Let The Mail Bag Take You

Hey man, just where
did THAT week
go already ?

Time for another
exciting, mind-elevating
and positively dizzying
trip through the Muscleheaded Blog’s
Mailbag.

I’m also happy to say,
that some of
this week’s mail was
too dirty to actually post,
and that despite those
pieces not getting to appear,
— I really did appreciate em.

I really did.

Keep up the good work.

It makes the mailbag
one joyful place to dip
into, lemme tell you.

But, we’ve still got
plenty of stuff we
CAN post —

– and it’s ok if it’s not
dirty enough not to
qualify, it really is.

And you know Your Ole
Uncle Nuts is gonna find
a way of making it dirty,
anyway, so –

Just let it take you.

Hey-
fun is where
you find it.

— Ahem.

For you new readers whose
poor innocent minds
haven’t been sufficiently
warped by this blog, yet,
let me just advise you that
it will happen if you hang
around here long enough.

Whether that’s a promise
or a threat is something that
is also yet to be determined.

But,
welcome, in any case.

I’ve been trying to stick today
with postcards and stuff from
the first third of the 20th
century……..

Let me know how
you think
I’m doing —

I never was too good
with fractions.

That said, I’ll leave you
with a quote that comes
to mind from Leo Tolstoy: 

“A man is like a fraction
whose numerator is what
he is and whose denominator
is what he thinks of himself.
The larger the denominator,
the smaller the fraction.”

!!! HOY !!!!

Miss Myrna Loy – 1932

 

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Musing Over The Mailbag

Once in a while,
I get told that I
think too hard
about simple
things.

Is it possible ?

I dunno –
it seems like
we’re surrounded
by so many folks
who don’t think
at all about
anything ..

So I ask you –

Can there still be such
a thing as ‘overthinking’?

Ok…

Sure, I guess
it’s possible….

Let me mull it over a
couple years and
I’ll get back to you
on it.

Hmmmm —
where’s my
graph paper ? 

Ahem..

Anyway-

It’s early on Friday
morning, which means
it’s time we give our
dear readers a
heapin’ helpin’
of whatever goodies
lie deep within
our mailbag’s
murky depths.

If you could visualize
a sea-bag full of gym
socks and old skivvies
that’s been sitting in
the dusty, damp attic
since the 1980’s,
you’ll get some
idea of just what
happens when
we go too deep.

Almost exactly the same
as when I start thinking too
hard about something.

Why those two allusions
seem so related is another
thing I’m gonna have to
think about, I guess.

Brain food ?

Not quite.

And neither, I think,
will today’s post be.

!!! HOY !!!!

.

Propaganda Perspectives

It’s easy to forget,
sometimes that other
societies have a perspective
on things that is very
different from our own.

It’s probably a major reason
why we have so much conflict
in the world.

One way to understand
(of course, that doesn’t
mean you’re going to
agree with it ) things
from the other guy’s
viewpoint is to look at
his sources for information.

If he really doesn’t like you,
based on cultural reasons
alone, there’s a good chance
that he’s been taught that
you’re a big fink by the
educational and political
institutional media of his
society.

Some of the references
are rather random,
but most of it is part of
a larger and tightly controlled
frame of reference-
— a plan, if you will.

That ‘planned’ part is what
we call propaganda.

Most of us are familiar
with our own U.S. propaganda,
some of it made by Disney
Studios, during World War II.

And while we might look back
on it with considerable concern
about the stereotyping and
hate-conjuring that was being
reflected in similar publications
and media, we also should
remember our enemies were
doing likewise –
— and in many cases,
much more so.

The idea is to keep both the
warriors in the field and the
folks on the home front
completely sold on hostile
actions and/or a war effort.

Vilifying the enemy can
take many forms – and one
effective method is by
illustrating the peace-loving,
purely defensive and innocent
nature of ‘our side’ – and a
malevolent, aggressive and
monstrous face representing
the other.

An excellent example of this
can be seen in the Japanese
print art genre known as
‘ Shou Kokumin ‘ –

— very loosely translated
as ‘ Children Playing Soldier ‘ .

There were numerous pieces
produced, and both the term
and the genre was very often
utilized in pre-1945 Japan.

Take this card
for instance:

It was released
commemorating the
Russo-Japanese War and
the Battle of Mukden,
and was part of an effort
to justify the invasion of Manchuria.

The fact that the Japanese
during the Imperial Period
gave children extensive
military style training makes
the image even more startling
to us, and more effective as a
piece of domestic propaganda.

Another example features
a child soldier in samurai
costume standing guard
at the border of the newly
created Japanese puppet
state of Manchukuo –

— a result of the aforesaid
Japanese invasion of
Chinese Manchuria after
the Battle of Mukden.

