Outside, crickets. Temps projected in the 80s into next week. Heck if Summer’s over!

I know, I know.

I still plan to go back to the Fair, just because I want to. There’s more to shoot. There’s always more to shoot. More random videos of people walking around, of which I have hours. It beats going to the office.

Then again, I did a shopping errand while downtown today, and learned something. My route took me through the Northstar. There were, of course, other routes. But I wanted to see what was happening in the ongoing overhaul. The answer is “nothing.” I suppose everything’s happening upstairs.

For the first time I noticed an old photo on the wall. Norton and Peel, from the Minnesota Historical Society. I can’t show the whole thing, because it’s MHS, even though I thought the Norton & Peel collection was public domain. It’s a parking lot, and it’s everything they said was wrong with cities: parking lots and billboards.

I agree about the parking lot, but I like billboards.

Just the ordinary folk, in the garb of the time. Automatically seems more civilized than a place where everyone’s slouching around in T-shirts.

It’s surprising - or not, I don’t know what your expectations are - to see a lot of familiar brands. Standard Oil, Master Bread.

Park & Tilford, the "finest-tasting whiskey of its type." Nice way of saying it's swill, but quality swill.

The illustrations were fine, and brought a wall of color to the otherwise uninteresting area. This is why I say more billboards, please.  Really. Good ones, anyway.

Even if we didn’t have a date - 1952 - this would nail it down. PAN FRANCIS: say no more.

The Pan would be the Pantages, still there, and the Francis movie is the West Point one. People think they all had Reagan; they didn’t. This one, like a few others, had Donald O’Connor.

You have to love the other movie: CAPTAIN PIRATE. You know what you’re getting there. Swashing. Buckled swashing.

It's beem some time since a newspaperman interviewed a whiskey bottle. Not a journalist, mind you. A newspaperman.

Chapin & Gore had a long and colorful lineage, stretching back to Chicago in the 19th century.

As a brand name, Chapin and Gore was revived after Repeal in 1934.  At first it was produced by the National Distillers Corporation of Louisville that held nearly 140 brand names under its control. 

If you're wondering what the space looks like today . . .

Better than a parking lot? Well, it's a parking ramp. Its construction required the demolition of a handful of smaller buildings.

Better than colorful whiskey billboards? No.











Let’s check the Saved Tweets folder.

Tweetkeeper!! I would know what tweet you tell!

Slowly, the great folder opens, and  . . He stops!

Ahhhhh.The heretofore unheard complaint about . . . the suburbs.


It's another example of something that seems to undergird every argument we have these days: Inversion Therapy. It's not that a better idea has come along - no. The old thing we mostly liked and agreed upon has to be utterly demonized. The way things were, and are, has to stop, and everyone has to agree on the new idea, and if you don't, it's violence.

  This assume a level of foresight, coordination, and competence rarely seen in human affairs. But let’s consider the suburbs, as they were after the war.

Okay. The Explicit Effor to Destroying Community consisted of a suburb where everyone has a house close together, with open yards for the kids to romp; shared pools, a bowling alley, churches. A sense of individual families arrayed in a common terrain, everyone having a stake in the place because they felt a sense of ownership.

Then there's "building community:"

Which population is easier for the System to control?

The original tweeter was mad at cars, as are many of our Best Thinkers. But the suburbs existed before people drove into the city to work. People took the train from the center of the city to exurban areas, where they had houses. Were these places soulless hells devoid of community?

No; they were richer, though. So you wonder if it all comes back to the same thing: they are forever mad that the ordinary people were allowed out of the cities. An option was presented, and a lot of people, for some strange reason - usually brainwashing conducted by auto companies - wanted to go live there. It’s strange, when you think of it: people willingly turned their backs on a manifestly superior option, the apartment three-stories up in a 50-year-old building - for a house of their own with a new fridge. Remember that shot from a movie a few weeks back:

Stay here, mom! It'll be easier to resist capitalism when the time comes.

Anyway, worker solidarity was destroyed by the escape hatch. If people had not been permitted to leave, and required to stay in dense areas, all those people who worked in the city but lived in the burbs would’ve unionized and overthrown the system, and we might have True Socialism. Imagine that lost paradise: no cars, no suburbs, just cities that ran themselves with Worker’s Soviets in every industry, Don Draper not richer than the kid who was pushing the cruller cart. Well, there wouldn’t be any Don Draper, because there wouldn’t be any advertising. There would be People’s Committees that put out responsible, informative street posters that advised people on hygenie and proper politics, with the occasional poster for State Mayo or The Pickle Relish of the Proletariat.

