Friday, May 04, 2007

You May Have Survived This...

... But Can Any of Us Survive THIS???

What, Me Worry? Bush Dances the Wars Away;
And: Old Web Links Never Die...(They Just Turn Into Different, Glitzier New Links)

  • This was good news to wake up to;
  • I hope the Democrats hold this Administration's feet to the fire until our President learns what "compromise" and "negotiation" mean. He clearly has no idea; did you catch his reaction to a question about the possibility of Condi Rice inadvertently meeting the ignored-for-six-years Iranian ambassador? What are these people, arrogant self-centered pathological morons? Oh, ya. How could I have thought otherwise?

    Cleaning up old emails I've saved for their invaluable links, I find that -- old links never die, they just turn into useless, no-longer-relevant links.

    For instance, this grand email about
  • the origins of Alfred E. Neuman
  • -- and note that link has links that no longer lead anywhere -- was brimming with info on old Alfred's pre-Mad existence. Here's the text I saved, compliments of Miron Mercury sharing a 2005 email from his friend John (last name unknown), still invaluable though the links are now dead:

    Subject: RE : Quest For Neuman

    How did Alfred E. Neuman's mysterious iconic image become identified with painless dentistry? "It Didn't Hurt A Bit," say the old ads. One thing; his image was reproduced almost daily in Manitoba in two newspapers from at least 1909 to 1936 and was a familiar figure to a whole population of central Canadians. Cartoonists noticed him and possibly columnists took notice as well.

    Manitoba Free Press, 1928

    Winnipeg Tribune, 1909

    Children's Day. 1909: Grue, Winnipeg Tribune ;

    Old Swimmin' Hole. 1909: Grue, Winnipeg Tribune ;

    Curiosity led me to think that perhaps he had come from one of the early travelling medicine shows, perhaps as a label on the bottles of patented painkiller. I recalled reading an article years ago in the Weekend magazine, sent all over Canada with the comic sections. I looked it up.

    I don't claim this is the true story of Alfred E., merely a possible version, my version.

    The King of Canadian medicine men was Thomas Patrick "Doc" Kelley (1865-1931), who, starting in 1886, travelled Canada and the U.S. selling patent medicine like East India Tiger Fat and Passion Flower tablets. He was so well known that druggists in Toronto and Winnipeg stocked his wares in their drugstores. His favored stomping grounds were Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Other medicine shows traveled the circuit, including the Kickapoo company, but they never seemed to make it outside of Toronto.

    Amongst the banjo players, wrassling bears &c., the most popular member of Kelley's troupe was a comedian, Jock McCulla, born in Scotland, whose pratfalls and slapstick, often of a very painful-looking nature, made him one of the most popular comedians in North America, pre-movies and vaudeville. I can imagine him saying after a particularly nasty fall, "It didn't hurt a bit," followed by sales of bottles of some type of pain-killer, stocked by drugstores all along the route for boys with teeth knocked out by hockey puck or baseball.

    He bore an uncanny resemblance to Alfred E., with carrot-top hair and a gap-toothed grin… well, judge for yourselves… here's Jock McCulla in the flesh, possible forerunner of the What-me-worry kid, sometime between 1890 and 1896:


    Another unpaid debt American pop culture owes to Canada!

    Clearly '' has changed hands and no longer hosts Canadian images (nyuk nyuk). Too bad the old links don't work -- still, glad I held on to this email (thanks, Miron), and if Cat and I can figure out how to post the email with images I saved, we'll do so pronto. What staggers my Luddite pea-brain is usually child's play to Cat.

    I'm glad, though, I've held on to other old emails with once-treasured links. Some I couldn't access before our move to Windsor and high-speed internet access this past January; so, I may not be able to access the original link's intent, but have found treasures nonetheless once I've explored their new destination points.

  • For instance, this link John Totleben sent me ages ago to an Alan Moore/Brian Eno interview no longer links to that (nor is the program even available or archived any longer, as far as I can see), but this has turned into one of my fave listening links for everything else it provides from BBC Radio 4.

  • Thankfully, though, some two-and-three-year-old links still go right where they were originally intended to go, and still delight.
  • Check out this 17th Century sculpture gem Rick Veitch sent me back in January of 2006, and enjoy.

  • Finally, this is a great & grand Friday because Tim Lucas solved the mystery of who John Austin Frazier really was.

  • I saw this preview trailor for the Europix Orgy of the Living Dead triple-bill over thirty years ago, and have wondered who John Austin Frazier may have really been all this time. I knew he wasn't really in a mental asylum, and I sure as shit knew not a single one of the films in the triple-bill had put him there, having caught that triple-feature twice myself.

    Hey, look, I'm fine. What, Me Worry?

    Anyhoot, go visit Tim's Bava book blog and read all about it.

    And then you have a great & grand Friday yourself.

    Dance them wars away...

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