Category:
Fads

The Mozambique Dance

The ladies don't come onstage soon enough in the video, but that's my only complaint.





Source: The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)18 Feb 1965, Thu Page 29

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 19, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Fads, Music, 1960s, Dance, Caribbean

Jazz Poetry

The Wikipedia entry, followed by some examples from the Boston Post, 09 Jan 1921, Sun Page 53.




Posted By: Paul - Sat May 28, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Fads, Music, Poetry, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1920s

Burlap Interior Design

Much as the enthusiastic Mr. Namkin or the dapper corporate icon Mr. Deburco wished it, burlap was not fated to become the next hot interior design fabric. As we all know, burlap was too closely associated with beatniks to be wholly respectable.





Article source: The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey) 01 Oct 1954, Fri Page 24




Article source: The Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana) 06 Mar 1962, Tue Page 12



Article source: The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) 30 Jan 1960, Sat Page 6






Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 08, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fads, Interior Decorating, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1950s

Spoon bracelet fad alarms cafeterias

Spoon bending, pre-Uri Geller.

Des Moines Register - Oct 15, 1939



Hastings Morning Spotlight - Dec 27, 1938

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 20, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fads, Fashion, 1930s

Hula-Hooping Nuns

I imagine that hula hooping while wearing a habit would add to the challenge.

"Sister Mary Pius gets plenty of encouragement from her sister teachers while giving hula hoop a whirl."



The Daily Oklahoman - Oct 19, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 20, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Fads, Nuns, 1950s

The Piano-Smashing Fad

The fad of piano smashing reportedly began in 1963 at a technical school in Derby, England, but it quickly spread to American campuses via Caltech, where a "Piano Reduction Study Group" was formed.

The goal of piano smashing was "to reduce the piano, in the shortest possible time, to such a state that it may be passed through an aperture of 20 cm. in diameter." This was to be done by a maximum of six people using tools no heavier than 15.4 pounds each.

A record-setting time was achieved by students at Wayne State University who smashed a piano and passed it through a hole in 4 min 51 sec.

I wonder if this college fad was the inspiration for the Destructivist Art Movement, which emerged three years later, and also involved smashing pianos.





Source of images: Life - Mar 8, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 29, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Fads, 1960s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Bailey’s Comets



The Wikipedia page.

According to Mark Arnold's book, Think Pink! The Story of DePatie-Freling Productions, producing the show was a nightmare, due to the massive amount of characters. Not only did the series do extremely poorly in the ratings, it got so costly to produce it nearly broke the studio, curtailing production for that year.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 08, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Fads, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Sports, Cartoons, 1970s

The Highest Streakers



I can find absolutely no supporting documentation of this event, but the photo comes from the Library of Congress, so it must be true!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 24, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Architecture, Fads, Public Indecency, 1970s

Self-castration in early Christianity

Some ancient weirdness: The First Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, was a meeting of Christian bishops in which they tried to establish the rules and doctrines that all Christians were supposed to follow. Wikipedia says:

Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed, mandating uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law.

However, one of the lesser-known rules that the bishops enacted at the Council was to ban men who had castrated themselves from being in the clergy. Because, apparently, self-castration had become something of a fad among early Christians. Enough so that the bishops felt the need to put an official stop to the practice.

The historian Daniel Caner has examined this issue in his 1997 article "The practice and prohibition of self-castration in early Christianity".

Caner notes that the fad had its origin in a passage from the New Testament, Matthew 19:12, in which Jesus appears to endorse the practice of self-castration. As the passage reads in the King James translation:

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb; and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Most interpreters of the Bible, ancient and modern, argue that when Jesus used the word 'eunuch' he meant it as a synonym for 'celibacy'. Apparently this was a common use of the term 'eunuch' in the ancient world.

Nevertheless, he used the term eunuch. So some early Christians decided the passage should be taken literally. In which case, Jesus seemed to be saying that, while self-castration was not appropriate for all men, for an elite few it was an ideal to strive for. Inspired by this passage, a number of men "took the sickle and cut off [their] private parts."

The most prominent Church father who was said to have castrated himself was Origen of Alexandria (c. 185 - c. 253). But Caner notes that there was an entire sect of early Christians, the Valesians, who embraced the practice. Wikipedia says that, in addition to castrating themselves, "They were notorious for forcibly castrating travelers whom they encountered and guests who visited them."

According to Caner, the more widely adopted Christianity became in the Roman empire, the more the Church tried to present itself as the upholder of mainstream values, and self-castration really didn't fit into that image. Therefore, "Radical manifestations of an ideal de-sexualization... became a 'heretical' threat to the orthodox community."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 02, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Body Modifications, Fads, Religion, Ancient Times, Genitals

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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