Tumblr...The Greatest Stunt of ALL! Internet Jobs Rant Tumblr The Depression and Stunts Stunts Stunts RPPC
We are clearly in a major and permanent depression, as the internet has replaced every job which required manufacturing, boxing, stocking, racking, packaging, shipping, typesetting, retrieving records, printing, filing, directing phone calls, ringing up prices (bar codes) and even advertising agencies. (A monkey can purchase click-ads with selected market parameters)
We seem about a year away from selling apples on the street, and I don't mean Ipods. I hear reporters over and over again say "when the jobs come back" and I wonder, have you EVER heard a commentator say "We are losing jobs because of the internet?" I suspect it is because they don't want to spread bad news.
When I shop at the grocery store, I leave my empty cart askew somewhere in the back forty of the parking lot simply because I know the company will have to hire at least one kid to bring it back.
I recently looked up some information on the most recent internet success story of late, Tumblr. Tumblr has 3 million users, gains 15,000 more every day, and the system handles 15 million posts a week. Guess how many employees Tumblr has? Go ahead....guess.
That's right. One of the most successful internet launches in years, and the company has eleven employees total. TOTAL. They created a huge population of folks who steal photos and help build their content, but they sure aren't paying any of them. Even if Tumblr announced "a major hiring flurry" of, oh...let's say ten percent they would only increase the staff to 12.
So how come we don't see pole sitters, sky dancers, waterfall walkers or dance marathoners anymore? When I pass a fellow with a sign reading "will work for food" I often wonder why he isn't laying on a bed of nails or living on a billboard for a month.
My guess is regulation and such...to set the world's longest record for goldfish eating today, you would probably need insurance and a permit.
Here is an assortment from the glory days of stunts. Click to Enlarge.
All Original Photographs and Real Photo Post Cards Collection Jim Linderman
When I read a non-fiction book about times in the early 1970s, as I have just done, (A true tale of rural Texas when kids were just starting to learn about popping pills) I am astounded at how much credence was given to psychics at the time. I am especially surprised as I thought they had done been debunked decades earlier.
I mean, how stupid... ehh. I give-up. I even have folks around here who believe Glenn Beck.
I give up.
So here is Zallah. An Uri Geller in Drag. A schmatta wearing female fraud. Years ago I learned the way these con-men in skirts make their living is by limping along on the dollar or two stolen from grieving widows, troubled husbands, lonely wives...all while waiting for the one BIG score which usually meant the "go to your bank and draw out your available funds" gambit. (A cop told me this...He said they usually go three or four months in between real scores, and when they hit, the daughter or son takes over the business while they go to Florida and bask a while)
Zallah here appears to have slipped town with her ill-gotten gains. Certainly she is on her way to greener pastures of plenty. There is nothing on the web about this criminal. If I could conjure up some dirt, you would certainly get it. One thing I know...when they took Zallah's fingerprints, be Zallah man or woman...they also got Zallah's real name. Unfortunately, I do not have it.
Zallah! The Woman with the Penetrating Eyes! Tradecard, circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman
Conway Twitty Turducken Topped with Fruit! Horrors in Wax #15 The Terrible Taste of the Twitty Burger!
This is the 15th "Horror in Wax" I have posted. Some of you may think I have been running out of wax statues to disrespect, but not to worry, I've been holding Twitty in reserve. Wax Conway is shown here along with Wax Loretta, who is a saint I will not besmirch.
Twitty was really Harold Lloyd Jenkins, named after the silent film comic, and if you finish this post, you'll be laughing like the front-row at one of his flicks.
Actually, I am a fan of Conway Twitty as well, since he had the good taste to let a 17-year old Levon Helm play drums for him some 60 years ago. Twitty was raised near Levon's home in Turkey Scratch. Helena, Arkansas, holy ground for the meeting of Blues and Hillbilly music, being the original site of the King Biscuit Flour Hour Radio Show. But it is Twitty's LACK of taste this post is about.
Twitty had over 50 number one hits on the country charts. FIFTY. A record broken only by George Strait, another great singer I suspect less than 1 in 1000 New York City residents could name.
My main concern here is...TWITTY BURGER! Way ahead of his time, Mr. Twitty had another potential mine as gold as the most golden record...a hamburger topped with bacon. Yep...40 years before every chain today relentlessly promotes their killer bacon fatburgers on childrens TV, Conway was hoping to clog our veins with his own invention, but his had a special festive taste twist. Each Twitty burger was to come with a GRAHAM CRACKER CRUSTED PINEAPPLE RING on it. That's right. Straight from the land of fluffernutters, Twitty was able to persuade his friends to invest $100,000 each in his plan to cover the nation with hamburgers smothered in fruit from Hawaii.
