Posts Tagged ‘Mr. T’
…if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word: “dentistry.”
- P.J. O’Rourke, All the Trouble in the World
Still, nostalgia has its uses. The economy seems poised for another dip in the tank; the weather is delivering hotter, wetter warnings of the wages of climate disruption; health care costs are reaching escape velocity; education and infrastructure are (literally) crumbling, as state funding implodes… one could go on.
Instead, one turns one’s gaze to the past; one conjures up the remembered comforts of times gone by: “it didn’t use to be this way”… As P.J. O’Rouke suggests, it’s more often that not the flimsiest kind of illusion– out-of-context features of a whole-cloth past, selectively recalled (indeed, too often imagined), then amplified by the need for consolation.
Still, one does it– one “remembers”– because… well, because it’s what one does.
And so, Dear Readers, three “seed crystals”– three blasts from the past– that can, your correspondent hopes, help one (as they’ve helped him) spin stories that amuse, even as they help us find our way past the challenges that are the stuff of our days…
First, from the ever-informative Brain Pickings, “7 Must-See What’s My Line Episodes“:
The premise of the show was simple: In each episode, a contestant would appear in front of a panel of blindfolded culture pundits — with few exceptions, a regular lineup of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, actress Arlene Francis, Random House founder Bennett Cerf, and a fourth guest panelist — who would try to guess his or her “line” of work or, in the case of famous “mystery guests,” the person’s identity, by asking exactly 10 yes-or-no questions. A contestant won if he or she presented the panel with 10 “no” answers.
Over the 17-year run of the show, nearly every iconic cultural luminary of the era, from presidents to pop stars, appeared as a mystery guest…
Indeed, over it’s 17 year run through the 50s and early 60s, WML was basically the only media property that could “have” any celebrity or cultural figure. (Sullivan could out-book WML on the entertainment front, but only there.) This was perhaps largely due to the involvement of Random House founder Bennett Cerf who, through his deep connections in the journalism and media world, was but a Kevin-Bacon’s-breath away from essentially any public figure. In any case, no one said “no” to WML.
BP has curated seven of the very best examples of this pull: Alfred Hitchcock, Lucille Ball, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jean Desmond (a girdle tester), Walt Disney, host John Daly (in an early example of meta-comedy), and…
See them all here.
Second, for somewhat younger readers, from our old friend The Selvedge Yard, a look back at The Rolling Stones when they were still “The Rolling Stones.” TSY muses on the theme of this missive:
When I’m feeling roadworn, forlorn, or the subject of scorn– nothing takes me to my happy place faster than great old pics of guitar porn. I came across the below Stones’ porn pic sifting through the internets and became mesmerized by the artfully haphazard array of axes. You can almost smell the sweat, smoke and stale beer as you gaze at the overturned cans, ash, and listing guitars.
The late ’60s – early ’70s was an epic time for the Rolling Stones, and Rock & Roll as a whole. It was a time I largely missed (being born in 1970), but feel like I experienced, partially at least, vicariously through my mom. She was a music junkie, went to Woodstock, worshipped Janis Joplin.
Many more here.
And finally, for younger readers still, a glance back at the 80s and one of that decade’s indelible icons: from Walyou, “16 Cool Mr. T Themed Designs.”
For those who grew up on the A-Team TV Show or are big fans of Rocky, Mr. T will always be a memorable personality which is simply larger than life. Although you do not see him as much in TV or movies these days, he is still a personality to be reckoned with.
This collection of 16 Mr. T designs includes various pieces of art, design, products and more which prove that Mr T is still popular today, and if you don’t agree…then I pity the fool.
See the rest here.
As we stroll down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1905 that Ty Cobb, “The Georgia Peach” made his major league debut; playing for the Detroit Tigers, he doubled off the New York Highlanders’s (later Yankees) Jack Chesbro, who had won a record 41 games the previous season.
(ToTH to Laughing Squid)
As we rifle the shelves in search of those A-Team tapes, we might spare a memorial thought for two icons of the 60s and 70s, neither of whom lived to know either of the antecedents of today’s amalgam: Jimi Hendrix was born on this date in 1942, exactly two years after his birthday-mate, the striking– and strikingly unlucky– actor martial arts exemplar and actor, Bruce Lee.