Dresses and feathers.

Thank our lucky stars above for the Mad Style postings of Tom & Lorenzo. Those two queens may not have lived through it, but they understand fashion in times gone by. It so happens this era on “Mad Men” — 1966 — is when I first started paying close attention to what women wore, and what it said about them. This post is dead on. In fact, I think that whole party scene was staged to give T-Lo something to write about.

And if you can’t get enough — and who can ever get enough ’60s fashion? — Slate has a slideshow with commentary by the costume designer.

Spring was here and not so much anymore, but the calendar says yes and so it’s time to start thinking Easter. And what does Easter mean? Newspaper-sponsored Peep contests, that’s what — so let’s check out the winners of the Washington Post Peeps Show contest, eh? A fun way to blow five minutes.

And while we’re speaking of Easter and birds, Coozledad’s story of how a four-legged chicken came to live on his place:

Our first chicken was a by-product of a Perdue farm. Every twenty thousand iterations or so of their bloodline of Cornish Rock moribunds they get a chick that manages to form up from two yolks, crack the shell, get up on its multiple legs and avoid the cruel fate of being eaten by its thousands of broodmates. A friend of ours whose father contracted for Perdue told him about us, and he hit on the idea that we might be the perfect kind of idiots with which to place one of these grievous instances of broiler production.

He was right. When my wife broached the subject at dinner I was naively enthused. I pictured a sort of plush chicken car with legs instead of tires.

When it arrived, huddled and wheezing in its travel box, it looked more like a late model sedan pulling a homemade trailer brimming with liquid shit. I wasn’t just deflated, I was a little horrified.

If I had more to do, I’d be the president. Good night and good Thursday.

Posted at 12:23 am in Popculch, Television |
 

80 responses to “Dresses and feathers.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Tom & Lorenzo are not only style mavens, they are sterling storytellers. That’s quite an analysis of last Sunday; I had no idea what was going on the way they’re helping me see it now. And *duh*, the set and costume design for Mad Men is integral to the narrative . . . but I’d not stopped to consider how it is actually doing just that.

  2. basset said on March 29, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Earl Scruggs died yesterday. Suspect nobody here but Cooz and I know who he was, but he was important. Very.

  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Too bad more know of his association with Lester Flatt and Jethro Clampett than with Bill Monroe and the Foggy Mountain Boys. Rest in peace, Earl.

  4. brian stouder said on March 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I plead guilty to only knowing the Beverly Hillbillies connection to Earl…

  5. Linda said on March 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

    It may be true that more people know about F & S through the Beverly Hillbillies, but I’m astonished sometimes when young folks I know show some sophisticated knowledge of music history that I think they can’t possibly know. We have a library blog, and some of the entries by young’ns show more historical cultural knowledge than I would have suspected. And when my sister boasted of a comprehensive ’60s musical collection, her kids immediately pointed out the holes in it. Maybe it’s satellite radio. It’s broadened my knowledge a great deal.

  6. Deborah said on March 29, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I was doing research for a design project (exhibits for the Woodford Reserve distillery in Kentucky) when I called a bluegrass association (I forget the name) coincidentally on the day Bill Monroe died. I will never forget how devastated the people I spoke to sounded. I didn’t know much about him before I called and I for sure didn’t know he had died that day before I called.

  7. nancy said on March 29, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Amen to that, Linda. Kate is finally starting to leave the “if mom likes it, it’s lame” phase, and it’s really interesting to see what catches her millennial ear. First it was the Clash, obvious for a punk rocker, but lately it’s the Animals and Velvet Underground. If nothing else, it’s been fun to surprise her with little iTunes gifts. P.J. Harvey this week, methinks.

  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Or “Man of Constant Sorrow” by Ralph Stanley (or Dan Tyminski)?

  9. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Nancy, I knew I’d reared my child properly when she bought her first Tom Waits album and showed a predilection for XTC and Little Feat, Then she turned into a Dave Matthews fan. Sigh. I am one of those recalcitrant assholes that love the Clash but think the Sex Pistols made better songs mostly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8szRgIcYlY

    And Deborah, please send your free samples down here to SC. Bill Monroe was a national treasure.

