Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Man and God and like sports, man, Apr. 1976

Lakeland Florida's Ledger must have been considered mighty progressive to not only keep someone this hirsute on the editing staff, let alone have his photo in the byline in 1976.

And then to turn a few pages further and realize the same paper is sponsoring, as a public service, an appearance by conservative leader William F. Buckley on "Understanding Freedom," running full page ads for several days. 

Thus may our Bicentennial year be remembered.

Sandy Good family fun, Mar. 1976

Just how long did these people clog our nation's courts and news outlets?  To be sure, there can be no question that Manson Family business made for news of cinematic quality.  For better or worse, it was more of the grindhouse variety one would find at the drive-in.  As such, it was rich enough to produce quite a few sequels with new storylines, kind of like a proto-Friday the Thirteenth franchise for newspapers.

Apparently the Sandy Good and Susan Murphy case of malicious letter writing and talk radio media blitzkriegery was the next installment, quickly following "Squeaky" Fromme's assassination attempt on President Ford the prior year.  In fact, Squeaky returns from prison in a cameo role as unindicted co-conspirator and witness for the defense, while Good performs a dual role as poison pen femme fatale as well as, Charlie-like, her own defense attorney.

This production was not entirely the disappointment one expects as descending  sequels usually progressively get worse the longer they get churned out, especially when it has devolved to becoming a vehicle for raising awareness of environmental issues rather than the famed "Helter Skelter" revolution.  However, one must bear in one's year-2009-mind that pollution concerns were fresh and new while the old grievences that had made the Family a household name had become played out by 1976.

But a Manson Family newstory rarely fails to electrify when it comes to courthouse turbulance.  Misses Good and Murphy, two swinging chicks in their 30s and quasi-nun's habits (adding unexpected Edith Head-type costume values) are provocative during the proceedings, with verbal and literal courtroom pyrotechnics making for another hot courtroom drama.  Yet again we leave the story in typical terrorist tale fashion:  another unsettling ending in which the accused roils with the wrong kind of regret.

ALSO:  The pharmacist with the apparent herpe just above his eyebrow would like us all (and future girlfriends) to know Herpes has now become a common venereal disease.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Now more than ever, Feb. 1976

Saying anything more would waste precious time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CBS gives M*A*S*H unit the runs, Jan. 1976

Here we have a tasty Al Hirschfeld-flavored serving of the gang from M*A*S*H , captured as they were cooking up the series' fourth season, on the cover of the TV Week magazine insert from the Ocala Star-Banner.


(It only tastes vaguely like Hirschfeld, but the actual spice went uncredited.)

When one inevitably asks "Wha' for?" regarding the li'l wooden sign pointing the swinging surgeons in the direction of "Tuesday," the inside page of the TV listings explains:


If this is true, the IMDB lists of original airdates are pretty trustworthy for those losing sleep over the matter.

Whatever Igor was serving may not have agreed with them, but TV audiences followed faithfully, right to the final, solemn trip to the latrine.

See this article in its historical context here.

She makes it look sew easy, Sept. 1975

Julie Nixon Eisenhower threads her way back into the American quilt and our hearts with wholesome, sensible fun.  Good Republican fun.  Thankfully they didn't needle her with any questions about her dad.  Only about Watergate...Salad.


The most popular sewing kit AND recipe:

See this article in its historical context here.

Read and hear more about Julie and David Eisenhower (and Al Capp) here at MangMade Records.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Early phone sex, Oct. 1975

Any phone enthusiast would agree you would be getting screwed paying $129.95 for a refurbished pay phone. But wait! Pay the equivalent in 2009 dollars -- $526.39 -- for some real depravity. Hell, it looks like they even replaced the durable stainless steel handset tether with the usual grub-grabbing, quickly-knotted vinyl coil job.

Say, why don't we get back to the government-run phone business?
Looking back, the U.S. home phone market was about the closest thing we had to putting some of that Soviet magic in our lives.

"No, my new phone doesn't ring. No. You see, I'm the ding-a-ling!"

See this post in historical context here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Zine: no phobia here, 1965

Web-based information sharing and discussion (particularly the kind found in blogs) may be considered the natural descendants of the 20th century fandom phenomena and its use of fanzines as network hubs connecting enthusiasts of various pastimes. Articles and images--original or lovingly swiped--as well as trade/sell lists, opinion and reader comments abound in these grassroots do-it-yourself publications. Much of fandom's etiquette and jargon would be familiar to blog readers of today.

