Archive for the 'History' Category

Perversion for Profit

This is an anti-pornography film from 1965 which links the “flood tide of filth” to the decline of western civilization. Excellent and hilarious, with commentary as salacious as it is zealous.  My favorite moment is at minute 3 when the camera shows a shot of a model reclining in a barnyard, then tilts up to a goat that happens to be tethered in the background. The announcer solemnly pronounces, “And this one, with its overtones of bestiality.”

World’s Ten Oldest Jokes

From UKTV:

Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap (1900 BC – 1600 BC Sumerian Proverb Collection 1.12-1.13

(via Cynical-C)

Hitler’s Taste in Art

Führer-approved sheep (painting by Ferdinand Schmalzigang)

We all know Hitler was an aspiring painter in his youth before he went on to found the Third Reich (which in itself was a demented artistic creation). Once in power, he planned on establishing a Führermuseum in his hometown of Linz, Austria, where he had assembled 4,731 pieces of art, ranging from painting, to tapestry, to sculpture.

The Führer’s taste ran to bucolic idylls and precious German Romanticism, in particular 19th century painters from Vienna and Munich. He ignored, famously, “degenerate” art by realistic or socially biting artists — among them the mightiest names of the 20th century — but he managed to assemble a large and not insignificant private collection.

That leaves out personal favorites like Otto Dix and George Grosz. I guess, according to Adolf, I have degenerate taste in art.

In the aftermath of the war the works of art were scattered across Europe.

After sifting through 50,000 photos taken by the Allies, and re-establishing details like authorship, the Deutches Historisches Museum now has the entire collection online.

Link to the database at the DHM. Getting into it is a bit tricky. First click on “zur Datenbank” then click on “OK” in the field right under “Volltextsuche über alle Felder”.

(via Der Spiegel)

60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift


1949 British propaganda film about the Berlin Airlift

Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Berlin Airlift. In June 1948 the Soviet regime blockaded the three western sectors of West Berlin, cutting off all food and logistical supplies. It was an overt effort to push the Allied powers out of Berlin, which lay in the heart of the DDR, communist East Germany.

On June 28, 1948, the British and the Americans began airlifting food and supplies to 2 million West Berliners. Originally decried as a “futile attempt to save face” by the Soviets, and a “lost cause” by the French, the airlift soon became a resounding success. Thousands of tons of supplies were flown in on planes which landed and took off every few minutes. After a year the Soviet regime backed down, and re-opened supply routes to West Berlin.