Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Depression Era Photography of Dorothea Lange

They didn't call it a recession they called it The Great Depression and Dorothea Lange was there to capture the hardships suffered by sharecroppers and itinerant migrant workers on the West Coast.  She had originally been a studio portrait photographer - and her work does betray her beginnings in the art.  However, her new subjects were a far cry from the middle class ladies she was used to.

From the article
A startling juxtaposition of migrant workers and a billboard advertising the American Dream which had gone so wrong for so many.  As the men trudge towards San Francisco, carrying possibly everything they own, the poster exhorts them that next time they should really consider taking the train.  A photograph taken ten minutes later would have, one hopes, have shown the billboard in flames.  It is this sort of imagery though, that married with the written works of Steinbeck, Evans and Agee created the image of the USA during the Depression that we still associate with it today.


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15 Things Say That They Would Do If They Could...

Fear not, Webphmera isn't going all adult on you all of a sudden, if you know what I mean. This list of 15 different things that men say they would do if they could errs on the side of caution - at least in terms of men doing things like they do it on the Discovery Channel.  However, the list does have some hair raising moment, despite its family friendly content.  So, gentlemen, which would you do?  And ladies, I bet you have heard your man come out with one or two of these in your time!

From the article
You may have heard some of the guys at work say how they would love to just get over to Afghanistan and kick some Taliban butt. Well, guys, there is thing called the army. A few clicks of the mouse and you can find their website. The pay is really good and you get to meet all sorts of interesting people too. No? Good job that conscription is a thing of the past in most countries! So, perhaps not then, after all. Men may play the game, but women know the score.


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The Tamarin - Petting As Preservation?

The Tamarin is a rare and beautiful species of primate from Central and South America. Highly endangered they are becoming more and more popular as pets. However, where does petting end and preservation begin? A question fraught with more answers than you might think.

From the article
Captive bred Tamarins can be hugely rewarding pets and can form a real bond with their owner that will be cherished for many years. The rewards of owning one can be manifold. The real question is not whether this is the right pet for you. The real question is whether or not you are the right owner.


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Sponsored Posts

Wephemera now accepts sponsored posts from PayPerPost.Com. Where these posts appear you will be told that it is a sponsored post! Cheers!

Considering TV Packages

One of the great things about Direct TV is the amount of different offers available to potential customers. The choice is really excellent so you can mix and match the package that you want according to the type of Direct TV Service that you want to watch – and of course your budget.

The premier package is even available free for five months if you sign up for it, which offers over two hundred and sixty different TV channels. If you can’t find something you want to watch with Directv System, something is wrong!

The customer care is excellent – there are lines you can call and receive personal attention. Asking questions has never been easier because there are people on the other end of the phone at Direct TV that know the answers. That may sound a little simple, but have you ever called up a company only to find that their help desk is staffed by idiots. It is so important!

Generally speaking there are Directv System packages for every taste here and every demographic. Whether you live on your own or with your family there is a package to suit every taste and every wallet. TV will never be boring again.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Stop the X-Factor, Danyl Johnson Will Win

Danyl Johnson is a teacher, but we suspect he will not be starting the Autumn 2009 term. The kids will have to find someone else to teach them how to read because, as Simon Cowell said, his was the best audition that the X Factor show had ever seen. Certainly it made for some of the best TV seen for a while.

So, folks, stop the show, we have a winner. And we don’t even mind if his mum had a speech impediment and when she told the person registering the birth his name was Darryl and he wrote down what he heard…

Bad jokes aside – after all we always see a number of auditions that qualify – back to the show in question. The X Factor is always popular in the opening auditions – as we get to see the very worst as well as the very best. However, this year there was a profound change. Instead of the ‘security’ of a studio, the would-be superstars must fend for themselves in front of an audience of two thousand people.

The show was almost over when Danyl Johnson made his entrance and his good looks immediately produced a twinkle in the eyes of judges Cheryl Cole, Danni Minogue and Louis Walsh, sorry, the two female judges. And although handsome the twenty six year old teacher had made a deliberate effort to dress down in a simple T-shirt type top and long shorts (there is probably a proper name for them but this isn’t a fashion blog).

