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Books | Anorak - Part 6

Books Category

The latest books and literature reviews, comment, features and interviews, with extracts from famous texts and neglected gems.

1970s Irish Text Book: ‘Draw A Circle Around The One God Loves Most’

THIS photo is from an actual Irish school textbook in the 70s. Readers are invited to identify God’s pecking order:

Draw a circle around the one God loves most

God can’t draw his own circle because he’s using his right hand as a clue and the left hand only does the Devil’s work.

 

Screen shot 2014-03-05 at 10.49.12

 

 

Spotter:  Rubber Bandits @Rubberbandits

Posted: 5th, March 2014 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kissing and Cuddling: Extract 1 From Jimmy Hill’s Striking For Soccer

Jimmy Hill (2nd left, beard), Chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, shakes hands with Joe Richards, President of the Football League, and John Hare (striped suit), at the Ministry of Labour in London. * ...after attending a successful four-and-a-half-hour meeting to discuss football players' conditions and pay. A strike was called off as agreement was reached between the football league and the PFA in the presence of John Hare, Minister of Labour. Date: 18/01/1961

Jimmy Hill (2nd left, beard), Chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, shakes hands with Joe Richards, President of the Football League, and John Hare (striped suit), at the Ministry of Labour in London. * …after attending a successful four-and-a-half-hour meeting to discuss football players’ conditions and pay. A strike was called off as agreement was reached between the football league and the PFA in the presence of John Hare, Minister of Labour. Date: 18/01/1961

 

HIGHLIGHTS from Striking For Soccer,  Jimmy Hill’s 1963 book on his part in the end of the maximum wage.  In 1961, Hill, the then Professional Football Association chairman, led footballers to victor in the abolition of the maximum wage with the threat of a players’ strike. The top wage a player could legally earn was…£20 a week. Hill’s Fulham teammate Johnny Haynes soon became the first £100-a-week player.

The book was published by The Sportmans Book Club, a members-only, mail-order publisher based in London and Letchworth Garden City.

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Posted: 1st, March 2014 | In: Books, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A History Of Controversial Children’s Books: Sex, Sambo And Obscene Rebellion

ANORAK’s history of controversial children’s books: sex, drugs, sambo’s gay lover and anti-authoritarianism in the classroom.

 

The Little Red Schoolbook

 

Book1

 

In 1971 the proprietor of Stage 1 publishers was found guilty of having in his possession obscene books for publication for gain. Richard Handyside was fined £25 on each summons and ordered to pay £110 costs.

The obscene publications were copies of The Little Red Schoolbook written by two Danish schoolteachers, Søren Hansen and Jesper Jensen – and then rewritten by a group of British adults and schoolchildren, including a young Hilary Benn. It urged young readers to question authority and challenge social conventions, and described adults as ‘paper tigers’. Pupils were encouraged to disrupt lessons that they found boring.

The book was widely regarded as an invitation to anarchy, and it was banned in Italy and France. An abridged version was eventually passed for publication in the UK, but it had by this time achieved considerable notoriety. Ironically, the main area of contention was not the political message, but the section giving basic sex education and advice – particularly concerning masturbation – most of which would be on the school curriculum these days. This was of course the convenient pretext chosen the DPP in order to suppress a book that they regarded as socially subversive.

An extraordinary documentary can be heard here.

 

 

Noddy

Enid Blyton is by no means the only venerable authoress to find her books falling out of favour as popular opinion changes over the decades, as Richmal Crompton will have known only too well.

 

Book2

 

She remains the most high-profile example, however, thanks to her ‘Gollywog’ series, which related the adventures of Golly, Woggy and Nigger, who liked nothing better than to stride along, in Blyton’s own words, ‘arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favourite song – which, as you may guess, was “Ten Little Nigger Boys”.’ These books are not currently available in most children’s libraries

More famous are her Noddy books, in which they feature once again. In one particularly pointed incident, Noddy is attacked by golliwogs, who steal his car and leave him stranded.

 

Book2b

 

Luckily the Toyland police were very efficient, and always at hand.

