The Wild, Wacky and Weird Side
Tips and bits of our oddball humanism
By: J. Marlando
There’s just no doubt about it, we people are…well, wild, wacky and very weird. For just one example we had one of those Bible-thumbing persons in our neighborhood when I was a child and one thing she did whenever I (or anyone else) passed by her yard is call out some Bible quote. Sometimes when my grandmother and I would walk by her yard she’d call out something like, Remember, the wisdom of the Lord, spare the rod and spoil the child which never gave me feelings of comfort. Another quote she’d toss out was “the word” that told us that “the Lord helps him, who helps himself.” My grandmother always liked that one!
The problem was, however, our neighbor lady probably never read the Bible all the way through just as most other “thumpers” haven’t actually read it either. Neither of those “words of wisdom” came from the bible. Spare the rod and spoil the child came directly from Samuel Butler in the 1600s and as far as far as the good Lord helping those who help themselves…that old “religious” axiom most probably comes from Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller.
I’ll always remember old, Mrs. Johnson. Sometimes on our way to the store Nanny (my grandma) would stop for a quick chat with the woman who always looked as if she was sucking lemons when she spoke
The Seventh Day Adventist Church was founded by Ellen White who had a vision sent by God that told her that “masturbation would turn a man into a cripple and an imbecile.” (This was of course before the advent of political correctness. These days God would say, “…turns a man into the physically challenged and exceptional.
It was the Catholic or, as it were, the Church of Rome who began Western rejection of our human sexuality. Indeed while most other cultures were enjoying the pleasures of sex, the church fathers were instilling guilt and shame in their followers which eventually expanded around the world. One belief of at least one religious sect at the time was that women head to foot and men from the waist down were created by the devil.
So weird we have become as a people, the righteous-right-winger John Ashcroft
Is that a hang up or is that a hang up?
Don’t grin—Maria Conneran and her family create an extremely artistic snow-woman in their yard—a replica of the famous statue of Venus de Milo—she was ordered to cover her up by the New Jersey police. Evidently neighbors had complained.
Can you imagine a mind so absurdly twisted that they project pornography on the bare breasts of a statue or onto a nude snow woman fashioned to look like one of the world’s artistic masterpieces? Here's a before and after picture:
Finally the doctor asked him, “is that all you think about…sex?”
And the patient said, “Not me doc, you’re the one with all the dirty pictures.”
This article is meant to stir the mind based on actual human thought and action. As all sardonic observation should, it may offend some people.
Part One: Some Weird Stuff
A Peek at Breasts in History
I can remember when I was only eleven or twelve years old sitting on a bus across from a young woman openly breast feeding her infant. I overheard some people in front of me—a man and woman—talking saying “the woman” ought be thrown off the bus or…put in jail. I thought that there was something wonderful about it but we live in a society in which some people actually want laws again public breast feeding as if there is something nasty or evil about it
Incidentally, the first bra-like-gadget didn’t come along until 1913 when a woman by the name of Careese Crosby—a socialite—bought a beautiful gown to wear to a social ball. The problem was that her corset protruded the dress and ruined its attractiveness. So the woman, along with her maid, made a devise out of two handkerchiefs, some baby ribbon and string.
So many of Caresses’ socialite friends wanted samples of the brassier that she patented it and began selling them. Eventually she sold out to Warner Brothers Corset Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Even with the innovation and with improvements of the innovation there was no bras even by 1943 that really did “the trick” for well-endowed ladies like Jane Russel
As a result Howard decided if he could design airplanes, why not a bra for his leading lady. He gave it a shot, Jane pretended to wear it but didn’t. Not quite even though Miss Russel said Howard was, as usual, way ahead of his time. His bra was seamless and there were no seamless bras at the time. She managed to use tissue to keep her own bra from showing and no one was the wiser.
Returning to the subject of breast feeding, from ancient times even into the early 19th centuries a great many mothers “farmed out” their babies to be breast fed by those women that came to be known as “wet nurses.”