Choosing to cover the The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends was a brave choice, especially after we had just seen Simon Cowell forcing another contestant to sing something more modern. However, any worries that it was to be an old fashioned rendition of the song were almost immediately out of the window when he embarked on a version that was much more Joe Cocker than John Lennon.

It was an energetic performance too, with idiosyncratic moves and a confidence in performing that a few years in the classroom must have helped. He even took time out to wink at the lady judges and throw the mic casually from hand to hand in a move that had the audience roaring. There was an element of sheer good humour in the performance that only a naturally nice guy could affect – and a star quality that had the audience – and the judges up on their feet by the end of his performance.

Thousands of little girls across the country must have asked their mum ‘why can’t I have a teacher like that?’ I suspect the answer from quite a few would be a wry ‘Yeah, you know it.’

There was a moment when he sat down. Had he given up? No, cheekily, he chose to sing a portion of his song as if he was reading a book to the kids at school. You can’t help but see, in the way he bounced about the stage, what a wonderful presence he must be with an audience of little kids in the classroom. He certainly had the audience here in the palm of his hand. Magic.

What he did, to put the nail on the head, was to dazzle everyone with both his talent, which is obvious the moment he opens his mouth, his confidence and his sheer personality and stage presence. If you are still not sure, take a look for yourself.

Female Assassins and their Intended Victims

Equality is something that women (and their supporters) have striven for over centuries of male dominated history. Every now and again, though, the fairer sex let the side down. There is a lamentably short list of female assassins in the annals of history and – more often than not – they fail to kill their intended target. Perhaps that is nothing to be ashamed of, after all, and perhaps part of the proof we need to justify the pole position of the female as the gentler of the sexes. Here, though, are history’s female assassins and their intended victims.

Shi Jianqiao

1935, Tianjin, China. Sometimes the only way to kill someone is when they have their defenses down. So it was when Shi Jianqiao slipped in to a Buddhist temple and fired several shots in to Sun Chuanfang while he was praying. She then threw the gun down and explained her act to terrified and astonished onlookers. She had even taken the time to print up and copy a document explaining her actions. Chuanfang was not mourned. He had been involved in the repression of strikes in Shanghai, opium trafficking and a well known collaborator with the Japanese. Jianqiao was opposed to all of these actions. Oh yes, and he had had her father executed by decapitation and had ordered his head put on a pike for all to see. So, quite rightly she was angry – very angry. She was put on trial with three different courts handing out contradictory verdicts. With public opinion resoundingly on her side she was eventually released and was given a full pardon.

Fanny Kaplan

Ah, those Russians. The revolution was only sweet for the winners and Fanny Kaplan thoroughly believed that Lenin had betrayed the revolution as he had ordered the Constituent Assembly to be dissolved. On 30 August 1918 Lenin was speaking at a Moscow factory, dully named the Hammer and Sickle – no doubt taking a short break from trying to win the First World War. Kaplan was there with a gun. Three shots were fired – one went straight through Lenin’s coat. The other two hit his shoulder and his jaw. They did not kill him but it is thought that they were contributory to the stroke that killed him a couple of years later. No such luck for Kaplan, however. She was taken in to custody and when it became apparent that she would not finger anyone as accomplices she was shot – just three days later.

Sara Jane Moore

Fast forwarding a few decades and over to the continent of North America, the city of San Francisco is the center point for our next female assassin. Strange things have happened there, it must be admitted and some stranger than the events of September 22 1975. The then Presidential incumbent, Gerald Ford, was to find himself the target of the ire – not to mention the bullets of Ms Moore.

Obsessed with Patty Hearst, Moore had turned to revolutionary politics in 1975 – five husbands and four children were seemingly not enough to occupy her. A single shot from forty foot away from the President sealed her fate. She had been noticed aiming by a bystander and he had grabbed he arm, meaning that the bullet missed President Ford and ricocheted off a wall slightly injuring another bystander. Moore served thirty two years of a life sentence and was released in 2007 at the age of 72.

