Apple Piety

Religious demographics of the United States Senate:

  • Jews make up 11% of the Senate and 1.4% of the U.S. population.
  • Episcopalians make up 10% of the Senate and 1.8% of the population.
  • Presbyterians make up 15% of the Senate and 2.8% of the population.
  • Latter-Day Saints make up 5% of the Senate and 1.4% of the population.
  • Methodists make up 11% of the Senate and 7.2% of the population.
  • Catholics make up 24% of the Senate and 25.9% of the population.
  • Lutherans make up 3% of the Senate and 4.6% of the population.
  • Baptists make up 7% of the Senate and 17.2% of the population.

Non-religious or religiously unspecified people make up 15% of the U.S. population … but there’s no sign of them in the Senate.

Ironic Post-Ironic Irony

In 1998, University of Iowa communications professor Kembrew McLeod trademarked the phrase “Freedom of Expression.” Then he sent AT&T a cease-and-desist letter because they were using his phrase in an advertising campaign.

He said he knew he was overreaching, but “I do want to register my genuine protest that a big company that really doesn’t represent freedom of expression is trying to appropriate this phrase.”

“Duty to One Another”

From Manners and Conduct in School and Out by the Deans of Girls in Chicago High Schools, 1921:

  1. After dancing with a girl thank her and walk back with her to her seat, to her chaperon, or to her next partner. Never leave her standing alone in the middle of the floor.
  2. Girls, if your partner doesn’t dance well, take it pleasantly — but not as too much of a joke — and help him to do better.
  3. Avoid looking at a boy with your soul in your eyes. A girl holds the key to the social situation. She should keep such a situation at school on a cordial but wholly matter-of-fact basis, — absolutely free from sentimentality.
  4. Base your friendships on good comradeship, not on maudlin emotion, nor on propinquity. The right kind of girl and boy friendships may give joy for a lifetime; the wrong kind must be a continual menace.
  5. Don’t be prudes, girls, but let every boy know that he must keep his hands off from you. If he presumes, a cool glance on your part will usually restrain him. If it does not, avoid him; he is unworthy of your friendship.
  6. Boys, you can easily tell what girls would have you sit very close to them, and hold their hands, and put your arms around them. But, be manly. Always protect a girl; protect her from yourself, even from herself. If she does not wish to be so protected, avoid her as you would the plague.
  7. When you call on a girl, you shouldn’t remain after ten o’clock even though the girl wants you to. Girls, you should not urge. And, girls, observe how your boy friends fit themselves into the family group.
  8. A gift you should acknowledge at once and cordially. But, boys, let your gifts to girls be rare, and restricted to candy, books, and flowers.
  9. To force your presence upon those who seem not to want you, tends to crystallize their feeling of antagonism. On the other hand, nothing more quickly disarms this feeling of antagonism than evidence of delicacy on your part.
  10. Girls, it is poor policy to call up boys often by telephone, and bad manners to whistle to attract their attention.
  11. For you to sit at a social gathering with hat and coat on, girls, — even though you must leave in a few moments, — is discourteous both to your hostess and to the other guests.

Human Zoos

Now decried as racist, “human zoos” attracted millions to fairs and exhibitions in the 19th century.

They purported to show how other peoples lived in their “primitive” state, but they often revealed more about their white organizers.

In 1906, the Bronx Zoo exhibited a Congolese pygmy next to an orangutan, as an example of the “missing link.” The pygmy was finally removed after a public outcry. Clergyman James H. Gordon said, “Our race, we think, is depressed enough, without exhibiting one of us with the apes.”

Captive Candidate

In 1958 a rhinoceros ran for the city council of São Paulo, Brazil.

“Cacareco,” who lived at the city zoo, was nominated as a protest against political corruption.

Officials rejected his candidacy, but he received 100,000 votes anyway, more than any other party.

Brazilians still describe a protest vote as a “Voto Cacareco” (Cacareco vote).

“Her Character: Or What She Is”

“A Bawd is the Refuse of an Old Whore, who having been burnt herself, does like Charcoal help to set greener Wood on Fire; She is one of Natures Errata’s, and a true Daughter of Eve, who having first undone herself, tempts others to the same Destruction. She has formerly been one of Sampson’s Foxes, and has carried so much fire in her Tail, as has burnt all those that have had to do with her: But the mark being out of her Mouth, and she grown past her own Labour, yet being a well-wisher to the Mathematicks, she sets up for a Procurer of fresh Goods for her old Customers. And so careful she is to help Men to good Ware, that she seldom puts a Comodity into their hands, but what has been try’d before; and having always prov’d well, thinks she can Warrant ’em the better. She’s a great Preserver of Maiden-heads; for tho’ she Exposes ’em to every new Comer, she takes care that they shall never be lost: And tho’ never so many get it, yet none carries it away, but she still has it ready for the next Customers.”

The London-Bawd: With Her Character and Life: Discovering the Various and Subtle Intrigues of Lewd Women, 1705

Ode to a Divorcee

Woman, thou worst of all Church-plagues, farewel;
Bad at the best, but at the worst a Hell;
Thou truss of wormwood, bitter Teaz of Life,
Thou Nursery of humane cares a wife.
Thou Apple-Eating Trayt’riss who began
The Wrath of Heav’n, and Miseries of Man,
And hast with never-failing diligence,
Improv’d the Curse to humane Race e’er since.
Farewel Church-juggle that enslav’d my Life,
But bless that Pow’r that rid me of my Wife.
And now the Laws once more have set me free,
If Woman can again prevail with me,
My Flesh and Bones shall make my Wedding-Feast,
And none shall be Invited as my Guest,
T’ attend my Bride, but th’ Devil and a Priest.

— From The Pleasures of a Single Life, or, The Miseries of Matrimony, 1709