Things I Should Throw Out: Phoenix Gazette, 1944

by Derrick Bostrom


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I don't remember exactly how I wound up with a wall of beat up file cabinets. About fifteen years ago, I decided that if I bought enough of them, I'd be able to effectively manage all the paperwork I'd accumulated from lawyers, managers, accountants, agents, photographers, art projects, correspondence, etc. Instead, I wound up shoving everything anywhere it would fit. Meanwhile, these rusty old bastards were heavier than the shit I was trying to "organize" and I risked tetanus or a ruptured disk any time I tried to move them.

This week, they're being re-gifted back to the charitable organization from whence they came. Most of the clutter is going into easy-to-lift, easy(er)-to-catalog, easy-to-recycle cardboard boxes; the rest is going out back behind the house. I'm keeping a single file cabinet -- the least damaged one -- and I'll use an obscure but effective system known as "the alphabet" for keeping track of files. I should have been an inventor.

Now, I am not one of those driven by an inner voice voice telling me I have nothing to offer the world. And while my trash may not exactly be your treasure, the inverse hasn't yet been proven either. So let's enjoy a few more scraps from the golden age of yellowed journalism -- to wit: these excerpts from a Phoenix Gazette of 1944:

Though not of much use for the delivery of actual information, newspapers of the period played a strong role in financing the war effort. Particularly effective was the use of fear, guilt and fictitious characters:

The easiest part of the war effort

Resistance is useless

Andy's reminder

But times were just as tough for those cartoon icons not busy shilling for the government:

You're packing your load...and then some!

Shelling out may or may not have been the easiest part of the war effort, but it was certainly easier than trying to decode the administration's New Deal doublespeak:

A federal end-run around local authority though a non-mandatory appeal to patriotism

For more canning sugar request form R-323 of local board by mail or in person

If you got bored with the war, you could head downtown for some amusement:

Ceremony performed any time -- day or night; continuous show

Men stars that really fulfill General Eisenhower's statement

Movies for a market no longer catered to

Another group of "savage" foreigners enduring forced relocation

Afterwards, a little cause and cure:

Day and nite since 1922

a pleasant powder that gives a remarkable sense of comfort and security

And for that added touch of comfort and security:

A sneak peak at the future