I will drag out the old rug and put it on the curb and be glad when it’s gone.

When we moved back to Minneapolis and got a house, we bought a new sofa. Mission design. It set the tone for the house; subsequent items were in the same style. When it came to a dining room table for the next house, of course it was Mission, and of course the seat covers had to be strictly Stickley. Ten years later my wife found a rug that matched the seat covers, and this would complete the dining room. It was ordered. It made its way across the nation to a warehouse where I showed up with the Giant Swede Sunday afternoon. We hauled it up the stairs and dumped it on the floor.

Later that night the old rug was rolled up and the new rug unrolled. It’s beautiful. Scout sniffed it with great interest; who knows what aromas it contains. The old rug is waiting for disposal, and I’m not sad to see it go - it had its share of indignities in Jasper Dog’s last days, and the sun leached the life from its weave as well. It is an old rug and this is the fate of old rugs. But something has begun.

Wife looked at the new rug and the now-perfect dining room and was happy. Then she looked to the sofa whose Mission design started it all so many years ago.

“We need new furniture,” she said.

So it begins.

I’m glad! he said with the frozen smile husbands can conjure in a trice if they know what’s good for them. But really, I am. This is the year of change, of throwing off the shackles of habit and routine!

I think my mother did the same thing to our house about four years before I went away to college, too. There must be something akin to the nesting instinct that makes you want to redo the nest at a certain point to eliminate the things that were consistent during the time the fledglings were around. To be honest, I want to redo the kitchen; it’s where I work, and cook, and spend a lot of time, and I’m tired of the stone. What once was Rich is now Dark.

Imagine the dissatisfactions one could accumulate if you were immortal. You’d be sick of everything but also less inclined to do anything about it. Eh, I’ll save that for tomorrow. Give me something to do.

Welcome to an event that's surely gone out of season because there's no need for it anymore:

A diverse line-up, some more pithy than others.

On an unrelated note: from a must-readAtlantic magazine article on ISIS.

Every academic I asked about the Islamic State’s ideology sent me to Haykel. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States, and when he talks through his Mephistophelian goatee, there is a hint of an unplaceable foreign accent.

According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts. Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

Bolding mine. because it really jumped out. A creed is defined by its precepts, yes, but also by which precepts are chosen and emphasized. You can't say the Westboro Baptist Church isn't Christian; it is. It's just an appallingly moronic and hateful version.

A similar note was struck in this paen to an aged and terminally ill National Socialist in today’s paper, complete with quotes from “The Horst Wessel Song” at the end to sing him off. It’s quite unbelievable that someone whose ideology would be celebrated without note of the millions who died as a result of his doctrines, but at least he made the point that Germany’s implementation of National Socialism was incomplete and riddled with errors; a better version might have had a happier result.

Kidding! The subject was a Communist, and the Soviet National Anthem ended the piece. Wipe away a tear for an idealist in his twilight times seemed to be the implication. But he's still hopeful:

“The main problem with centralized planned economies is that they didn’t begin with a viable model,” he said. “They all adopted the Soviet model, which was a premature model,” lacking the information system necessary for successful planning.

See, if you profess the purist and strictest form, it's not really a true version. Another belief, when tried in an adulterated form that does not satisfy the purists, isn’t the true version either.

If only there was a model for organizing society that, in its imperfect form, managed to create more liberty, plurality, and prosperity than any other system. One would be tempted to study it, see what made it tick - and, having judged it capable of providing a superior model to utopian alternatives, defend it.

Anyway. I wonder if the ISIS scholars, such as they are, consider their eventual triumph over the unclean and the unbelievers and the rest of the damned armies of Rome, and know that no matter how many skulls they heap, the moon on their banners will still have an American flag planted on its surface, and they are utterly incapable of doing anything about it. No doubt they believe God will snap it like a twig when the time is right, with the same hot breath that blows through his charnel houses. It is not our place to look to the stars; it is our place to kneel with our foreheads on the floor.





Our weekly survey of old ads takes a bBW detour to the ads of 1939, aimed at the audience of the New Yorker magazine. This one had special appeal, and not just because of the World's Fair:

I've mentioned the Roger Smith before, because it was one of the first hotels in New York I stayed at, and I stayed there many times until I got tired of it. They had two elevators. One never worked. The other had a big knife mark in the door. Eventually I realized it felt a bit tired, and the "arty" bar and lobby wasn't sufficient compensation.

It was known as the Roger Smith Winthrop when I was there. No one knew why. Even the sites about it are mystified.


Not just grandeur, friends: PRIMITIVE grandeur.

Annnnd . . . where the hell is Labrador? It's a word you know from dog context, but on a map? Up there in the Canada part of the world where they excell at nomad Indians and gay ship life.

Note that the vessels are steamships. The North Star was tiny compared to modern ships - only 355 passengers. It did a tour of duty in WW2 as a troop carrier and was scrapped in '62.




Of course our tomatoes have bitter cores. Bitter, bitter cores. But our Sun-ray juice is fully cored! Or de-cored? Or boned? You know what they mean.

The Kemp brothers developed a technology to prevent thin and watery juice that never separated, and made a pile off it. They were, in fact, the fathers of modern canned tomato juice. How I hate the stuff.

Beautiful color ad can be found here.






A new flavor interest.

Is your ham dim? Brighten your ham.




Coming to New York for the Fair? Stay elsewhere!

Opened in 1915. Huge. Descended into flophousery and was demolished in 1972.

The illo is the very definition of casual, rote, unnoticed racism.





Marjorie Hillis: "Live Alone and Like It!" Not love it; that would be asking a bit much. She was Vogue's assistant editor, and had a nice run putting out sensible advice books. Daringly sensible, you might say.

I'm more interested in Cipe Pineles, the illustrator. "One of the first female art directors to work at a major magazine," says this small collection.




And now: color. 1939 hues.



Of all the horrible years, 1939 might have been the loveliest.


Obligatory note at the bottom of the Bleat to send you on your way. Have a grand Tuesday!


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