 

Book3

 

Not all gollies are bad, though. In Golly Town we find a Mr Golly, who is one of Noddy’s best friends. He owns Toyland’s garage, looks after Noddy’s car, and is an all-round bloody good bloke, as this picture proves…

 

Book4

 

 

 

The Tale of Little Black Sambo

 

Book5

 

 

Another former staple of junior school libraries that fell out of favour (though it remains popular in Japan). In 1996, Fred Marcellino produced a set of new pictures, renamed the characters, and republished it under the title The Story of Little Babaji.

 

Book6

 

 

Tintin

Book7

 

One could be charitable and say that Hergé’s most controversial Tintin adventure merely represented the condescending views of Belgian (and British) society at the time.

 

Book8

Book9

 

Post-war, they seemed anachronistic and offensive, portraying as they did a nation of stupid, lazy, infantile savages in need of a clever white master. The book quickly fell out of favour (and out of print).

 

 

The Brave Cowboy

Book10

 

A similar trick was pulled with Joan Walsh Anglund’s charming best-seller, in which scary ‘Indians’ were removed and replaced by white bankrobbers and other ne’er-do-wells.

 

Book11

 

 

Jenny Lives With Eric and Martin

Book12

 

This otherwise unremarkable tale relates the everyday life of five-year-old Jenn, who lives with her dad and his boyfriend.

In 1986 it was reported that the book was in the library of a school run by the Labour-controlled Inner London Education Authority, and this was a major factor in the Tory government passing Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which prohibited the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. The full, bizarre story can be found here

 

And Tango Makes Three

Book13

 

This modern-day ‘Jenny’, based on a true story about two ‘gay’ penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo has the distinction of having had the most had the most ban requests in the USA in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2009 it came second.

‘It’s regrettable that some parents believe reading a true story about two male penguins hatching an egg will damage their children’s moral development,’ said co-author Justin Richardson. ‘They are entitled to express their beliefs, but not to inflict them on others.’

Posted: 28th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Thick Bible Stops Bullets From Killing Man (Kindle Too Thin)

TO Dayton, Ohio, where bus driver Ricky Wagoner, 49, has been shot once in the leg and twice in the Bible he keeps in his breast pocket.
Saved by the Good Book. Wagoner went for his three assailants, stabbing one with his pen. When one dropped the weapon, Waggoner picked it up and fired at the trio.
(The pen is indeed mightier than the gun.)

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Posted: 26th, February 2014 | In: Books, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Sick and Full of Burning: 13 Regrettable BookTitles

FAR be it from me to stifle creativity – an author should be able to title their work as he or she likes.  However, there is a limit to my tolerance.  Sometimes, the title is so  terrible that it simply must go; creativity be damned.  Here’s a handful of vintage reads which suffer from just such an affliction.

 

12 Chinks and Woman by James Hadley Chase (1941)

 

12 CHINKS AND A WOMAN by James Hadley Chase - 1948

 

I understand people weren’t as sensitive to racial issues back then, but this is ridiculous.  The novel’s title was later changed to The Doll’s Bad News; a wise move, but you can’t undo this level of epic racism.  This from the author who gave us these other great titles: The Marijuana Mob (1950), There’s a Hippie on the Highway (1970) and Goldfish Have No Hiding Place (1974).

 

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Posted: 26th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts | Comments (6) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Great Moments in Phallic Occurrences

HERE are a few vintage phallic instances (either real or inferred) which have gained a bit of notoriety over the years. Read on – your inner idiot will thank you.

 

1. THE RIFLEMAN’S LOG

rifleman10

 

This Rifleman comic book has experienced a certain degree of notoriety for what can only be described as a horrifically uncomfortable cover.  How is it possible that the subtext went unnoticed before printing?  Looking through old magazines, comic books, etc. it’s easy to stumble onto accidental phallic imagery.  Perhaps it’s because they weren’t as jaded as we are these days, always finding the tawdry in the innocent.  Or maybe published adverts and illustrations generally weren’t as polished, edited and re-edited as they are today.  Who knows?   Yet, the phallic nature of this one seems so extreme, it couldn’t possibly have been missed by even the most obtrusively naive,… right?

