Indecent Fireworks

1936: Residents of Adelaide were scandalized by the sale of "indecent Chinese fireworks." They were "so disgusting that if it had appeared on a postcard and had been found in the possession of any Adelaide individual, there would have been a heavy penalty imposed in the Police Court."

The offending fireworks are shown below.

Adelaide Truth - Nov 21, 1936

via National Archives of Australia
     Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 02, 2017
     Category: 1930s | Moral Panics and Public Hysteria

This was only part of Pete Townshend's research.
Posted by Virtual on 03/02/17 at 10:54 AM
The story at the Archives site indicates that the outrage was over the child apparently fingering the Happy Buddha's navel. (Maybe that's why he was so Happy.) Some of us remember visible navels were still controversial in the U.S. in the mid-sixties, specifically the navel of Barbara Eden, the star of I Dream of Jeannie.
Posted by Fritz G on 03/02/17 at 12:02 PM
Some people see sex in everything. On an unrelated note, I've always wondered what the glyphs in eastern writing mean when I see them on signs outside Chinese restaurants. I suspect they say something like "Up yours, round-eye."
Posted by KDP on 03/02/17 at 12:52 PM
KDP: The opposite of that is the phenomenon of people in Asia wearing shirts with obscene English slogans. Presumably they don't know what they mean, but they say things like "F*** You All" and "I'm a Whore"
Posted by Brian on 03/02/17 at 03:21 PM
Brian, that has its own nomenclature: Engrish. The cachet is English words emblazoned on a t-shirt. I saw something similar in France some thirty years ago where the shirt had cartoon print of people water skiing and palm trees with the words San Francisco (as in the city of...) No one water skis on The Bay! Not even wearing a wetsuit.
Posted by KDP on 03/02/17 at 04:50 PM
I'm guessing the people in Asia who wear the shirts like "F*** You All" do know what they mean and are trolling for other people who recognize it, as a gag. Of course, the "I'm a Whore" shirt takes on special significance in this context. The test would be simply to inquire as to the price.
Posted by Virtual on 03/02/17 at 05:41 PM
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