Sendak’s Not-so-Wild Things

Researching last week’s piece on tattooing revived somewhat my old interest in Polynesian culture. With no pig to stick or roast, I had to indulge my enthusiasm the virtual way — by watching a YouTube clip in which a mixed group of Maoris performs a war chant. The effect was suitably horrifying. The performers managed [Read More...]

Cautionary Tales for Adults

Seven years before Uncle Tom’s Cabin hit the shelves, a German psychiatrist named Heinrich Hoffmann published a compelling plea for racial tolerance. In Der Struwwelpeter, which promises “Merry Tales and Funny Pictures” for children, we find a gang of young Aryan ruffians teasing “a woolly-headed black-a-moor.” St. Nicholas (for some reason, called “Agrippa” in the [Read More...]

Oedipus in the Heartland, Choruses in the Combox

Last night, the Anchoress blogged on a peculiar prank that parents, in collusion with the faculty of a Minnesota high school, played on their kids. First, the kids, all star athletes, were given blindfolds and led into the school’s crowded gym. Next, each blindfolded jock received a kiss from what the write-up describes as his [Read More...]


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