Friday, January 29, 2010

Looks Good Enough To Eat

   Cooking is becoming a lost art. What with so much frozen food, microwave ovens and fast-food restaurants in our society, the  number of people who actually make meals from scratch is rapidly decreasing. Things were a lot different when I was a kid. Every housewife had a shelf full of cookbooks and could whip up a dinner with whatever ingredients happened to be in the pantry. I enjoyed looking at these cookbooks and wondering what each dish tasted like.
   Perusing these same books today, however, is a different experience. Looking at the photos of these food creations makes you realize how far we have come from the days of kitchen artistry. Granted, the quality of the photography in many of these publications was not the best, you still have to wonder why they would portray food that looks unappetizing and sometimes downright disgusting.

I know shrimp usually has that pinkish, skin color but I'm not sure I want my gelatin to have the same hue.

I really don't like peas. I can take them in small amounts in soups, stews and casseroles, but to mix them into my clear jello as the main ingredient is revolting to me

Ham hocks and saurkraut. YUM!

I wonder what my friends would think if I whipped these dishes out at my next party.

I find the pink color of this lobster relish to be nauseating.

Bologna in Jello. Who would think of such an unlikely combination, much less show a picture of it?

Is it me or do these meatballs look like raw hamburger?

Bananas already have a reputation as a phallic symbol. Sticking one through the hole in a pineapple slice is pure genius!

This snowy confetti chicken salad looks just like my bicycle helmet!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hate The Enemy

   Whenever a nation goes to war, it must assure its citizens that they are morally on the right side of the conflict. This is usually done by "de-humanization", the claim that the enemy is less-than-human and thus lacking the protections we would give to any fellow living thing.
   In the 1940s, America needed to make sure the public understood just how evil our opponents were and all of the newly-evolving mass media was employed in the effort. Central to the campaign were comic books, avidly read by the teenagers who would soon be in the trenches.
   Here's the first of a series of postings which will show examples of this comic-book campaign.

The imagery of this campaign was pretty over the top. No subtlety here. Artists used racial and cultural stereotypes to depict the enemy as evil and inhuman.

Often the enemy is shown to have enlisted monsters, aliens and other evil creatures to do their bidding. Note the Rising Sun in the dragon's eyes.

Some art director must have thought Nazi storm troopers looked more menacing in purple!

Just as they do today, the generals point out that the other side uses suicide bombers.

On many of the comic covers, the enemy is shown being interrupted in some bizarre sadistic act like sawing this soldier in half.

Giving the Nazis vampire teeth was a clever touch.

Here is racial caricature of the crudest sort.

The Nazis and Japs were sure upset when the Hangman disrupted their innocent experiments breeding beautiful blonde women with aliens.

"Oh you big ugly brute. Is that a sword you're holding or are you just glad to see me?"

Here, a green, alien mind-melded Adolph Hitler personally oversees the torturing of a woman and child while surrounded by his Nazi-Jap-Alien minions!

The Superheroes arrive too late to save several of the people facing the firing squad.

Here Bucky incinerates a cave full of Japanese soldiers while his teenage entourage join in the fun. The enemy is, of course, pictured in a racially offensive way but so, too, was the group's token black member. The character wears a zoot suit and offers "jive" commentary on whatever is going on.

Monday, January 18, 2010

King For A Day

   Once again, we celebrate the birthday of America's greatest Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Ever since his death in 1968, we have honored the work of this humble pastor who preached nonviolence in reponse to the racial bigotry and discrimination of the 1960s.

Dr. King has a look of determination in this Life photo.

Dr. King and his father both were pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. It is now part of the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site.

King with his parents, wife and children walking to church.

Because he was a minister, it was not easy for racists to attack his message.

King with his lovely wife Coretta.

King was arrested and booked for his actions during the Montgomery bus boycott.

Dr. Martin Luther King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy in St. Johns County Jail,  St. Augustine Florida. King said: "This is one of the nicest jails I've been in."

After the Montgomery bus boycott, various attempts were made to discredit King and other Civil Rights leaders by accusing them of being Communists. In those paranoid, Cold War years, many people believed it.