 

 

2. THREEPIO’S UNIT

c3po card

 

This Star Wars trading card has also received some well-earned notoriety.  It appears that C-3PO is sporting a golden metallic erection of impressive proportions.  The robot was supposed to be a “protocol droid”, but this picture has one wondering if C-3PO had other useful functions not fit for a family movie.  According to the official Star Wars site:

It appears that the extra appendage is not the work of an artist, but rather a trick of timing and light…. At the exact instant the photo was snapped, a piece fell off the Threepio costume and just happened to line up in such a way as to suggest a bawdy image.

According to Snopes, whether this was intentional or not remains undetermined.

 

3. SEARS CATALOG PROTRUSION

 

searscatalog602-thumb-500x1423-thumb-300x853

 

This unfortunate event occurred in the 1975 Sears Fall/Winter catalog.  Extending below the boxer shorts emerges what appears to be a glimpse of this model’s manhood.  A lot of squinting, enlarging, and Photoshop exploration has occurred over the years trying to get this mysterious object into focus.  Can it truly be what we think it is?  Or is it simply a smudge?  We may never really know.

This phallic incident even inspired a novelty song “The Man on Page 602” by Zoot Fenster, released not long after the catalog was published.

 

“The picture’s got me out of sorts, because I don’t understand,
Are they advertising boxer shorts, or are they trying to sell the man?”

 

 

4. THREE’S COMPANY SCROTAL EXPOSURE

Threes-Company

 

God knows, shorts certainly lived up to their name in the 1970s.  So, you can hardly fault John Ritter for what took place in episode 161 of Three’s Company.  In this now infamous sitcom episode, he takes a seat on a bed and in the process reveals portions of his junk for the camera. If you blink you miss it, and it’s not exactly in high definition either…. But, make no mistake, Ritter’s naughty bits are definitely there. The incident yielded one of my favorite quotes of all time. When asked by The New York Observer whether they should edit the scene for future broadcasts, Ritter responded:

“I’ve requested that Nickelodeon air both versions, edited and unedited, because sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t.”

 

 

5. POPSICLE OF SHAME

Skysicle

I present to you this highly troubling Evel Knievel Popsicle ad.  It hasn’t garnered any notoriety yet, but it’s high time it did.   Spread the word.

 

THE END

superman

 

More here.

 

Posted: 25th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


I Was Julian Assange’s Ghost Writer: The Fantastic Story Of ‘Swedish Whores, Pentagon Bores And Being Hitler

PA-10599987

 

 

ANDREW  O’Hagan’s wonderful essay on ghost writing Julian Assange’s autobiography is better than any book on the Wikileak’s puiblisher.

Highlights from it are:

Assange didn’t want to write the book himself but didn’t want the book’s ghostwriter to be anybody who already knew a lot about him. I told Jamie that I’d seen Assange at the Frontline Club the year before, when the first WikiLeaks stories emerged, and that he was really interesting but odd, maybe even a bit autistic. Jamie agreed, but said it was an amazing story. ‘He wants a kind of manifesto, a book that will reflect this great big generational shift.’

At 5.30 the next day Jamie arrived at my flat with his editorial colleague Nick Davies. (Mental health warning: there are two Nick Davies in this story. This one worked for Canongate; the second is a well-known reporter for the Guardian.) They had just come back on the train from Norfolk. Jamie said that Assange had poked his eye with a log or something, so had sat through three hours of discussion with his eyes closed.

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Posted: 22nd, February 2014 | In: Books, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Worst Books Ever: Sex And The Single Child And The I’m Glad I’m a Boy! I’m Glad I’m a Girl!

vintage sexism

 

IN 1970 Whitney Darrow created I’m Glad I’m a Boy! I’m Glad I’m a Girl!

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Posted: 19th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Browse Harry Houdini’s Magical Sprapbooks

PA-8625723

 

THANKS to the digitisation and Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, we can browse scrapbooks owned by the great Harry Houdini  (1891-1926). The University has had the archives in its possession since 1958. But only now are they on the web, and free to view.

 

houdini posters

 

The scrapbooks are full of adverts, stories, and reviews on Houdini’s twin passions: magic and spiritualism. It’s great to think of Houdini and his peers selecting item for inclusion, then sticking them into place, editing the story of magic and live showbiz in the first two decades of the 20th Century.

