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Everything old is old again

journalist Paul V. Coates

The night was made for love, according to such perpetual sentimentalists as Lanny Ross.

But not according to me.

At my advanced age, the night was made for such prosaic chores as getting to the column you didn’t write during the day.

Unobserved, you can sit around in your shorts, stare at the typewriter and sip hot milk until, touched by inspiration or desperation, you begin to write.

Typical blogger. In this case, Paul Coates of the Los Angeles Mirror, writing fifty years ago. A selection of his columns is currently being republished in the LA Times blog section.

The whole page has a sort of wait…what year is this? quality. Teen gangs. Drug addiction. Rogue cops. Gambling. Crime. Mexicans. The problems and the solutions are all of a dreary sameness. Air pollution? Electric cars. Teen pregnancy? Less scorn, more compassion. Rising prison population? Rehabilitation, certainly not more prisons.

Your humble weasel is just a little younger than these words and has thus spent one (1) whole lifetime reading this exact journalistic blah blah blah. I can’t help thinking…any disease that has hung around for half a century without either killing the patient or getting better has to be both less malignant than the pessimists would have it and less amenable to cure than the optimists tell us. It’s also getting pretty damned old.

I am only a little more web-present in this office than when I was flat out offline for two weeks. But this site inexplicably turned up during a legit Google images search (I find some of the weirdest nuggets that way) and, as the entire page had already downloaded itself, I felt entitled to read the whole thing. Starvation may have made this site more interesting than it actually is. But it is interesting, and if nothing else, the fun period ads running alongside make it worth a browse.


Comment from Brandon
Time: November 2, 2007, 4:49 pm

Man, no comments yet. I read this today and thought of good ol’ sweasel. It is from my favorite philosophically minded cartoon.

“Now, Marge, don’t discourage the boy. Weaseling out of things is what separates us from the animals. Except the weasel.”

Just one more – “Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 2, 2007, 5:11 pm

Heh. Two of my favorites.

Many years ago, I read the tagline “eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines” and was so impressed, I called up my mother and read it to her over the phone. And she was like, “I don’t get it.”

And I go, “see, eagles are all flying up in the air being cool and stuff, but sometimes they get sucked into jet engines. And weasels don’t do that. See?”


“Okay, look, everyone looks down on weasels, right? Because they’re all lowly and stuff. But, see, they don’t run into planes down there, like eagles do up in the sky.”

“Nnnno. I don’t get it.”

My conversations with my mother often went like that. She wasn’t a stupid woman. But she could reduce me to shivering incoherence by a relentless show of bland incomprehension. And I think she got off on that.

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