Category Archives: Commentary

A Good Cemetery Epitaph Versus A Great Epitaph

Epitaph One Upmanship – The Final Words Of A Married Couple

Since 1822 five generations of William Simpson’s ran one of New York’s oldest and most respected pawn shops. The final namesake to run Simpsons Pawnbrokers at 91 Park Row, William Rooe Simpson sold out to his partners in 1937, ending the continuous line of William Simpson’s to own and operate the hockshop. William Rooe Simpson died in 1957 and his son William David Simpson never went into the family pawn business. He became a doctor settling in Shelby, North Carolina.

When William David Simpson died at the age of 64 in 1988 he had this witty epitaph placed on his marker at Sunset cemetery in Shelby.

His wife Barbara “Bobbi” Taylor Simpson however Continue reading

The 60th Anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s Death- And 6 Rare Photos Of Marilyn During Her Life

60 Years Ago Today Marilyn Monroe Died

With few exceptions there not many people that are as popular decades after their death as Marilyn Monroe.

The public which normally cannot remember yesterday’s headlines has not forgotten Marilyn. Over 200 books about Marilyn will attest to that. Her films are still enticing to old film buffs and new generations of movie fans. And her face is everywhere. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #131 – John Wayne & Wife Pilar Pallete

John Wayne & Pilar Pallete Attend A Fundraiser – 1961

While recently visiting my 14-year-old nephew who lives in Orange County, CA, I asked him when he travels what airport does he fly out of?

He replied,” John Wayne Airport.”

It then occurred to me, “do you know who John Wayne is?” I queried him.

The answer should not have surprised me. The answer of course was no. “A politician,” he guessed.

I mean fame is fleeting but for goodness sake, John Wayne? Continue reading

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

It’s Not “Plan 9 From Outer Space” But This May Be The Worst Movie Ever Made

Orgy Of The Dead Features Incredibly Bad Acting, & Writing

An Ed Wood Masterpiece From The Writer & Director Of “Plan 9 From Outer Space”

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957) is acknowledged by classic movie buffs as among the worst films ever made. Edward D. Wood Jr. the director-writer of Plan 9 has a body of work to make a moviegoer either cringe or provoke hysterical laughter. 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

Only 357,598 Americans Paid Income Tax In 1914

Income Taxes And Who Pays Them Past and Present

A relatively minuscule number of Americans paid taxes after the federal income tax on individuals began in 1913. The entire income tax burden in 1914 was paid by 0.27% of the population. Basically the very wealthy and upper middle class carried the income tax load for America.

With a population of 98.7 million people in 1914, only 357,598 citizens paid an income tax. If you earned less than $2,500 per year, you paid no income tax. Continue reading

Joe DiMaggio Ends His Holdout For More $

Joe DiMaggio Signs A Contract, Then Autographs For Fans – April 23, 1938

Back In Harness With Fanfare
Back in his Yankee uniform after a long holdout, Joe DiMaggio is shown April 23 in the home ballpark in New York City as he obliged autograph-seeking youngsters in the bleachers. The San Francisco slugger expected to be in playing form within a week. The Washington Nationals celebrated DiMaggio’s presence in the park by beating the Yanks 7-4. Photo: Associated Press April 23, 1938

Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez recently signed a seven year $141 million contract. Mets pitcher Max Scherzer will earn $43,333,333 in 2022. Mike Trout possibly the best position player today will earn $35,541,667 playing for the Angels this year.

In 1937 Joe DiMaggio’s second year in the majors, he played 151 games, scored 151 runs, with 215 hits, 46 home runs, 167 RBIs and posted a .346 batting average. He also walked 67 times while striking out only 37 times.

DiMaggio was paid $15,000. 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

The Youngest Child At The Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum – c. 1911

A Beautiful Orphan With Her Doll c. 1911

Photographed by William Davis Hassler is the “youngest child at the Kingsbridge Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum,” in the Bronx.

Hassler took a series of photographs of the residents of the asylum sometime between 1911 and 1912. Hassler’s other photographs, many of the Bronx and its people, are housed at The New York Historical Society.

Unfortunately Hassler did not identify who this little girl is or her age. She looks to be about three-years-old. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you will see Continue reading