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Category Archives: Humour

Vintage Political Incorrectness: Cola

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weird funny marketing ad failsThe fine print reads:  “How soon is too soon?  Not soon enough.  Laboratory tests over the last few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during the early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and “fitting in” during those awkward pre-teen and teen years.  So, do yourself a favor.  Do your child a favor.  Start them on a strict regime of sodas and other sugary carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness.”

  • Promotes Active Lifestyle!
  • Boosts Personality!
  • Gives Body Essential Sugars!

There are just so many things wrong with this ad; from today’s perspective, each and every claim this ad makes is bogus at best, misleading or damaging at worst. I wonder how they proved with laboratory tests that teens fit in better after drinking sugary drinks?  And how much damage did they do to the nation’s overall health when mothers began putting their pre-teething babies on a strict regime of sugary, carbonated chemical bombs?

We’ve come a long way, baby!

 

Lost in Translation: Lard Vintage Ads

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I’m sure there is a logical explanation why anyone would think this slogan (“eat lard”) worth it the first time, let alone repeating… I just can’t think of one.

Lard Ad 1Lard Ad 2

For other ads lost in translation, click here.

A Glimpse of Victorian Photography

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Victorian photography was bizarre.  I’ll say it.  Seen through the eyes of a modern person, their sense of humour, their fascination with oddities, their budding scientific theories (and lack thereof), and their increasing access to photography that made everyone able to capture their own sense of weirdness… well, it all adds up to a bunch of freakishness.

They were fascinated with what they considered oddities; the rich collected such things, whether they were butterflies pinned to a display board, or porcelain figures, or live animals or human beings.  I’ve already discussed the practise of Memento Mori – it’s been an on-going discussion ever since.  But there were other practices, just as weird, and ones which our sensibilities today revolt at just as much as propping up dead loved ones for a photo op:  Our sense of dignity for the individual, be they human or animal, is at times repulsed by their lack of it – people born with deformities were displayed in travelling circuses as freaks.  I try to see it from different perspectives, and while it exposed those unfortunate individuals to public ridicule, it may have sometimes also given them a purpose in life with an income and a home (rather than, say, being locked away or experimented on), and a family that was the close-knit circus crew; they looked after their own.  Nevertheless, they were bought and sold as commodities; one case in point was the tragic story of Julia Pastrana, also known as The Ape Woman.  Another well known figure in history is Joseph Merrick, also known as “The Elephant Man”.

Human Oddities 4

Julia Pastrana

In the slideshow below, I have only included two examples of deformities that would have been displayed – the girl with the deformed legs, and the bearded woman; both would likely have been circus performers, or freak show exhibitions.  Thank God for modern medicine.

One fad seems to have been manipulating photos through double exposure, thus creating “ghosts” in photos or making the subject headless; another seems to be something akin to making macabre Halloween cards by defacing a photograph to make the person look like a zombie (there are two examples in the slide show of the “before” and “after” photos).  Others are simply weird; why would someone photograph a toddler with a saw?  Or someone with antlers, or a bear, or a skeleton?  There was a practice of what’s been called “hidden mothers” in photographs of children – the mother was hidden beneath a cover, or behind a chair, to help hold the child still for the long exposures of the photograph; but when some of them are so badly hidden, why didn’t they just take the opportunity to photograph the mother as well?

Below are a few random photographs found around cyberspace; I don’t know who owns any of them, but if you know of credit that should be given to a museum or collector, please do let me know and I’ll be glad to give it.  Enjoy a look into the past.

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Loops of Life

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Flu BugIsn’t it amazing that the smallest of life forms can upend your life, change your priorities overnight, and put your schedule, and even deadlines, on hold?  Otherwise known as the flu bug.  It knocked me for a loop or three just after the New Year, and I’ve been battling it off ever since.  Everything, and I mean everything, gets put on hold at such times.

I’m sure you all know that there is no convenient time for a flu, but sometimes it’s easier on the schedule than others.   I’m grateful that it was after Christmas, because on Christmas Day I was at last able to complete the first draft of my next novel!  And later this month I don’t need it, because I get to go and stay in a posh resort overnight, also known as a hospital bed, to catch a few hours of sleep while they remove a few plates and lots of screws from one of my ankles, making it easier to get through airport security.  My bone will look a bit like Swiss cheese after they’re done, which means I get a few weeks of feet-up-and-read-lots-of-books time, followed by the ability to walk, exercise, and get a bit of muscle tone back.  Woohoo.

I began thinking about loops, in the wider scope, while I had some down-time this past month:  They come in all shapes and sizes; sometimes they’re hiccups in relationships, jobs, studies, goals or even social or environmental challenges.  Those loops, we can handle; they’re all essentially first-world problems, so I won’t complain; at least my loops don’t include wondering where my next meal will come from, where I’ll be sleeping tonight, or how to find clean water and a safe hiding place from men with guns hunting me down.  Even though my schedule has gotten thrown on its ear, and I feel like something the cat dragged in, I will count myself blessed.

If you’re going through loops of your own right now, look for the things in your life that remind you that you are blessed, and remember that jumping through loops will make us stronger in the end.

Famous Last Words: Oscar Wilde

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Sometimes, despite all the best intentions, real life takes over.  I’ve not posted in the past fortnight because it did just that!  But I’m mindful that, no matter what life throws my way, every moment is an opportunity.  Even the last moment of one’s life is an opportunity, as witnessed by famous last words:

Oscar Wilde

“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”

Oscar Wilde

Famous Last Words: Major General John Sedgwick

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Killed in the 1864 Battle of Spotsylvania by a sharpshooter, his ironic last words were:

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist—.”

General John Sedgwick. Source: Wikipedia

Major General John Sedgwick. Source: Wikipedia

Just for Fun

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I don’t know where this is, or who took the photo, but someone’s got a great sense of humour!

Nothing Happened

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