March 23rd, 2011


There's no Business Like the Business of America Is Business Business

I have to change banks, despite that process being a huge pain in the arse. BofA charged me a fee of seventeen bucks last month. As I've drained much of my account over the last year, the amount of money I'm loaning them is apparently now too small for me to qualify for a free checking account. I'm lending them only a bit over three thousand dollars. How can a bank be expected to borrow so little money without charging the lender interest?

If I could manage to keep at least $1,000 in the account (which will not be possible) the interest rate they'd be charging me to lend it to them would be about 10%. They'd be making more profit borrowing from me than they make lending to other people. Perfectly fair though I'm sure this is, I've decided that this oddly twisted usury is not for me, and I intend to shift everything I have left to a local bank that was recently taken over by a Dutch banking company. There will be no fees, and I'll feel so global. UY,BoA.

News from the Windy City: America Under pre-Sharia Law, ca.1913
(From The Moving Picture World, November 8, 1913)

"Dance Pictures Barred in Chicago

"A picked audience witnessed in the City Hall, Wednesday, October 22, a presentation of moving pictures designed to give instructions in dancing the hesitation waltz, the turkey trot, and the tango. At the close of the exhibition, the films were barred from public presentation in Chicago.

"Those present were the guests of Major M. L. C. Funkhouser, second deputy superintendent of police, and by virtue of that office censor of Chicago's morals. The question of the production of the films was brought to him by Sergt. Jeremiah J. O'Connor, of the moving picture bureau. They were agreed that they should be barred, but gave the manufacturer a last chance by submitting them to a special audience.

"This audience included the special committee of three aldermen— George Pretzel, G. H. Bradshaw and J. A. Kearns — appointed to investigate immoral dancing in public halls. Another special guest was Mrs. Gertrude Howe Britton, of the Juvenile Protective Association, and also two of the city's ten policewomen.

"Major Funkhouser consulted them after the films had been run and announced the decision.

"'They will not be permitted in Chicago,' he said. 'The objection is not based so much upon these pictures in themselves, but upon the effect they would have on thousands of young people. After witnessing these professional performers go through these dances in a carefully regulated way, they will go to the public dance halls and try them.

"'That is where the danger is. Most of these halls either sell liquor or are close to the places where it is sold. Think of a young girl or a young man, with two or three drinks down, trying these dances.'"

A blue jay is drinking from a puddle in the street. Portia, perched on the window sill watching, would like to go out and nab the bird. The food I give her is nowhere near as interesting as a bird. It provides no entertainment before being devoured. Friskies is all she's getting nonetheless. The day is grim enough without a pile of feathers and bits of avian carcass in the garage. Portia mews at the door to no avail. Maybe I'll give her a bit of milk later. She might forgive me then.