As you would expect, (and as one day the turducken influenced KFC Double-Down will as well) the Twitty burger died a quick death. In a complicated legal battle with Uncle Sam, Conway was tried for fraud and such over the financing of the franchise, but he had the good fortune to draw a judge who loved the singer. The judge not only found in Twitty's favor, he sang Twitty a song he wrote for him after reading the verdict. All true in Wax Hell.
To read all the Horrors in Wax posts, click the blue subject heading below.
Wax Museum postcard collection Jim Linderman
Labels: Horrors in Wax
There are plenty of names for groups of animals. Colony, Rookery (Albatross) Congregation (Alligators) Flange (Baboons) Shoal (Bass). Camels are a Herd, Cats are a Destruction, Cheetahs are a Coalition, Caterpillars are an Army. A group of snails is known as a Rout. In some parts of the animal kingdom it seems there are more names for a cluster than there are animals! You can call a group of Whales either a Pod, a Gam, a Herd, a School or a Mod.
Bees are of course a Swarm, but they are also a Nest, a Hive and a Grist. At least they used to be before cell-phone towers screwed up their navigation skills and they started dying off like newspapers. Which is more than a shame...since if we do not pollinate our dirt-based food sources, we die too.
When I was young, I would tempt fate by catching them and putting them in a buzzing mayo jar of death. They always looked REALLY pissed off in there. The younger kid down the block was impressed too, and he reached into a rosebush and grabbed his own bee, thrusting his hand upward in victory and shouting "I GOT ONE!" He got one awright...and a trip to the hospital for a Bevy and Gaggle of life-saving antihistamines for his swelling little fist.
in High School, my genius friend Doug was given a room upstairs to grow his own bees. He installed a glass fronted hive, and we would thrill to their activity...the little fellows would fly out their tiny tube to the world and return with pollen on their limbs and share it with their buzzing buddies. We soon learned if you leaned close to the glass and hummed a certain note, the frequency would make all the bees freeze like statues. I still don't know what caused it, but it was remarkable. There were no cellphones then, but the hive died out anyway. Doug blamed it on bee diarrhea.
Group of Original Press Photographs, 1951 -1961 Collection Jim Linderman
Maud the Mule was hoisted to the top of the Burwell Building in Knoxville Tennessee in 1908. Popular Mechanics magazine of June that year heralded the event with another picture saying "When Maud started skyward 3,000 voices cheered in unison with the blowing of whistles." Maud likely was named after a cartoon Maud the Mule which first appeared in Hearst Newspapers in 1904. As most Maud comics simply ended when she kicked someone high into the air, perhaps this was a way for the construction workers to get even.
I am proud to reveal this rare first hand account of the legendary Mule raising of Knoxville, Tennessee. "This was quite a stunt - and every one and his dog came to see it. This mule has been used around the building for some time and when the iron work (?) for the last story was put up they hoisted the mule up to the platform that you see and she made a speech a la mule. Could she have talked no doubt she would have used some strong language"
Maud the Mule Real Photo Postcard 1908 Collection Jim Linderman
Howdy, I'm still taking a short break to "work" on other projects, so this post slithers back from the past. Browse OTHER things a while, or read any of the books linked at right!
This post from my Wondrous World of Wendt Blog.
Snake Women! Frank Wendt, Photographer of the Sideshow 1890 As you can see, women with snakes were not entirely uncommon around 1890, but then if the circus came to your town once year, they must have been quite noteworthy. All these cabinet card photographs were taken by one man and each became a pitch card for the performer to sell to admirers or anyone with a dime to spare. Frank Wendt has always been unfairly placed in the shadow of Sideshow Freak photographer Charles Eisenmann, his mentor. Wendt took over the Eisenmann studio on the Bowery in 1893 and ran it for five years before moving it to New Jersey. He continued making pictures there for a number of years, some quite extraordinary. In 1979, just as interest in collecting circus freak photos was rising (in part as interest in Diane Arbus was rising as well) a book on Eisenmann was published which dismissed Wendt's work as "perfunctory" and that the production of those years has all but been "obliterated." Au contraire!
As we are just learning, MANY exceptional images remain. The photos here are certainly not obliterated, though he did have a somewhat poorly realized sense of contrast at times. Wendt specialized in the unusual, but he shot all manner of performers, not just the strange. In fact, some of his most beautiful work is normal looking actors and child performers, who would use his cabinet card photographs as trade cards, mementos and such. Often the performers autographed the cards on the reverse, personalizing them to fans and the freaked. In the case of the carnival performers, vital statistics were often provided though frequently exaggerated. In fact, Wendt would take his pictures to emphasize the particular trait or deformity being marketed. As traveling shows passed through New York and New Jersey, they would stop to replenish their stock. Sometimes Wendt would republish Eisenmann's work on his own cards, but frequently a new photo was taken, and the same performers often appear in later pictures, with different imprints or logos on the cards.