Everyone should like collecting and sticking things in books with an artistic flourish. These books create wonderful memories of your life and your view of the world. They reveal what delighted you, what you did and what made you think.

 

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Posted: 16th, February 2014 | In: Books, Celebrities, Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


On This Day In Photos: Iran Orders Salman Rushdie To Be Murdered For Writing A Book

Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, shown in his London study on Jan. 31,1988

Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, shown in his London study on Jan. 31,1988

 

ON this day in photos: February 14 1989:  Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khomeini sentences British author Salman Rushdie to death. He also sentenced to death the publishers of Rushdie’s book the Satanic Verses. Khomeni said the book is a blasphemy against Islam. His decree introduced many of us to the word ‘fatwa’.

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Posted: 14th, February 2014 | In: Books, Celebrities, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daniel Defoe Reports The Great Storm of 1704

The destruction of the Eddystone Lighthouse

The destruction of the Eddystone Lighthouse

 

HOW bad are the storms pummelling the British Isles?

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Posted: 13th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Read a Highly Distressing Coloring Book from 1953

lastscan01

 

THE point of this colouring book was to teach the youngsters of 1953 good safety lessons via the alphabet.  From a perspective of 60 years later, some of these lessons seem, well, I think “distressing” is the best word I can come up with. See for yourself.

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Posted: 13th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Weasels Ripped My Flesh! 10 Awesome Pulp Headlines

IS there anything better than a mid-century men’s action magazine?  They were chock full of lurid stories and provocative artwork depicting female biker gangs, nympho pirates, Gestapo dominatrices, etc.  If it fulfilled a macho fantasy, it was fair game, and the headlines beckoned men to go along for the ride.  Here are ten worthy examples.

 

THE MAN WHO TOUCHED OFF PHILADELPHIA’S GREAT BOSOM RIOT

Male, Sept. 1959

232_male59sep kunstler

I’m a mild mannered, peaceful kind of guy – not much into protests and insurrection.  That being said, a “bosom riot” is something I could get behind.

 

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Posted: 7th, February 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hear How Ice T Read The’Deep Nerd’ Dungeons & Dragons Audiobook

Parental advice: This is not how to hold a sword

Parental advice: This is not how to hold a sword

 

HOW do you follow Cop Killer and date night with the well upholstered Coco Austin? If you’re Ice-T you create an audiobook for Dungeons & Dragons.

In Ice T’s Final Level Podcast, the rapper tell how unprepared he was got the job.

“They didn’t tell me this was a motherfu**in’ Dungeons & Dragons book… [it’s] some of the most crazy, deep, deep nerd shit.Motherfu**ers talk like Yoda. They were talking about ‘pegasuses’ and ‘pegasi.’ That’s horses with wings. This motherfu**er got a sword that talks to him… Motherfuckers live in places that don’t exist, and it comes with a map. My God.”

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Posted: 6th, February 2014 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How To Behave In 1920s New York: An Illustrated Guide

VISITORS to 1920s NYC  could study the Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book. As any reader of P.G. Wodehouse’s Psmith, Journalist will now full well, New York was a dangerous place back then, overrun by gangs, slum landlords and shysters.

 

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 16.34.35

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Posted: 27th, January 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A Field Guide to 1970s Men’s Sweaters

WITH so many “important things” going on the world, why spend time looking at forty year old sweaters?  Simply put, the brain needs a break from the barrage of jarring images of a world on the brink.  A tour of 70s men’s sweaters is exactly what the doctor ordered.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy a cornucopia of magnificent vintage sweaters.  And you’re welcome.

006

Left: I’m not a fashion connoisseur, but I do have a general rule of thumb:  Avoid sweater vests with built in belts.

Center:  Add a cape and it’s almost superhero-like.  Don’t for a minute think that superheroes are somehow above sweaters when they have no problem prancing around in Spandex unitards.

Right: Looks like he just stole Janis Joplin’s belongings.  Poor sap. Her sweaty clothes are probably so saturated with drugs, he’ll be dead soon.