    Or Maid of Constant Sorrow by Joan or Judy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFGftqJex2c

    Better looking and better voice, and she wrote My Father, an awesomely great song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-UM0tEIbLw

  10. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Don’t cry for me moderation, you know I never left you.

  11. nancy said on March 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

    You can make it up to me by hitting my Mower Gang story today.

  12. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Without a stutter: http://www.spinner.com/2012/03/28/jerry-lee-lewis-marries-married/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl2|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D147389

    Jerry Lee keeps it in the family.

  13. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

    My dad was an ELK’s member in Williamson, West Virginia, just across the bridge from Turkey Creek KY, where my youngest bro Dave was born. . He abhorred shit like that. More of an Invictus and Jesus kinda guy. One night listening to WXYZ in Detroit, I heard the Rotary passwords: “Internal: combustion”. What a fatuous buncha asses.

    And it’s time to introduce your kid to reggae. Lively up yourself is how to play bass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJDMaAb1gsc

  14. Connie said on March 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

    NO Basset, Earl Scruggs was the soundtrack at my house last night.

  15. Linda said on March 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Prospero: Jerry Lee’s story reminds me of the Jeff Foxworthy crack about redneck family trees growing straight up–no branching out.

  16. alex said on March 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

    My earliest recollection of fashion is from the late ’60s as well, in particular those “falls” women used to pin to the backs of their heads, white lipstick and glued-on eyelashes that looked like tarantulas.

    My mom says of that era that unless you had a good figure and great gams you were basically screwed; there were no dresses in the stores that weren’t cut well above the knee and looked as if they belonged on a baby doll. Slacks weren’t an even an option for women then. All women were forced to wear the same sex kitten uniform, form-flattering or no, or be hopelessly out of date.

  17. coozledad said on March 29, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Sometimes I wish I’d listened to King Tubby instead of Bowie. It doesn’t matter much these days, when you can pretty much hear it all without leaving the house.
    Basset: Did you ever catch Arthur Smith on TV? The guy who played keyboards in the first band I was in made some recordings with him: therefore I can say there are only two degrees of separation between me and James Brown.

  18. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

    My big sister had white lipstick and a fall, as well as those pin-on curls to go in front of her ears when her hair was up. Not only that, she had the impossibly cool face stencil set ordered from Seventeen Magazine. If only I could get that stuff, maybe I could be as hip as her. It’s amusing in retrospect.

    Alex, did your Mom sew? Mine made things you couldn’t get in stores. You’re right about the pants, though; in my school district they weren’t allowed until 1972 or 73.

    Although I don’t care for Mad Men, the T-Lo recap was a fabulous diversion in the middle of some crazy busy days.

  19. Dave said on March 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

    First learned of Earl Scruggs via “The Beverly Hillbillies” then later, my brother had a friend who was steeped in some country music history, this in the mid-sixties, and all of us in high school. He had us all listening to Flatt and Scruggs, I especially remember, “Flatt and Scruggs at Carnegie Hall”. I suspect even he didn’t know much about the Bill Monroe connection then.

    His friend went on to co-host a bluegrass music program on WOSU on Saturdays, he may be doing it still, I don’t know.

    Love the early Animals, Nancy, not “House of the Rising Sun” so much, but “We Gotta Get Out of this Place”, and “It’s My Life”.

    Pros, my mother was born up the road from Williamson, in Kermit, WV, grateful they left when she was about four.

  20. Deborah said on March 29, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Excellent mower gang article. I had read about them before but your story was certainly well written and engaging.

    Propero, I used to leave every client meeting with a bottle of bourbon, I could have taken 2 or 3 but the hassle of carrying them on the plane was enough to stop me. Of course this was back when you could carry liquids on planes, seems like eons ago (late mid 90s). If you haven’t been to that distillery you should go, it’s absolutely beautiful in the bluegrass area, near a bunch of horse farms. It has a great visitors center if I do say so myself. There are other distilleries nearby, it’s a regular circuit.

