December
15th 2011
Z is for Zany

Posted under: American history, art, book reviews, childhood, fluff, weirdness

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter Z.  Before the era of big game hunting in Africa gave us Z for Zebra, a “zany” was frequently used to illustrate or exemplify the use of the letter Z in children’s alphabet primers.  This beautiful colored illustration is from The Child’s Colored Gift Book, with one hundred illustrations (London and New York:  George Routledge and Sons), by Edward and George Dalziel.  I found this image originally at Eek She Cried, but you can see the whole book with two different illustrated children’s alphabets, and more, at Archive.org.  Isn’t it just perfect (for American political history purposes) that it’s riding one exasperated-looking ass? 

Z for Zany was probably more common in eighteenth century alphabets.  Is that where Mitt Romney hails from, the eighteenth century?  It’s not just that he has no apparent command of modern political invective, and he’s now running against the master of modern political invective.  Every time he opens his mouth, he seems to confirm that he really isn’t of our time, place, or planet. 

Mike Huckabee must be kicking himself that he didn’t run.  A conservative populist like Huck–think Pat Buchanan minus the racism–could potentially mop the floor with Barack Obama next year, but all the Republicans have got at this point is the chilly and profoundly strange Romney, and the bloviating fool Newt Gingrich.

8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Z is for Zany”

  1. Indyanna on 15 Dec 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Hell, I’m kicking myself that *I* didn’t run. That four- digit “big guv’mint” payment that I got last summer? I got that for being a historian. My position on immigration? Turn Texas loose to be its own ephemeral nanostate and ree-fund the Gadsden Purchase. My postcard-sized filers form for the new Millionaire’s Tax? “Send it ALL In!!!” And that’s just the beginning; more sound-bytes and tweets after Iowa.

    In pure color-and-compositional terms, the above just might be the best graphic we’ve seen on Historiann in the last four years, and that’s saying something. Does anybody happen to know how Routledge got mixed up with Kegan Paul, anyway?

  2. koshembos on 15 Dec 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Romney proves that being born to the right family is all that’s need to be a big success (except being president). The Republicans don’t learn and don’t remember. Their zany Newt was brought to his knees by Bill Clinton who had difficulty get his own party’s support. (The latter is the reason we got to where many could potentially mop the floor with Barack Obama.)

  3. Comrade PhysioProf on 15 Dec 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    In pure color-and-compositional terms, the above just might be the best graphic we’ve seen on Historiann in the last four years, and that’s saying something.

    I like the cowgirls better, from a purely color-and-compositional standpoint, of course.

  4. truffula on 15 Dec 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    “X, put on a barrel, is intended to tell
    The strength of the beer, and its flavor as well.”

    Now that is my kink of illustrated alphabet.

  5. truffula on 15 Dec 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    oops! Kind. my kind of illustrated alphabet.

  6. Historiann on 15 Dec 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    HA-ha, truffula. Your “kink.” XXX!

    (I think you were under the influence of CPP.)

  7. That's Grantastic! on 16 Dec 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I’m not sure whether this stunt argues for or against him being of this time, place and planet, but figured you would be quite interested in it as a historian.

    http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/16/9481422-romneys-missing-hard-drives-raise-questions-over-government-records

  8. Shelley on 19 Dec 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Perfect: the GOP-blue-capped jester keeping the Democratic donkey from passing an extension of unemployment benefits at Christmastime….

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