Monday, November 26, 2012

A Woman With Mongolism and Her Child

Meet E. J. She's a mongolian from the past. That is, a woman with mongolism and not a person of Asiatic descent. I'm not sure when the distinction came about between the two, if at all, or the existence of any root word relationship or basically anything about either mongolism or Mongolia and for that matter Mongolian people or much of anything else. Yes, I'm merely a raconteur and this is the story of E. J.

The distinction between E. J. and others with mongolism (you might want to right click and open the image in a new tab to read the full page version of the text) is that she was one of the first medically observed "mongols" who had bore a "normal child." Although the child was developmentally slow his physical traits were seen as normal despite some muscular issues. Her thanks for being part of this scientific observation was the deer in the headlights, topless photo below:

A grotesque lack of professionalism on behalf of the medical researchers but I suppose that the middle part of the 1900s was rife with that sort of Dr. Frankenstein attitude towards special needs patients as they were often treated as guinea pigs. As for E. J's pregnancy, it seems that a semi-retarded and blind boarder at the home she was cared for, after the death of her parents, wasn't quite so slow in the instinctual department. In the aftermath her lack of menstruation and growing abdomen was blindly attributed to a tumor. Which speaks to the 1950s naivete we often hear about but most likely was a convenient oversight more so than a misdiagnosis by the farmer's wife whose care she was in.

The alleged father, V. E., mind you this was the 1950s and paternity was seemingly established via a police interrogation where the mentally retarded man confessed to having intercourse with E. J., was born healthy and contracted a cerebral disease at the age of 9 months which caused epileptic seizures several times a week and culminated in blindness and slowed development.

The boy, P. J., was born May 30, 1954 and is quite possibly still alive. He was a handsome little tyke who was eager to interact with both acquaintances and strangers. He walked with a gait and even though his mannerisms were that of a child a year younger than himself, this may have been due to his continued residency in hospital and institutions for much of his young life.

You may be wondering at this point what the purpose of posting this article is and I don't really have an answer. I thought it was an intriguing topic and it's not often that you find a journal of mental deficiency from 1957 but I did and now so have you. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

InstaGC: The Perfect Free Gift Card Site

If you're a disgruntled former SuperPoints member like me who spent months spinning that stupid points wheel, watching videos and completing offers only to have them turn around and shut the site down without warning then you're probably looking for a rebound freebie site. InstaGC is the perfect replacement.

Somebody mentioned InstaGC (it stands for Insta Gift Card) on a disgruntled former SuperPoints member forum and I decided to check them out. What a world of difference they are compared to SP. Not only is it easier to earn points but you can cash out with a minimum of 100 and select a free gift card from many top stores like Amazon, WalMart, eBay, Game Stop, Target and dozens more.

Unlike SuperPoints and other sites of that ilk you don't have to labor to reach a hundred points. If you have an hour to spend you can easily get a few hundred points and cash them in for a gift card without any waiting period or b.s. point threshold that takes days upon days to reach.

I've only been on there a few weeks and while only visiting about every other day I've already received $16 in gift cards with very little effort. I've seen other members cashing out $10, $25 and even $50 gift cards after only a week or so. Anyway, here's my stats from just under two weeks on the site:

I've already cashed in the gift cards so there's no point hiding the code. Feel free to enter them into your Amazon account and see that they were legitimate codes used by an Amazon buyer. If that doesn't convince you then go give it a try yourself. 

Click here to start. Good luck.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Worst Side of Detroit: Black Muscle

No, this isn't a racist screed against the bruthas of Detroit but rather a pre-book review of Black Muscle by Lawrence Blaine which I ironically picked up today on Black Friday. Written in 1976 under the Holloway House stamp it entails the life trials of a Black (yes, capitalized) man and what he has to "do to survive in auto-factory jungle of savage labor bosses" in the Motor City.

From the looks of the cover, the plot mood from the short blurb on the back of the book and a few pages that I have skimmed through, raping white women, killing muthafuckas, dealing with labor heads, driving around fast cars and doing what you gotta do is what Black Muscle is about.

I usually don't do much in the way of book reading these days, especially blaxploitation, though I'll pick up an Iceberg Slim volume on occasion, read a chapter or two, laugh and then get on with my life. This one though is set in Detroit, mentions familiar streets and locations like Mack Avenue and Belle Isle, so I'll probably give it the once over. I may be the only one, too, since its ranked 11 million and change on Amazon. All the better!

Seeing as it's a relatively thin massmarket paperback it shouldn't take but an hour or two. If the first page, which details the protagonist Turk racing his car through traffic, cutting off another driver who smashes into both a cop and a bus in a horrific crash, thus eliciting uproarious laughter from the main character, is any indication of the rest of the book it should be a riot. All puns intended.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Vietnam War: A Plot to Get Jeeps Into the Country

If you asked 100 Americans what the cause of the Vietnam War was the great majority would more than likely exclaim in unison, and quite inaccurately, "Oil!". Likewise, if you asked a hundred history professors they'd chime in with "French Colonialism." But if you asked a very drunken Beatnik novelist he'd comically say "a plot to get Jeeps into the country."

Such was the folly when Jack Kerouac appeared on Firing Line, the William F. Buckley, Jr. founded and moderated public affairs show in 1968. The episode entitled Hippies featured Kerouac, poet and musician Ed Sanders and an academic named Lewis Yablonsky, who had interviewed hippies for his book Hippie Trip which was published around that time. At points throughout the program Kerouac could be heard laughing, making noises,  attempting to talk over other guests and a few times, when the camera panned out, doing pantomime slapstick.

When Buckley finally managed to reel him in with an earnest question about the Beat Generation he became momentarily serious and thoughtful calling the movement, "a generation of beatitude, pleasure in life and tenderness." that the press twisted into a mutiny against society. A view that Kerouac claims was never his intention or purpose.

Continuing, he said that a further alienating element of the pious nature of the movement (remember Kerouac was a "devout" Catholic) occurred when communists and hoodlums joined its ranks. Kerouac called out Ferlinghetti specifically and seemingly shrugged off Allen Ginsberg (the camera switches to him at 8:40) at certain junctures as well.

There was apparently no love lost between Kerouac and Sanders as well. Sanders, who had idolized Kerouac up to that point, had greeted the elder writer before the show with a jovial, "Hello, Dad!" to which an embittered Kerouac responded tersely, "I'm not your father, you son of a bitch!" After the show, Billy Koumantzelis, a writer and friend of Jack's, had to hold him in a headlock on the elevator ride down to prevent him from attacking Sanders, who he felt had attempted to hog the show. Anyway, here's the clip of the show: