8/31/11

Fads #17: Putt-Putt-tastic!


I'm not going to bore you with an outline of the history of miniature golf.  Instead, I'll just hit you with a bunch of cool images from the Golden Age of Putt-Putt.  What's that? You didn't think there was such a thing as a Golden Age of Putt-Putt? Au contraire. As a matter of fact, miniature golf was what you might call a national pastime during the sixties and seventies.  Before Xtreme sports and video games where you can realistically murder prostitutes, we were amused by putting balls through tiny windmills. In fact, miniature golf was - dare I say it? - cool. (gasp)

If you don't believe me, at least listen to Isaac Hayes...


"They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother - SHUT YO' MOUTH! - I'm talkin' bout Putt Putt."

8/30/11

Catalogs #14: Sears Fashion 1981


Here's a heaping helping of fashion scans taken from Sears (and Simpsons-Sears in Canada) catalogs from 1981. Click on the images to enlarge. Enjoy!

8/29/11

Decade of Decadence #9: The Problems of Convenience


It's funny. They've done multiple surveys of literally tens of thousands of men and asked them whether they look at porn - the answer is always the same: no, not even occasionally.  Yet, the porn industry is, by some estimates, a 90+ billion dollar industry worldwide, 14 billion in the U.S...... it would seem someone's not telling the truth.

Truth be told, modern technology has engendered a degree of secrecy.  It has enabled adult material to be viewed under lock and key, far from society's judgment.  No longer must you purchase a ticket to the Pussycat Theater out in the open - you can just watch pay-per-view (one of the porn industry's highest revenue sources). No longer must you look your cashier in the eye as you purchase that issue of Juggs magazine - the Internet is a more than suitable alternative, comfortably removed from people who might see your "dirty little secret".

I would argue that this is a bad thing - a very bad thing. And let me tell you why.

8/28/11

Mini Skirt Monday #85: Minis & Couches


I know, it doesn't sound particularly exciting.  I'd love to hit you with something exciting like "Minis &  Sasquatch" or something super specific to show off my vast collection like "Miniskirts & Crippled Elevator Repairmen from Brussels"...... but, alas, we are going to focus on something insanely simple: minis on couches.  After all, the themes are nothing more than flimsy excuses to display a bunch of chicks in short dresses. Upholstery is as good an idea as any to lump them together into a cohesive collection.... so, onward ho with minis'n'couches!

8/27/11

Magazines #27: True Crime Rags (Part 3)


There's still a bunch more shameful pieces of garbage commonly referred to as "detective magazines" posted here on Retrospace for your viewing pleasure.  I'll spare you the spiel this time around, and just warn you that if your co-workers catch you looking at this, don't be surprised when they start avoiding you like the plague.  There's simply no better way to become completely isolated from your fellow employees than by getting caught looking at pictures of women being raped and murdered.

Just a friendly warning. Now enjoy.

8/26/11

Magazines #26: True Crime Rags (Part 2)


Yes, I know. I've already done a detective mag cover gallery.  Well, looking back at it, I've decided I didn't do the topic justice.  Perhaps I said all there is to say about the subject, but the selection of covers I provided is woefully slim.  This post will, hopefully, amend that deficiency.

I would argue that, of all the possible vintage topics, detective magazines are the most derided.  They were nothing more than lurid depictions of man at his worst. Unlike even the most violent horror comics, the detective mag has no avid collectors. The detective mag has no kitsch value, no nostalgic charm, no historical importance.  Even vintage porn has its share of enthusiasts - no so the detective mag.

Indeed, these magazines are not only unliked and unwanted, but they also imply the poor unfortunate reader is something akin to a serial rapist (Dietz, P., Harry, B., & Hazelwood, R. (1986). Detective Magazines: Pornography for the sexual sadist? Journal of Forensic Science, 31, 197-211).  I wouldn't necessarily argue with any of these assumptions; however, I can't help but be drawn to these red headed stepchildren of the vintage world.  Because they are so reviled, I am all the more interested.

So, let's have a look at a heaping helping of these misogynistic magazines.... and maybe, just maybe, show a little love for a much maligned vintage artifact.

8/25/11

Needlework A-Go Go #21


No real rhyme or reason to this post other than just a bunch of crafts gone wild.  Here's some of my favorites that haven't made it into any posts yet. Enjoy!

8/24/11

Retro Badass #5: Honor Blackman Does Karate


Honor Blackman is mainly known for her roles on The Avengers and the Bond films where she regularly put the beat down on goons and thugs.  But I'm not going to dwell on her illustrious career as a Chuck Norris with boobs. Instead, I want to just want to look at one of her books.  Her bio can be found all over the internets, but I haven't seen much on her amazing martial arts book.  So, to fill that void, here goes.

