Thursday, August 25, 2005

This Will Get You Dancing

Maybe you've seen this already, but it was new to me. It's a very funny animated short by the brilliant animated video director Dan Meth called Shake That Ass. It features a wild assortment of dancers, such as cartoon monsters, a little yarmulke-wearing boy, and the characters from Peanuts as African-Americans. Even if you don't think of yourself as a dancer, I dare you to sit still while you watch it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Making of America--an online library

The New York Times has a piece in today's paper about a wonderful digital library of Americana. Here's a 1921 selection they highlighted from the archive:

Adventures of a Working Woman

In New York

By anonymous (an upper-class woman who set out to investigate the life of laboring women). 1921.

For years I had heard persons, men and women, declaim against the incomprehensible devotion of "shop-girls" to chocolate ├ęclairs and gumdrops ... instead of a bowl of oatmeal and milk, or of "good, nourishing soup."

The first time I tried lunching on a bowl of oatmeal and milk I began to experience a most uncomfortable sensation under my apron before three o'clock. By five that sensation had become a sharp griping pain. The day following I tried soup. In the middle of the afternoon when Nora learned how I was suffering, she went scurrying around among the girls in various departments and returned with three gumdrops, which she made me eat.

After that when I had 10 cents or less to spend for lunch I invested in a chocolate ├ęclair and gumdrops. Without a doubt such a diet does produce pale faces and a predisposition to tuberculosis. Experience taught me that it staves off the griping agony produced by hunger and standing on one's feet longer than any other food to be had in New York City for the same money. When a girl's wage is seven dollars a week, or less, 10 cents a day is all she can spend for lunch.