Indeed, many mothers used wet nurses even into the early 1900s even after pasteurized milk was available. Especially in France but in other lands as well animals replaced human wet nurses and babies suckled right from the goat
Some Gruesome Stuff Mixed In
The good hearts and gentle people of nearly every place on the planet have always gathered to have a good time during a good, old execution.
I believe that anyone with common sense and decency would be appalled at a stoning in our day and age but they still draw crowds like flies to dung regardless of what Jesus said about throwing that first stone.
Historically executions have always drawn fun-loving crowd. In the U.S. some hangings prompted visitors to bring their picnic baskets for the main event. Indeed, in the 1600’s a criminal was to be hanged and the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania reported that too many people showed up to make “the affair enjoyable.” Well, here’s a shot of America’s last legal hanging in 1936 and just take a gander at the crowd.
The church used to have heretics burned alive which was also a big crowd pleaser. Again in the 1600s, 20,000 people clad in their Sunday best gathered to watch 20 people burn to death. European justice however remained concerned over hanging women. Not because the act was so cruel but because of the nature of dresses the poor dears were apt to show too much of their legs or even more. Because of this, the conscientious and moral court burned them to death.
And thinking about all this legalized sadism, torture has always been a human endeavor. Most humans approve of it as a “procedure.” During the years of the Inquisition, King Edward II
Sometime between 1224 and 1227, Pope Clement the V
In this same view, the Puritans who came to America for their own freedom of religion, used to burn holes in the tongues of people that didn’t except their weird beliefs and/or they put them in stocks
The Puritans were an ignorant lot, however—dumb as nails really but with a cruel streak. A group of them actually started the Indian wars by sneaking through the darkness of night into an Indian village where men, women and children were asleep and murdered them all. All in the name of righteousness of course!
Speaking of weird: In the Bible (1 Samuel, 18:24-27) King Saul doesn’t quite trust David to marry his daughter. So he told the young David that the price for his daughter’s hand was the foreskins of a hundred dead Philistines; a task he thought impossible to accomplish. David accomplished the task hands down however and was able to wed his love.
And talking about nut cases and crazies—there have been cults suffering flagellation (the practice of self-punishment especially for religious purposes). Members of these very weird groups either volunteer to be beaten or whip themselves
How weird are we people? What about suicide bombers. Here’s my favorite photo of one:
With the above in mind we have weirdoes who believe blowing self and others up is a way of pleasing God and assuring a room in the big no-tell-motel
As a quick aside, in Islamic society, for example, heavenly paradise offers the act of deflowering a lady each night with their virginity being restored the next morning. Does God work in strange ways or what?
I will digress for a moment: The horrifying pain and suffering that goes on in the meat and fowl industries is too horrifying to describe; animal cruelty prevails throughout our so-called civilized world to a disgraceful and shameful extent in the name of market-demands and profit. And, the cruelty doesn’t stop with animals and fowl but continues into the sea. The
[Note: These photographs are mild compared to those from slaughter houses]
murder of countless dolphins
We are indeed a weird and weirder species. Indeed, ever since the advent of so-called civilization we have constantly been at war with each other—how wacko is that for a species that claims to be both thinking and feeling?
I could go on with this gruesome stuff but let’s head into the Wild.
Part Two: Some Wild Stuff
We humans do some pretty wild and dangerous stuff. One of America’s greatest proofs of this was Evel Knievel
During his career he attempted 75 daring and wild ramp to ramp motorcycle jumps including jumping over Snake River Canyon from the spot seen here
This didn’t slow him down either. After his Snake River Canyon jump in Twin Falls, Idaho he was off to England to attempt jumping over 13 buses in from of 90,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium
And speaking of daredevils, Jennadean Engleman was born not too far from my home town in Colorado Springs, Colorado in Cannon City, Colorado. Cannon City back at the turn of the century was little more than a wide place in the road with a few farms. Nevertheless, her parents were not farmers but unexpectedly vaudeville performers. Jennadean stage name became Bird Millman O’Day
There are countless unsung daring heroes, however. My dad, Freeman, was one of them. As a coal miner he faced danger every day of the twenty-five years that he worked in the mines. I remember so many times that he left the house to rescue other miners after cave-ins,
Talking about a wild life—there is nothing wilder or more dangerous than the commercial fisherman experiences. Indeed, there are 129 deaths per 100,000 people employed in the industry and 61 in injuries per 100,000 according to the 2008 statistics. And storms
How about the daring people who work building on high rise building AKA skyscrapers? How would you like to be having lunch with this crew?