Group of Frank Wendt Photographs circa 1890 Collection Jim Linderman
Ken sounded like a sour old man, but then he had been in the hospital 51 times in 51 years. Ken was giving an interview in 1979 just prior to opening the Atlantic City Speedway race track again, a chore he had done many times before. At the time, Ken had plastic leg. "You meet more jerks in the business...everyone wants to be a hero." Ken had broken his neck, and even his first wife had died in a car crash.
Ken started with the biplane crash. He would take off near a grandstand, buzz the crowd and smash into a barn. Later, he drove a motorcycle through a wall of hardwood which sheared the handlebars off in his hands. When he stopped rolling on the pavement, he was still holding them. He added stronger bolts and did it again. When Ken would do the bus jump, he would crouch down at the wheel and hold tight for impact. He learned his lesson after once raising his head "to see what it was like." That was the neck break. At the time he gave this interview I am cribbing from, he was a grandfather and 69 years old.
Ken lived 11 more years and to everyone's surprise, passed away from illness, not impact
Ken Butler's Fantastic Bus Jump. Original Publicity Photo signed circa 1970 Collection Jim Linderman
My mother taught me not to dig a hole so deep I couldn't climb out. She was right. She wisely taught me that back when I was a child digging in the sand at the beach...a long time before unrestrained, ill-prepared, rampant corporate greed polluted the Gulf forever. Here is a clue for you BP. Instead of spending millions of dollars with your advertising agency "rebranding" to a nice green "sunflower" logo ten years ago, maybe you should have been investing a bit more in learning how to avoid digging a hole you could not fix.
I was insulted when the now familiar green BP Helios logo appeared and I am more insulted now. The logo was developed by Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest advertising agencies on the world (with some ten billion dollars in billings) and they should be ashamed too. They reportedly charged BP 200 million dollars to come up with the deceitful, intentionally deceptive and downright disgusting logo. They had help coming up with the big lie from some folks you probably won't like knowing about, which is why you'll see plenty of pictures of greasy pelicans on your tube, but nothing about the folks behind the creation of the logo and BP's sham claim to environmentalism. If it were up to me (and if "truth in advertising" was a real mantra rather than a huge misnomer) the company logo would be a sun obliterated with toxic black tar surrounded with a few green crumpled dollars representing the suitcases full of it they gave to your favorite search engine in order to make their corporate crap pop up before you even finish typing the name. Screw them. Seriously. Screw them.
In his poem "America" written over 50 years ago, Allen Ginsberg, a courageous, beautiful and gentle man I have admired my entire adult life wrote the following:
"America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb"
I have taken the liberty to rewrite it.
BP, I've given you all that I have and you spoiled it
BP two dollars and 98 cents a gallon July 11, 2010
I can't stand my grief and anger
BP when will you cap the poison well?
Go fuck yourself with your oil
I'm just one person and rendered useless by health, size, lack of funds, lack of political influence and more, but I happen to have been born on this planet and it is for sure the only planet i'll ever live on...so I ache with anger, frustration and shame for what our own ignorance and apathy has let happen.
This might sound a bit strident, but I'm actually restraining myself. That the fickle news business has made it the lead story for nearly three months now should be an indication of both the seriousness of the spill and the repercussions we will still feel decades from now.
BP claims they will "be there as long as it takes to clean it up." Without doubt! Because they own hundreds of other filthy drills in the Gulf. The Gulf I played in as a child. The Gulf my parents condo was on for the last ten years of their life. Right smack dab at BP Zero...Gulf Shores, Alabama, a place they loved so much they would drive three days to get there every year just to see the dolphins pass in a line on the horizon every morning. The Gulf my Great Uncle proudly lived right on for decades. But they'll have to change their name and their logo...because both are now sullied and revealed as filthy obscene tricks played on us for too long.
If there is any good to come out of this unparalleled disaster, let us reclaim the color green. The next product you see claiming an environmental pedigree with green, challenge them. Read the ingredients. Study the company. See why it is they feel they have to use it. Do NOT take that pleasing color for granted and do not let corporations any longer shamefully use it to manipulate our love for the earth.
