All humor has a use-by-date. I often get the joke in old comics only because I was a history major and have some knowledge of the era involved. Hoodies aren’t just connected to the Trayvon Martin case though - they have been banned in many schools for years. It’s really too bad too as they are nice on a cold evening.
I actually went to school in a trench coat once, and it was not more than a year or two after Columbine. I was of course aware of the unfortunate connotations, but for some reason I don’t recall, it was my only option that day. (The coat belonged to my grandfather.) The day went by without incident and with few remarks on it. Probably wouldn’t have been wise to make a habit of wearing it, though — kind of a shame, really, ’cause I liked the coat.
By the way, the Trenchcoat Mafia actually had nothing to do with the Columbine massacre. The only connection was that one of the shooters had a member as a friend, and without evidence to the contrary we have little reason to believe that the member, let alone the other members, knew or approved of Klebold’s plans. Without knowing the members I can only speculate, but it sounds to me it was an ordinary and reasonably healthy social group. They considered themselves outcasts, but their group was an outlet and their trench coats were a symbol of solidarity. And the ignorant media just had to turn it into a symbol of murder.
Oops, I have a correction. I found out just after posting that, while Harris and Klebold weren’t members of the Trenchcoat Mafia, they were in fact wearing trench coats on the day of the massacre. So I guess the media’s confusion was understandable after all. Sorry about that.
I was out of the country when the Columbine shootings took place and although I am aware of them I never internalized much of it. I certainly didn’t remember the trenchcoats or Trenchcoat Mafia. I do remember how silly Jack Abramoff looked in his black trenchcoat and fedora.
As a gradeschooler in the early 60’s, I thought anything with a hood attached was babyish (unless you were climbing an Alp, at war in the Arctic, or waiting on the bench at a pro sports event). I recognized many years ago it had acquired some coolness with newer generations, but to this day it takes torrential downpours to get me to use the hood on my jacket.
As for dated references, I have a collection somewhere with an Addams cartoon of Pugsley opening a fire hydrant — and that’s it. Beneath, without quotes, were the words Water Shortage. I inferred that the joke was an anti-social Addams brat wasting water when everybody was well aware of a drought; on reprinting they needed that note to clarify what brought that mischief up to Addams level.
Speaking of use-by-dates, check out the current Mark Trail story which involves an official mapping a forest with a FILM camera, evidently unaware of digital photography — or, for that matter, Google Maps.
@ 18 - Even when stacked against modern digital technology, using “real” film for aerial photography has (or had) some advantages. Although the pixel density of the detectors used in digital cameras has increased enormously in recent years, the actual chip dimensions have remained more or less the same. This means that there is effectively less light available for each pixel recorded, which can be countered only to a limited degree by using extravagant optical lenses. This is why one may actually be better off with an older camera for digital pictures recorded in “limited resolution” (such as standard VGA or SVGA dimensions).
With film, it is (or at least was) possible to use larger negatives (35 or 70 mm or more) with fine-grained film, permitting incredibly detailed resolution. I’ve seen aerial reconnaissance material (over 60 years old) that was every bit as good as “modern” images - except for the fact that it was only in black & white (which, however, has some advantages for reconnaissance purposes).
P.S. This is probably the first time I’ve ever actually wanted to see a Mark Trail strip. Unfortunately, King Features appears not to offer any online access to any of their comics (you either pay for the fishwrapper, or go without).
There are large sensors for digital cameras. High-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs have sensors the size of 35mm negatives, and you can buy digital backs for medium format cameras that are larger than 50mm x 40mm with 60 megapixels of data. There may be cameras with even larger sensors, but these are all out of my price range, so this is what I Googled up.
If you spend under $2000 then, yes, the sensors are all smaller than 35mm film, but a camera used for aerial photograph on film probably cost a lot more than that, too.
Powers #13: I don’t think Seurat ever worked in black and white. His whole thing was using dots of multiple colors to simulate the impression of a different color, wasn’t it? And his dots weren’t supposed to be this visible.
Thanks, Elyrest. That link didn’t show me any pictures, but when I typed “Seurat” into the Recherche box, I saw a few black-and-white ones. I stand corrected — most of what I know about Georges Seurat, I learned from Stephen Sondheim. I’m looking forward to seeing “Sunday in the Park” (the painting, not the musical) again this summer.
Sorry, Morris (#30), I was reading too quickly and reversed your parenthesis–it could’ve caused great pain. I’m glad that it was just momentary embarrassment on my part. I also love AMERICAN GOTHIC (don’t miss the steeple in the background–Wood’s commentary extends in many directions).