  21. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Alex: Your comment reminds me of The Longest Yard: Ever find spiders in it? Coozledad. Or Boozoo? I’ve been to James’ house, and it is palatial. Tiger will win the Masters, and I’ve got cash on it. Marital infidelity is something disgraceful, but holy shit, Jim Brown threw an ex off a balcony and at least half those women that claimed to have been with Tiger were lying their asses off for cash.

    Coozledad’s musical influences:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2glQogrSnc

    Sorry if I missed. Maybe it’s gg.

  22. del said on March 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Alex, two years ago I went to a college football game and almost all the coeds were wearing these form-clinging leggings. That’s a tough look for anyone to pull off, even in a 21 year old.

    Deborah, that is good bourbon.

  23. Joe Kobiela said on March 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Earl also had quite a talented family in in sons Gary and Randy. Have Kate check out the Detroit Cobras,along with the Stoned Coyotes.
    Pilot Joe

  24. Kirk said on March 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Dave,
    Chet DeLong, Chris Johnston and Jake Young are the hosts of WOSU’s Bluegrass Ramble, which is on my car radio whenever I’m driving somewhere on Saturday night.

  25. Dorothy said on March 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for the Slate/Mad Men link. Did you see this there as well? For all the Downton Abbey and Mad Men fans here:

    http://www.slate.com/slideshows/arts/pairing-up-the-heroes-of-downton-abbey-with-their-mad-men-soul-mates.html

  26. adrianne said on March 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I had the same yellow-orange sheets as Sally Draper at her divorced dad’s place!

    And now for something completely different…I had one of my best days in journalism when I discovered that Terry Michos, the new flak for the Tea Party congresswoman from Westchester County, NY, was Vermin in “The Warriors” movie – a cult classic from the year of my high school graduation, 1979.

    I’m so tempted to leave him a message: “Warriors. Come out to play!!!”

  27. DellaDash said on March 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Had a slight run-in (more of a bump-in) with Jim Brown once, in the mid-to-late-seventies, down on Venice boardwalk during the roller skating craze.

    I had my new black lace-ups with dance (rather than distance) trucks and Bones Wheels (it was all about revolutionized skateboard urethane with sealed, precision bearings); and was making frequent pilgrimages to the perpetual carnival on the sandy flatlands of Venice Beach where anyone who wanted to ribbit the latest moves had to go.

    One day I rolled up behind an especially skillfull Chicano kid who was teaching a large black man a step I’d been wanting to learn. There has to have been a blaring boombox nearby (fill in something seventies, syncopated and funky). Someone must have told me that the man was Jim Brown…don’t think I’d have recognized him on my own…but the dance move was a grapevine thing; crossover steps to the side, down the line, into a toe stop (you have to clench a lot butt and leg muscles to keep those wheels under control). Jim Brown definitely had the muscles, but his thighs were so damned huge he couldn’t manage the side-to-side action…and he kept rolling forward…into me…no matter how much I tried to back away. That guy’s face was frozen in a glare, and he simply radiated hostility! I’d heard about the throwing of the ex off a balcony…figured I’d better roll out of Dodge while the rolling was good. All of a sudden, though, the football giant and his skinny sidekick took off on a speed-demon race down the bike path until their backsides were out of my riveted sight.

  28. Dave said on March 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Then, he’s not doing it anymore, Kirk. His name is Rich Baker, I know he did it for several years but had no idea, he’d be nearly 60 now, if he isn’t already.

  29. LAMary said on March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I remember 1966 really well. I was 13.I think T and L are a little off on their interpretation of Trudy’s party dress. If it was a little shorter it would be very hip. I know somewhere I’ve seen photos of Jean Shrimpton or Brigitte Bardot in that floral high neckline fluffy sleeve sort of look. Jean Shrimpton is the perfect example of the look of that time. Or Twiggy, or Mary Quant. Yardley cosmetics, Vidal Sassoon haircuts and whatever Julie Christie was wearing are good indicators of the sensibilities of 1966.

    http://www.classicfilmsreloaded.com/julie-christie.html

  30. Jakash said on March 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Deborah,
    Carrying out bottles of free Woodford Reserve sounds like quite a perk. Cool. All we lame tourists were given were a couple of plastic shot glasses… We loved visiting several distilleries in Kentucky — Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve and others. Plus Jack Daniel’s in Tennessee. The pathetic thing is when they’re in a “dry” county and you can’t actually sample the product, as at Jack Daniel’s. I remember the tour guy letting us sniff the top of a big vat and then have a glass of the spring water they use and saying that it was the best legal drink you could get in that county. Great whiskey and beautiful country south of the Ohio.

