Sunday, September 27

Wednesday, September 27

Decisions, decisions. Well, one thing that can be said for getting tuberculosis, it isn't something a sane person would willingly choose to do. Raymond spent two years in bed before dying on this day in 1933 at the age of 22. A lot of folks romanticized TB victims however, because the wasting away seemed like the acceptance of fate. It seemed... holy, somehow. But it wasn't a choice. Hedda Morrison has been taking a lot of photos of the holy Forbidden City in China this year. Many of them are practical shots, an effort to make a record of the architecture, but this photo seems purely for the fun of it, her decision to capture the beauty of that moment. When you think about it, the portrayal of timelessness requires a reference to time, such as the implied movement of shadows acros...

Tuesday, September 26

There's a lot of interest in George "Machine gun" Kelly, who has just been arrested in Memphis. Unlike the Barrow gang, he and his crew went without a gun battle. Could have been that Kelly answered the knock on the door and faced a sawed-off shotgun. It's claimed that he shouted "Don't shoot, G-men!" Those gangsters had their own lingo. But it's also part of the legend that his moll was behind the image of Machine Gun, buying him his first customized piece. You know what they say about great men. He seems like a nice enough guy. Did I mention that in prison he was known as "Pop Gun"? I came across this listing of stonks in a Texas daily, and I think it's a pretty interesting group. I don't think the DJIA had been created yet, so these would have been the stocks that a local bro...

Monday, September 25

Another super train on the cover of another Science magazine. These concept vehicles at least proved to be something within the realm of possibility, unlike the flying battleship- although the Soviets did build something along those lines, I believe. I like this cover better than the French language one earlier in the month because, unlike the realistic rendering of a two-unit train in that one, in this one the train is infinitely long. Now arriving in New York while departing from Los Angeles! That happy hiker will be waving a long time, hope he's had his breakfast. Another nasty hurricane, the second category 5 of 1933. The winds had diminished to 110 mph by the time it hit Tampico, but it still wiped out the city. It was a busy season. My man Dollfuss makes the cover of Time! ...

Sunday, September 24

Rising up. Anna Belle has completed her studies and is being promoted to the Junior Department at Sunday School. It's cute and all. When we were raising a kid we called this sort of thing a "poopy prize", something kids got for doing something the way parents wanted to see it done. I wonder at what time as we rise up through the stations in life do these sorts of things stop being poopy prizes and take on real meaning? Klaus seemed proud of the degrees he received while a student in England. He sent copies back to his radical father in Germany. Klaus and his siblings had been raised to view the values of the ruling classes with disdain, and while he rose through the ranks of atomic scientists in the West his brothers and sister were helping dissidents and Jews escape the Nazis. A...

Saturday, September 23

There's nothing like having a flock of well-fed managers hanging over your shoulder while you work. I bet Hitler was thinking "Ja, they think they know how to run the world!" I've found a lot of cropped copies of this photo, but I bring you the album cover worthy, original sized one. I can tell because of the one, lone little Nazi giving his obsequious Heil! salute right in the middle of the picture. It's like the ensemble shot for Sergeant Peppers, innit? Where's Marilyn? Follow this with the underfed German volk on the cover of their cheap, pulp worker's magazine. It's the Horst Wessel gang, yo, and if you don't know Horst, you should. Management is cranking out these stories of brave young Nazis killed for their ideals. It really riles up the masses- they can't get enough of i...

Friday, September 22

Bridging that pond. Sometimes the bridge crosses the river, and sometimes the bridge crosses the pond. Moving from West to East, it looks like park benches are in short supply on a nice Sunday in the Bronx. There's not a lot to do, and some folks just enjoy the chance to soak up some rays. Can't say that I blame them. Here's that bridge. If anyone asks why they call it London Bridge, when it's actually in Lake Havasu City, AZ, just refer them to this photo. Not a bad thing to have. There are no benches on the grounds of the park at Newbury, apparently. That's probably why they invented those portable ones. What amazes me is how she manages to stay upright on two legs. They call them the Smart Set for a reason I suppose. keep on your feet here.

Thursday, September 21

I try to keep things from becoming too centered on North-America here. Of course, we all know that the U.S.A. was the only place that had actual history from 1933, but I try to scrape up a few minor events from other places in the world. Americans might acknowledge that there was stuff going on in Germany at the time, but that's only because we have a Hitler fixation. Don't know what it is about mass shooters and Nazis, I call it a death cult. So... I found a copy of a Czech magazine which was considered to have ground-breaking graphics. I'm not qualified to make any judgements about that, but it is fascinating to get some candid shots of Prague nightlife. Looks like fun! It's a New Year by the Jewish calendar. I hope you take the time to read the main article. It's a review of t...

Wednesday, September 20

Yin, Yang. What do they mean? Having spent some years considering this, I can tell you one thing- they're not opposites. They are compliments. And that's the difference between Western and Eastern thinking. The Christian tradition demands total war of good against evil, right? In the Christian view, the Yang must prevail over the Yin. (or vice-versa- even after years of study (or maybe because of it) I'm not sure which is the male and which is the female principle- perhaps it isn't so important)So today, some straight-up, on the nose stuff, which should be clear to anyone who cares to pay attention. In London, in 1933, they held an International Commission to investigate the Reichstag fire. You remember, that was an arson that conveniently burned out the German "congress" build...

Tuesday, September 19

Express yourself. Start the day with a nice shot of Paul Robeson in the costume of an Emperor. The pose and the lighting are fantastic, don't you think? Moody. There were plenty of actual national leaders trying out different poses and expressions and costumes in '33, playing at being Emperor. Actors have the upper hand though- mere dictators don't usually have the skill set. Roosevelt was pretty good, and Hitler carried it off by force of will. Mussolini had a lot of natural ability, but what happened in France? Who even remembers their leader? Then there is beauty. This model's expression is somewhat enigmatic. Is she haughty? Bored? Commanding? It's a bit of all of that, and what woman wouldn't want to be that mysterious and imperious? Maybe a good hairstyle is all it ta...

Monday, September 18

Isn't it iconic? I wonder if Christian churches would have sought to copyright the image of Christ on the Cross if they had had that option. Probably not, seeing as they were the dominant power in the Western world for about a thousand years. Public censure did all the work for them. By 1933 that hegemony was eroded to the point that a guy like Francis Bacon could portray the event in a way that remains deeply disturbing even now. It seems to reveal something numinous that is appropriately frightening if you consider what's actually supposed to be happening. The symbol of the cross even makes it into the pleasant artwork for the Coca-Cola company magazine. That tiny little glass of Coke is all you need for your personal restoration. Costs a nickel! Some people were still blaming ...