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Sixty-six years of erasing shades, embracing shadiness

by Jeremy Hooper

In the February 28, 1944 edition of the Wisconsin State Journal, female readers, specifically, were given the following tip for how they might remove that all-too-common problem of pencil marks on lamp shades:


Because I don't know about you, but personally I can't go a day without getting a little #2 Ticonderoga on my apartment's lamps. Every time I go to do a crossword puzzle, I all of a sudden feel myself blinded by the sweet glow of a soft 60 Watt, and the next thing I know, my lamp looks like a veritable Tic Tac Toe board. So I'm all like, "Baby, get me the Wonder bread -- I've done gone and marked up our lamp again!" Don't we all do the same?

Or not. Because (a) who the hell really has this problem, and (b) in the sixty-six years since this photo was printed, pencil eraser technology has been perfected. Which is what tends to happen with society: We advance, we grow, we stop drawing on our illumination device's fabric shields. We learn and grow.

Unfortunately, such is not really the case when it comes to "ex-gay" therapy and the explanations that accompany the same. It's actually pretty shocking how current this following piece, from the same exact paper as the one that featured Ms. Potato Eraser, sounds to those of us who are familiar with the modern "gays can change" movement. Have a look:


How convenient, these claims. Yet it's the still basic model that professional "ex-gays" often use today: One parent leaves or sucks, kid freaks out, kid needs an outlet, kid goes 'mo. The tale is as old as time, and the clock stopped long ago.

Though the ones we really feel sorry for: The gay Baby Boomers whose mothers got confused and forced them to bathe with a loaf of Sunbeam.

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Your thoughts

Was already on the floor and then saw the KEEP READING. Thanks Jeremy, as always you add sugar to our salt and pepper.

Posted by: LOrion | Mar 22, 2010 5:39:54 PM

"a heterosexual can also be re-educated until he is homosexual"?
Really? 'Cause if that's true, I'm more than willing to help "re-educate" James Franco.

Posted by: Bill S | Mar 22, 2010 6:30:26 PM

Note how in order to be gay you have to be raised by a single parent or be an orphan, and additionally be molested.

Apparently this doctor never met those of us raised by both our biological parents and were never touched sexually until college...

Posted by: Tommy | Mar 22, 2010 6:41:23 PM

I like "Magic Eraser" from Mr. Clean for taking off those sorts of stains (though usually from walls, not lampshades).

That article is the first I've heard the stage around age 9 or 10, when boys and girls prefer to stick with their own kind (platonically), with all the stereotyped "No Girls Allowed" signs on clubhouses, and allegations that you can catch "cooties" from the other gender, described as the "homosexual stage".

Posted by: Dan T. | Mar 22, 2010 7:00:02 PM

Who the hell really has this problem? WHO THE HELL REALLY HAS THIS PROBLEM?

Hmm, no idea. But when that fateful day comes when I accidentally get pencil on my lampshade, I know how to fix it.

Posted by: Brian | Mar 22, 2010 7:06:56 PM

If gay people were magically created by a missing or uninterested heterosexual parent, every child from a single parent family would be gay. But they're not. In 1944, as in 2010, we should never discriminate against other Americans for the way they were born.

Posted by: Michael | Mar 22, 2010 7:54:48 PM

"I've done gone and marked up our lamp again!"

In my head, I'm hearing "I done gone and marked up our lamp again."

Subtle difference, but it makes it much more delicious.

Posted by: GDad | Mar 23, 2010 7:34:22 AM

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