Things I Should Throw Out: More From A 1951 Phoenix Gazette

by Derrick Bostrom


Ah, the fifties! When innovation blossomed, conformity abounded and paranoia lurked behind every tree! (Or so I hear -- I wasn't alive then.)

Rather than offer fresh historic perspective, don't these laboriously culled excerpts merely serve to confirm our own self-serving predjudices? We love to laugh at these tatters of media ephermera, at the unashamed nakedness of their bias, at the barefaced innocence of their wrongheaded arrogance. Otherwise, we'd be forced to admit that we have more in common with our former selves than we care to admit.

Let's face it: we're no less xenophobic and consumption obsessed today than the folks from back then. It's just that our ad design isn't as clean nowadays, and the quality of our news reporting isn't as good. No matter how much we may slap each other on the backs over the clarity of our insights and the industry of our endeavors, we're still grounded in the same old dead end. At the end of the day, it's all about grinding out survival via the buying and selling of goods and services.

Consider the poor bastard who sweats through the pursuit of a liberal arts degree and lands himself a good job on the local newspaper. There, he discovers a life of working until three in the morning, cranking out mindless copy to fill holes in the layout. "Through These Columns Pass Announcements of the World's Finest Products Offered at Interesting Prices." Fifty years later, the sour stink of self-loathing jumps right off the yellowing page and cuts right through the mold and mildew.

When getting and spending, happiness our aim, life can be beautiful:

Ezy Angel Mix has 'em all talking

The king of cottage cheese

No more dust

Sales are up when heat and humidity are down

Let a check do it for you

I sure wish all my customers paid by check

Fighting the good fight:

The Red Braid

A staunch believer in advertising the product

Fallout from the "Couppee incident"

The view from the funnies:

Clean up the breeding place


Thanx to many grocers

The other red menace