Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tomorrow, the missus and I fly the friendly skies, so I decided to do my Saturday posting a day early, (and apologies in advance for no postings this coming week.)
It was this impending sky voyage that got me thinking, and reminded me of an ad I saw in a copy of LIFE magazine, (published in December of 1965. I got that issue because it hit the newsstand on the day I was born. Pretty narcissistic, eh?)
Anyways, the mid sixties were right in the grip of an awareness of the dawn of the future. The U.S./Soviet Space Race was well and truly underway, the Boeing 707 had only recently become the first commercial “Jetliner,” and television sci-fi was running rampant, (with The Jetsons, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Dr. Who, and, of course, Lost in Space, among others.)
Also in the mid sixties, stewardesses, (no, it’s alright, they were still called stewardesses back then!), were still much more than air hostesses, they were sex symbols, (much the way many chicks view firemen nowadays,) and they dressed accordingly. Fashions were designed specifically for these women, that were stylish, sexy and DAMN! bright in the psychedelic colors!
And since such emphasis was placed on the physical appearance, the fact the the covered jet bridge arm for passengers to board planes was not as common as the jets meant that stewardesses had to walk passengers out to the tarmac to board via staircases. A mussed-up hairdo would have been the result and an occupational hazard like that simply would not do. Hence the bubble, (see the stewardess in the lower left modeling this so happily!)
Sadly, the “Jetway” became ubiquitous enough to make the bubble obsolete. Sexism and sexual awareness teamed up with political awareness and “stewardesses” were no more, replaced by the more androgynously-garbed “flight attendants,” and the Jetsonian age ended with the cancellation of Star Trek and the end of the Space Race.
As I board my U.S. Airways 757 tomorrow, I will be longingly thinking about these pictures and air flight of yesteryear. My wife, Cheryl, however, has expressly forbid me to holler out any Austin Powers impersonation in a request to “Bring on the sexy stewardesses, baby!”
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
We like to believe ourselves an advanced enough culture to embrace equality. The days of Hitler’s purification of his "master race" are now seen as the product of the sick mind of a genocidal madman. That’s all fine and dandy, and a great little dream, but our actions speak louder than our words. The quest for uniformity must be some part of the human brain. The idea that organization and sameness means "better" must subconsciously cause us to section things off and remove the abnormal, exceptional, and different.
The proof is out in front of our homes. That’s right, the lawn.
Every blade of grass is similar to the next, trimmed down for uniformity in height, watered for uniformity of color, weeded, tended, and manicured. A 6.5 horse-powered, easy-starting self-propelled lawn mower maintains this sameness, (with the labor-saving bagger attachments for the fallen troops!)
But why are dandelions "inferior?" Has not Crabgrass aesthetic value? Who decides which is right and which is wrong?
Not at my house! No Sir-ree! This year, my lawn will grow wild. Crabgrass will live in peace among its brethren, dandelions will wave in the wind, and never will that specist term, "weed," be heard.
People will see my lawn and say, "There is a man who believes in equality among all living things!" Maybe some might say "There is someone who is not afraid to buck the conventional train of thought."
Still others may say, "What a lazy bastard! Why doesn’t he cut this mess?"
In any case, I get out of doing yard work and can spout off with righteous indignation at the same time. Now THAT’S what I call a win-win!