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Bad News From the Past

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stop The Presses!

Posted By on 12.09.10 at 02:25 PM

Detroit News, May 30, 1931. It used to be so much easier to get your name in the papers.

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Jesus Christ Super Spud

Posted By on 12.09.10 at 10:30 AM

Baltimore Gazette, April 21, 1836. Maybe you thought that the Risen Savior only recently began manifesting His image on foodstuffs. I wonder what the owner of this amazing tuber did with it. In his place, I'd have opted for a batch of Jesus fries.

"Lusus naturae," by the way, means a joke of nature.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Laughter And Beauty

Posted By on 12.07.10 at 10:48 AM

Say what you like about National Socialism, it was God's gift to newspaper caricaturists.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Die By Pie

Posted By on 12.06.10 at 09:30 AM

Baltimore Sun, March 26, 1892. Taking the uneasy way out.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Absolute Death Test

Posted By on 12.03.10 at 10:45 AM

New York Times, September 14, 1914. Lemme get this straight: Upon the injection of this Lovecraftian substance into a freshly dead person, his or her eyes turn into “superb emeralds, set like jewels in their sockets,” and then it turns out no funeral is necessary after all. Could this “Icard” (transparent anagram for “I, Drac”) be any more brazen in his campaign to take over Marseilles with his private army of the undead?

Still, it would all make a great ad for the glossies. You’ve got this Lionel Atwill-type in a white lab coat brandishing a big hypodermic, see? He’s shooting the goo into the pallid arm of a young lovely whose charms are barely covered by her winding sheet. Her wide-open eyes are superb green emeralds, and nicely set off by the stainless steel mortuary table upon which she reposes, whose outline is isomorphic to the fireplug shape of the bottle containing your client’s naphtha-like beverage.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Paging Mr. Tarantino

Posted By on 12.02.10 at 07:29 AM

Haverhill Daily Evening Bulletin, March 22, 1889. Odd, skeletal bit of reportage. Did the fact that the combatants were Japanese substitute for a motive behind the fracas?

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Kill

Posted By on 12.01.10 at 07:42 AM

Baltimore Afro-American, October 19, 1923. When black people started beating feet out of the agrarian South in favor of the northern industrial centers, the Southern establishment tried to stem the outbound tide of cheap labor with pseudo-Darwinian blather to the effect that northern winters were fatal to the African-American constitution. Black papers like the Chicago Defender and the Baltimore Afro-American were continually calling bullshit. How lucky were they to have a big white insurance firm affirm that even up North, black folks were living to the ripe old age of 56?

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love For Sale

Posted By on 11.30.10 at 11:45 AM

Chicago Inter Ocean, February 15, 1877. "Deaf, demented, and hideous in appearance": that's dandy phrase to keep in mind when building your online dating profile. As for the "grand supper," I commend 17-year-old Miss Johns for summoning some Bridezilla spirit under what must have been depressing circumstances.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

We Shall Not See His Like Again

Posted By on 11.29.10 at 11:30 AM

Georgia Weekly Telegraph, June 10, 1881. It speaks well of Hinkleton that a citizen as eccentric as William Weller could nonetheless achieve prominence there.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Grave Mistake

Posted By on 11.26.10 at 01:13 PM

Chicago Tribune, December 6, 1892. If you died in a hospital in 1892, it meant that you were dirt-poor and had absolutely no other options than to let local physicians practice on you. The latter could then market their improved skills to better-off clients who wouldn't be caught dead entering a hospital. And if no one stepped forward to claim your corpse and pay your funeral expenses, it meant you were bound for slab in an anatomy class, where a bunch of med-school punks would whittle you to bits and probably use your body parts for their lame and obnoxious pranks. That was a fate most people really wanted to avoid, so Jeweler Young was a friend indeed to both T.B. Smiths.

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