Sunday: Hili dialogue

May 27, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, May 27, 2018, and it’s National Italian Beef Day, a sandwich made famous by Chicago and made properly only in Chicago. It’s also the start of National Reconciliation Week in Australia, a celebration of aboriginal rights and their long-term neglect.

I haven’t yet done the daily Duck Count and Feeding, but I have to say that my first visit to the pond each day is always fraught with anxiety. Yesterday, thanks to kind reader Linda Calhoun, who found them, I ordered $35 worth of floating “starter duck pellets”. This morning I go on another shopping trip to buy corn, shredded wheat, and oatmeal. (The ducks eat better than I do!)

On this day in 1703, Peter the Great founded the city of Saint Petersburg. On May 27, 1927, the Ford Motor Company made its last model T, preparing to make its successor, the Ford Model A. On this day in 1933, the Walt Disney company released its cartoon Three Little Pigs, considered the most successful animated short ever made. It was helped by its hit song, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”  Here it is! The song starts at 1:55:

On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened—first to pedestrian traffic only—connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California.  Exactly three decades later, Australians passed a constitutional referendum giving the government power to make laws ameliorating the plight of indigenous Australians, who before that weren’t even counted in the census. (See “National Reconciliation Week” above.) Finally, exactly two years ago, Barack Obama became the first US President to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and meet survivors of the American A-bombing of that city.

Notables born on this day include Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794) and Amelia Bloomer (1818), best known for giving her name to the ladies’ garment (the first widespread attempt of women to wear pants), but in reality a well known journalist and feminist activist. About those bloomers, shown below, Wikipedia says this:

In 1851, New England temperance activist Elizabeth Smith Miller (aka Libby Miller) adopted what she considered a more rational costume: loose trousers gathered at the ankles, like women’s trousers worn in the Middle East and Central Asia, topped by a short dress or skirt and vest. The costume was worn publicly by actress Fanny Kemble. Miller displayed her new clothing to Stanton, her cousin, who found it sensible and becoming, and adopted it immediately. In this garb Stanton visited Bloomer, who began to wear the costume and promote it enthusiastically in her magazine. Articles on the clothing trend were picked up in The New York Tribune. More women wore the fashion which was promptly dubbed The Bloomer Costume or “Bloomers“. However, the Bloomers were subjected to ceaseless ridicule in the press and harassment on the street. Bloomer herself dropped the fashion in 1859, saying that a new invention, the crinoline, was a sufficient reform that she could return to conventional dress.


Others born on this day include Julia Ward Howe (1819), Wild Bill Hickok (1837), painter Georges Rouault (1871), Dashiell Hammett (1894), Rachel Carson (1907), John Cheever (1912), Sam Snead (1912), Henry Kissinger (1923), and Ramsey Lewis (1935).  Kissinger is 95 today, and outlived his nemesis Christopher Hitchens, who once said one of the worst things that could happen to him (Hitchens) was to die before Kissinger. He did.

Those who died on May 27 include Niccolò Paganini (1782), Robert Koch (1910; Nobel Laureate), Robert Ripley (1949), Jawaharlal Nehru (1964), Gil Scott-Heron (2011), and, just last year, Gregg Allman (2017).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is acting like royalty again:

Hili: In principle we understand each other without words.
A: I’m glad.
Hili: But you could try harder.
In Polish:
Hili: W zasadzie rozumiemy się bez słów.
Ja: Cieszę się.
Hili: Ale czasem mógłbyś się lepiej starać. ​

Out in Winnipeg, Gus, briefly untended, got into the catnip plant, winding up completely baked!




Matthew sent a bunch of tweets. Here’s an example of scientific inflation.

If you didn’t believe the photo I put up the other day of goats grazing on the side of a dam, standing on tiny bits of protruding wall, have a look at this:

Why did this cat make such a big leap? Have a look:

A banana eel:

One would think this would hurt the bobcats, but they seem to climb cactuses frequently:

And an optical illusion:

28 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. The sad announcement of the death of Apollo and Skylab astronaut, artist, and 4th man on the moon Alan Bean, 86, was made last night. I have lived my entire life in a post-moon landing era. I’ve never known a time before these heroes and the find it incredibly sad to see them finish their “final missions”.

  2. “I haven’t yet done the daily Duck Count and Feeding, but I have to say that my first visit to the pond each day is always fraught with anxiety.”

    I hear you.

    I have always said that the hardest part of my day is in the morning when I first go out to the barn, because I never know what I’m going to find. It’s a relief after I’ve done the first headcount and “running my eye over the herd” to check for problems. After I’ve fed and I know that everybody is eating and happy, I’m happier, too.

    It’s probably even worse for you, Jerry, since at least if I find a problem, most times I know what to do about it, whereas you are flying blind, and also less able to intervene with wild animals than I am with livestock.

    I hope the pellets make them happy and keep them healthy and growing.


