Just two more images I scanned from the old British boys’ magazine/comic Eagle, posted here very belatedly purely because I just found them on an old HD and I don’t know why they never got published.
Coincidentally, the “colour-reflex conditioning” to which Mike is being subjected (above) looks very much like the Zoom ice lolly being advertised below. It’s like he’s being frontally aggravated by the business end of a massive Zoom lolly, which can happen when you’re tripping your tits off like young Michael here. Mike Lane = Migraine?
Perhaps some of those special sugar cubes on the coffee table made their way into the Lyons Maid factory. It might explain where they got the idea that being Commander in Chief of the Galaxy Patrol would be fab. Only Zoom fans are in it, baby. Fab was (and I think it still is, in Britain) another ice lolly, by the way.
I also love the delightfully gauche and virtually meaningless “New Zoom is great” as a marketing line. Product is great. It just is.
Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack. Ninepence!
Scans from a nuclear war information booklet issued by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in 1963. People of Britain, gather your Vaseline, paper handkerchiefs, teaspoons and aspirin so we can get on with a proper British apocalypse. I’m more into the mod design than the details of people being killed instantly. “HEAT”, “BLAST” and “FALL-OUT” each have exciting logos. Which is nice.
“There still remains some risk of nuclear attack”
“Seek safer and more comfortable surroundings before the fall-out comes down.”
I haven’t scanned them, but some of the other pages mention living in a hole in your back garden with a dustbin lid as a hatch, or building a “fall-out room” made of doors and sandbags inside your house. It’s grim. The booklet’s main achievement is making it seem lucky if you’re one of the people vapourised or incinerated during the initial blast. Most of the advice for survivors comes down to staying indoors with your family and waiting for help that may never come. It’s like an even more depressing and futile than usual episode of Eastenders. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office does allow that there may be an interruption of water supplies and electricity; many people in British cities had experienced this during WWII, so it wasn’t too scary to admit the possibility. As for absurdities like putting out your rubbish to be collected after an H-bomb has dropped nearby or using Sellotape and a raincoat against radioactive fallout, I’m not sure if the government really thought that after a nuclear exchange everyone would be resuming their normal lives within a few days or weeks, or if this was just the impression the authorities hoped to give people.
Writers on writing
Some good advice for aspiring writers from successful writers, who are usually far better sources of such guidance than all the writing gurus who write nothing but books about how to write. These are all extracted from Shaun Usher’s splendid and beautiful Letters of Note book, based upon the always interesting and inspiring site of the same name in which the famous are humanised and the unknown are honoured.
Ernest Hemingway: “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit.”
Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934:
“You can study Clausewitz in the field and economics and psychology and nothing else will do you any bloody good once you are writing. We are like lousy damned acrobats but we make some mighty fine jumps, bo, and they have all these other acrobats that won’t jump.
For Christ sake write and don’t worry about what the boys will say nor whether it will be a masterpiece nor what. I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket. You feel you have to publish crap to make money to live and let live. All write [sic] but if you write enough and as well as you can there will be the same amount of masterpiece material (as we say at Yale). You can’t think well enough to sit down and write a deliberate masterpiece and if you could get rid of Seldes and those guys that nearly ruined you and turn them out as well as you can and let the spectators yell when it is good and hoot when it is not you would be all right.
Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don’t cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist—but don’t think anything is of any importance because it happens to you or anyone belonging to you.”
Flannery O’Connor, responding in 1961 to a professor of English. O’Connor felt that the professor was over-analyzing:
“If teachers are in the habit of approaching a story as if it were a research problem for which any answer is believable so long as it is not obvious, then I think students will never learn to enjoy fiction. Too much interpretation is certainly worse than too little, and where feeling for a story is absent, theory will not supply it.”
Raymond Chandler, taking exception to an overzealous copy editor in 1947:
“By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have. I think your proofreader is kindly attempting to steady me on my feet, but much as I appreciate the solicitude, I am really able to steer a fairly clear course, provided I get both sidewalks and the street between.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, responding to an aspiring poet in 1903:
“You ask whether your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts. Now (since you have allowed me to advise you ) I beg you to give up all that. You are looking outward, and that above all you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all—ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple, “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.”
Reproduced in Full Moon by Michael Light. It basically just collects a load of NASA photos from the Apollo missions with little or no commentary, but the cumulative visual effect (of desolate strangeness, for the most part, as one might expect) makes the book worth checking out.
