Intl. Notebook Jul 27 2022
THE BAD EDITORS CLUB
If it's facts you want you've bought the wrong paper.


Above is a cover of the tabloid National Informer published today in 1969 with a feature on "watch-a-rape clubs," and we remind you again, these stories are fake. Tabloids at the level of Informer are closer to The Onion than any real newspaper, with the difference being that The Onion is actually funny. While it is absolutely certain that men have stood idly by and watched women be raped (all you have to do is read the news), it's equally certain that there were no watch-a-rape clubs. The story is written as cheesy softcore porn, and the image used is a promotional still from the 1968 movie Les oiseaux vont mourir au Pérou, aka Birds in Peru, with Jean Seberg. It was a controversial film, which is probably why Informer editors borrowed the shot.

They continue their anti-woman campaign in the story, “How To Tell When Someone Feeds You a Pack of Lies.” The pertinent section from author E.W. Steele: “Among the most notorious of liars are fishermen, golfers, salesmen, politicians, and women. The last-named are, perhaps, the most expert of the lot, because they find it so easy to assume an air of maidenly sincerity and absolute innocence. In addition they are less scrupulous than men. Not troubled to the same extent with qualms of conscience, lies flow from their lovely lips like lava.”

Less scrupulous than men? Apparently, this particular Informer is not so much a tabloid, but an encyclopedia of male grievance. They even try to drag Groucho Marx into it, somehow enticing him (if it really is him) into authoring an essay, “Groucho Marx Speaks Out on Love, Lust and Passion.” Marx, globally acknowledged comic genius, doesn't generate many laughs here. But it's late in his career, and maybe the written word simply wasn't his medium. After all, there are no prop eyeglasses and mustache to help him out.
 
While we enjoy major scandal sheets such as Confidential and Whisper, these bottom tier tabloids go against our ethical grain. But we scan and upload them because we consider them useful historical artifacts. Others have agreed. We've been contacted several times over the years and asked to provide full-sized scans for research papers and indie documentaries—though we've never seen the final results of those projects. Hey, you scholars and filmmakers, remember you said you'd send us copies when you were finished? Still waiting.

Elsewhere in Informer the (not so) Great Criswell puts in an appearance. He gives readers his usual set of preposterous psychic predictions. Our fave: I predict that an American writer will win the Nobel Prize for Literature very soon. Criswell probably thought he needed to mix an easy one in there, something he was sure to get correct, and guess what? He was way off! It took seven whole years for an American to win—Saul Bellow in 1976. Does seven years count as very soon? If you're a Galapagos tortoise maybe, but not as far as we're concerned. Back to the drawing board, Criswell.
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Femmes Fatales May 28 2020
PROTECTIVE COVER
It's not an N95 mask but it's all I've got.


Visual references change. This is obviously a veil, but when we saw it the first thing that came to mind was mask. It's an elegant, somewhat erotic shot, which is no wonder, as veils are generally seen as sexy. Masks, meanwhile, are not, but might that change? There's already mask porn. Doesn't do anything for us, but maybe we're just not cutting edge enough. Anyway, this rare photo was made to promote the 1947 Groucho Marx comedy Copacabana, and the face behind the veil is that of legendary Portuguese-born Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda. We know what you're thinking. This can't be Carmen Miranda. But it is. In the film she's trying to hide her identity, which is why she's made-up so pale and is wearing a blonde wig. Her ruse worked, and not just in Copacabana—websites have misidentified this shot as everyone from Chili Williams to Lili St. Cyr.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 17 2013
TITLE SEQUENCE
They probably should have called off the contest and given her the crown in perpetuity.

Zahra Norbo was a 1955 Miss Sweden, 1958 Playboy centerfold, and all-around popular magazine model who appeared in publications like Spick, Stag, Tempo and Tiger. She also scored a few television appearances, notably on The Groucho Marx Show. There’s a bit of confusion online about which year she was Miss Sweden. Some sources, Wikipedia among them, say it was 1956, but we’ve seen a 1956 press photo that refers to her as the previous year’s winner, and here’s what Playboy said in her March 1958 layout: After copping the Miss Sweden title three years ago, Miss Norbo came to the U.S. of A. So that pretty much settles it—she won her title in 1955 using her real name Ragnhild Olausson. This provocative shot was made in 1957 by acclaimed lensman Peter Basch.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 25 2012
SCHOOL GIRLS
Learning to have a good laugh.

Above, five covers of the American humor magazine College Humor, which ran from the 1920s to 1940s and counted among its contributors Robert Benchley, Groucho Marx, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, and many other leading literary personalities of the age. This group, with covers by pin-up artist Rolf Armstrong, appeared between 1928 and 1930. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 22 2012
RED HEADED STRANGER


This week’s slate of Goodtime Weekly Calendar quips features an offering from Groucho Marx, which makes us wonder why the calendar guys didn’t borrow from him more often. Maybe it’s because he was actually funny. And that Freddie Flintstone guy appears again. The debate of whether he’s actually the cartoon character is settled. Definitely isn’t him. But we still can’t find any references to a comic or personality who borrowed the character’s name. This week’s photo is once again by the unknown photographer who called himself L.W., and it’s the last image we’ll be seeing from him until December, but a very nice one of an unidentified red-headed model who’d look right at home in the cast of Mad Men. We’re now halfway through the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963, and you can visit all those earlier pages by clicking here.

Sep 22: “Success is relative; the more success you have, the more relatives.”—Ernie Simon
 
Sep 23: “A woman’s yawn may be annoying, but it’s a lot less dangerous than her sigh.”—Freddie Flintstone
 
Sep 24: “I could never be a test pilot. I get dizzy just licking an air mail stamp.”—Groucho Marx
 
Sep 25: The trouble with the United Nations is like elephants making love—everything goes on at such a high level.
 
Sep 26: A lot of women have no respect for age—unless it’s in furniture.
 
Sep 27: Love, smoke, and a cough cannot be hid.”—French Prov.
 
Sep 28: A joyful autumn is before the leaves start to fall and the lawn no longer needs to be mowed.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 13
1995—Mickey Mantle Dies
New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle dies of complications from cancer, after receiving a liver transplant. He was one of the greatest baseball players ever, but he was also an alcoholic and played drunk, hungover, and unprepared. He once said about himself, "Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."
August 12
1943—Philadelphia Experiment Allegedly Takes Place
The U.S. government is believed by some to have attempted to create a cloak of invisibility around the Navy ship USS Eldridge. The top secret event is known as the Philadelphia Experiment and, according to believers, ultimately leads to the accidental teleportation of an entire vessel.
1953—Soviets Detonate Deliverable Nuke
The Soviet Union detonates a nuclear weapon codenamed Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Stalina, aka Stalin's Jet Engine. In the U.S. the bomb is codenamed Joe 4. It is a small yield fission bomb rather than a multi-stage fusion weapon, but it makes up for its relative weakness by being fully deployable, meaning it can be dropped from a bomber.
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