Honor Blackman's Book of Self Defense was published in 1965.  It was made with Joe Robinson and his brother Doug, a judo champion and black belt in karate.  Joe was a British wrestler (didn't think there was such a thing, did you) and made a name for himself arranging stunts on the Bond films and the occasional acting gig.

8/23/11

Album Covers #18: Censored by Retrospace


The album cover was a 12 inch canvas to which a musical artist could illustrate the theme or vibe of a record.  Some chose elaborate designs (ex. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper) while others chose to simply depict the artists themselves (ex. Michael Jackson Thriller) and then there were those that just went with boobs.

This is a post about those albums.  Albums which said to hell with art - let's see some T&A.  Unfortunately, Retrospace strives to keep a PG-13 rating; not out of high standards, but out of fear of losing these ads.  The golden rule here is: no pubes, no areolas, and no butt cracks.  Thus, all of these albums bear the mighty stamp of censorship; however, if you are 18 or older, you may click on the record and see the aforementioned naughty parts. If you're not 18 and click them, I will tell your mom.

The Boob Tube #24: The Top 20 TV Catch Phrases of the 70's


Of late, we've had "Bam!" (Emeril) and "No soup for you" (Seinfeld), but there's been precious few catch phrases compared to the 1970's - the Golden Era of TV catch phrases.  Anyone growing up in that decade at some point exclaimed "Kiss my grits!" - it was just a part of the day to day lexicon.  What was it about the seventies that made audiences erupt into laughter and applause every time J.J. said "Dy-no-mite"? Sounds like a good idea for a sociology term paper.  What were the top TV catch phrases of the seventies? Sounds like a good idea for a post, so here goes.
  1. Dy-No-Mite! (Good Times)
  2. Up your nose with a rubber hose (Welcome Back, Kotter)
  3. Whachu-talkin'-bout, Willis? (Diff'rent Strokes)
  4. Hey, hey, hey (What's Happening?)
  5. Stifle! (All in the Family)
  6. Sit on it! (Happy Days)
  7. Ayyyyyy. (Happy Days)
  8. You big dummy (Sanford & Son)
  9. Book 'em Danno (Hawaii 5-0)
  10. De plane! De plane! (Fantasy Island)
  11. Nanu, Nanu (Mork & Mindy)
  12. Shazbot! (Mork & Mindy)
  13. Good night, John Boy (The Waltons)
  14. Jane, you ignorant slut (Saturday Night Live)
  15. Who loves you, baby (Kojak)
  16. Kiss my grits! (Alice)
  17. Lookin' good (Chico and the Man)
  18. Hello... how are ya? (Welcome Back, Kotter)
  19. Elizabeth, I'm comin' to join you (Sanford & Son)
  20. Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry (The Incredible Hulk)
Note 1: I did not include "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" or other Brady quotes, because these actually didn't become popularized until the 1990s.
Note 2: This list is in no particular order - ranking them would just be silly.
Note 3: Please submit any glaring omissions, I'd love to read them. Before you comment, know that "God'll get you for that, Walter" would've made the list if this was the top 21 catch phrases.

8/22/11

Mini Skirt Monday #84: The Trials and Hardships of the 1970s Male School Teacher


I think we should all observe a moment of silence for those poor men who taught in our nation's schools in the early seventies.  These men, young and old, had to stand before hundreds, perhaps thousands, of young women wearing obscenely short skirts pointed at them day after day.

I'm sure many just splashed themselves with cold water between periods, others I assume were driven to drink.  Thank God teachers could smoke in class back then - it took the edge off.  With any luck, that job working for your father-in-law at the plant would work out, and you'd be free of this daily torture.... alas, for many, it wouldn't be so easy.

As a salute to the male teacher of the early seventies, here is a group of pictures dedicated directly to them. We appreciate your service.

8/19/11

Tech #12: Jurassic Office: The Age of Giant Computers


They say the technology that sent a man to the moon could now fit inside your cell phone. It really is quite amazing when you stop and think about it: that behemoth in the image above couldn't do what your iPod can do.... not even come close.  They were massive, often taking up entire rooms, loud, and incredibly expensive.  You could buy a truckload of smartphones for the price of even one of these prehistoric leviathans that, by today's standards, could do very little. But before you get all cocky about it, just remember that people will be mocking your iPads and X Boxes thirty years from now as well.

It's also interesting to note that science fiction missed the mark in predicting this would happen. They certainly put a lot of stock in what computers could do (prepare your lunch, predict the future, take over the world, etc.), but never predicted that they would get really, really, really, tiny.

So, I hope you'll enjoy this gallery of colossal computers and massive mainframes. Click images to enlarge.

