So, three things: i) There is no way that I am not posting this ad, especially the week I read Edith Outland on "the Effingham libels." Man, did Horace Greeley know how to stick in the knife! ii) I'm off on a bonus week of vacation to see my Mom, so I'm looking for a blog post that requires more wandering-around-the-Intenet-at-the-kitchen-table than blasting away at the keyboard whilst surrounded by ancient tomes. iii) Lameen has confirmed that "there was no North African Bronze Age" is something people say.
I have academic confirmation of the commonplace that makes it a bit less bizarre, but there is a deeper problem in that there seems to be a lack of communication between research silos. Something isn' t right in the prehistory of the Maghreb.
These do include plenty of typewriter ads, but none as female-centric or as eyecatching as the long series of ads for NCR's accounting machines. The semiotics of the ads vary from all female casts showing off the machine's features to bosses overlooking the operator who can be read as either admiring or patronising --me not being smart enough at that whole "deconstruction" thing to tell the difference-- and this one, which has four vignettes for the price of one. The one male is the white-coated technician, either advising or receiving operator feedback; and so this is the one I went with.
All of this raises the question which has been implicit all along, but which I just twigged to the other day: What about the electric typewriter? We've been hearing a great deal from the frontiers of aviation about the adoption of powered controls, but here is a very old frontier in automation and disintermediation. How did the manual operation of a 120wpm typewriter turn into the operation of an electric appliance at 10 discrete, controlled operations a second? What's the story?
Queen Dido of Carthage has come up in this blog in two very different contexts. First, "an urn said to contain the ashes of Dido" appears in the main room of Temple Hall in the hamlet of Templeton on the shores of Glimmerglass, in James Fenimore Cooper's The Pioneers: Or, the Source of the Susquehanna. It is part of a set of enigmatic images in a place where we would expect to see ancestral portraits, and is such a ludicrously obvious CLUE that we really ought to be taking it as a hint that this is a puzzle we're being invited to unravel. In this case, not to drag it out at any length, Dido committed suicide on her own funeral pyre in the Temple of Venus at the summit of the Byrsa citadel of Carthage. This is more than enough references to "Temples" (there are more!) to read the clue as saying that one of the author's grandfathers is not who the genealogists say he was (Richard Fenimore), but rather Benjamin Franklin's illegitimate son, William Temple Franklin. Whether this is true is another matter.
Dido (click this link for the ear worm song) has also come up in her own right as the mythical Queen of Tyre who fled the oppression of her brother, Pygmalion, and founded the city of Carthage on the Tunisian shore of North Africa in either shortly after the fall of Troy, or, more plausibly, 814BC. This discussion is going to develop the claim that she staged her voyage of colonisation from Cyprus, from which her alternative name, "Elissa" is derived from the name of the Great Goddess of Cyprus, per Marie-Pierre Noel's theory, giving me an excuse to embed a performance that isn't "White Flag" or Purcell's "Dido's Lament:"
But "the first Christmas" in North America was at the second permanent European colony in North America, Port Royal, Nova Scotia. It was celebrated by Samuel de Champlain, Membertou, the sachem of the Micmacs, and Champlain's Order of Good Cheer, more than two centuries before in 1605.