Charlotte Corday

Politics. Crikey, it really gets people hot under the collar. So it was with Mademoiselle Corday. She was only twenty five when she had had quite enough with Marat, one of the leading Jacobins of the French Revolution and one who had instigated the Reign of Terror (and there is no hyperbole in its name either). He was a journalist who stirred up opinion in his newspaper; she was a member of a minor aristocratic family who was kinda fed up with her class ending up in the final caress of the guillotine. On 10 July 1793 she put her plan in to action. Getting access to Marat was easy – she told his housekeeper that she would be informing him of a plot against the state. She was admitted – approaching Marat in his bathtub (he had a skin condition and conducted many of his affairs from there). After giving Marat the names of the plotters she pulled out a knife and plunged it deep in to his chest, an act immortalized in much artwork. She herself was guillotined just a week later. Records maintain that her decapitated head was picked up, slapped on the cheek and the face registered a look of ‘unequivocal indignation’ at this post mortem attack.

Lolita Lebron

Puerto Rican independence campaigners gained a heroine – and some notoriety – in an attack on the United States House of Representatives in 1954. On 1 March of that year she met up with a number of other Puerto Rican Nationalists and infiltrated the visitor’s gallery above the chamber of the House. After a quick rendition of the Lord’s Prayer, :Lebron screamed out “Long Live a Free Puerto Rico” and the group let loose with their guns. Around thirty shots were fired, wounding five, one seriously. She was released in 1981 and left for her native land where she continues, to this day, a proponent for a free and democratic Puerto Rico.

Mary Suratt

Although she didn’t pull the trigger Suratt was implicated in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and was executed for her involvement. As such she was an unwitting first for women – the first to be hanged by the United States Federal Government. It was she it seems who instructed a fellow conspirator to prepare the guns used in the assassination. After the event, the shooter John Wilkes Booth stopped at her tavern where he was given whiskey and pistols. Many believe that she was arrested to try and draw out her fugitive son who was also involved in the assassination. Nevertheless she was sentenced to death for treason, conspiracy, and plotting murder. Despite appeals President Johnson did not stay her execution, saying that she had "kept the nest that hatched the egg". She was executed with three other conspirators on 7 July 1865. She is the one on the far left in the picture below.

Khioniya Guseva

Back to Russia and the strange 1914 case of Khioniya Guseva and the most famous mad monk of them all, Grigori Rasputin. Said to be horribly disfigured through syphilis (she had no nose) she attacked Rasputin as he was leaving Church in a town in Siberia. She drove a knife in to his stomach, shouting that she had killed the antichrist while she did so. However, she hadn’t and he quickly tried to run away from her. She pursued him and attempted to finish the task but he managed to grab a stick and hit her in the face with it. Not very gentlemanly but he wasn’t exactly renowned for his manners. Narrowly avoiding being killed by a mob that had gathered she managed to turn herself over the to the authorities and was committed to an asylum. Rasputin survived but was successfully assassinated two years later. It is not known when she died.

Valerie Solanas

Some people don’t like modern art, but to try and kill one of its most famous exponents is taking it a little too far. Not that the events of June 3 1968 were precipitated because of that - far more likely it was a case of professional jealousy instead. Solanas was a radical feminist writer who had been closely associated with Andy Warhol and his famous Factory. She shot him as he left the Factory, also shooting a critic Mario Amaya as well. Warhol almost died and had to ear a corset for the rest of his life to stop his injury from getting worse. Even though she almost killed him Warhol refused to testify against her. She got three years. She died of emphysema at the age of 52, having been in and out of mental institutions since her release.

Izola Curry

Martin Luther King Jr had an attempt made on his life by African-American Izola Curry at a book signing in Harlem in 1958. Had she succeeded the Civil Rights movement would have lost one of its primary movers before it had had a chance to properly get going. Fortunately her choice of weapon was a letter opener but it could easily have killed him. It lodged inside him and it was several hours before surgeons worked out how to properly and safely remove it. King was typically forgiving

King recovered in hospital (see above). His press release said ‘I felt no ill will toward Mrs. Izola Curry and know that thoughtful people will do all in their power to see that she gets the help she apparently needs if she is to become a free and constructive member of society’. The authorities were less forgiving. Curry was judged to be unfit to stand trial and was committed to a psychiatric institution for the rest of her life.