  31. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    About the burial plot question. God made fracking vutures, you fracking ninny. Civilized people take care of the damaged among them. Somebody has to take care of the cost. The TVangelistic assholes that only believe in taking care of Post-Born babies, don’t seem to have a clue what Jesus was talking about when he talked about Whatever you do for the least of my children. I have had it with these whited sepulchres. Phony pieces of shit.

    Mary, 1966 for me was MC5 and SRC, and gutdom that was great music. And Jakash, thanks for putting the e in whiskey. Scotch is another thing entirely.

    And Jim Brown did get away with murder. And as far as playing bass, there is Bootsy and there is Mike Ness and there is Jack Bruce and John Entwistle:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByjuLbMjJQc

    The way to play bass is like you’re playing lead with two backward fingers.

    And I would have found Mary (oh, Rob) more alluring than Megan but that Beirthday parttay performance was squirm-worthy like Lucy at her most embarrassing.. Kentucky whiskey has no patch on Tennessee. Far too sweet and not enough bite. Tastes too much like scotch.

  32. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    LA Mary, I’d say it’s the girls in Blowup, a great movie, in my opinion.

    The Ox::

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjXGJPwCc4A&feature=related

    You cannot play better than this.

    And he played the French horn.

  33. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    How does stealing my cash equal personal responsibility> Fuck you GOPers. I want a cash payment now, you fucking crooks. I didn’t support the invasions, you assholes.

  34. adrianne said on March 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    And now for the reappearance of fabulist Stephen Glass, my former intern at The Syracuse newspapers: (he figures into the Michael Daisey story from This American Life):

    http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/168314/this-american-life-pulls-too-good-to-be-true-stephen-glass-stories-again/#more-168314

  35. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Did anyone else have a Mondrian style dress? Like this one, except in cotton, or whatever: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/C.I.69.23
    My sister had one of those, too, and how I lusted to snitch it from her closet. Alas, she is small and petite, while I am tall and “sturdy”.

  36. Hattie said on March 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    God the clothes I had when I was an office girl in SF in the late 50s and early 60s. That little navy blue suit! The grey dress! The burnt orange dress! The red two piece outfit with the pleated skirt! The camel hair coat with the belt in the back! I miss them still. My “costume,” however, was usually a black straight skirt and a white blouse. No slacks, of course. And everything was made in the U.S.A. It must have been colder in those days, because these garments were all wool and fully lined.

  37. Maggie Jochild said on March 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Re Coozledad’s essay, I note his brother was an RA. So was my little brother. I was an ardent GA, back when I still believed in Jesus’s divinity, and dreamed about traveling far afield to preach the word. Good prep for becoming a revolutionary.

    Let’s see who else here was once a GA.

    When I graduated high school in 1973, that remote corner of Texas cozied up to the Red River still thought white lipstick and eyeliner was way cool. At the pre-commenncement awards ceremony (which I swept mostly because I read books and hadn’t gotten pregnant yet), I had a strapless long white polyester dress made for me by my history teacher who was about to leave her husband for me. (I’d come a long way from GA’s.) As I began getting dressed for the ceremony, I realized with horror that I could not wear a bra with the dress, and my wide maroon nipples showed clearly through the white double-knit fabric. The solution I hit upon was to paint my nipples with white eye-shadow, masking the colour. I was still young enough that my unsheathed breasts would hold up on their own, I thought.

    It was while I was in the midst of this paint process in front of my mirror that Mama walked in on me. I froze in horror and tried to think of what to say. She stared, waved her hand and said “I don’t even want to know” and left the room.

    It worked. Two years later, feminism gave me permission to toss all my make-up, including the white stuff, and the only time I’ve bought more since was when I went as a Heterosexual to the Halloween costume party at my cancer clinic job. I won best costume that day. It wasn’t just the sight of me in pantyhose and eyeshadow that blew away my coworkers, it was my nonstop bitching about my husband Junior and the kids, the recipe for green-bean casserole written in Sharpie on one forearm, and how I suddenly flirted with the old fart doctors.

