As I continue to learn new things about blogging, I like to direct you to other interesting blogs I come across. One of my current favorites is Learn Fun Facts, produced by the prolific Edmark M. Law from Hong Kong. He fills his blog with math puzzles (I’m not very good at these), word puzzles (a little better at these), wry observations and most delightfully quotes and passages from the past, decades or even centuries old.
I love to find these passages on his blog because I love history and study it most closely for some of the historically based scripts I have written. In his honor I wanted to introduce you to an interesting historical tidbit I found. One of my plays takes place just after the 1863 New York City Draft Riots and is named The Will of Bond Street. One helpful research source was online copies of Harper’s Weekly Journal of Civilization, a weekly newspaper of the time which included contemporaneous insight and opinion of the war, the Draft Riots and the times. It had great etchings and advertisements of products and services of the time. One feature I stumbled across was their”Humors of the Day” in which they featured jokes which were popular at the time.
Some were obscure but others surprisingly relevant. I used many of them to create a scene of bonding as the two main characters played a drinking game after a challenging event using jokes that I was certainly these people could know at the time. There was a particular joke, in a September 1861 edition, that I could not use but also could not forget. It goes like this:
|A stingy fellow, in making love to a young lady, said that his affections were “riveted upon her.” She told him that she did not want to have any dealings with rivets or screws like him. Of course, after that the fellow didn’t expect to nail her.|
Not saying it is a great joke but striking that the vernacular of so long ago is so recognizable today. Okay, these were male editors and reporters and has something to do with the patriarchy continuing to shape our dialogue about relationships for so very long, but that is a topic for a future discussion. Anyway, I found it interesting and would hope that Edmark M. Law would find it so as well.
TOMORROW: Another sweet national day