The Avocado visits some old magazines
November 18, 2017 11:24 AM   Subscribe

The Avocado, originally formed as a diaspora from the Onion AV Club comment section, has now become an excellent website in its own right. Recently they have been running retrospectives of old magazine issues and it is a fascinating and funny look into recent US history. posted by Frobenius Twist (21 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I should also mention that The Avocado is one of the few websites where reading the comments is actually a pleasant experience.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 11:49 AM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this! Yummy stuff (so to speak...)
posted by emmet at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2017


Is the site 100% Simpsons references?
posted by picea at 1:54 PM on November 18, 2017


Not meatballs but stuffing. Which might indeed be indistinguishable from a meatball but for the purposes of the dish is considered stuffing. Glad we and Women's Own have cleared that up.

Unless they are meatballs...
posted by fallingbadgers at 2:08 PM on November 18, 2017


I'm about two pages into the 1941 Liberty magazine, and I know how I'm spending my evening! Thank you for this.

(It is filling the hole in my heart Lileks no longer does.)
posted by kalimac at 2:43 PM on November 18, 2017 [5 favorites]


"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sex" advertised in Man's Magazine(1959) was written by Dr. Willy?!?
posted by stillmoving at 3:32 PM on November 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


Not meatballs but stuffing. Which might indeed be indistinguishable from a meatball but for the purposes of the dish is considered stuffing. Glad we and Women's Own have cleared that up.

Unless they are meatballs...


Are you referring to the meatballs served with the orange slices as a side to a pork roast? Because they sure do look like meatballs. Nice little discussion in the comments about why photographed food always looked so ghastly in the 50s and 60s.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:19 PM on November 18, 2017


Is the site 100% Simpsons references?

No, there’s some Futurama references in there.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:37 PM on November 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


someone, a very long time ago, decided that they wanted their reader's digests from 1943 to 1945 bound by a bookbinder in benton harbor, michigan, 6 months a book - a couple of weeks ago, i found four of the volumes in the salvation army store for a buck apiece

so far it's mostly about ww2 - there are "polite" racist and sexist references throughout that would be utterly unacceptable today, except for the references to the japanese, which aren't polite at all and are just plain vile

even back then people were complaining about big government and paranoia about socialist government was big ...

it's just total weirdness, even to a person who remembers the 60s (and the ozzie and harriet world that still existed) pretty well
posted by pyramid termite at 6:46 PM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]


They look like meatballs to me too, and I zoomed in to check. Also, I'm not sure why she calls the cod revolting, of all the food photos in the issue it was the one that looked closest to appetizing.
posted by tavella at 7:16 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is Rappin' Jake Sisko there? How about Flirty Cardassian Waitress?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:43 PM on November 18, 2017


Life magazine has some letters to the editor about the importance of spanking. One is from a dad who wrote he had to beat his 19 year old daughter's naked behind with a hairbrush and a belt because she stayed out late. Another was from a husband who claimed that when he was home on leave from the war he had to spank his wife because she wanted to wear too-short shorts to the movies. It's possible these were just fantasys that slipped past the editor but if not...yowsa! Makes you wonder how that marriage turned out. Also why on earth would Life print such a thing? Either it's a sexual fantasy or a man is beating his wife-- neither one seems particularly wholesome for such a widely circulated magazine.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:50 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


I actually spent 1/2 hour yesterday reading an October 1940 LIFE magazine in google-something. I got into it for the navy article, but totally enjoyed the ads, other features, etc.
posted by mikelieman at 9:34 PM on November 18, 2017


Spanking wives and daughters was considered good clean fun by Hollywood and the rest of American popular culture well into the 60s.

From the Jezebel article:
the idea of spanking a woman was so popular that some studios would release publicity photos of spankings even when no such activity occurred in the movie—even when the characters barely interacted. When the spanking did occur, it frequently appeared on ads.
posted by tavella at 9:37 PM on November 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh, this is so up my alley. Hello, rabbit hole!

I just love the dress the Queen is wearing in the picture on the letters page of Women's Own. I would wear that today.

I collect teen magazines from the 1970s & 1980s. Slightly more recent vintage than these, but I think it's interesting to go back and read them with the benefit of hindsight.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:04 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


Spanking wives and daughters was considered good clean fun by Hollywood and the rest of American popular culture well into the 60s.

I don't watch a ton of old movies, so I had no idea that spanking-as-titillation was so common. Wow. What I have noticed in both old movies and in fiction of the time (it feels like this is in pretty much every old detective noir book I've read) is the moment when the man slaps a hysterical woman across the face, and then she says "Thank you, I needed that."

Just like the spanking scenes, that dick-joke cigarette ad in the 1962 Look magazine is incredibly blatant.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:24 AM on November 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Can we talk about how the AV Club's new site is utterly unusable? It almost feels like an attempt to kill the publication altogether.
posted by schmod at 6:36 AM on November 19, 2017 [5 favorites]


Part of the reason The Avocado is doing so well is exactly because the AV Club is essentially dead (Kinja is horrible & overrun with alt-right trolls; all of the good writers have left the AV Club [well ok Vishnevetsky is a really good writer, but apart from him...] and it's now a cesspool of idiotic clickbait). So, all of the smart people who used to comment at The AV Club (and there were a lot of clever people there) said "fuck it" and went off and made a better community.

I just this past week removed The AV Club from my bookmarks and rss feeds - I'd been hanging on to it out of nostalgia, but after the 15th article about whether or not Lena Dunham is a good person, I bailed.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 6:47 AM on November 19, 2017 [6 favorites]


Anyhow, my point is that The Avocado is a really excellent online community, with healthy moderation and website rules (no bigotry or trolling) that makes it a very pleasant place to spend time.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 6:51 AM on November 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


The Campbell Soup ad in the 1962 Look made me wish they still made Cream of Vegetable soup, the best of the "Cream" series. I don't remember exactly when they discontinued it, but they replaced it with Cream of Celery. 😝
posted by fiercekitten at 12:19 PM on November 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


You can get all of Life, and about 30 years of New York Magazine, on Google Books. Get a Google Books downloader and a tablet and commuting joy is all yours. That and the magazines on OpenLibrary please me greatly. I really wish that someone will upload old issues of Sassy one day.

I use The AV Club for reading discussion on shows that nobody I know in real life is watching, so it was quite sad to see the results of the change before the recent season of Halt and Catch Fire. For period drama, I find reading comments from people who are better versed in the era/setting really useful, and Kinja seemed to have killed off the commenting community. Which is really annoying as the last few episodes have left me emotionally drained, still. I needed to process, goddamnit!
posted by mippy at 1:14 PM on November 20, 2017


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