Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Women's Fashion 1894-1897

I spent some time this morning in the Local History Room of the Fullerton Public Library, looking at microfilm of the Fullerton Tribune newspaper from 1894-1897, as research for my history of Fullerton project.  I was struck by the advertisements for women's fashion, which has changed quite drastically over time.  Here are the "hottest fashions" from 1894-1897.


 There were far fewer examples of men's fashion, but here are a few images I found, which might give a sense of the kinds of fashions men were wearing at this time...

Fullerton Tribune Advertisements 1894-1897

I spent some time this morning in the Local History Room of the Fullerton Public Library, looking at microfilm of the Fullerton Tribune newspaper from 1894-1897, as research for my history of Fullerton project.  Here are some of the advertisements I encountered.  Many of them claimed to offer miraculous health remedies, with products like Doctor's New Discoveries (for tuberculosis), Hood's Sasparilla (for everything!), Keeley (?), Dr. Miles' Nervine (for "nerve diseases"), and Pennyroyal Pills (a toxic remedy for menstuation troubles), and Simmon's Liver Regulator (?!).

Other ads promised amazing hair solutions, like Ayer's Hair Vigor and Skookum Root Hair Grower.

Others advertised general merchandise.

What these advertisements demonstrate, sometimes humorously, is that ads (which have become even more pervasive in our times), have pretty much always lied to us.

The Qur’an Surah 57: Iron

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Qur'an: a Book Report, in which I read each surah of the Qur'an and write about what I learn.

This is a Medinan surah, which means it comes from the latter half of the prophet’s ministry, after he had defeated Mecca and gained growing regional power.  It begins by focusing on the power and omniscience of God, as shown through creation.  The people are urged to believe God’s prophet Muhammad, and to give some of their money and possessions to God (or, more probably, the prophet).  Giving is described as a “loan” to God, which will be repaid in the hereafter, in heaven.

The afterlife is seen as more important than this life, which “is just a game, a diversion, an attraction, a cause of boasting among you, of rivalry in wealth and children…it is only an illusory game.”  This privileging of the afterlife over this present life is interesting.  On the one hand, it gives people hope that, despite present troubles, things will ultimately get better.  On the other hand, what if there is no afterlife?  If that’s the case, it would be a real tragedy if people disregarded this life.  What if it’s the only one we get?

The surah affirms God’s providence, even over misfortune.  People are encouraged to uphold justice.  The title comes from this verse: “We (God) also sent iron, with its mighty strength and many uses for mankind.”  Interestingly, iron can be used both to destroy (in war), and to build (in peace).  I think this surah implies both uses.

Finally, the surah affirms the message of previous prophets (Noah, Abraham, and Jesus), even if their followers got the message wrong.  For example, this passage condemns Christian monasticism, which was widespread in Muhammad’s day): “monasticism was something they (Christians) invented—We (God) did not ordain it for them.”  Perhaps this is why there is not (to my knowledge) a monastic tradition in Islam.  The surah ends with a reference to “The People of the Book” (i.e. Jews), and says that they have no special claim on God’s bounty—it extends to everyone.  The apostle Paul, a Jewish follower of Jesus, made a similar point: “He gives it to whoever He will.  God’s grace is truly immense.”  These criticisms of Christians and Jews probably have their origin with real conflicts between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the prophet’s time—conflicts which (unfortunately) continue to our own times.

This is a piece of iron ore.

Moby Dick Ch. 14: Nantucket

The following is from a work-in-progress called "Moby Dick: a Book Report" in which I read each chapter of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, and write about what I read. 

Ishmael and Queequeg arrive on the strange island of Nantucket, off the coast of New England.  It’s described as a sandy, rather barren island where “one blade of grass makes an oasis,” and the inhabitants wear “quicksand shoes” so as not to sink into the sand.  Melville tells the legend of how the island was first settled by Native Americans.  Long ago, an eagle swooped down along the New England coast (before it was called New England), snatched up an Indian baby, and carried it off over the sea.  The natives looked on in horror, and then set off in their canoes, chasing the bird of prey.  Finally, they landed on the island of Nantucket, where they found the baby’s skeleton.

After settling the island, the natives eventually became masters of the sea, conquering it “like so many Alexanders.”  The natives of Nantucket are said to possess all the oceans of the world, making them stronger than any European colonial power, including Britain, Spain, and Portugal.  Unfortunately, by the time of Moby Dick, the natives of Nantucket had been largely replaced by the American whaling industry.  Melville ends the chapter with a poetic description of a mariner from Nantucket at sea: “the Nantucketer, out of sight of land, furls his sails, and lays him to rest, while under his very pillow rush herds of walruses and whales.”


Monday, August 24, 2015

Anti-Club Set List 8/21/15

On Friday nights, I DJ at Mulberry Street Ristorante in downtown Fullerton.  I call it "The Anti-Club," a term I stole from one of my musical heroes, Henry Rollins.  Anyway, here's what I played this past Friday, with album artwork.

“Love and Violence” by OMD

“My Soul is Black” by Gene Williams

“Post-Post Modern Man” by DEVO

“A Hard Day’s Night” by Katia Ebstein

“Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco

“Oh My Soul” by Big Star

“Good Timing” by Kyu Sakamoto

“Inside Out” by Spoon

“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” by Barry White

“Blowin' in the Wind” by Stevie Wonder

“Joy” by Isaac Hayes

“Tall Man Skinny Lady” by Ty Segall

“Dreamphone” by Peach Kelli Pop

“Parklife” by Blur

“Roots, Radicals, Rockers, and Reggae”  by Stiff Little Fingers

“Family Tree” by Jonny Corndawg

“Mosque" by The Middle Class

“Sinnerman” by Nina Simone

“Come On Up to the House” by Tom Waits

“Who Will Stop the Rain?” by Heaven 17

“The Nervous Rocks” by Toys That Kill

“Appetites” by Les Savy Fav

“Beginning to See the Light” by The Velvet Undergound

“Country Club” by HOTT MT

“Surf Wax America” by Weezer

“Surfer Girl” by The Beach Boys

“Sharp Darts” by The Streets

“Dirty Dream #2” by Belle and Sebastian

“I Don’t Mind” by The Buzzcocks

“Wander” by The Aquadolls

“Grey Gardens” by Rufus Wainwright

“Antenna” by Sonic Youth

“Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash

“Earth Angel” by The Penguins

“I Just Dropped In” by Kenny Rogers (First Edition)

“Sh-Boom” by The Crew Cuts

“Hangin’ Round” by Lou Reed

“Foolish One” by The Stampers

“POWER” by Kanye West

“The Dude” by Quincy Jones

“Jokerman” by Bob Dylan

“What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye

“Beatro” Freaky Flow

“I’d Rather Be With You” by Bootsy Collins

“The Bogus Man” by  Roxy music

“Love and Mercy” by Brian Wilson

See you next Friday at The Anti-Club!