Here King speaks to a group which includes Ralph Abernathy and Rosa Parks.

Once the Civil Rights movement became large enough, the Federal government had to take notice. Here King and other leaders discuss issues with President Lyndon Johnson, who eventually signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

King meets another famous African-American leader, Malcolm X. While King preached nonviolence, Malcolm advocated a more active reaction to racism and urged followers to resist "by any means necessary" including violence.

King led the way as more and more people took to the streets to protest racial inequality.

In 1963, King spoke from the Lincoln Memorial to the largest civil rights demonstration ever held. His "I Have A Dream" speech is considered one of the best political addresses of all times.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover hated King and assigned many agents to harrass, eavesdrop and spy on his activities. This letter was sent to King by the FBI to try to persuade him to commit suicide.

King realized that racial equality was tied to economic equality and in his later years he offered support for labor unions.

King addressing a 1967 anti-war demonstration in front of the United Nations. His Nobel Peace Prize gave him authority to speak on the need for World peace. Many believe that his involvement in peace issues may have triggered his assassination.

Shortly before an assassin's bullet cut him down in this exact spot, King arrives at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis with Ralph Abernathy and a young Jesse Jackson.

Ralph Abernathy, Bernard Lee and Andrew Young pay respects to their comrade King.

Martin Luther King, Jr. knew the power of the forces allied against him but never gave up on the hope of achieving racial equality and changing our nation for the better. On the night before he was killed, he made this amazingly prescient speech:

"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Choose Your New Career

  What with all the uncertainty in our current economic situation, people are quite concerned about jobs. As living wage jobs disappear, more and more people are considering new employment options and re-inventing themselves into new occupations. Well, you'll be glad to know that we here at Imageholics Anonymous are doing our bit to help out. Our exhaustive research has uncovered a number of new training opportunities; most of which can be done in your own home.

Like the well-meaning relative who gives Dustin Hoffman advice in the movie "The Graduate", I have only one word for you - PLASTICS. As the ad says, all kinds of products will be made of plastics, including your car, your dishes, your clothing and even your food!

Get in the swim! There's money to be made in real estate. Send in for your free book giving advice on CDOs, no-collateral loans and how to get that sub-prime mortgage you've always wanted!

This really works! The Stradivarius I built went for 3 million dollars at Sotheby's Auction.

If you know your way around a T-Square, this job is for you.

When domestic sheep took up badminton, they put a terrible strain on America's racket supply. With this valuable skill, you can recycle that old racket instead of buying a new one. One of Obama's "Green Jobs"!

You, too can make a profit figuring out ways to automate other workers out of their jobs.

Maybe the market for bronzed baby shoes will come back.

Sure, artists don't make a lot of money, but any job where you can stare at skimpily-clad models all day sounds pretty good to me.

Learning to "mount" birds and animals sounds kinky to me!

Now here is a job skill with all kinds of possibilities. If you had only learned the "Death Touch" when you got laid off from your last job, you sure might have felt better afterwards.

When America's favorite illustrator asks you to sign up, who can say "no".

Although I'm not sure what jobs there are in this field, it sure would be fun to make your friends do embarrassing things under your suggestion.

I'm thinking of electroplating my iphone.

People must eat! Somebody has to slaughter that defenseless cow. It may as well be you.

It's interesting to note that Mr. Blakely, the Executive Director of the Acme Neon Institute has been around neon so long, his head glows!

I'd love to know how to hypnotize a whole room full of people without their knowledge - using a common household cooking ingredient.

If you thought suede was just for shoes, think again! I'm picturing it on my dashboard.

Putting each potato chip through a wringer to squeeze out the grease sounds kind of time-consuming to me.

Join the long line of upholsterers who have left their mark on America's living rooms.

Just think, all those times I have given backrubs, I was practicing Physiotherapy! I probably could have talked a lot more women into it if they knew I was a licensed physiotherapist.

Forget those time-consuming classes at your local community college. This home course can have you cleaning bedpans in a nursing home in a mere ten weeks!