It’s a distinctive and appealing style, that completely belies the
implications regarding children
and warfare.

Which, of course,
makes it very effective
propaganda, indeed.

Friday Mail Bag

No matter hep you are
to the lingo back then,
it’s hard to say what
some of this early
1900’s stuff even means,
ya know ?

Although,
handing over
your pay envelope,

in one way or another,

– we all do
pretty much
every week.

And of course,
‘peace at any price’ also
has implications that run
deep through history ,
and at the turn of the
century, maybe
even more so.

There was a very strong
movement in the
United States
at the time to keep
out of hostilities overseas
about the time these
were printed —

— it seemed to many
that the problems of Europe
had very little to do with
the average American’s
everyday life, and have
should remained so.

But as we’ve learned,
and to quote Eve Curie:

” We’ve discovered that 
peace at any price is no 
price at all. ” 

I wonder if the same can
be said of domestic affairs.

I think the artists of these
vintage cards are aiming to
find out .

!!! HOY !!!

The Friday Mail Bag

Damn, this has
been weird weather.

I don’t know whether
to wear my mukluks
or my tank top when
I leave the house
these days.

Maybe I should tune
in the weather forecast
once in a while.

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Not that it’s that
interesting
or all that….

But I guess I’m
going to try once
again to put get
the Muscleheaded Blog
main posts into some
kinda organizational
system, so I know what
kinda write I need to
work on for the next day.

I like the fixed day
format fine, but not
for EVERY day–
so, we’ll try
(for the next
month or so)
to stick to Sunday
being for music posts,
Saturday for car posts,
and now Friday for
mailbag posts.

(of course, the daily
Retro,
Pin Up
and Quote
features are unchanged.)

The other days,
you’ll still
have to take your chances
on just what the hell is
going to show up on
here, ya know?

And you know
what THAT means.

Ummm…
What does that mean?

I got nuthin, man.

So, anyhoo …
lemme know
how you like it.

Suggestions
(other than:
take this blog
and shove it“)
are always welcome.ne

And, hey –
– guess what.

Yep- Friday !

Mail bag,
here we come.

Let’s see,
now…………………..

Really, You Needn’t

yesOn this post —

We have a unique set of antique postcards for you.

These were from a
very popular series
of cards called:

“UNEEDN’T”…

Basically,
they were a type of
Penny Dreadful

Otherwise known
as a:

Reverse or Vinegar
Valentines card,jealous

that you could send
all year long,

to express a certain disdain
for a person or their behavior,

without being too
overt about it.

While they might seem
rather tame to us today,

they were considered to be
real zingers
in the early 1900’s–

They usually implied
certain thingsask
about a person
that maybe weren’t
their BEST qualities
or even all that nice….

….. then or now.

But,
all that ‘virtue’ stuff
gets old, ya know.

Anyway,
you have to kinda
read between the lines
on these cards,

….. in order to get the wait
sender’s full meaning.

It usually had to do
with some aspect of
the person’s character
or behavior that was
out of the social norm,

or went against the
grain of the sender —

Maybe it was a
commentary about:

your choice of friends,
your work ethic,
your housekeeping skills,swear
your personal appearance,
your sexual preferences,
or how busy your love life was.

Maybe they’re were
trying to say you were:

a cheapskate,
a bum,
a lothario,
a bad dresser,
a pain in the ass,
a loose woman,
a gambler,
a sponger,
a whiner,call
a sissy,
an undesirable,

…… or perhaps
that you might
get/have
potentially gotten
someone pregnant.

Whether dropping
one of these cards
into the mail
was the sender’s way
of providing moral
redemption
or simply an act of revenge,rubber

… well …

I guess
we’d have to take
that on a case by case basis.

Either way,
it was sure to hurt
somebody’s feelings.

Probably pretty
embarrassing, too.

You’d never know
who sent them —

or what they really knew,
or didn’t know about you.freeze

There were several
excellent artists
involved in producing
these cards,

but one of the
most famous,

was our old prolific
friend Dwig —

Clare Victor Dwiggins.

There were a good
assortment
of these produced,

but I think I’ve included
the ones that are most
striking in the series.

And I’ve got more in
my archive if you like them.

They certainly are a unique
way of expressing ones
feelings about another —

But I imagine most of them
were sent anonymously.

Which just goes to
show you that
hypercritical,
judgmental snobs
are not only usually
cowards,

— but also that they
have always been with us.

Still,
the cards have a
strange, humorous quality
that really is compelling.

The artwork is also very interesting,
and period specific.

Yep…

I always enjoy a peek
into the mentality of
our predecessors…

Even it is the meaner side
of their temperaments.

Hoy !!!!!

a1