  38. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Whatta whacko.

    I’ve always wondered what made women think makeup was attractive. I think it’s creepy. And I find women au naturel ridiculousy attractive.

  39. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Well it’s Junior and his grape smugglers, girl. And the rifle.

  40. Dorothy said on March 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Hilarious, Maggie! And Julie – I did not have one of those dresses, but now I want to make one in the WORST way. I saved two or three dress patterns from the late 60’s and if in the last year of Mad Men I see one of them turn up on one of the actresses, I’ll do a backflip I swear(and then someone better call 9-1-1 as I’ll need to be in traction.)

    Julie – look at this: (!!) http://vintagebobbin.blogspot.com/search/label/1960s

  41. brian stouder said on March 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Maggie wins the thread in a walk, baby!!

  42. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    What interesting lives some of us have led. I have no idea what GA means, and Professor Google hasn’t helped.

    Dorothy, there’s a lot of fun stuff on that blog. I feel like the Mondrian dresses came back for about a second a few years ago. Maybe they’ll be resurrected again if someone wears one on Mad Men.

    And speaking of children rediscovering music from their parents’ generations, right now our son is in the living room playing Hall & Oates. As in Private Eyes. As in I Can’t Go for That. This, I’d like him to undiscover.

  43. Jolene said on March 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I had a Mondrian-style sweater. One of the color blocks was magenta, and I wore it w/ a magenta wool skirt–fully lined, of course.

    The T&L analysis was, indeed, good, especially the point re the important distinction being the extent to which people identified w/ the emerging youth culture. I was in college between 1966 and 1970. When I started, the norm, even for students, was dresses and stockings, most of the time. Indeed, the sororities had rules about how cold it had to be before it was permissible to wear slacks.

    By the time i finished, of course, that was all gone, and the Greek system itself, which had been dominant, was totally uncool.

  44. Sherri said on March 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Maggie, I can’t begin to compete with that story, but I was a GA, and my brother was a RA.

    Julie, if I remember correctly, GA was “Girls in Action”, and RA was “Royal Ambassadors”, and both were Baptist scout like organizations for creating young missionaries. Teenagers were in Acteens.

  45. coozledad said on March 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Julie: Your son might be interested in this history of yacht rock. I never knew Hall and Oates had such a destructive relationship.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMTI8vg7A5U

  46. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Walther League here, for Missouri Synod Lutherans. Cooz, I’ll pass it along. Matt just left the house, but his music is now seared in my brain.

  47. Maggie Jochild said on March 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    GA stood for Girls’ Auxiliary — because we were secondary to the boys, y’know. Ages 8-12, I think. Younger than that were Sunbeams, coed. GA’s progressed in steps, with tests to ascend to the next level. Began as a Maiden, then Lady-In-Waiting, then Princess, then Queen. I do remember being required to read and report on the biblical book of Esther for one step, which I very much enjoyed, only later realizing it was very non-religious for a scripture text. It was my GA teacher, Mrs. Urban, I went to with a coded question about why I was being molested — I framed it as “Why do some women get raped?”, I think. She seized the opportunity to tell me that when bad (sexual) things happen to girls, it is because they have sinned and Jesus is punishing them directly, and they must try harder to get clean. But, she added, no woman can get truly clean because Eve made Adam eat the apple and we are all damned by her original sin. It shut me up tight, and I never told anyone anything until I had my first woman lover.

  48. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    So Magic bought the Dodgers and didn’t Larry’s buddy put his foot right in shit? I mean, I’ma Dodgers fan from wayback. I went to spring training in utero back in the day. I have a photograph of my mom playing catch with Carl Erskine with me on board. It seems to me that there is no sports meme more lasting than Yankees suck. And if they didn’t in the first place, ARod surely etched it in stone. What an asshole. And Clemens throwing the bat at Piazza, holy shit the Yanks suck.

  49. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    It does seem to me that the hick from French Lick is the most excellent sports character ever. Lahdee was Magic’s best buddy from the get-go. That is one standup guy. Lahddy loved Magic from back in the day. Great hoops.