Apollo 16’s Charles Duke took this photo in April of 1972, in the Moon’s Descartes Highlands. It shows a snapshot of Duke and his family in their backyard in Houston, Texas. Is it still there?
Apollo 12, November 1969. Alan Bean with a sample container full of lunar material collected at Sharp Crater in the Ocean of Storms. The photographer, Charles Conrad, is reflected in Bean’s visor. Here I think you can really see why some nutters refuse to believe the Moon landings were real. The astronauts look like dolls, the Moon looks tiny and there’s a strange shallow focus effect superficially similar to macro photography.
Lunar module Orion returning to command module Casper after liftoff from the Moon (Apollo 16 mission, 1972). Again it looks miniature and a bit daft, more like a child’s ramshackle cardboard box play spaceship rather than something costing millions of dollars.
PS: Ever wondered what space smells like?
HALLO, THERE! This is the 200th post on Adoxoblog. Choosing to celebrate that milestone with call backs to the ten least read articles on the site is not as perverse as it might seem. Many posts have tens of thousands of views– which I think is pretty good for a blog that isn’t really about anything in particular, never has cat GIFs on it and almost never mentions tits– but some pages have almost no views, and there are hundreds of other things to read here as well besides the greatest hits. So may I present to you the top ten least wanted on this blog in the hope that you’ll be encouraged to seek out some of Adoxoblog’s less frequented areas.
Mushuda I and Mushuda II. Almost no text here, which is probably why hardly anybody ever finds these pages. However, if you read this blog regularly then you are probably the sort of person who would enjoy seeing a bunch of Japanese furries laying seige to somebody’s house with insecticide packages and a turquoise bear marrying a doll who is also obsessed with insecticide. MUSHADA MUSHADA MUSHUDA.
Signals for passing pilots. Just in case you ever need to say NO to an aircraft.
Smells Like Papal Spirits. Pope Leo XIII was crunk.
Beautiful Spam III: “This is the carrot on a stick”. Buy stem cells off the internet! What could possibly go wrong?
Cook me Amadeus. Boys: identify nine ovens and win yourself a record player. I know, it’s almost too exciting to contemplate.
Visit Edinburgh: “A downright necrological purgatory.” I used to live there. In Edinburgh, not Purgatory. If you’ve ever been to Waverley Station you’ll know exactly what Robert Louis Stevenson was talking about.
The Devilphone. Actual villagers with real pitchforks.
HALLO, THERE! the robot, answering your vital questions about Walschaerts’ valve gears.
Yeah that’s the perfect roll roll roll perfect roll Product horror. “These poor models are clearly at the very nadir of their careers and we should pity them for having to feign ecstatic delirium at the prospect of their mouths (and at about 00:50… eyes) being stuffed with gelatinous tubes of randomness.”
See the first post about Japanese kamishibai (paper theatre) in the 1930s and the previous post about WWII kamishibai for more information and commentary about the origins and context of these images.
A postwar ‘Golden Bat’ serial. Nazo, the Emperor of the Universe, is apparently an overweight heterochromial cat with a black bag over his head. Sort of like a cross between David Bowie, the Baader Meinhof gang, and Bagpuss. Actually this sounds fabulous, but who knew? The expression of Nazo’s captive says it all: OH REALLY?
‘Mystery Train’, late 1940s or early 1950s. Mystery Train? I’ll say. Why did somebody in a man-sized glove costume just get on? Quick, put your bag down so he doesn’t sit next to you.
Pigmon. It’s the expression that makes this one magnificent. Prawn hands? Feathers? Pink lipstick? DEAL WITH IT.
I don’t know much about Ultraman or the context of the characters depicted here, except that it was a Japanese tokusatsu (特撮 “special effects”) TV series from the 1960s involving battles between the title character and various kaiju (怪獣 usually translated as “giant monster”, though it’s more like “strange monster”) of the kind best known to Western audiences in the form of Godzilla. It still looms fairly large in Japanese culture via various spinoffs, sequels, reboots and vinyl figures based on characters from the show. I got a catalogue of the figures in Tokyo a few years ago, mainly because I liked the pathos of these endearingly crappy monsters. On the other hand, I suppose even Pigmon would be legitimately terrifying if it was really the size of a building and it came crashing down onto your house.
In classic Japlish style the book’s katakana title reads as something like “Neo Ultra Monsters Vinyl Complete Album”, and its pages record in exhaustive and occasionally amusing detail the imagination of the show’s costume designers. Or their lack of imagination, in some cases. The pictures are scanned from the book, which has hundreds of examples, every one beautifully photographed and catalogued.