March 10, 2004

Lileks: Beyond the Bleat

Captain Renault : What in heaven's name brought you to Lileks?
Rick : Mind-numbing boredom. I came to Lileks for the Fargo.
Captain Renault : Fargo? Fargo? We're in Orange County.
Rick : I was misinformed.

Yes, since my mother's family lives in Fargo, I stumbled across years ago by googling "Fargo." Okay, it was a slow day at work, so what? Towards the end, they were all slow days.

Still, I was impressed that anyone could take Fargo and make it more interesting than I thought it was. I'd long used my childhood summers in Fargo as a kind of touchstone whenever meetings in New York turned to what "those people" "out there" would buy. (Even though almost everybody in New York is from somewhere else, there's something in the water that makes you forget what somewhere else is like -- unless you have a touchstone)

If I came for Fargo, I stayed, as so many others have, for 'The Bleat,' a daily journal which sometimes seems as if you're peering over Mark Twain's shoulder as he keeps a diary. Still, grows and develops behind The Bleat, and it rewards intermittent excursions to the Main Menu to see if Lileks has put something up you haven't seen before. Today what was new (to me, okay?) was this:


Puts that bad hair day in perspective, doesn't it.

Again, to restate the point: let's imagine how some people -- hell, a lot of people -- would react if the government put posters like this in bus stops and public buildings today. People would shriek as if they were having burned skin peeled off with a straight-edge razor. They would be convinced that the transformation of America into a fascist state was finally complete. But this was FDR's America. Just so we're clear.

LILEKS (James) WW2 Civil Defense Materials
I could explain why this particular conjunction of image and caption is arresting and provoking, but you either see it or you don't.

Posted by Vanderleun at March 10, 2004 1:00 PM | TrackBack
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