8/18/11

Cinema #22: Marquees and More


I know I've visited this topic before, but when you've been posting every day for three years, it's hard not to repeat yourself now and then.  I thought this time around I'd give you the marquee and the corresponding movie poster(s) and newspaper clippings related to the films.  

click images to enlarge


 Although, the marquee is interesting in and of itself, I've never heard of a lot of these movies so adding a little background gives it context and makes it come alive. Having these extra elements gives me a little insight as to what was actually playing at that theater.  Sound good? Let's look at a few...

8/17/11

Charles Nelson Reilly Sightings #2


I never noticed cell phone towers till someone pointed one out to me. Now, I see them so often that it's almost annoying.  They were right in front of me and I was oblivious; now they're everywhere I look. Weird.

That's how it is with the Charles Nelson Reilly sightings.  I never knew of his unbelievable ubiquity in pop culture until recently.  Now, every time I pick up a book - there he is!  I'm almost embarrassed to admit I'd never noticed it before.

Here's a few more books with CNR that I've found recently. It all goes to show: sometimes the hardest things to see are the ones right in front of you.

Vintage Style #22: Porn Fashion


It's become a cliched joke to claim you read Playboy for its articles; but, in all seriousness, the best place to find wicked wild 70s fashions are in vintage porn.  Sounds like a flimsy excuse, I know. But when you get a load of some of these magazine scans, you'll be a true believer.  There was something magical about the admixture of drugs, sluts, and alcohol.  The already unique 70s sensibility was taken to spectacularly awful (or awesome, depending on your tastes) extremes.

Check out a few clean (no nudity) examples of 70s porn fashion. But, please, dear God, do not send me a comment to notify me that a particular image is actually from 1982, and not a seventies image.  Just relax and enjoy the show.

8/15/11

Mini Skirt Monday #83: Hijacked in the 80s


What's your first thought when you see this picture? It's a simple piano lesson, but odds are you're thinking something along the lines of "Why is this whore getting a piano lesson?" or "Is this the beginning of a porno?"  Somewhere in the eighties, miniskirts became associated with loose women, and it's never quite rebounded.

When they first came on the scene in the 1960's, they were a symbol of freedom, of feminine liberation.  Sure it was sexy, but didn't mean trashy - it was a statement of youth and an end to false modesty.  It went out of favor by the middle of the decade, not because of negative connotations, but rather because of the natural capriciousness of fashion.  It merely evolved into the hotpants, an equally suggestive garment.

Not so in the 1980's.  The early eighties saw a rebirth of the mini.... but it was hijacked.  Somewhere along the way, the miniskirt became the uniform for hookers and tramps. Whether this was a media creation (if you wanted to depict a prostitute in a movie, you had her in a mini) or a result of the new conservatism of the Boomers is anybody's guess.  Whatever the case, the mini got a bad rap.

Cinema #21: The Top 5 Potentially Great Movies That Ended in Spectacular Failure

"Well begun is only half done." 
We've all seen them: movies that have you thinking this is the best thing you've ever seen.... and then crash and burn.  Some screw up at the bitter end, others start to fall apart with a full third of the movie left.  Either way, the film could have been awesome, if only they hadn't f***ed it up!

I've compiled a short list of movies that, in my opinion, are the ultimate examples of movies that started out strong, then turned to crap.  This being Retrospace, I tried not include anything made after the 80s.  And please, please, please let me know of your choices of movies that jumped the shark in the final chapters!

8/14/11

Mini Skirt Monday #82: French Maids


When talking about miniskirts, at some point you have to mention the iconic French Maid outfit.  Not only does it have the allure of the transcendental mini; but, it also has the connotation of "service" (i.e. the man is in control of this brand of mini).  Sure, it's a misogynistic thought, but it's also timeless. For instance, what was "I Dream of Jeannie" but a manifestation of this exact fantasy - a beautiful scantily clad woman at your beck and call.

Anyway, enough with the armchair psychology.  These are just articles of clothing we're talking about - not exactly weighty issues.  So, bring on the maids!

8/13/11

The Occult #9: Mixology


Okay, it wasn't exactly satanism, but astrology was all the rage in the seventies and late sixties. It may have annoyed logically minded folks like Carl Sagan (who was known to rail against astrology on occasion), but the "in crowd" was all over the zodiac.  "What's your sign?" has become a cliched joke; it's hard to believe it was once a legitimate pick up line.

8/12/11

Catalogs #13: That 60s Style


I'll always have a special place in my heart for 1970s fashion; however, I've got to give 60s fashion its props. More than any decade, 60s fashion broke with convention.  Drab colors and traditional styles quickly morphed into colors and novel concepts: namely the bikini and mod designs like the miniskirt.

But, this isn't a post on the history of sixties fashion; just a long overdue shout out to that Sixties Style.  Here's a couple more scans from the Spiegel catalog...

Retrospace Big Book #2: Movie Posters


If you're like me, you sometimes like to curl up with your Nook or tablet and just look at some pictures.  That's sort of my idea behind making some of these "books".  I'll actually be reading this one tonight: a collection of over 300 vintage movie posters. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope you get some enjoyment from it as well.

