Mark Frauenfelder at 3:45 pm Thu, Apr 28, 2011
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So, what…was the Dad going to beat the crap out of him if he didn’t take the laxative?!?
When I was small, my grandfather, annoyed at something I was doing in the yard, told me “Bwah, go cut me a switch.” So I turned off the porch light.
That was a whipin’.
Those stylin’ 70s threads from earlier today? Some of us are old enough to have worn those,…
Some of us are old enough to have survived the Age of Castoria, never mind the ’70s. Listen up, geo: That was MY age and I’m laughing harder than anyone else here. It isn’t smugness; it’s (uh-oh) relief.
No shit (uh-oh) Teh Fyootur Will Laugh At Us. Knowing that makes me, at least, less inclined to scold, if more inclined to mock.
all laxatives should be yummy
– i’m just sayin’
When I was a kid in the early seventies, our “reason” was a clothes brush shaped like a fish. We called it the “fish brush”.
It had a glass eye that would leave a welt on your butt.
At least it did until my brother took a screwdriver and pried that eye out.
I think this is a Freddy Rumsen.
A Veaudeville call “On purge BÃ©bÃ©” (Baby’s Laxative)
@guillaume_remy: Yes, there is a 1910 play by George Feydeau titled “On purge bÃ©bÃ©”, with an interesting entry on the French Wikipedia. Also, it is not “veaudeville”, but “vaudeville”, and people reading French and interested in etymology can read about the origin of the word at http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/VAUDEVILLE
PS : “veaudeville” pourrait-il Ãªtre un synonyme de “flic” ?! :-)
The pharmaceutical solution continues to be alive and well. It’s now called ADHD.
When my former wife and her sisters were moving from their childhood home there was a poignant moment while cleaning the hall closet. A red enema hose was pulled from a drawer; sisters looked one another in the eye, grimaced, and tossed it into the trash.
Castoria’s notoriety lives on! Nicolas Slonimsky, a Russian/American musician, conductor and lexigographer, composed a small musical “tribute” to Castoria – this clip includes more shots from their weird ads.
MOTHER: “Can you get that supersized, hon?”
The kiddie-laxative industry took a nose-dive in the 1950s, when General Mills and Kellogg’s were forced to stop putting Plaster of Paris into their breakfast cereals.
So… the kid needed a laxative and his father wanted to beat him to take it. Why not skip the middleman and just knock the crap out of him…?
OT: uh, when does the BB coverage of the royal wedding start? You are part of Der Media, right?
Too much Ched-o-bit? http://boingboing.net/2010/11/06/oddly-lovely-fake-ch.html
Speaking for myself, I find coverage of old laxative ads, horrible 1970s fashion, and birthers hiking ever deeper into crazy-land far more compelling than news of the royal wedding.
Man, what an odd thought process that just sent me through.
“WTF, why is daddy licking him and how does that make him listen to reason? Ooooh, good, not THAT kind of licking……..wait that’s not good either!!”
Ditto on the licking thing. It may be because my 2 year old is going through a licking phase. In my case it’s “Don’t let Sonny* lick me again”. My son doesn’t pussyfoot around with methods of germ transmission.
* – Name changed to protect the “innocent”.
Time for my obligatory bloody clown suit remark.
Oh, gee! Look how *quaint* and amusing the ideas of another era are. Aren’t they just delightfully backward? Isn’t is wonderful *WE* know better about everything and there is no way future generations could every mock us for things that we hold true.
Aside from the air of superiority and judgement (I thought that we weren’t supposed to judge other cultures (primitive or otherwise) — we’ve got this whole moral relativism thing going… except when we don’t agree with something), the fact remains that we are NOT omniscient and, due to this (or more specifically the ability to apply selective focus), there is a process for the acquiring and vetting of knowledge.
There was a time when it would have been valid to assert the Earth was indeed flat. All information we had access to pointed to that, and there wasn’t (yet) contradictory evidence. (Of course that went out the window (or down the well, to be more specific) a *LOOOOONG* time before it was generally accepted, but that’s another issue.)
tl:dr Smugly viewing the actions of another culture through our culture is immediately prejudicial, ignores context, and is folly/self-serving.
Your concern has been noted. It will be acted upon in the most appropriate manner.
<sound effect of toilet flushing>
Though your comment is a bit bombastic, I agree with it to a certain extent – especially I see it when folks refer to some movies or songs or works of art as “so bad it’s good” – basically I think most people are unable to describe their own experiences with art and culture without resorting to cliches and when cliches can’t be conjured up that’s when it all turns to insults and “making fun”
When I read the ad header in the vintage ad above, I immediately read it as it was originally meant. Though I’m sure most have read “licked” as in licked with the tongue – holier than thou, yes, but that’s just how we people are. Funny, lick can also be used in the sense of “licking” a problem or loosely as in “lickety split” – fascinating word, lick.
There was a time when it would have been valid to assert the Earth was indeed flat. All information we had access to pointed to that, and there wasn’t (yet) contradictory evidence.