Violet Gibson

Not quite one in the eye for dictators everywhere, but almost. Gibson tried to assassinate Mussolini, the fascist leader of Italy, in 1926. She shot him while he sat in a car he had just given a speech on the wonders of modern medicine – something he would need to rely on himself pretty shortly. She shot at him three times, missed one but hit him twice. In the nose. Yes – his nose. She was almost lynched on the spot but was arrested and carted off by the police. She never gave a reason for her actions but it was suspected that she was insane. She was deported to the UK and released, at the request of Benito himself no less. Unsurprisingly she spent the rest of her days in a mental hospital.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Ed Gein The Wisconsin Grave Robber and Butcher of Plainfield

You may well have heard of Ed Gein (seen above centre in custody), but if you have not then take a look at this article, written by the current Queen of the macabre, The inspiration for a number of Hollywood movies, including Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, Mister Gein was not a very nice man at all, as the extract from the article below shows us. To read the rest, click on READ MORE.

From the article
In 1957 rural Wisconsin, the press was plastering the nightly news with stories of the boogieman. A psychologically flawed individual was practicing cannibalism and robbing bodies from local cemeteries. On one occasion, as noted by one of his neighbors, he shared fresh venison he had shot and killed the day before. Although, much to their surprise, it wasn’t venison at all.


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Migingo - The Island That Could Spark a War

Have you ever heard of Migingo? Well, me neither but it seems that this tiny island is likely to start a war in the near future. It may not be oil that will cause this conflict (for once) but something else quite unexpected. has the low down.

From the article
An international stand-off has been brewing for months and could escalate to full blown war because of this tiny little bit of rock which has an area of less than an acre. People have made their homes there and have been reaping the rewards of their endeavours as fishermen because that particular bit of Lake Victoria, the largest tropical lake in the world, is deep and rich with stocks of fish. It currently “belongs” to Uganda.


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Beautiful Waterfalls of Texas

Texas - not quite the place that first springs to mind when you think of waterfalls. Hoever, there are plenty of them to be found in this State of the US. , who is something of a waterfall expert, gives us the guided tour.

From the article:
Who would have guessed that such a luscious green waterfall exists in Texas? Gorman Falls is a beautiful 65 foot high waterfall fed by natural springs including Gorman Spring and is located in Colorado Bend State Park in central Texas. Access to Gorman Falls is sometimes limited to protect the fragile natural environment so call ahead to the park if you plan on visiting. Colorado Bend State Park can be reached along Ranch Road 580 at Bend west of Lampasas or south of San Saba.

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Penguin Picnic

There are pictures that you come across that just make you stop for a second. I believe the youth of today call it a WTF moment. Well, this one did exactly that to me - and made me wonder what on earth was the cause for this particular photo opportunity. Answers - or captions - on a postcard please!

In Praise of the Mutt

They are cute adorbale and often they cost nothing. Mixed-breed dogs are the subject of this article and yes, you may be cynical enough to say that it is apparently just an excuse to put loads of really cute dog pics on the internet. And yes, you would be right.

From the article
The humble mutt is the product of two dogs of unknown breed - even though they can sometimes be fairly accurately guessed. Dogs will do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel with anything else that remotely resembles another dog. Often they get it right, though sometimes the human leg is used as a stand in. It is only when there is a massive disparity in size that interbreeding is impossible. That means the mutt comes in a huge variety of shapes, color and size and often they can defy physical classification.


Death Masks of the Famous

For hundreds of years life like and realistic death masks have been made. The new technoloy of plaster and wax casting in the middle ages made a new realism possible and a tradition was born that still persists to this day. It may seem a little macabre to you but, hey they are certainly compelling.

From the article:
Alfred Hitchcock dealt with death any number of times in his films - murder most horrid quite often - and in his death he retains a certain air of petulance. He had a career that spanned six decades and most people are surprised to hear that he died as late as 1980. He directed over fifty feature films and is regarded by many as the most influential British film maker of all time. He died of renal failure in California at the age of eighty. It is somewhat ironic that the film-maker who made generations of moviegoers wet themselves with fright should die of a kidney related illness.


