We Like LiLeks.Com & The Institute of Official Cheer

| Columns and Opinions

Ahh, the good old days.

We donit mean back in the 90is, or even the 80is, weire talking about really old good old days of the 40is, 50is and 60is, back when people thought that the year 2000 was centuries away and so full of technological advances that it would blow your brain gasket.

You see, back then people had a lot to think about. There were wars (WW2, and the Korean and Viet Nam wars) followed immediately or overlapped by the Cold War where the threat of global nuclear (pronounced: nu-cli- ear) annihilation maintained a strange, but worried peace. People also had a lot more time to think about dying and, to a lesser extent, living.

Living must not have been easy back then (regardless of the time of year and what the song says) because the ads found in newspapers and magazines paint a picture of a people who smoked like chimneys, drank like fish, were continually constipated, had bad skin, and had a preference for gender ambiguous singers.

They also had wild imaginations and came up with ideas about a future world that was both fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Knowing how much you enjoy being fascinated and terrified simultaneously, it is, then, our distinct pleasure to bring to you yet another installment of A Cool Waste Of Time.

Of course, looking back on those ads is a source of amusement today, we now know that flying cars, moon bases, and martians are pure fantasy, and that smoking, drinking excessively, global annihilation, lard, and listening to Jim Nabors is bad for you.

So, prepare to be amused when you visit the archives of James LiLeks and his Institute of Official Cheer.

This paranoiac Gyro-ship is one of Tom Swiftis many contraptions

There are several areas of LiLek.com that you must visit, like The Gallery of Regrettable Food and Interior Desecration. Our favorite spot, however is the Institute itself, where there is page after page of some very strange stuff. We especially enjoyed the collection of Tom Swift book covers featuring Tom in various contraptions, and the odd, but prophetic card that simply states, "Drink Biograph Whiskey and see moving pictures."

OK...We like whiskey and we like moving pictures, and we suppose that if you drink enough of the former youill start seeing the latter, but we didnit think the effect was exclusive to Biograph Whiskey. Maybe Biograph Whiskey was enhanced with hallucinatory drugs like so many items were back then. Since we canit find any other mention of Biograph Whiskey on the Web we must assume that it didnit sell well or was superseded by the advent of real moving pictures, which likely had the added benefit of a reduced need to throw up (unless, of course, you are forced to watch Battlefield Earth).

Anyway, take a look at what was and what could have been, either with or without a shot.

Do you have a Cool Waste of Time you found on the Internet? Tell Vern Seward all about it, and heis pass it around...

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