Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Miscellany

 
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From Nando in relation to the Britannia post:

Hello Otto 
That was a great bytes today. Brittania always reminds me of the Marx Bros movie Duck Soup, where they go to war with "Freedonia”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mEsXz-Bpog
 

Kind regards
 
Nando

Thanks Nando.

Some comments:

Duck Soup was released in 1933 and was the last of 5 films the Marx Brothers did for Paramount.

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Also the last MB film to include Zeppo Marx.

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It received a lukewarm reception at the time but today is regarded as a classic and their best film.

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Storyline:

The mythical country of Freedonia is broke and on the verge of revolution. Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), Freedonia's principal benefactress, will lend the country 20 million dollars if the president withdraws and places the government in the hands of the fearless, progressive Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx). At his inauguration, Firefly shows up late, insults everyone in sight, and sings a song about how he intends to abuse his power. Firefly declares war on Sylvania in a large musical number titled “All God’s Chillun Got Guns”, assisted by Chico and Harpo.

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According to The Marx Brothers' biographer, Joe Adamson, the elaborate "All God's Chillun Got Guns" musical number was mostly improvised on the set, as there is no reference to it in the movie's final script. It's likely Groucho was referring to the old Negro spiritual "I got Shoes", which repeats the line "All of God's children got..." filling "a song", "a robe", "a harp", etc. Groucho just added "Guns".

They got guns,
We got guns,
All God's chillun got guns!
I'm gonna walk all over the battlefield,
'Cause all God's chillun got guns!

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Digression:

That reference brings to mind the opening lines of the wonderfully evocative but puzzling song Twist In My Sobriety by Tanita Tikaram:

All God's children need travelling shoes
Drive your problems from here

If anyone knows what the song is about, drop me a line.

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The Duck Soup musical production number attempts to ridicule war by comparing nationalism to a minstrel show. It was reportedly considered for deletion for the film's current DVD release for fear of offending African Americans. 


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From Nadia in respect of the Cottee’s Cordial ad post

Hi Otto, 
Wasn't the Cottee's factory just off Marion St, Haberfied side? Family friends used to live in Hawthorne St - ( dead end St) off Forster St, and as kids we used to access the factory on the weekend from that entrance, by scaling the wire fence. I can remember wandering around amongst the pallets, hoping for a freebie cordial! Never scored though. 
Thanks for the Byte. It brought back memories of a carefree childhood. You know, those days when you could go out and explore all day and come back when you were hungry. 
Kind Regards, 
Nadia

Certainly do. 

The rule for my brothers and I was simply “Be home before it gets dark.” Apart from that, on school holidays, weekends etc we were free to take off when we wanted and spend the day with friends, exploring and playing in the bush, fishing in the creek and so on.   

Old sign formerly on the side of a building in Katoomba

Women working in the Leichhardt factory, 1972.
The women are possibly working under the new award rates – in 1972 equal pay for work of equal value was granted to men and women; in order to determine equal value of work, benchmarks were established; the benchmark for a jam-jar-filling machine was set at a machine capacity of 600 jars per minute, so that any man or woman working a jar-filling machine at 600 jars per minute was to be paid the same wage.

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A couple of interesting photographs of current events:

A composite photograph showing before and after images of Independence Square, the site of the Ukrainian protests and demonstrations.


The fierce storms battering Britain have unearthed a variety of objects, including unexploded WW2 Luftwaffe bombs, concrete and metal defences and defence objects,  a near-complete ichthyosaur skeleton (unearthed in Dorset) and an unknown boat wreck in Conwall,


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