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True Adventures in Better Homes
April 16, 2012 9:37 AM   Subscribe

True Adventures in Better Homes - Here is a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens. These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.
posted by Artw (44 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
you beat me to it!
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on April 16, 2012


I had to smash a tigers brains out with a brick on the tan leather sofa, but I got there.
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why is it that the first thing I thought of was that website that critiques home decor in amateur porn?

Because that is totally a thing that exists. Right?

Also, there is some weird-ass perspective going on. Is this a child's bed or something? Or is the foot of the bed facing the nightstand and there's an inexplicable roll of cloth going down the side?
posted by griphus at 9:41 AM on April 16, 2012


what would be Lurid Digs griph (NSFW, Gay Porn, Horrifying Window Into Other People's Lives)
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 AM on April 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


It is a bed constructed by a cruel race of midgets. Also she is 50 foot tall.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on April 16, 2012


It was for gay porn? That brings up more questions than it answers.
posted by griphus at 9:48 AM on April 16, 2012


Well, sure the neighborhood is overrun by predatory cats, lesser apes, deranged mariners, and venomous snakes; but at least the right sort of people live here, if you get my meaning.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:48 AM on April 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Man I wish this related post still had an active link...
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on April 16, 2012


See also: Martha Rosler, "Bringing the War Home" (1967-72)
posted by neroli at 9:52 AM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Weasels ripped my upholstery!

Rzzzzzz!
 
posted by Herodios at 9:53 AM on April 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Great concept, bad execution, comic sans-using website.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:53 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Magazines full of women getting mauled by animals... this was a thing? O_o
posted by xedrik at 9:57 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, sure the neighborhood is overrun by predatory cats, lesser apes, deranged mariners, and venomous snakes; but at least the right sort of people live here, if you get my meaning.

You know, almost despite yourself, you raise an interesting question. These are clearly white men's mags. Were there, in those waning days of segregation, similar magazines targeted at black men?

I know there was a "black confessions" subgenre providing the usual prurience under the guise of "learn from my bitter experience and avoid my shame" morals, except targeted at black women. They were basically identical to the confessions magazines white women read except for the artwork. Indeed I wouldn't be at all surprised if a lot of the same writers sold to whichever would take their stuff because there was seldom anything racially specific about the stories themselves.

So was there ever a set of adventure magazines for black men, or did that just not happen? If black men were also interested in this stuff, as black women apparently were also interested in the confessions magazines, surely someone would have sprung up to fill that niche.

(See modern "Christian product X," just like the regular kind, except somehow Christian.)
posted by Naberius at 9:58 AM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love this, thanks Artw.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:02 AM on April 16, 2012


You could also tap into a current blending of similar (ref: "men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens") and get a subscription to Garden & Gun magazine.
posted by jkrobin at 10:08 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


So was there ever a set of adventure magazines for black men, or did that just not happen?

Check this out:
"H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan toyed with the idea of starting a Negro pulp in the 1920s before founding Black Mask, but decided that there was not enough moeny in the black community to support one."
If you look at the History of Black Mask, it was set up as a cash source for a literary magazine that operated at a loss. So, the question is less "is there an audience" and more "does the audience have enough disposable income to turn a profit on this."

(Sidenote: if you're trying to research this topic, "black" and "pulp" will get you nowhere as "black" was a word in the title of like every third pulp magazine, and also not a commonly used term for African-Americans until the ...70s? "Negro pulp" will probably yield better results from that era.)
posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


("Turn a profit" as in both keep the pulp profitable and, if the situation is like that at Black Mask, make enough profit to keep something else afloat.)
posted by griphus at 10:11 AM on April 16, 2012


Metafilter: almost despite yourself, you raise an interesting question.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:12 AM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Artw, from farther down in the thread on the deleted Homes and Gardens visits Hitler thread.

It's back!

Damn, we're having quite the lovefest here, aren't we?
posted by Naberius at 10:13 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know - I used to have dreams like this when I was a child - a recurring nightmare where soliders (sometimes people, sometime an army of bigfoot's, sometimes just faceless things) - attacking my home and neighbourhood. Our family would escape the house - and in the process of running, the full extent of how badly things had fallen apart would be made to clear to me. There was turning back to our old lives.

What did the dream mean? I dunno really - but I woke up usually in a panic. The idea of violence invading and destroying our seemingly placid lives is - I am guessing - is not an uncommon one. And this being the 20 year anniversary of the start of fighting in Serajavo (and all the conflicts in the Middle East and Africa) - this stuff really feels timely to me right now.
posted by helmutdog at 10:16 AM on April 16, 2012


FINALLY, something close to black pulp is the novels of George Schuyler who (among many other things) wrote socially-conscious, black-experience-oriented science-fiction. Black Empire is a science fiction satire of Marcus Garvey's Back-to-Africa plan. It's not straight men's adventure magazine faire, but American science fiction from that era came in practically in the one flavor of pulp.
posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn, we're having quite the lovefest here, aren't we?

Allow me to grump all over it then, as I found this neither particularly interesting nor competently executed. It's the laziest thing in the world to take some decades old "found art", mash it together and provide some psychobabble about uncovering the psyche of Eisenhouwer America. It would've been nice if the artist hadn't done a Lichtenstein and credited the original creators.

