Finland to record, per our contractually-binding exchange in this comment thread. I’m also in negotiations to get the two surviving Seidlitz Brothers to dub some backing vocals, though according to their agent, Shlomo’s voice box is pretty much shot from three packs of Chesterfields a day since the McKinley administration. No matter: that’s why God made Pro Tools and the electrolarynx.

I’m kind of going back and forth on the first verse here, as it lacks the 100% concrete historicity that the other verses have. Though maybe I could fix that by nailing down concrete references to back it all up.

Barrel-clad hobos and window-ledge pastries
Irish patrolman and drunks with the DTs
Blackguards and maidens and oncoming trains
These are a few of my favorite thangs

Phials of acid in ex-lovers’ faces
Naked wild women in desolate places
Negroes with blue gums who kill when they bite
This is a load of my favorite shite

Mince pies for breakfast, and luncheon, and dinner
Corpses injected to make their eyes glimmer
Med school students defiling the dead
This sort of thing tends to fuck with my head

Cuckqueaned wives killing spinster cult leaders
Cats sold as rabbits to unwitting eaters
Show-offs igniting their cee-gars with bills
These are symptoms of society’s ills

When the dog brings
Dynamite back

When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I feel truly bad

Jackie: Far be it from me to impinge on your creative process, but I was thinking this would work best Lento assai and in a minor key.