DOWNLOAD

8/11/11

Ads #42: Man Drinks


That's right, my bride. Butter my bread on the floor before me, while I sit on my throne chair in regal comfort. You may have a drink when the buttering is done.  Now toss me a salad...


Perfect.  Now, stare at me longingly while I read.  Ahhhh. It's good to be a man.

8/10/11

Twisted Impressions #10: Rockets


Sometimes, with these "twisted impressions", I wonder if it's just me that's seeing sexual imagery, and I'm just reading too much into it.  This is not one of those times.  The woman + rocket combo is a tried and true veteran of the phallic imagery hall of fame.

Why is this so? Why has the rocket so often been used as a symbol for the male sex organ? I think it;'s pretty plain: it simply looks like one.  Plus, the rocket represents power.  An uncanny resemblance to a dick, and an association with raw power - that's a 1-2 punch in the phallic imagery world.

The only thing that holds a candle to the rocket is the cannon.... and that will be covered in the next twisted impression post.

8/9/11

Fun with a Random Word Generator


I was sifting through some old trashy paperbacks and came across one title after another that seemed so odd and thrown together. I pictured the publishers having a cardboard box full of words written on bits of paper from which they would blindly grab and piece together to form the text on the cover.

"Look," one would exclaim. "I've got 'flesh' and 'orchid'.... how about 'The Flesh of the Orchid'?"

In addition to the titles, the blurbs also seem like vocabulary hash.  It got me thinking that maybe I could use a random word and phrase generator and come up with titles and blurbs of my own.  Check out the book at the top of this post: the title and blurb are 100 percent random! I used a random number generator to pick the book cover from my Flickr set.... and this is what I got. Fun!

This next one was originally called 'The Horse Is Dead'. Booooring. I think the random word generator is an improvement, don't you?  Sounds like an instant hipster classic.


The next book originally read "If you're a VERY special agent, you always give a little extra service to your victims... Seduce and Destroy".  Ugh. How lame.

I would by a freaking book called "The Carbon Rots Around a Miracle".  The title is intriguing - I want to open it and see what it's about.  Unfortunately, the random word generator could only give me "sack volunteers" as the blurb.  So, I improvised.


The next 'Passion and Death Lay in Wait for...The Sin Conspirators'.  The random 'Shock Worship' sounds better to me.... and "the wrath particle" sounds f*****g awesome.  I want to write a book just so I can call it "The Wrath Particle".

8/5/11

Vintage Reads #29: Mystery and Crime Cover Art


I could literally have a blog entirely devoted to these covers and not grow tired of it.  However, I could also have a blog entirely devoted to vintage needlework or album covers or mini skirts or magazine scans or..... er, you get the point. I can't have twenty different blogs - I've got to reign in my passion (some call it an obsessive compulsive disorder, but I like "passion" better).

Anyway, here's but the tip of the iceberg of great crime/mystery novel cover art.... complete with snarky comments of course. Enjoy.

8/2/11

The Occult #8


Why do you have a series of posts devoted to the occult, Gilligan? Are you a satan worshiper?

Nope. But if you study the psyche of the seventies - mainly the latter part of the sixties and early part of the seventies - you can't help but take note of the unusually high levels of occult interest among the public.  I've theorized before as to why this was true, but trying to track why certain things fall in and out of fashion is often an exercise in futility. Our collective consciousness is a complicated beast to pin down.

War may be to blame. There was a sharp rise in occult enthusiasm during WWI, and the seventies occultism coincides perfectly with Vietnam.  Perhaps it was a way for many to come to terms with mass casualties, often friends and family.  This theory sounds good on the surface, but it doesn't account for the times of war when there was no widespread interest in the occult.  For instance, WWII didn't bring about any such event. So what gives?

click to read the article

8/1/11

30 Years of MTV


It’s MTV’s thirtieth anniversary, so I felt the need to throw in my two cents on the channel since it was such a big part of my life, for better or for worse, in the 1980s. My family actually had MTV the day it premiered, and I distinctly remember my mother walking in while I was watching “I Know What Boys Like” by the Waitresses, and asking me, “What the hell is this?” …Which is funny because I find myself saying the same thing as I watch MTV today.

When it first started, there was plenty to like about it.

Music you wouldn’t have heard on the radio was able to reach suburbia. While the radio was playing The Little River Band, MTV was blowing our minds with Missing Persons and Adam Ant.

And let’s face it, popular music was in need of a change. Punk rock brief moment in the spotlight had just ended, and we were left with a lot of music that sounded like “The Lady in Red” by Chris De Burgh and “It Might Be You” by Stephen Bishop. As much as I liked Christopher Cross and “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder, it was time for a change…. and MTV provided us with just that.