I had the same problem at the found footage exhibition at the new Amsterdam film museum, which also had none of the original movie makers credited.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:19 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know - I used to have dreams like this when I was a child - a recurring nightmare where soliders (sometimes people, sometime an army of bigfoot's, sometimes just faceless things) - attacking my home and neighbourhood. Our family would escape the house - and in the process of running, the full extent of how badly things had fallen apart would be made to clear to me. There was turning back to our old lives.

That sounds an awful lot like An American Werewolf in London.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on April 16, 2012


The women in my family when I was a child read 1.) True Confessions, 2.) National Enquirer, and 3.) The Reader's Digest. Their books were Harlequin Romances. At least they read. The men in my family did not ever read anything. It's kind of an accident I got out of the neighborhood, actually.
posted by bukvich at 10:23 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to pore over the catelogs for Argos and Maplin for hours...
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on April 16, 2012


I love the juxtaposition of the woman being attacked by small primates in front of a tray holding an Edam cheese with the top scooped out. I don't know why you never see those little cannonball Edams in the States anymore (I mean, you see Mimolettes in the same shape, but to scoop out the center of a Mimolette would take a fair bit of, say, C-4), but judging by their prevalence in the 20th century cookbooks and cheese guides I've read, scooping out their guts and combining it with ill-advised ingredients (like shrimp) seemingly used to be a major thing.
posted by jocelmeow at 11:26 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This makes me think of the fabulous, giant-sized photograph of runners that covers the wall in Ally Sheedy's loft in St. Elmo's Fire. Somebody should start printing those pulp covers as wall decals.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2012


scooping out their guts and combining it with ill-advised ingredients (like shrimp) seemingly used to be a major thing.

The horror. You'd be better off taking your chances with the baboons and octopi.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: what would be Lurid Digs griph (NSFW, Gay Porn, Horrifying Window Into Other People's Lives)

That was extremely surprising for Monday afternoon:)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:45 AM on April 16, 2012


>Because that is totally a thing that exists. Right?<

Rule 34
posted by twidget at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2012


a collection of classic 'sweats' covers (NSFW) from The Art of Manliness, including:

Weasels ripped my flesh
Flying rodents ripped my flesh
Mad Monkeys ripped my flesh
Giant Turtles ripped my flesh
Alligators ripped my flesh
Giant Otters ripped my flesh
Sea Snakes ripped my flesh
Cannibal crabs ripped my flesh and
Nazi dominatrices ripped my flesh

More on the sweats: Mens Pulp Mags Blog (even more NSFW).
 
posted by Herodios at 12:40 PM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


what would be Lurid Digs griph (NSFW, Gay Porn, Horrifying Window Into Other People's Lives)

I love that The Whelk was able to remember this and post the link only three minutes after griphus' query. It's like he had it bookmarked.
posted by desjardins at 12:45 PM on April 16, 2012


You never forget the blogs you're featured in.
posted by griphus at 12:59 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to work for Fleshbot and I have a very good memory.
posted by The Whelk at 1:07 PM on April 16, 2012


I would love to see fiction based on this premise. Stories of manly adventure entirely set in 1960s ranch homes.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:19 PM on April 16, 2012


Stories of manly adventure entirely set in 1960s ranch homes.

The Coen Brothers called and they want their visually stunning, lovingly period-accurate and critically acclaimed (yet somewhat disjointed and hollow) movie back.
posted by griphus at 1:25 PM on April 16, 2012


(...wait now I am confused as to whether I was talking about The Man Who Wasn't There or A Serious Man.)
posted by griphus at 1:25 PM on April 16, 2012


/puts on a brass helmeted diving suit, goes out to stab a credenza with a spear.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on April 16, 2012


In Every Dream Home A Heartache
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:54 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


/puts on a brass helmeted diving suit, goes out to stab a credenza with a spear.

Sorry, son- looks like you're about two over the limit there. Can I see your license?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:55 PM on April 16, 2012


I love that The Whelk was able to remember this and post the link only three minutes after griphus' query. It's like he had it bookmarked.

My bet is that he was trying to search for something unrelated in Google Images, like "1950s comics", and the Lurid Digs link popped up like magic. Because, seriously, if safe search is off, you can be Googling for something like "stochastic differential equations" and you'll still get a couple of porn pictures coming up in the results.
posted by crapmatic at 1:56 PM on April 16, 2012


There's a wonderful scene in American Dad (America's #1 underrated television product) wherein Steve is doing research online for a paper about fossils and narrating the action to himself:

"Now to just type 'fossils' into the search engine. And now to just separate the fossil sites from the porn sites: 'Tyrannosaurus': fossil, 'Babe-a-sore-ass': porn, 'A Symposium on the Pangea Theory of the Permian Extinction...' Wow, that is some nasty porn!"
posted by griphus at 2:04 PM on April 16, 2012


I am glad someone posted the Rosler--for some reason, the implications of that work in a political and social context were unknown and under rated until a couple of years ago, when there as a boom-let of feminist art history--with the WACK show in LA and the center in Brooklyn. I am glad that the reestablishing of her as a major voice continues apace.
posted by PinkMoose at 2:53 PM on April 16, 2012


stochastic differential equations

This kind of deviancy should not be allowed on mefi.
posted by desjardins at 3:59 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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