  50. Minnie said on March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Maggie and Sherri, I confess to having been a GA. Before that my mother sewed me a cute little yellow cape bound and tied in white to wear when I was a Sunbeam. Soon enough, though, I was pestering Sunday School teachers with “Well, if Jesus loves everyone why are we supposed to look down on divorced people?” All that Bible study gave me plenty of fuel for other uncomfortable questions. That was the beginning of the end for me and organized religion.

  51. Sherri said on March 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Maggie, I think Auxiliary had changed to in Action by the time I was a member in the early 70’s. Minnie, I had a lot of problems with the contradictions in what I was being taught, but asking questions like that was not tolerated well at home, so I just kept my mouth shut.

  52. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    That’s horrifying, Maggie. And so wrong.

    I asked a lot of difficult questions at church, too, and at school, and at home, because my parents encouraged them. I didn’t realize until I was an adult how unusual that is.

  53. Jolene said on March 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I had a similar “falling away” experience. When I was about eight, my parents had a baby who died. A year or two later, a minister at a church camp told us that you had to be baptized to go to heaven. When I asked what would happen to my little sister, who died before she could be baptized, the minister shrugged and said, more or less, “Them’s the breaks.”

    I soon got the idea that this wasn’t a moral system I wanted to be part of.

  54. Bitter Scribe said on March 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I remember a Sunday School text saying that the question of what happened to unbaptized infants was “left up to the wisdom of God.” Which is a phrase that actually covers a lot of ground, when you think about it. (Or perhaps, when you don’t think.)

  55. LAMary said on March 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I had an older brother who was mentally retarded (that was the polite phrase then) and had grand mal epilepsy. We went on a family road trip to Fort Ticonderoga once, and a good Christian couple who operated a motel near the fort told us that we could not stay there because clearly God was punishing my parents for some sins by giving them a son like my brother. I couldn’t have been more than six when that happened, but it has stuck with me my whole life.

  56. Jolene said on March 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    That’s actually a pretty good answer, Bitter. I think it would have satisfied my ten-year-old self, as what put me off, of course, was the idea that a loving God wouldn’t allow an innocent baby into heaven.

  57. Bitter Scribe said on March 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    To his clubfooted child said Lord Stipple,
    As he took his postprandial tipple,
    “Your mother’s behavior
    Gave pain to Our Savior
    And that’s why he made you a cripple.”

    –Edward Gorey

  58. brian stouder said on March 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I would love to see Fort Ticonderoga! It comes up again and again in the book excellent, informative, and surprisingly compelling book Conquered into Liberty.

  59. Maggie Jochild said on March 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Bitter Scribe FTW.

  60. Suzanne said on March 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    We were told stillborn babies were headed straight to hell unless the parents were church goers, in which case, God would know that they would have been baptized, so those kids would be taken into heaven.

    Never made sense to me.

  61. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    What in God’s name is a Royal Ambassador? I’m an Eagle Scout, but that one has me bamboozled. Edward Gorey rules. Saw Dracula off Broadway with his set design, and Raul Julia. Perfect placement of red, in each act.

    edit:
    But guess what: Bob Perry, the deep-pocketed funder of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” just gave $3 million to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC. These fuckers have no shame.

  62. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Out there in the corn-fed states, women are going to be required to carry them stillborn shildren to term, Benighted, thy name is GOPer.

  63. Prospero said on March 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    What is wrong with these idiots? Sepsis is phony science?

  64. MaryRC said on March 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Even if I weren’t a Mad Men fan I’d read TLo’s style recaps … and in fact more than a few of their commenters are saying that they aren’t fans but are there for the recaps.

    Dorothy, thanks for that Mad Men/DA mashup from Slate.

  65. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    It saddens me to read how many of you have been told hateful and hurtful untruths. You may have been wounded too badly to ever enter a church, but there are many who preach God’s love and grace. I am fortunate to belong to such a church, where every week I am reminded that my sins are forgiven through God’s grace and love. I’m so, so sorry that so many of you have had different experiences. They don’t represent the entire church.