Even the worst-executed early fanzine can be fascinating, if only to admire the effort involved for its day in getting a work self-published purely for the love of its content and desire to share it. Zines largely were not very slick until the 70s when the latest reproduction technologies came with lower cost and easier access (...and some even then...). The always wonderful Golden Age Comic Book Stories blog has an excellent, image-rich post regarding one particular, well-crafted comics fanzine from the 1960s-80s, The Rocket's Blast and The Comicollector.

"My tie and pipe are social expectations, not affectations. Seriously."

Here we find the zine sharing a 1965 article (apparently from Long Island's Newsday) about some very early comic collectors before the average person could conceive of a time where this kid's stuff would become valuable, let alone culturally relevant. Bless 'em.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Complaining about the All-Star game is time honored tradition, July 1977

from The Electronic Press Box (dig the cool title graphic)
by Seymour Rothman

How often does Diogenes come up in sports writing today? How often does he come up in any newspaper today? Take Mark's Fidrych's word for it, not very often.

See this article in its historical context here.

The booty didn't bother Coody, April 1971

When was the last time we've seen golf coverage this revealing? Who could have imagined this would be the end?

See this article in its historical context here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Al Capp gives Walter Cronkite the Bird, July 1971

In noting the passing of newscaster icon Walter Cronkite, we present a little something that may have otherwise been lost in the tributes gushing through the media this weekend. In July of 1971, a time Brit Hume has recently referred to as Walter Cronkite's "heyday," Al Capp winged newspaper readers through a sequence referencing the CBS Evening News anchorman in his comic strip, Li'l Abner.

Cronkite was a legend in his own time and, even by 1971, beloved as well as controversial. Vice-President Spiro Agnew vocally considered him among the nattering northeast elite liberal press. Archie Bunker -- a "pinko." To Middle America, he was "Uncle Walter."

Capp had long been a national celebrity himself and, by the 70s, known as an outspoken right-wing establishment figure who had in recent years parodied the "lefty" likes of Joan Baez and Johnny Carson in his work. Here Cronkite gets off easier than most, a mere mock in a bird christened the "Water Kronkitingale."

It was also pretty
well established that the once-"beluvvid" Li'l Abner was running out of high-octane plots and running mainly on counter-counter-cultural fumes. Here, Daisymae is on a journey to find a treasure to attract a date for a familiar Dogpatch character archetype named "Dateless" Brown. First, they must get their itinerary from the equally subtly named "Crooked Miles," each using her best assets (click to enlarge):

I won't give away all the details, but the gals must follow an insistent divining rod in the form of a twisted piece of barbed wire. Now that the table's been set, dig in:

No word if these strips LAID AN EGG or even caused a FLAP with Mr. Cronkite. One could go on a limb to argue satirist Capp was making a broad metaphorical comparison of the dreadful birdsong to Cronkite's nightly newscast warbling. Close examination, however, does not reveal the birds' affinity for their left wing over their right. Most folks probably figured it was simply a CHEEP laugh and ploy to draw attention to an aging "comical strip" (safe bet).

And that's the way it...
well, you know.

To view this sequence in historical context, click here.

For more MangMade Al Capp business and his controversial radio show, click here.

Mommie (ugh) Dearest, Sept. 1971

Speaking of old broads''s a 66-ish Joan Crawford showing off her (gulp) pins. Christina! Bring me the AXE!

See Joanie in historical context here.

(Can we get a, uh, hey hey, ummm, hey? Didn't think so.)

True-Life Pyschic Crime Mystery, Dec. 1943

Image how big this flick would have been in the film noir 1940s featuring a box office bonanza-drawing cast including Marlene Dietrich and Ginger Rogers. Throw in a swami, a jewel thief and hey hey hey! Well maybe their roles wouldn't have been big enough to fool with, but they give this newspaper story legs!

Check out the unashamedly titled story Mystery: Why Is Super-Gem-Peddler-Flato So Flat? from The Milwaukee Sentinel - Dec 19, 1943. It's truly a cautionary tale of not taking one's "Aura" seriously.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sundays with the Toledo Blade, Sept. 1971

Among the best names of a newspaper ever. Here's the Sunday comics section banner as it was in 1971. Much better in color, really.

Free 10-cent drinks must have done it, Jan. 1968

The Big Mac may never have caught on without these magic coupons. I hope they were good for that "Orange drink" in the little Dixie cups. Or maybe it was the drink and the Heated Dining Room. From January 9, 1968, so you'd better hurry.

My kind of place.

Keep the Foxes by the Funnies

Love having these type of lurid flicks advertised right next to the funnies.