Speaking of height, rock and mountain climbing has always been a wild and daring challenge. I suspect it in, as said, some people’s blood. My mom climbed this romantic stone in the Garden of the God
How about daring gals?
On October 14 back in 1901 a barrel was shoved over the side of a boat. It was Ann Taylor’s 63rd birthday and Ann had climbed into the barrel. One of her companions in the boat screwed down the lid and pumped some air inside using a bicycle tire pump. At that juncture, the lady was ready to risk her life on the wildest ride she could imagine—she was going over Niagara Falls…yes, in this barrel
The currents carried her to the Canadian Horseshoe falls and then…over.
Rescuers reaching the barrel discovered Ann to be alive and with only a minor cut to the head. The barrel, by the way, had been padded by a mattress and had been especially constructed in oak and iron. How did she feel when she climbed out of the barrel? She said, “If it was my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat…I would sooner walkup the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the fall.”
Nevertheless, she had taken the wild and furious ride and lived to tell about it.
Bobby Leach was the second person and the first male to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Nearly a century after daredevils were banned from stunting the falls, a good-old-fun-lovin’ boy was drinking heavily with his buddy and talking about people going over the falls in a barrel. We can almost hear Kirk Jones
Kirk submerged hardly without a scratch, swan to a nearby rock until emergency service personnel rescued him. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was deemed to be okay but was arrested thereafter. He was fined $3,000 to reimburse Niagara Falls for the money “the journey behind the falls” attraction lost during the 45 minutes it was closed during Kirk Raymond Jones was being rescued. In fact he was not only fined but banned from Canada for life.
Not everyone has been so lucky. Back in 1995 a well-intended Bobby Overcracker in an attempt to bring more awareness to the homeless decided to Jet Ski over the falls
Incidentally, the falls are a 175 foot drop so that’s no hop, skip and a jump!
We human being do some mighty wild things and often live on the wilder side because of our professions; lumber jacks to Navy Seals to the ordinary foot soldier that wakes up every morning at risk. And speaking of heroes, how about Amelia Earhart or our astronauts who are forever risking the unknown…But perhaps there is a little of the daredevil in all of us too? I tend to think so. In fact, if you desire to do something a little wild maybe this guy’s job will soon be opened and you can grab it!
Part Three: Some Wacky Stuff
People do the darnest things!
In 1939, a Harvard freshman by the name of Lothrop Withington Jr. was bragging how he had once eaten a live goldfish. Another student offered him ten dollars to do it again…publicly.
On March 3rd of ’39 the Freshman Union Hall crowded with curious spectators. Lothrop (how wacky would it be to name anyone Lothrop) stood before the crowd, took a three inch wiggling fish
The news of Lothrop’s wacky accomplishment spread to other colleges and another college student at the College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania by the name of Frank Hope, outdid the Harvard student by swallowing down three live, wiggling gold fish. His record did not last 24 hours. Another student at the same school, George Raab publicly swallowed six of the orange critters. Nevertheless, Irving Clark, made Harvard’s comeback by swallowing two dozen live goldfish. Irving was so strong willed that he promised to eat any bug for a nickel, an angleworm for ten cents and beetle for two bits. What an entrepreneur, eh?