  3. I had fun looking at the Three Little Pigs cartoon, but am I wrong? When the Big Bad Wolf is trying to get into the brick house by disguising himself as the Fuller Brush Man, does he look like the anti-semitic Jewish stereotype? This reminds me of other horrible anti-semitic Jewish cartoons we see these days. The Nazis portrayed this stereotype, and I do believe we see them nowadays in Islamic countries.

    Oh my, and I’m old enough to remember the Fuller Brush Man. We all has our hairbrushes from the Fuller Brush man. And I got my vacuum cleaners from the Vacuum Cleaner Door-to-door salesmen. And magazine subscriptions…

    Other than Girl Scouts selling cookies I don’t see door-to-door saleapeople any more.

    1. Wow. I’d never seen that version and good grief that’s anti-Semitic as hell. As a kid, that would have gone over my head (as would the Fuller brush man reference) and I imagine it would have for a lot of kids, so I wonder, was that just put in for the adults to have a laugh? Cartoonists seem to enjoy doing stuff like that, sneaking things past kids for the adult audience that only when looking back now I see and think “wow, what the hell were they thinking?!”

  4. At 5:45 in the “Silly Symphonies Three Little Pigs” video, the wolf is a grotesque caricature of a Jewish peddler.

    According to online sources, the Hayes office insisted that portrayal be changed when it was reissued in the 40s. The version above features the revised audio, but it shows the original animation.

    1. Okay, I did some Googling. I gather the version we see here has the Jewish peddler image but is coupled with the later sound revision in which the Yiddish accent and way of speaking is eliminated.

      And I found a reference to an image of the Jewish wolf with sidelocks and yarmulke (yes, this wolf has a cap, but it seems to have some sort of brim) and a peddler’s pack. I don’t have time now to go hunting for that image.

      And no, it wasn’t my imagination. Disney used an ugly anti-semitic image for children to see and learn from.

      And there are also plenty of racist portrayals of Black people that little kiddies of my generation saw and were taught to take for granted. Little Black Sambo was part of my early childhood.

      1. Thought I’d posted this, but it vanished before transmission. It was shocking to see this image and to read your account of its history in the film, despite the fact that I was well aware of racism in Disney films, so shouldn’t have been surprised. This is probably the reason that you weren’t able to find the other image with the yarmulke and sidelocks: “Disney would not allow a screenshot of the original animation of the wolf as Jewish peddler to appear in the print edition of English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States.[ref] Giroux provides more background on the way Disney has limited access to its archives and use of materials in academic publications for those scholars and academics whose work conflicts with the image they want to project. This may well be within their legal rights, but in the end it amounts to limiting and censoring discourse.” Thick round glasses, along with the facial features, another anti-Semitic trope.

        In the context of the cartoon, that scene makes me think of the Jewish taboo against pork; but perhaps I’m over-interpreting things. After seeing this, and knowing that Walt Disney was an anti-Semite, it’s unsettling to find that there are Disney themed yarmulkes.

  5. The Model T was made for nearly 20 years and was considered the most influential car of the 20th century. Many things about the car would be considered a mystery today such as the lack of brakes, a three speed transmission (that included reverse) or the magneto. My grandfather made a living for several years working on model Ts, first at a ford dealer and then his own shop. I never drove one myself but remember a lot of rural postmen had a model T to deliver the mail when I was a kid. It would go through the mud on those rainy days when nothing else would.

      1. Yes, I believe they started out with a water pump and then found a way to remove that as well. Most of the early tractors I was familiar with had a gravity fuel system. If you look under the gas tank on an old Allis Chalmers tractor such as a WC or WD there is a glass ball and a shut off just before the glass ball. That allows for taking the ball off to dump any stuff that gets into the fuel. No actual fuel filter. From there it is just a small metal line to the carburator. Simpler days…

      1. Yes, I should have said brakes as we know them today. Some of the early model T owners would just holler whoa. Fortunately the model T did not make much speed.

        1. “Some of the early model T owners would just holler whoa.” Did they expect that the autos would respond like a trained horse?

          1. Many of those folks had horses for sure, especially on the farms. Parking that first car in the barn…old habits are hard to break.

  6. Two-hundred years from the bloomer to the thong — let’s see Pinker’s critics refute that kinda inexorable march of mankind’s progress.

  7. … the worst things that could happen to him (Hitchens) was to die before Kissinger. He did.

    Feels like the Sheriff of Nottingham outliving Robin Hood.

  8. Whenever someone mentioned “The Three Little Pigs,” I can’t help but think of Walt Disney’s comment after making a very unsuccessful sequel: “You can’t top pigs with pigs.” The company that still bearss his name would do well to reflect on that, what with the endless seqeuls and remakes they churn out now.

  9. Because the melody of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” is copyrighted, public performances of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” have to use the melody of “Here We go Round the Mulberry Bush”.

    The Big Bad Wolf was heavily based on massively unpopular theatre director Jed Harris, also the main model for Laurence Olivier’s performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III.

  10. Dear Jerry

    Is it ok for me to use this article on my Facebook page regarding the English teacher?

    Thank you

    Joseph Carrion

Leave a Reply