Author Archives: Bert

An Incredibly Frightening And Ugly Painting

The Picture Of Dorian Clown

There are many children who are afraid of clowns. Not me. I just don’t like clowns. My bodyguard Klaatu, has even had to punch out a few when they have come too close to me.

But there are few adults that suffer a severe fear of clowns. The name for this rare condition is Coulrophobia, the excessive fear of clowns.

Paintings of clowns may not bring about fear so much as repulsion. How anyone could appreciate unfunny comedian Red Skelton or his art, often involving self portraits of him dressed as a clown has always been a mystery to me.

What is worse than a painting of one clown?

A bad painting of four clowns.

While recently in Maine, I stumbled across this monstrosity. If you wish to possibly induce a case of Coulrophobia in someone here is a prime candidate.

Bad Painting of Four Clowns

The artist’s name Continue reading

Primitives & Savages – It’s All Culturally Relative Right?

A Different Sort Of Savagery

Marriage Among The Australian Aborigines – 1870

19th Century Australian Marriage Ceremony

We see that marriage by capture, either as a stern reality or as an important ceremony, prevails in Australia and among the Malays, in Hindostan, Central Asia, Siberia, and Kamskatka; among the Esquimaux, the Northern Redskins, the Aborigines of Brazil, in Chile and Tierra del Fuego, in the Pacific Islands, both among the Polynesians and the Fijians, in the Philippines, among the Arabs and Negroes, in Circassia, and, until recently, throughout a great part of Europe.

In Australia little real affection exists between husbands and wives, and young men value a wife principally for her services as a slave. In fact, when asked why they are anxious to obtain wives, their usual reply is, that they “may get wood, water, and food for them, and carry whatever property they possess.”

The position of women in Australia seems indeed to be wretched in the extreme. They are treated with the utmost brutality, beaten and speared in the limbs on the most trivial provocation. Few women, says Eyre, will be found, upon examination, to be free from frightful scars upon the head, or the marks of spear wounds about the body. I have seen a young woman who, from the number of these marks, appeared to have been almost riddled with spear wounds. If at all good-looking their position is, if possible, even worse than otherwise.

Excerpt and illustration taken from:

The Origin of Civilisation And The Primitive Condition Of Man – Mental and Social Condition Of Savages by Sir John Lubbock, Member Parliament, Baronet, Fellow of the Royal Society. Author of Prehistoric Times, etc. Vice President of the Ethnological Society, Fellow of the Linnean, Geological and Entomological And Other Societies. London: Longmans Green and Co. 1870

You have just read  a small sample of historic inhumanity not unique to Australia. Europe, Asia and the America’s furnish abundant examples of similar behavior in uncivilized societies.

The frightening aspect of this, is that the reality of cultural relativism has been conveniently forgotten. Continue reading

Funny & Strange Protest Signs – Marching For A Cause No Matter How Ridiculous

What Are The Protestors Marching For?

The Signs Will Tell You

What am I tired of? Protests. And Signs.

Maybe these signs will sway people. Maybe not.

How will kids settle who’s the fastest?

It’s about time that someone spoke up for the Morlocks. The privileged Eloi get to live above ground, even if they do eventually become dinner for Morlocks. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #123 – Young Diana Dors

Britain’s Answer To Marilyn Monroe – Diana Dors 1954

Lovely Diana Dors who plays her first dramatic screen role as a woman prisoner in the new Associated British-Marble Arch production, “The Weak and The Wicked” starring Glynis Johns and co-starring John Gregson, Diana Dors, and Jane Hylton with Sidney James, A.E. Matthews, Anthony Nicholls, Athene Seyler, Olive Sloane and Sybil Thorndike. Screenplay by J. Lee-Thompson and Anne Burnsby in collaboration with Joan Henry, author of “Who Idle in Gaol” from which the film is freely adapted. Directed by J. Lee-Thompson and produced by Victor Skutezky. photo: British Pathe June 5, 1954

Diana Dors was only 22-years-old during the filming of The Weak and The Willing. Yet Dors had already appeared in nearly two dozen British films; mostly uncredited bit parts. When The Weak and The Willing, was released in the United States it was re-titled Young and Willing.

Dors resemblance to Marilyn Monroe Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #135 – Curling In Central Park

Curling, “The Roarin’ Game” At Central Park Circa 1900

Curling in Central Park circa 1900 photo Detroit Publishing

It may not be the most popular sport but curling may get the most television airtime during the 2022 Winter Olympics. Continue reading

Strange Photo Of The Day – Goldfish Love

Goldfish Love

It must have been a slow news day when this item went out over the news wire.

Woman kissing goldfish 1944A Fishy Kiss
Des Moines, Iowa – Finny, the goldfish, bestows on his mistress, Mrs. George Wolfe, Des Moines, Iowa, his usual good morning kiss. Then he gets his breakfast. photo: Acme 2/24/1944

Continue reading

When New York City Schools Taught Kids How To Be Good Citizens

NYC Schools Used To Teach Kids The Responsibilities Of Citizenship

Something We Apparently Fail To Do Now

Teaching Civics, Respect & Unity, Not Divisiveness

Boys Club of PS 62 Hester and Norfolk St with policeman c 1907

Originally this piece was going to be about how dysfunctional the New York City school system is.

Then I realized that a critique of all the political correctness and hypocrisy that dominates decision making at the Department of Education and what kids are actually learning would require a book rather than an article.

Instead it would be better to examine what children used to learn in grammar school. The main focus was of course on reading, writing and arithmetic. A primary education as it should be.

The established standards applied to all children, regardless of religion, ethnicity, race or income level. But something else was taught that has been lost today: how to become useful and good citizens.

Simply put, Civics.

To understand this better let’s turn to a book that was in use in New York City schools during the early part of the twentieth century.

The book is called Good Citizenship by Julia Richman, Continue reading

Rare BBC Rock Video Lost For 55 Years Is Found

Lost Video Of Australia’s #1 Band In The 1960s Rediscovered

The Easybeats Perform Friday On My Mind On BBC’s Top Of The Pops

Top Of The Pops (TOTP) ran weekly on BBC One Television from 1964 – 2006. The program would highlight the top charting musical acts and their songs. Unfortunately only five complete episodes of the 315 TOTP programs from the 1960s exist. The rest of the tapes were wiped clean for re-use as videotape was considered more valuable than preserving the program.

Lucy Culliton the daughter of former television director Tony Cuillton was going through the belongings of her late father at the family home in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, when she made an astonishing discovery.

On a shelf with reel to reel audio tapes, one small box was labeled “Easybeats print – Friday On My Mind.” It was a film copy of The Easybeats performance on TOTP from November 24, 1966.

Culliton had worked with The Easybeats earlier in 1966, directing the live music program It’s All Happening, and later an Easybeats TV special.

You’ll notice none of the musicians even have their instrument cords attached to amplifiers. So the performance is playback with live vocals from lead singer Stevie Wright.

In Australia Friday on My Mind was a number one hit and also charted well in Europe and the U.S.A. The song Continue reading