  66. LAMary said on March 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Julie, although I’m not a believer I know that there are many people doing good things in the name of God. I work at a Catholic hospital. Sister Sheila, Father Mark and the Episcopal chaplain, Margaret, are humane, generous, brilliant people. Over the years I’ve met some truly miserable folks who justify their prejudices and selfishness with religion. Unfortunately, the bad ones make more noise. The good ones act on their beliefs rather than talk about them.

  67. del said on March 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Agreed LAMary. Problems seem to crop up when people think they’ve cornered The Truth. A friend likes to quote someone – can’t remember who just now – “Seek the man who searches for truth; beware the man who’s found it,” or words to that effect.

  68. Deborah said on March 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Julie, the mention of Walther League takes me back. For some reason I always remembered that its headquarters was on Dearborn in Chicago, 875 I think, but I don’t remember if it was north or south. Funny how things like that stick with you.

  69. alex said on March 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    We were told stillborn babies were headed straight to hell unless the parents were church goers, in which case, God would know that they would have been baptized, so those kids would be taken into heaven.

    Not to worry. The Mormons baptize everyone whether they like it or not, so stillborn babies are covered.

    Though I’m not a fan of organized religion, I have to say that I think the anabaptists have it right. People should choose with informed consent, not simply be inducted before they have any consciousness of it.

  70. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    To be fair to Mormons, they use Baptism of the Dead as part of a process tied to their Restoration of the True Church, so that once you’ve been proxy baptized, you then get the offer in your lower-tier heaven to accept, or reject the (Reformed) Gospel. It’s not forcing Anne Frank of Whitney Houston to “become” LDS, you are doing it to let them decide in the terrestrial heaven whether or not they’d like to claim a seat in the celestial realm.

    Where’s “Crazy Cat Lady”? http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/429535_256390791113167_165779253507655_558738_1859436481_n.jpg

    And Columbus area folk – how come none of you told me about Plank’s Cafe? Jeez, to think I had to wait 50 years to find this place.

  71. MarkH said on March 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you, Julie @65, and well said. Those feelings are shared at our church as well.

  72. Kaye said on March 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Jeff, your mention of Plank’s frightened me, I was afraid you were going to say they closed! Haven’t been there in years but hold fond memories of summer nights on their patio. For a perfect evening combine a Plank’s visit with an Actor’s Theatre production at Shiller Park.

  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Held the door for Greg Lashutka on my way in. It’s that kind of a place. I did three workshops on internet safety and cyberbullying at Amethyst Incorporated today, and my pay was lunch at Plank’s — I was richly rewarded.

  74. Deborah said on March 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Oh the crazy cat lady organizer is nostalgic for me. Our cat who got put to sleep last week had a perch in our linen closet that we reserved just for her. It was too high up for her to access or get down from so we learned her language when she wanted to be put up there or taken down. It was sort of existentialistic, she would yowl to be put up there but when the door of the closet was opened to her she was looking into the yawning abyss. We miss her.

  75. Dorothy said on March 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I like to think that the decent folks who frequent this little space on the Internet are a variation of a religious group. We’re mostly open minded and keep track of each other as much as we can as strangers. I go to a Catholic church, I take communion, I practice most of the sacraments. But I have not been to Confession in more than 30 years. I have a pretty mixed up belief about lots of things – I’m pro-choice, I support gay marriage, I don’t give a whit that my kids are living with their significant others. That’s not sin, in my eyes. I think I mostly try to live my life like my mother always showed us – look out for each other, don’t tell lies, treat others as you’d like to be treated. When I hear awful things like what Maggie Jochild related, and some of you others, things that supposedly Christian people said that strike me as awful and mean spirited, I just feel sorry for them, and say a little prayer that eventually they realize the wrongs they are doing to others. If there is a heaven, I hope I end up there but I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. Dead is dead.

  76. brian stouder said on March 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I loved the lawn-mowing article that Nancy linked to; it refreshes one’s faith in humanity.

    While we’re speaking of heaven and God and religion, let’s also talk about hell and damnation and people who are unforgiving and harshly judgmental of UNarmed black kiddos, and forgiving and very slow to judge the lunkheads who shoot them.

