Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
Category: October 2009
Elgin watches are the timepieces of choice for job-seekers.
Aug. 1, 1947: U.S. Webb dies at the age of 82.
|Oct. 30, 1909: California Atty. Gen. Ulysses S. Webb says: “When we force our citizens to pay for and send their children to public schools, where the Bible of another faith is read to them, I believe we come dangerously near intruding upon freedom of conscience.” |
No Boredom Today The girls in classified are a little dewy-eyed today over a Public Announcement ad. It states simply, "Happy birthday, pretty Beverly." But there's more to it than that.
Beverly, whoever she is, frequently remarks that nothing exciting ever happens to her. An admirer, the man who phoned in the ad, confided to the classified ladies that he has arranged a day-long antidote for her boredom.
"When Beverly awakened this morning she was scheduled to be served a champagne breakfast with rosebud in vase. Her roommate, who arises at 6 a.m., was in on the plot with her admirer.
When Beverly arrived at work she was confronted, according to schedule, by a 15-foot birthday card and a dozen roses.
For dinner, the beast steak in town, with champagne. Afterwards, the final surprise -- a party attended by 20 friends.
The girls in classified somehow got the idea he likes her.
AFTER FINISHING the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star-Spangled Banner, the other day, Ernest Lightner's 5th grade class at Menlo Ave. School broke into "Rock-a-Bye Baby." His wife had just given birth to their first child . . . Item in the Belmont High Sentinel: "Many students have asked what has happened to the Hi-Fi Club. The answer is that the club has disbanded because of hi HI-Fi equipment. A former student supplied the club with it before" . . . And a teenager named Jane, one of the brainwashed generation, particularly by TV commercials, rushed home after a dental check at school and exclaimed, "Look pa, TWO cavities!"
Considering the ants that
one has to pay
To win in life's game of
Blessed is he who can
"I'm content to be just
A WOMAN fluttered up to a counter in a downtown store and asked of no one in particular. "Where can I get a glamorous gift for an 8-year-old?"
The saleslady was busy writing a charge slip so a customer asked helpfully, "Boy or girl?"
"Girl," was the reply.
The customer, obviously a gal with a fiendish pixie streak, said, "How about an 8-year-old boy?"
Dudgeon showing, the matron fluttered off.
Halloween clearly is closing in on all of us.
THEN THERE was Leo Walker's weird exchange at International Airport. He went up to an airline counter and said, "I understand my flight, Number 615, will be delayed."
The man said, "That's right. It's an hour late in arriving from the north."
Leo, who likes to know where his next meal is coming from, asked, "Does that mean lunch will or will not be served on board?"
The man said evenly, "Depends on whether you're going out on it or coming in on it."
Maybe Halloween isn't to blame. Maybe it's what the Russians did to the moon.
AROUND TOWN -- Visitors to the exhibit, Old Favorites Revisited, which will run through Nov.8 at Barnsdall Park, are asked to vote on their preferences. In top spot there is a pastoral scene, "Sunrise on the Meadow" by August Bonheur. Second is "The Cardinal's Portrait" by Toby Edward Rosenthal. Paul Chaba's September Morn," which created a scandal many years ago, is a weak 5th . . . Joe Weston's cat with the provocative name Farkleberry celebrated its 8th birthday (equivalent to age 56 among humans) by chasing Sam, a neighbor's Kerry blue terrier, all the way home . . . Cigarette counter clerks and market checkers are going nuts, trying to find room for all the new brands . . . You know the expression, "This is the day I should have stood in bed?" A variation is making the rounds: "What can you expect of a day on which you had to get up?"
Women of Japan Enjoy Their Liberty
LADIES DAY IN TOKYO (Part Two) -- When General of the Army Douglas MacArthur returned, as he had somehow hurriedly promised to do, Japan got its first taste of democracy.
In the manner of a triumphant but just warrior, he used an iron hand to force the philosophy of freedom on them.
Say what you will about the pompous, rather regal ruler of our Pacific forces during and after our World War II, he was unquestionably the man who finally managed to introduce the West to the East.
And the main beneficiaries of that introduction were the women of Japan.
Over a span of very few years, westernization has brought them out of the dark ages and into the present.
In the only culture of Nippon, a lady lived a life of gentle, uncomplaining subservience to the man in her family.
She walked a respectful few paces behind him when he annually took her out to observe the cherry blossoms. She dined in solitude. And then only after he and his offspring have been fed.
When he came home after a night of carousing, she bowed to the floor in humble greeting.
If he took a geisha girl as his mistress, that was his privilege. There was nothing she could say or do in protest.
And with it all, the women of Old Japan seemed contended enough.
But that was old Japan.
Then MacArthur moved in, and gave them the vote.
After that, they bloomed into lovely but sturdily independent flowers of the Orient.
Although a surprising number of them still haven't adopted western clothes -- it's always a strange sight for tourists in Tokyo's night clubs to see the many women in kimonos and wooden sandals doing the mambo -- and although almost all of them still carry their children strapped to their backs in the old manner, they've shown their emancipation in other ways.
Immediately after suffrage they elected women to the Japanese diet. They walk the streets arm in-arm with their husbands, not behind them. They pack the first rows of seats at political rallies. And they've gone to work in the commerce and industry of their country, previously a shocking thing for a middle-class Japanese girl to do.
