The “Censored Eleven”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:1942_Coal_Black_And_De_Sebben_Dwarfs_Ad.jpg

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons withheld from syndication because of racist depictions:

  • Hittin’ the Trail to Hallelujah Land (1931, directed by Rudolph Ising)
  • Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (1936, directed by Friz Freleng)
  • Clean Pastures (1937, directed by Freleng)
  • Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (1937, directed by Tex Avery)
  • Jungle Jitters (1938, directed by Freleng)
  • The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938, directed by Avery)
  • All This and Rabbit Stew (1941, directed by Avery)
  • Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943, directed by Robert Clampett)
  • Tin Pan Alley Cats (1943, directed by Clampett)
  • Angel Puss (1944, directed by Chuck Jones)
  • Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (1944, directed by Freleng)

None of these has been broadcast since 1968.

No Dipping

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Prague’s “Dancing House” is nicknamed “Fred and Ginger,” for obvious reasons.

Such a controversial design would normally be denied, but former president Václav Havel is a strong supporter of avant-garde architecture … and he owns the building next door.

Progress and Enlightenment

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14092/14092-h/14092-h.htm

“I do not think we should like to dine with a Chinese gentleman, or Mandarin, as he would treat us to strange dainties, as — a roast dog, a dish of stewed worms, a rat pie; or, perhaps, a bird’s-nest. But the bird’s-nest would be the best of the list, for it is not like the kind of bird’s-nests which you have seen, but is made, I believe, of the spawn of fish, and looks something like isinglass. It is the nest of a sort of swallow, is about the size of a goose’s egg, and is found in caverns along the sea shores; so it is not so bad as it seems at first. And the rats are as large and fat as some of our rabbits, being fed on fruits and grain, purposely for eating; as also are their dogs, for eating.”

— From The World’s Fair; or, Children’s Prize Gift Book of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Describing The Beautiful Inventions And Manufactures Exhibited Therein; With Pretty Stories About the People Who Have Made and Sent Them; And How They Live When at Home

American Idols

The “most admired people of the 20th century,” compiled by the Gallup Organization:

  1. Mother Teresa
  2. Martin Luther King Jr.
  3. John F. Kennedy
  4. Albert Einstein
  5. Helen Keller
  6. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  7. Billy Graham
  8. Pope John Paul II
  9. Eleanor Roosevelt
  10. Winston Churchill
  11. Dwight Eisenhower
  12. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  13. Mahatma Gandhi
  14. Nelson Mandela
  15. Ronald Reagan
  16. Henry Ford
  17. Bill Clinton
  18. Margaret Thatcher

Moonlighting

It’s already shaping up to be an eventful election year. Among the candidates for governor of Minnesota is Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, a self-proclaimed vampire and satanist.

If elected, Sharkey promises to impale terrorists and pedophiles on the grounds of the state capitol. His Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party is officially recognized by the United States Federal Election Committee, and he announced his candidacy on Friday, Jan. 13.

His campaign slogan is “A New Deal for Minnesota.”

United Nations

Excerpts from 112 Gripes About the French, a handbook produced to help American soldiers understand the French after the Liberation:

  • The French are too damned independent. The French are independent. They are proud. They are individualists. So are we. That’s one reason there is friction between us.
  • I never heard people gab so much. Gab, gab, gab. If you understood the language it might be interesting and not just “gab.” An American writer, Ambrose Bierce, said, “A bore is a person who talks — when you want him to listen.”
  • The French are not as clean as the Germans. Perhaps not. If the Germans had had no soap for five years they wouldn’t be as clean as they might like to be. A learned man once said, “An untidy friend is better than an immaculate enemy.”
  • The French can’t drive a car. They can’t keep it up. They ruin vehicles. The French, on the whole, certainly do not drive as well, keep a car up as well, or protect their vehicles as well as we do. Neither do women, compared to men. We have had more mechanical training, more technical experience. And at the present time we have incomparably better maintenance facilities.

The Sentinelese

The Stone Age isn’t quite over — not everywhere. On North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal lives a tribe of about 250 people, the Sentinelese, who have remained so hostile to contact with outsiders that their society is almost entirely free of modern influences.

They have no agriculture, subsisting through hunting, fishing and gathering plants. It’s not even clear whether they can produce fire without an external source like lightning.

The Indian government has made overtures by leaving gifts, but the warlike Sentinelese drove them off. Earlier this year, Sentinelese archers killed two fishermen who came too close to the island. Their bodies still haven’t been recovered — even a helicopter sent to retrieve them was driven off by arrows.

Subtract Line 55 From Line 45

Judge Learned Hand on the U.S. income tax code, writing in the Yale Law Journal, December 1947:

In my own case the words of such an act as the Income Tax … merely dance before my eyes in a meaningless procession: cross-reference to cross-reference, exception upon exception — couched in abstract terms that offer [me] no handle to seize hold of [and that] leave in my mind only a confused sense of some vitally important, but successfully concealed, purport, which it is my duty to extract, but which is within my power, if at all, only after the most inordinate expenditure of time. I know that these monsters are the result of fabulous industry and ingenuity, plugging up this hole and casting out that net, against all possible evasion; yet at times I cannot help recalling a saying of William James about certain passages of Hegel: that they were no doubt written with a passion of rationality; but that one cannot help wondering whether to the reader they have any significance save that the words are strung together with syntactical correctness.

Even Albert Einstein, who died trying to find a generalized theory of gravitation, wrote, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”