    Mr Borden has already incisively reflected on the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin, and the absolutely scandalous non-reaction by the police and the prosecutor down there in Sanford, Florida, and I don’t have anything much to add, except for one possibly pedantic point:

    I think that Trayvon Martin was lynched, flat out; and I think this specific word should be used with relation to the horrible way his life was ended, and the despicable aftermath, wherein the police and the flying monkeys of the rightwing airwaves (shit-for-brains Sean Hannity leaps to mind, as well as mother-Tucker Carlson and his website, and Geraldo Rivera & his hoodie) line up to justify young Mr Martin’s murder, and defend his executioner.

    The definition of “lynch” from dictionary.com is: To punish (a person) without legal process or authority, especially by hanging, for a perceived offense or as an act of bigotry.

    This was a lynching, if the word has any meaning at all.

    And, given that Clarence Thomas spoke of a “high-tech lynching” when his accusers came forward and made allegations of sexual harassment against him (and more recently, Herman Cain made a similar claim), you would think that the goddamned rightwing could recognize a ‘low-tech, original recipe, old fashioned, classic lynching’ when they see one; and/or avoid layering a “high-tech lynching” on top of a literal lynching, by running 100 pages of Trayvon’s Tweets and so on (on Carlson’s website), or attacking the young Mr Martin’s choice of clothing, or his brazen uppityness in choosing to walk down Zimmerman’s street.

    And – my God! – Trayvon may have tried to defend himself(!) when his executioner got out of his truck and approached him! For pity’s sake, Zimmerman had to defend himself and ‘stand his ground’ – once he marched up to the uppity Trayvon, right?

    Except – today’s video shows us a pretty fresh and clean Zimmerman, for a guy who just engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the uppity black devil who was wearing a hoodie and walking on Zimmerman’s street.

    This is an outrage, and people like Newt Gingerich and Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are compounding it, and should go straight to hell, right along with ‘stand your ground’ Zimmerman, if there is such a place.

  77. Deborah said on March 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Brian, good comment. I have mentioned this here before but I will never forget the time I was scared in a local grocery store by a black kid in a knit cap that kept staring at me and I was embarrassingly sure I was going to be mugged when I walked outside. Eventually the kid asked me if I was Littlebird’s mother and I finally realized this was a kid who had been a neighbor of ours who Littlebird had babysat for and we knew his parents very well. I asked him what he was up to and he told me he was applying to colleges, Harvard, Yale and he was accepted by Boston University. I was so ashamed of myself for being scared of him, and it was because of the way he was dressed. I learned my lesson.

  78. Minnie said on March 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I was lucky that my parents, though conservative Southerners of the time and church-going Baptists, always encouraged me to ask questions and think independently. No doubt they may have regretted some of the conclusions I came to, but they had to admit that they’d taught me those principles from the cradle.

    Not to go off on a Prospero-inspired encomium here, but my father truly tried to follow Christ’s teachings as he understood them. That is to say that, he followed the golden rule. My mother could be a little more Old Testament, bless her heart.

    I’m glad to have been raised with a sense of ethics and of the possibility of mystery. I love old hymns. I know that people in the church community reflected the place and time and did the best that they could, some of them struggling with the same questions I had. I’m happy I left.

  79. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Well, you know, Jesus wore a hoodie too, in a manner of speaking.

    Amen, Dorothy. We’re coming up on Holy Week, when on Maundy Thursday Jesus gives his new commandment, that we love one another. It’s the shining light that we hold all words and behavior up against. Your mom had it right, and there’s nothing at all mixed up about that.

    Deborah, I love that story about your cat, and how you had such a great understanding of what she wanted. It’s hilarious and moving at the same time.

    Edit: Minnie, my parents probably regretted some of my conclusions too!

  80. Dexter said on March 30, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Bunk, Wendell Pierce in real life, was stopped by cops today. Wendell was in his car and the cop approached him with weapon drawn. Wendell thought the cop should have left the gun holstered and addressed him via a PA loudspeaker instead of the gun. Wendell posted this on Facebook. The comments he got were very good.
    Why be messin’ with The Bunk , Antoine Batiste of Treme? Damn shame.