Monday, May 29, 2017

Weird for sale

Licky gecko

The pink cat

Back from Orlando by melaniethebobcat

Choo Choo by melaniethebobcat

Hey Chooch by bamboodog

now i haz cheezburger by ladysomnambule

Choo Choo by iraccoon

Choo Choo from Top Cat by phraggle

Choo Choo mug shot by hognatius

Untitled by bobthetanuk

Le chat rose by rafael gonzales

The DeviantArt site never fails to knock me out with the calibre of talent and imagination therein. Just dipping into the Top Cat section was overwhelming, so I tried to keep to my favorite character.

Looking at all these, I am reminded of how spectacularly untalented I am! But I am also delighted to see that people remember and love Choo Choo and all the other Top Cat characters (but especially Choo Choo, because he is, let's face it, frankly adorable).

I can't, however, identify these last two.  They had been posted and reposted, likely on the Satanic Pinterest site (which makes me want to slit my wrists every time it forces its way into my image searches) and proved to be unidentifiable, at least by me. But if anyone knows who did them. . . For sure, I know one thing. I didn't make them, and I wish I had.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Wizard of Weird

Top Cat in Brazil!

I should explain. One might call Top Cat a Latino phenomenon, a Spanish or Iberian or Ibero-American thingie, because for some reason these countries absolutely love him, even if characters' names and personalities are sometimes changed, and even the location shifted.

From Wikipedia:

In spite of the modest success of the show in the United States, the show was a massive hit in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina, where it is recognized as one of the most famous Hanna Barbera characters ever, being as popular as The Flintstones. In Mexico the show is aired under the name Don Gato y su pandilla (literally Mr. Cat and his gang) and the main characters adopted different accents. : Benny was renamed Benito B. Bodoque y B. and given a more childlike voice than was the case in the original dubbing, Choo Choo was renamed Cucho and spoke with Mexican-yucatan accent, Fancy-Fancy was Panza (belly), Spook renamed as the word's rough translation Espanto, The Brain was called Demóstenes (honouring the Greek statesman Demosthenes, with whom he shares a speech impediment) and Officer Dibble renamed as Oficial Carlos "Carlitos" Matute. This name, "matute" was used in Argentina and Uruguay as a slang reference for policemen. In Brazil, the character is known as Manda-Chuva (Brazilian Portuguese for big shot) and was voiced by actor Lima Duarte. In addition, the city of New York was replaced by Brasília (federal capital) in the Brazilian version.

SO! I also found an incomplete list of countries in which Top Cat was a hit, much more so than in the U. S. where it was cancelled after one 30-episode season (whereas the Flintstones went on for something like 35 years). T. C. was no more than a footnote in the Hanna-Barbera lexicon until he went international. VERY international, like this:

Mexico, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, S. E. Asia, Japan, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Poland, Hungary, Middle East and Africa, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela and OH SHIT, I cannot do any more!

Is this a sort of Fawlty Towers effect, where the scarcity of episodes makes the show that much more of a cultish hit? Perhaps it's the adaptability, though T. C. does seem more Hispanic than anything else. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Frankaroni Loaf

Cheese Custard Pie Strikes Back!

I smoke because I bloody want to!

While mushing my way through a ton of bizarre vintage ads to post, this one jumped out at me, causing me utter disbelief. The text said: "Taste isn't the only reason I smoke. People are always telling me that smoking causes low birth weight. Talk about a win-win-win! An easy labor, a slim baby, and the Full Flavor of Winstons!" Below her cheery comment was the slogan, "Winston - when you're smoking for two".This ad seemed to be saying that back in the bad old days, mothers deliberately smoked to have smaller babies which would be easier to pop out. The idea was so extreme that I wondered if the ad had been tampered with, if it was satirical, or a blistering comment on something-or-other.

BUT. . .  then I saw this.

Mothers-to-be smoking for smaller babies

Some women keep smoking through pregnancy just because they want to give birth to a smaller baby, according to British researchers.

By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent

3:22PM BST 07 Jul 2011

Even though most women now understand there is “overwhelming evidence” that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to the developing child, they continue to do so, said Professor Nick Macklon of Southampton University.

He told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Stockholm: “It is important that people who believe that a smaller baby means an easier birth take into account the increased risk of complicated deliveries in smokers, as well as the risk of disease later in life which goes with low birth weight.”