A genuine Human Fly! No, not the great Cramps 45 on the Vengeance label which I sold too soon ( "I've got 96 tears and 96 eyes") but the real thing. Not only that, if the date on the reverse is correct, this real-life Spiderman probably picked a very cold day to scale the local bank... "There is no bldg. to high for this Human Fly to creep up"
It is NOT cold here, so I might take a few daze off. Read old posts in the meantime, or browse my brother and sister blogs. (You can also join Dull Tool Dim Bulb, Vintage Sleaze and old time religion on Facebook now if you are so inclined)
Azo Real Photo Postcard 1915 collection Jim Linderman
Yes, someone invented the balloon. A Brazilian named Bartolomeu de Gusmao in 1709. Lest you think he also invented the term "balloon butt" a term frequently used on Brazilian beaches, he was a priest. Some early balloons were made from animal bladders, but I would far rather fill up one made of rubber or latex. Since my intent here is to establish a monopoly on balloon pictures, I should list the following subsets of the genre. Water Balloons (usually dropped on Dad or Sis) Balloon Drops (usually dropped on Republican candidates and their very old caucasian delegates) and Balloon Publicity (usually to attract attention to lemons at used-car lots) One balloon we will probably all need sooner of later is an angioplasty.
Notice how everyone in these pictures is smiling except the one who is filling hers up? It is because balloons are fun...but they are also dangerous. In particular to marine life. But at the rate we're going, that might not be a problem for too much longer, I'm afraid. I hope I didn't harsh your balloon mellow.
Group of Balloon Photographs Collection Jim Linderman
Flown lately? Boy, did they have THIS wrong! A group of promotional photographs from American Airlines, 1935...showing the near future of flight through some truly visionary illustrations drawn by "H" who was surely using it. Go WISH! The Captain has turned on the "stop suffering" light. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.
Three Untitled photographs (Future of American Airlines) Anonymous 1935 Collection Jim Linderman
I wrote an earlier post on Bill Alexander, one of only a few African-American vintage sleaze artists identified to date. Information on the artist is slight indeed, but examples of his striking work continue to emerge. First, Brittany Daley's great Sin-A-Rama book collected a number of his paperback cover illustrations from the 1960s...to which I was able to add a bit with my original post. Then, the Acrobat double CD reissued the tracks from Roy Mlton's record label revealing a number of the beautiful label illustrations Bill did in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Roy knew how to rock before there was rock, and he apparently also had the good/bad taste to hire the young Alexander for the art his label's 78 records. (Don't buy the download...buy the discs! They come with a 35 page BOOK! for gawd's sake)
The drawings are great (as is the music)... if you didn't know they were done by a Black man, you might think them a tiny bit racist, but then the label wasn't releasing gospel, it was raw rhythm and blues of the most raucous kind.
Here is a sample of Bill Alexander's wonderful label illustrations, and a few of his later drawings for Eddie Mishkin's mob-run paperback imprint from the 1960s. Both, as good/bad as it gets!
(Also posted on Vintage Sleaze Art the blog)
My discovery which questions whether Andy Warhol learned to draw soup cans from a small Heinz tracing book he would have had access to as a child seems to be striking a nerve. Quite possible, and I will lay out the details here as a few folks have asked.
I found a small booklet in an antique mall which was originally published by the Heinz company in Andy Warhol's home town the year before he was born. The book encouraged young children to TRACE THE IMAGES contained for "fun" when the intent was clearly to imprint impressionable young minds with the Heinz logo and brand. Tracing paper was bound into the pamphlet on top of each Heinz product. The book has a date of 1927 and was published in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh was also Andy's home town and he was born one year later in 1928. As such, the small book, one of a series called "Heinz Kindergarten Books" would have been readily available to the young artist.
The images here come from the Heinz book number 6, so the series was well established and local Pittsburgh residents would have surely picked up the premium, which was free, for their children to play with. Although not as famous as his Campbell's images, Warhol did produce art with the Heinz logo, just like the branding experts at H. J. Heinz apparently hoped he one day would! As the similarities are quite striking, and the location and dates too much of a coincidence to ignore, I believe Mr. Warhol may have played with books from the series and remembered it some 40 years later when he began using similar (in fact, nearly identical) images in his work. I am not speculating that Mr. Warhol traced this copy, as thousands of children would have had the book, but he clearly would have had access to another copy.
Have a look, consider it yourself...and contact the art historians! Greg Allen on his blog has added some history on the book series and discusses the impact product advertising has on young minds.
The images were originally published a month ago on Dull Tool Dim Bulb, I am re-posting them along with a few additional scans. Just for the record, a Heinz Tomato Ketchup drawing by Warhol done in 1962 ( and quite similar to the very ketchup bottle shown in a tracing here from 1927) sold for over one million dollars at Christie's in 2009.
(I am reposting a few older pieces which generated interest here and there...after all, I live near the beach)