No one who thought seriously about the matter ever thought the earth was flat. It’s pretty clearly round. That’s why there’s a horizon.
The “flat earth” idea was invented in the 19th century as a smug, self-serving dismissal of earlier cultures.
No one who thought seriously about the matter ever thought the earth was flat. It’s pretty clearly round. That’s why there’s a horizon
Not everyone lives in a flat place, and second, round doesn’t mean spherical. You can have flat and round, like a pizza dish.
Although the prevalence of Medieval belief in a flat earth has probably been overstated, it is not self evident that the earth is spherical. Passages in the bible, for instance, suggest a belief in a flat, but round earth.
Except, you know, Hecataeus, who made the earliest version of our world maps. That’s worth mentioning if you’re discussing the history of how we thought the world is shaped, right?
The ancient Egyptians believed the world was flat and surrounded by water.
In ancient India? The world was flat.
The old Norse? Flat.
Japanese, Chinese, Greeks? Flat, flat, flat.
Donâ€™t get your panties in a bunch: everyoneâ€™s been poking fun at everyone elseâ€™s everything since forever. Itâ€™s just a bit of fun â€” itâ€™s not waterboarding.
Funny, waterboarding was how my Dad got me to take my medicine.
Isn’t is wonderful *WE* know better about everything
In those instances where we actually do know better, then yes, it is wonderful.
and there is no way future generations could every mock us for things that we hold true.
Nobody even implied that. Things like this serve as reminders that we always have something to learn. Those stylin’ 70s threads from earlier today? Some of us are old enough to have worn those, and remember when they actually weren’t laughed at in public. Most of us with any sophistication and/or intellectual honesty are fully cognizant that a whole hell of a lot of our own currently respectable habits and practices will be seen as howlingly funny and/or appalling in just a few short years.
Just because we’re not too reverent toward the past does not imply that we’re overly reverent toward ourselves.
Somebody obviously didn’t take his Castoria.
Aw, don’t get yourself in a stew!
Shoving a brush handle in a boyâ€™s butt hardly helps alleviate constipation, and licking it even less so.
I’m actually pretty sure that future people will think I was pretty cool.
papa papa papa, do not lick me with that!
Yes, fathers shouldn’t lick their children, not even if they taste like delicious Fletchers Castoria…the SAFE laxative for children.
What about the child of 5… or 8… or 11?
This ad is a long-form â€œbarfâ€ certificate.
Seriously, maybe the kid wouldnâ€™t be constipated if his dad didnâ€™t threaten him all the time.
reading this post from headline to tag line is a walk through a fun house, distorting mirrors, monsters that look oddly like your parents (or is it their parents?) and a story line that could have, let’s face it, stood a second or third draft. Then, at the end, down a slide into a pool of WTF.
I never felt smug once the entire time.
My first introduction into the ad campaigns of Castoria was through the warped rendition of one of their radio jingles by pianist Nicholas Slonimsky.
the piece is wedged between two others of his on the WFMU site, definitely worth checking out for it’s sheer absurdity.
You can reason with your child all you want, describe the dangers of anti-biotic resistance and super-bugs, illustrate for them the importance of completing the full round of medicine on schedule, remind the child of the authority and wisdom of trusted family doctors, and the kid will STILL throw their hands over their mouth, gag, scream, kick, run away and hide. You can go on like this for HOURS and easily fall into an argument with your spouse about the best method of administering medicine without inducing physical or mental harm in the child whose health is in your hands. You might ask yourself in a dark moment, “Is there a point where it makes sense to *force* the child to drink the medicine?” And then, some loitering angel looks with pity upon this poor scene and whispers into the ear of the desperate mother, “Mix it in some chocolate milk!” Done and done! No licking required!
Whew, is it stuffy in here or is it just me?
Hey, at least Dad didn’t call it “taking out the garbage.”
You know what my Mom did to make me take medicine? She said, “You better take this right now, or I’ll give you double!” And it worked!
The fascination with laxatives one finds in old media (particularly American media) has always fascinated and horrified me in equal measures. Your child is being disobedient? Dose them with laxatives! Your child is being noisy? Dose them with laxatives! Your child won’t eat their vegetables? Dose them with laxatives! Your child is feeling ill? Dose them with laxatives! It’s almost Freudian in its grotesqueness.
One can see a kind of logic in prescribing psychiatric drugs like Ritalin for noisy, energetic kids (the ‘problem’ is in their personality so drugging their brains makes medical sense) but how the hell did bowel relaxants become the go-to solution for the same issues?
Well, the question is, are they feeding him laxatives as some kind of misguided way to deal with the kid’s misbehavior, or is the misbehavior the kid’s refusal to take the nasty-tasting laxative they want to give him that he actually needs for constipation or somesuch?
how the hell did bowel relaxants become the go-to solution for the same issues?
Mommy didn’t want to share her diet pills.
Mmmm….. diet pills. :P ;)