But no! People went where they wished and did what they wished and thought what they wished.

The interesting thing about the inner-ring suburb closest to me is this: it is indistinguishable from the city to the north. The city picked up the development pace after the war, and marched south with those dreaded ramblers. On the other side of the border: more ramblers. But it’s a suburb, capitalist-designed, and somehow it had a malevolent power the ramblers in the city did not.

As the city grew south the lots got bigger, the streets more twisty, the houses more swank. Thus the middle-manager types or the corner-office boys were insulated from The People, and could not develop a political consciousness that spanned working class and the managerial class. This meant they could sit in their pine-paneled rumpus rooms and plot how to make factory workers poorer and more pliable - something that would never have happened if they were living on the 37th floor of a Manhattan skyscraper.

The car. The damnable car.

By the way, here's a suburban intersection where I get great Thai now and then.

These "suburban vs urban" distinctions can be ridiculous.

(BTW, the opening of this segment might be familiar. If not, you’ll know on Friday.)








Arcadia, Kansas, 1898. The cusp of the new century! 

A dense paper, as was the style. Heds in a row, all the same size, as if each had the same importance.


Mature a policy, you say.


Hay? The man, not the dry horse-food.

The Open Door Policy is the United States diplomatic policy established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that called for a system of equal trade and investment and to guarantee the territorial integrity of Qing China. The policy was enunciated in US Secretary of State John Hay's Open Door Note, dated September 6, 1899 and circulated to the major European powers.

In order to prevent them from "carving of China like a melon," as they were doing in Africa, the Note asked the powers to keep China open to trade with all countries on an equal basis and called upon all powers, within their spheres of influence to refrain from interfering with any treaty port or any vested interest, to permit Chinese authorities to collect tariffs on an equal basis, and to show no favors to their own nationals in the matter of harbor dues or railroad charges.

The policy had no enforcement mechanism, and was basically a statement of principles, ignored when convenient.


  Another monarchy deposed! Not how it’s seen today.


Americans under the leadership of Samuel Dole deposed her in 1893. The planters' belief that a coup and annexation by the United States would remove the threat of a devastating tariff on their sugar also spurred them to action. The administration of President Benjamin Harrison encouraged the takeover, and dispatched sailors from the USS Boston to the islands to surround the royal palace. The U.S. minister to Hawaii, John L. Stevens, worked closely with the new government.

Dole sent a delegation to Washington in 1894 seeking annexation, but the new President, Grover Cleveland, opposed annexation and tried to restore the Queen. Dole declared Hawaii an independent republic. Spurred by the nationalism aroused by the Spanish-American War, the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 at the urging of President William McKinley.


That Dole fellow. Wonder what his day job was.

Kidding! He was a lawyer. And he was born in Hawaii, in case you think he came from the states to do an imperialism, as they say. It was his cousin who came over later and got into the pineapple game.



Uh huh. I’ll bet.

Actually, I don’t know, but it seems a bit . . . forced. But it was real; google reveals its resting place in the Shafter archives. The author of the letter contrasted the American character with the Cubans, whom he said were amoral and incapable of lawful behavior.


The weekly serial.

Her name is spelled incorrectly. It was Brame. I don’t know if people knew this, but Brame had been dead for 14 years. She published this one under the “Dora Thorne” name, 20 years before.


Since (Mr.) Brame was a poor businessman and a drunkard, Charlotte found herself forced to support the family with her writing. Her books were very successful with the public, but her earnings were severely diminished by piracy, particularly in the United States.



Briefest editorials anywhere:

Don’t quite get the last one. I mean, I do; Bryan led troops in the war. but the Cuba part is obscure.



  The social blotter. Time-traveller Art Bell makes two appearances.

It was about four miles from Coalvale to Arcadia. Don’t bother looking for Coalvale; there’s naught there buy a house.

There’s not much in Arcadia, either - but that’s tomorrow’s entertainment.



That'll do! Enjoy your midweek moments. Wednesday smoke ads await.





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