It is my considered opinion that today the women run Japan. It's not something they will admit. The etiquette still insists that they keep up a pretense of humility.
But certainly they've had a tremendous effect on the changing manners and morals of their country.
They succeeded in voting out prostitution, a traditionally allowed way of life in Japan.
The nations' major problem for generations has been overpopulation. In the past, the only solution offered by the militaristic rulers was territorial expansion -- a route that led them into the most devastating war in history.
Crime Shows Protested
Today, with women in government, there's a new solution. The birth rate this year is down 14% because of an intensive government-sponsored educational campaign. Shocking as it may be to us, it was primarily the women of Japan who fought for legislation that makes abortion a relatively simple, legal matter, if the reasons are economic, illegitimacy or illness.
It is the women, too, according to English language Japanese newspapers, who have formed militant, vocal bands to protest "the crime and horror shows aimed at juvenile television audiences."
And that has a familiar, westernized ring, if I ever heard one.
|Oct. 29, 1956: “Friendly Persuasion” will premiere at the Fox Wilshire Theatre … introducing Anthony Perkins. The film was reviewed twice in The Times, on Sept. 16, 1956, by Philip K. Scheuer and again on Oct. 31, 1956, by Edwin Schallert.|
Aug. 4, 1959: I almost didn’t post this Cecil Smith column because it’s not terribly well done and is mostly Smith rambling to great length about ghost stories. But I reminded myself that at this point, very few people had seen anything but the first few episodes and nobody knew what to expect.
Until “The Twilight Zone” debuted in 1959, there had been very little in this vein besides “Science Fiction Theatre,” a show that began in 1955, and perhaps “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (1955-1962), which was more of a mystery/suspense show. “The Outer Limits” didn’t begin until 1963 and was considered a “Twilight Zone” knockoff.
The American Cinematheque is paying tribute to "The Twilight Zone" with a program on Friday. Read more here.>>> (Notice that despite what this article says, the lines quoted above are the original opening. The introduction that most of us remember didn't emerge until later).
“Science Fiction Theatre,” 1955-1957, was one of my favorite shows as a kid. It’s out on DVD but I’m afraid to watch the programs because like so many TV shows of my childhood, they might be absolutely awful. It was a dark and sobering day when I sat down as an adult with “Sky King,” “Whirlybirds” and “Highway Patrol.”
Aug. 20, 1959: Some thoughts on Rod Serling ... And notice "Destruction Derby" with women drivers!
Hey, what should we watch? Baxter Ward or “Twilight Zone?”
| The Times didn’t write much about “Twilight Zone” in its first season after the show debuted. I’ll be watching for articles as we continue our jaunt through 1959 and into 1960. |
|Oct. 29, 1909: Lucretia Ruis attracts attention in Long Beach because she doesn’t wear stockings or shoes. She’s an intelligent and refined woman, but shoes and socks cause her too much pain. |
Nippon Women Split on Retaining Geisha
LADIES DAY IN TOKYO: The flowery era of Madame Butterfly is dying, but not quite dead in the postwar life of Japan.
Under the democracy dictated to them by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Japanese women got the vote in 1946.
Since that time, 11 of them have become prominent members of parliament. There is a very active, very huge, very persuasive League of Women Voters. Women are beginning to outnumber men at political rallies.
And women are responsible for pushing through a law that banned prostitution for the first time in Japanese history. It took them five tries in parliament to get the bill through, but they finally did it.
So, while a surprising number of them still wear the kimono and still make the pretense of gentle subservience to their men, it's the women who seem to be running things in today's Nippon.
Mrs. Satoko Togano, a socialist member of parliament, told me the other day: "We voted out prostitution on practical grounds. We are women. And since the war, there are many more of us than there are men. For a girl to find a husband is difficult enough. Prostitution only made it more difficult.
"And," she added, "as socialists, we voted it out on ethical grounds. Prostitution has no place in modern Japan. It's feudalistic."
But, oddly enough, these same socialists didn't consider the system of geisha, where girls from poor families were traditionally sold into training by their parents, to be equally feudalistic.
"Geisha," Mrs. Togano said, "is part of this country. It sis cultural. Not economic. It doesn't violate our principles of socialist reform. And the Japanese people - men and women -- would never accept it being banned."
However, according to her opposite number in the Japanese Diet, Mrs. Masa Nakayama of the conservative Liberal Democrat Party, geisha is merely a more delicate word for prostitute. And, in practice, it IS an economic menace to the security of the Japanese home.
His Family Still Intact
"The man who visits a prostitute," she told me, "goes there for an hour or so. Even though it's morally wrong, it doesn't have to destroy his family life.
"But the man who takes a geisha may decide to keep her as a mistress. He must pay her a monthly sum. If she has children by him he must support them. And his wife and family, because of that, must suffer.
"They will tell you," Mrs. Nakayama said, "that the Japanese wife doesn't mind the geisha, because geisha when she meets the wife of a patron always stalks to her politely, in the language of a servant.
"But that is nonsense," the Japanese lady politician told me. "No woman wants to share her husband with another.
"And," she added, "there will be no real progress for women in Japan until we outlaw the geisha girl."