"Smoking during pregnancy is not just bad for the mother and baby, but for the adult it will grow into."

He and a team at the university’s department of obstetrics and gynaecology have now produced what he called the first “hard evidence” that women who stopped smoking upon discovery they were pregnant, could protect their unborn children from harm.

The study looked at over 50,000 pregnancies in the Southampton area, analysing the birth weight of the babies and comparing this to self-reported smoking behaviour.

Those who continued to smoke through pregnancy had lower weight babies.

The more women smoked the lighter their babies were: those who smoked more than 10 a day had babies weighing some 11oz (300g) less than the average birth weight from a non-smoking mother, of about 7lb 10oz (3.45kg).

However, those who ceased smoking at about the time they conceived were just as likely to give birth to a normal weight baby as those who had never smoked.

He said: “We can now give couples hard evidence that making the effort to stop smoking in the periconceptional will be beneficial for their baby.

“Stopping smoking can ameliorate these detrimental effects.”

This could help change behaviour among smoking mothers, which he said had hardly changed in Britain over the last decade.

Prof Macklon explained that smoking during pregnancy “affects the transportation of nutrients, especially oxygen, across the placenta”.

It was also “reasonable to assume” that some of the 4,000 or so toxins in cigarettes were harmful to foetuses.

Note that in spite of the provocative headline, this article does not come right out and directly state that mothers smoke because they want to have smaller babies: “It is important that people who believe that a smaller baby means an easier birth take into account the increased risk of complicated deliveries in smokers." The message is in there somewhere, of course, but it's politically incorrect (or something - or violates civil rights) to spell it out.

If this is true, then the world is in more trouble than I thought. Next women will guzzle alcohol during pregnancy to deliberately cause fetal alcohol syndrome, because a dumb child is easier to handle than a smart one, won't be so expensive to educate, and won't sass you back.

This Camels ad is particularly insidious. It shows a woman wearing a veil, white gloves and a sort of Jackie Kennedy flared jacket, delicately implying pregnancy. On the opposite page is the usual garbage about "what cigarette do you smoke, Doctor?" The juxtaposition of the ladylike woman "in the family way" with a doctor earnestly pushing his cancer sticks jams these two elements together in people's minds: Doc loves to smoke, particularly Camels, meaning it must be OK; so for the pregnant woman, facing coyly in the other direction, it must also be OK, and for her baby too. Doctors were gods then, and it didn't matter what sort of bilge they promoted or defended.

My scanner is busted, or I'd post another photo of a pregnant woman from The Family of Man, a very tony and pretentious photographic exhibit from the 1950s. I am sure there was no irony or censure in the fact that she very obviously held a cigarette, right out in front of her swollen abdomen, in a way which people probably thought was darling. She had a sort of dreamy, oh-I'm-just-waiting-for-it posture, "but while I'm waiting, I'll just have a smoke". Most of these "candid" shots seem very posed to me, so let's hope she did not subject her baby to second-hand smoke, on top of whatever horrors crossed her placenta from puffing on Camels.

The above ad looks like it should be for Johnson and Johnson or Gerber or Pet Milk, but it's not. Disgusting of Big Tobacco to claim they take just as much pride in their lung-rotting lethal weapon as you do in your newborn infant. It's all the same to them. Birth. Death. Note also (in the text below) how in a hundred-word ad, the brand name appears FOUR times, as does the term "gentle/gentleness" - and what the FUCK does that have to do with a cigarette?

Born gentle

Proud mothers, please forgive us if we too feel something of the pride of a new parent. For new Philip Morris, today's Philip Morris, is delighting smokers everywhere. Enjoy the gentle pleasure, the fresh unfiltered flavor, of this new cigarette, born gentle, then refined to special gentleness in the making. Ask for new Philip Morris in the smart new package. NEW Philip Morris. . . gentle for modern tastes

BLOGGER'S UPDATE. I got my scanner working, and though this is a bad representation of that photo from The Family of Man, you can see what I mean. The subject's expectant dreaminess is completely wrecked by that cigarette, though I doubt if it had much impact back then, except to make people think: "Lucky her. She'll have an easy labor, a "slim" (read: premature) baby, and her Winstons too. Win-win-win!"

Separated at birth: Haley Joel Osment and a bull terrier

You decide.