Three Great Music Venues

Bank of America Pavilion

The Bank of America Pavilion is a ten thousand seater basketball arena and as well as being able to see sport there you can also get to see any number of mind-blowing bands. They have quite a variety of bands playing this month and next, including Heaven and Hell and the Flaming Lips. are coveted by those who get to receive them as they know they are in for a great time there. And when a band plays there, then Boston rocks! With a capacity of five thousand you will get the thrill of a big music event without being overwhelmed.

The Alpine Valley Music Theater

This is a fantastic theater that seats thirty seven thousand people and is situated in Wisconsin – All That Remains can be seen performing there above. The venue is equidistant between Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee and Rockford so pulls in people from all over. It was the largest amphitheatre in the US for a number of years and attracts huge stars to perform there. Recent top acts to perform here include Coldplay, Aerosmith and Rage Against The Machine. are generally regarded by people as a real treat – and one that is affordable too. The fabulous Jimmy Buffett will be playing there in late August. Bufftastic!

Cape Cod Melody Tent

are something that people really look forward to receiving as presents as the shows there are pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. It is an intimate venue, holding just over 2000 people but that adds to rather than detracts from its overall allure. And what a fabulous line up they have. If you like contemporary music then Melissa Etheridge will be playing there soon, as will Mike Birbiglia. If you are in to something a little more mellow and of a certain time, then both the Moody Blues and the Steve Miller Band (pictured above) will be playing there in the near future.

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Brutalism was an experiment in architecture that touched many lives in the nineteen fifties and sixties and continues to do so today to a lesser extent. This article looks at the movement's major players - their opponents - and ponders the inheritance of brutalism. So, what did Le Corbusier ever do for us, then? Huh?

From the article:
With many Brutalist buildings, the feeling exists that the needs of expressing an architectural ideal comes before the needs of the human beings who have to use them. By the time the backlash against Modernism was in full swing in the 1970s, Brutalist buildings often bore the brunt of the criticism.


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The Man Who Sold Coals to Newcastle

At a time when the Founding Fathers were putting together a fine piece of work about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there was one man in the fledgling republic of the USA who know exactly what he wanted to pursue. And that was cash, wonga, bucks - basically loadsamoney! Timothy Dexter made it too - but what makes it astonishing is just how he made it. I am not one hundred percent right but I would call him (in terms of luck if not literacy!) the Forest Gump of his day.

From the article:
His first stroke of luck came when he married a widow by the name of Elizabeth Frothingham. She owned property and was wealthy, which enabled the young Timothy to go into business on his own.

READ MORE to see how this son of a poor family, through astonishing good luck, got to live in the fancy pad below.

Image Source 1 Image Source 2

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Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Most Dangerous Pathway in the World?

Don't look down now! There can't be many pathways in the world more dangerous than this - can there? Please say that there aren't!

From the article
There are some places in this world to which the locals say you would be mad to venture. Sometimes this can be dismissed as exaggeration or hyperbole designed to encourage the traveler to go and take a look. In this case they are absolutely, one hundred percent correct. Travel along the Caminato del Rey and you really would put your life in peril. Don’t look down now!

The Mini Turns 50

Well, knock us down with a feather. Webphemera is a blog that priodes itself on its environmental credentials and so it may come as something of a surprise to find an article on the subject of motor vehicles on these pages. Ah, but the Mini is special! Small but perfectly formed it was always guaranteed to get you from A-Z a lot cheaper and fuel-efficiently than many of the gas guzzlers that were on the market in 1959. Oh yes - it is 50 years old this month too!

From the article
The Mini continues to this day to be popular at rallies and championships, though it will never again reach the head heights of the sixties. The one above was competing in the Historic Touring Car Race at Donnington in 2006.

Second YouTube ad for Webphemera

If you saw the original Webphemera advert on YouTube, created by the fabulous , you will love this second promo video for Webphemera. It looks fabulous! Many thanks again to Lauren. Don't forget to pay a visit to her wonderful blogs - The Ancient Digger and Friends Revolution.

The Wizard of Odd

August this year marks the seventieth year of the release of The Wizard of Oz and the internet is stuffed full to overflowing with homages to the (admittedly magnificent) movie. So, here is a slightly different take on the subject. Instead of the movie itself this concentrates on the fans and the extremes to which they will go to commemorate all things Wiz. Many men in dresses appear within - be warned!