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Posted: 14th, January 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


In 1933 Helen Keller Wrote This Open Letter To German Students Planning To Burn ‘Un-German’ Books

Miss Helen Keller, probably the most famous blind woman in the world, photographed in New York City on Oct. 29, 1931 with a bust of herself sculptured by count Hans-Albrecht Hafrach of Munich, Germany. The bust was presented to the American Foundation for the Blind by M.C. Migel, president of the American Foundation for the Blind, to pay a tribute to the work of Miss Keller for the organization.

Miss Helen Keller, probably the most famous blind woman in the world, photographed in New York City on Oct. 29, 1931 with a bust of herself sculptured by count Hans-Albrecht Hafrach of Munich, Germany. The bust was presented to the American Foundation for the Blind by M.C. Migel, president of the American Foundation for the Blind, to pay a tribute to the work of Miss Keller for the organization.

 

IN 1933, German students planned to burn “Un-German” books. Helen Keller wrote this open letter to the students:

“History has taught you nothing if you think you can kill ideas…”

helen keller letter to germans

 

Posted: 12th, January 2014 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Enid Blyton’s Least Popular Novel

ENID Blyton didn’t just write for children. She wrote this Famous Five pot-boiler about four felons and a devil dog:

enid blyton sussex
Spotter: martin kelner ‏@martinkelner3 Dec

 

Posted: 11th, January 2014 | In: Books, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Highlights From The Book Witnessing Made Easy: How to Pass Out Tracts for Jesus

jesus

 

JERRY Keever’s 1986 books Witnessing Made Easy: How to Pass Out Tracts for Jesus is a gem. This is passive aggressive preaching from 1986.

We’ve got some highlights from its 319 pages of dogmatic wonderment.

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Posted: 7th, January 2014 | In: Books, Key Posts | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How To Tell Good People From Bad People According To The International Order of The Golden Rule

THE International Order of The Golden Rule is a funeral homes organisation based in Austin, Texas. On their website filed under “history”, they tell us:

To a group of funeral directors in 1928, the “Golden Rule” – a fundamental principle that is universally admired and upheld – became the cornerstone upon which to built a professional association.

The founders embarked on a mission to seek out a dependable, ethical funeral directors in every community by means of a carefully tested screening process. They wanted to establish a quality-minded identity in the minds of families everywhere. The Golden Rule credo – “Service measured not by gold, but by the Golden Rule” – speaks to that identity.

And:

Each Golden Rule® Funeral Home must show a commitment to provide to their client families: “Service measured not by gold but by the Golden Rule.”

So. What is the Golden Rule? We never do get to nail it down. Under “STandards of Ethical Conduct”, we get not one rule but 10 rules.  We also see their name printed on this booklet called “How To Tell Good People From Bad People”.

good people

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Posted: 1st, January 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Amazon Is Banning Sales Of Virginia Wade’s Monster Smut e-Books

MY Little Pony filth has nothing on this kind of cryptozoological smut. E’ve shown you dinoraur erotica before. Now Business Insider says Amazon is looking to ban “monster p*rn” e-books. Anyone read Cum for Bigfoot? Some of you have because author and mum-of-two Virginia Wade* says that 12,000-word tome earns her $30,000 a month.

monster smut

For those of you versed in Wade’s works:

An idea to write a campy, teen horror-fest, with a Sasquatch protagonist, led to the creation of Cum For Bigfoot, which is essentially a series of stories spanning several years in the lives of a tribe of Bigfoots and their human lovers. The silliness, the romance, and the sex struck a chord with readers, who enjoyed the adventures of Porsche, Shelly, and Leslie, while the kidnapped teens came to love their hairy abductors. The series is now on its fourteenth installment, with more to follow.

How can Porsche leave all of this behind and return to civilization? When she’s in the arms of her Sasquatch, warm and snuggly in his matted fur, the only thoughts going through her mind are of utter bliss. But challenges abound for the star-crossed lovers, including Leonard’s head injury, a devastating wildfire, and a sexy forest ranger named Mike. Will these obstacles shatter the growing love between an ape and its mate or will true love triumph?

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Posted: 29th, December 2013 | In: Books, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


J.G. Ballard: The Death Of Imagination

J.G. Ballard on boredom and the death of imagination:

Posted: 29th, December 2013 | In: Books | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0