How about the wacky misuse of power in human action--there is an old saying that tells us "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This axiom is proven time and time again. And speaking of the axiom the U.S. Senator McCarthy
I am not at all judging their homosexuality but I am harshly judging their own hypocrisies for publicly condemning others for what they themselves practiced in private especially from the powerful, public positions they held. Was this the kettle calling the pot black or what?
Oh yes, speaking of homosexuality, what might surprise a lot of readers is that in a number of American Indian cultures homosexual people were called he/she and were considered
Take this fellow for example. I absolutely uphold his right to wear what the heck he wants but, on the other hand, he should probably be shot for his poor taste in fashion. That color just isn’t right for him!
And speaking of judgments: The Mormon Church practices posthumous proxy baptism or, by any other name, baptism for the dead
And speaking of wacky religious practices, there are still Pentecostal wackos that have poisonous snake rituals to prove the Bible is so
With the above in mind, the pastor of the House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, West Virginia deliberately sat down by a yellow timber rattlesnake and was bitten in the leg. He had no fear but he died all the same.
Speaking of death I believe that nearly everyone on the face of the planet would agree that human sacrifice, once common within tribes and groups like the Celts and the Aztecs is a little rash to say the least. But how wacky is it really?
First, I ask you, what is capital punishment but ritualized killing
And speaking of wacko-isms: We mentioned transvestitism a moment ago as something not socially acceptable but let’s face it, historically men were the cutie pies…Well, at least in the society of their times.
Today even women would agree that female legs
In any case, going back into history it was men’s legs
History records some mighty wacko ideas and believes as we have already seen. For example, a modern amusement in England during the Victorian era was to take the family into London and buy a ticket to wander about the halls of the Royal Hospital of Bethlem to have a great time viewing the mentally ill. Some of which could always be seen running about naked.
We have nearly always treated the insane ruthlessly. There were times in ancient Greece that lunatics were forced to live on the outskirts of town (by the so-called normal wackos) where they would be stoned to death as a ritual purification of their city. This was true during times of plagues and the special purification ritual was called “pharmakos” where we get the modern words pharmacy
In Nazi Germany anyone with any form or physical handicap was institutionalized and then exterminated but we have some shame coming too: Many U.S. states passed sterilization laws which included, the mentally ill, anyone with obvious low intelligence, homosexuals and even communists. By the 1930s, at least 20,000 people had been sterilized in the U.S.
It’s no wonder people’s life spans were so short not so long ago. The wacko doctoring helped the statistic along and I’m not just blowing smoke. In fact, smoke blowing enemas were common back in the early 1800s. Tobacco smoke enemas
If you think smoke enemas were wacky back in the 19th century there was Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup
Talking about wacko cures, what is any wackier than the lobotomy which actually became a mainstream medical procedure beginning in 1935 and continuing into the later 1950s not going completely away until the1960s.
Today we question parents who gorge their unruly children with medicines to keep them calmed down but, if that isn’t bad enough for you, back in the late ‘30s and throughout the ‘40s if you didn’t like your kid’s attitude you could have him lobotomized…And many parents did!
The procedure was for the wacko doctor
Bottom line, we people do a lot of wild, weird and wacko stuff. I sure have over the years. What I think is or can be most important, however, is to be able to laugh at ourselves at least every now and then. Perhaps if we did, we might even learn to laugh together for a change. After all when we are laughing all the racism, sexism, hatred, vengefulness, anger, greed and jealousies simply go away.
Resources & Suggested reading:
Brooks, Martin *Get a Grip on Genetics * Barnes and Noble
Brinkley, Alan * The Unfinished Nation *Knopf
Harris, Marvin * Our Kind *Harper & Row
Zacks, Richard * An Underground Education *Doubleday
Zinn, Howard * A People’s History of the United States *HarperPerennial
If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy, “The Bizarre, The Wicket and the Downright Crazy.” Click here for immediate beaming over: http://www.infobarrel.com/The_Bazaar_the_Wicked_and_the_downright_Crazy
You may also enjoy the entertaining and inforative writing of Hilloyd when it comes to the things we human's do. Click here: