Archive for the ‘history’ Category

FEAR MY PHOTO EDITING SKILLS   Leave a comment

Sometimes, I really, really love studying history. We’ve delving a lot into primary sources, and I’ve discovered that primary sources are where it’s at, in terms of finding hilarity. I tend to define “hilarity” as “something not boring” though.

I have to find a newspaper article on my historical topic and analyze it, using methods that I don’t know. Right now I’m just finding newspaper articles. I have the how-to-analyze at home. I’ve found two decent articles, so I’ve decided I’m done with Step 2, but I…I couldn’t resist clicking on a third. For fun.

I will have to recreate the AMAZINGNESS that is this article.

New York Times
Sept. 21, 1911

Stover Plowing Up the Park Lawns

Going to Turn Over Fifty Acres, He Says, Which May Be Turf Again in Two Years:

Defiant of All Protests

“I’m Park Commissioner,” He Asserts, Adding That His Critics Are Ignorant of Soil Restoration.

OH SNAP, CRITICS, ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THAT? HE JUST CALLED YOU IGNORANT.

…Mr. Stover, however, contends that he is acting on the recommendation of a Government agricultural expert who recently examined the park soil, and that of the Park. Those who opposed the policy as the only means of effectively destroying real grass to the neglected areas of the park. Those who opposed the policy, he declared, were “ignorant persons who do not know what they were talking about.”

ignorant

As for him, he was a Park Commissioner and was going to save the Park lawns after his own fashion…

park commissioner

President’s birthdays   2 comments

Historic Mount Vernon’s Facebook Page broke the news today that Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, has signed an official proclamation that in Wisconsin, February 22 is “George Washington Day”. That reminds me as well that my representative in Congress, Frank Wolf, is spending my tax dollars and I guess my time trying to get George Washington’s birthday made a Federal holiday again — no more of this generic “President’s Day” crap. Admittedly, the first two federal holidays in the country was July 4 and Washington’s birthday, but times have changed. We found a second awesome President with a February birthday (Lincoln). President’s way is a way to acknowledge both Presidents.

I find it weird that Walker and Wolf, two folks who are into small government, are trying to get us to celebrate a friggin’ Federalist. First President who won the Revolutionary War or not, he did not agree with their politics. The Founding Fathers were men, not symbols. That’s what makes them so interesting, so fascinating. The Constitution was not handed down to us from on high, but reached over several months of compromise. The Declaration was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, but it was still written in committee. I find myself insulted by this movement to honor George Washington as a way to demonstrate patriotism, just as much as I’m concerned about Texas’ attempts to downplay Jefferson’s role in history. History is like science.

Anyway, if we’re going to mess with President’s Day, why would we stick with just honoring Washington and Lincoln? What other days could we choose? To that end, I made a list of every single birthday of every single President.

presidents bday first pic

presidents bday second pic
Sources: Wikipedia and filibustercartoons.com

I ended up having to draw my own scatterplot graph of the information, which was easier to mine for data. Some interesting factoids:

-More Presidents were born in October than any other month (Jimmy Carter, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Dwight David Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and John Adams)
-More Presidents were born on the 29th of every month than any other day (Andrew Johnson, John F. Kennedy, John Tyler, William McKinley)
-The only day on which there have been two Presidents born is November 2nd (James K. Polk, 1795, and Warren G. Harding, 1865)
-Calvin Coolidge has the most Patriotic birthday, July 4, 1872 (I wonder if he used that to his advantage?)
-The average age at the time of their inauguration was 55 years.
-Grover Cleveland was only 48 at the time of his first election — the first President under 50. No wonder he came back four years later, he had time!
-We’ve had 6 Jameses, 3 Georges, and 4 Johns.

If we’re going to start picking arbitrary Presidents Days, I would go with either November 2 or October 29. And if your name is James, your birthday is November 2 or October 29, and you’re 54, you should probably start running for President.

From JoCoPedia:

Following the 2008 election, renditions of the song were updated to “W’s reign of terror’s finally over; Obama is pretty excellent so far”

Enter the Nazis   3 comments

Hahaha, animation blog, what animation blog? Anyway I’m editing my paper on women in Nazi Germany, and I came across this sentence:

In propaganda, women’s faces light up and beam at the sight of Adolf Hitler.

My professor circled this sentence and then wrote illegibly next to it, so I’m assuming that I could probably spruce this section up a bit. I decided the best way to do that would be to show, not tell. In Triumph of the Will, there’s lot of fantastic images of women looking ecstatic meeting Adolf Hitler during his arrival procession through Nuremberg. I popped up Google and started doing a search for Adolf Hitler and a woman in Triumph of the Will. Just typing in “Adolf Hitler and a woman” called up “Adolf Hitler was a woman as the first search option.

Well curiosity got the better of me.


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At first it was hilarious, but right around the fourth image I realized that it was actually sexist, and now I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand, making the leader of one of the world’s most horrific dictatorships look silly is hilarious. On the other hand, isn’t photoshopping him into stereotypical female clothing kind of insulting to females? The last two photos are from articles on Britain’s attempts to turn Hitler into a woman…for some reason. It’s so stupid. I feel kind of stupid for laughing at it.

Anyway I think I’ll put this picture in my paper.


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All the crowd scenes from Triumph of the Will don’t have Hitler in them, and I don’t want an adoring crowd out-of-context. Otherwise I’d have to use a picture of Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl, who was part of the propaganda machine, or this picture:


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Which is the sort of picture I was looking for, but it has that url on it and I don’t like that border.