From the article:
Staying with science fiction for a moment, it only takes imagination and a working knowledge of Photoshop to bring the mix right up to date. Although the Star Wars films and Oz have one thing in common - they gainfully employed large numbers of small people - there is little doubt who would win in a Vader/Munchkin duel. The Munchkins, of course. Those lollipop boys are deadly with a stick of candy.

Vintage Bodybuilding Ads of Yesteryear

If you are of a certain age and male then you will remember these ads... in just a few minutes a day you could turn yourself from wimp to He-Man. These adverts nowadays seem somewhat unsophisticated but they must have worked because they ran them for years and years. And years.
From the article
In the comics of fifties onwards, among the myriad of adverts for sea monkeys, X-Ray specs and other such dubious products the likes of Charles Atlas and Joe Weider exhorted the youth of the day to exchange with their cash in exchange for muscles, girls and getting their own back on the bully boy. The psychology of the ads certainly seem somewhat dated now but do they give us an insight in to how the mind of the male of the species once worked (and possibly still does)?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dance Crazes That Stood the Test of Time

You can dance, for inspiration - or so the song says. Well, you can dance for any reason you want effectively - who is going to stop you (though one or two may laugh)? There are some dance crazes that come and go, but here are ten that stood the test of time. My favourite, the Birdy Song, does not seem to have made it in to the list for some reason! Only joking - honestly..... oh and there is a YouTube clip accompanying each dance, so you can get all nostalgic. This one, however, this one has made the list!

From the article:
Late in 1978, the Village People recorded the song “Y.M.C.A.” and became a hit the following year. The group didn’t realized that their song would create a dance craze. One has only to make hand movements to spell out “Y.M.C.A.” The dance is a favorite among sporting events and is added by cheerleading squads to their routine.


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The Top Five Deadliest Hordes and Armies

Webphemera is sometimes accused as being a little too arty farty, birds and beezy, environmental and ecologically minded. Well, just to show we can get down and dirty with the boys, here is a featured article of a particularly bloodthirsty variety. (in his first post here at 'Phemera) takes a look at the five deadliest hordes and armies the world has ever seen. You may agree, you may not - either way you can join in the lively discussion at the end of the article.

From the article:
Many great thinkers have claimed that war is a necessity of life, from the ancient chariot wars of Egypt to the destruction of World War 2, countless battles were fought. Thousands of armies have clashed against each other throughout history, here are 5 of the most deadly armies and hordes the world has ever seen!


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The Lively Basque City of Bayonne

Bayonne is one of those cities in Europe that combines history and architecture to produce something quite wonderful. The capital of the French Basque Country it offers the visitor something a little different to more French destinations. , who seems to be quickly becoming the Webphemera correspondent on all things Gallic, pays the town a visit and discovers its numerous delights.

From the article:
It is indeed the hub of the three Basque Provinces.The long succession of bridges on the Nive and the typical half-timbered houses, the audacious steeples of the gothic cathedral rising over the girdle of ramparts built by Vauban will remain on the visitor’s mind. On the North bank of the Adour River, the citadel overlooks the city.

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The World's Loveliest Ornamental Trees

Trees! They come in all shapes and sized and one type that is hugely popular the world over is the one that can be classified as ornamental. Often, these trees have been changed by human hand over the centuries - to startlin effects. Here, a takes us on a tour of these beautiful specimens.

From the article:
The Judas Tree (above) is a unique flowering plant because oftentimes it bears flowers directly on its trunk. It can be found in Southern Europe and Western Asia. This tree is also remarkable for its prolific display of deep-pink flowers in spring.

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Webphemera Video on YouTube!

Much to my delight my friend and fellow blogger, , has created this fabulous thirty second promo video for Webphemera. It looks fabulous! Many thanks to Lauren, who as you may know runs two successful blogs herself - The Ancient Digger and Friends Revolution. Many thanks to Lauren! Take a look below!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Medical Conditions in Toon Town

Animated toons have always been at the forefront of progressive ideas. So it was that years before TV producers decided to include people with numerous medical conditions in their soaps and dramas, animators had already been pretty inclusive for a couple of decades. This inclusivity had nothing to do with cheap laughs – shame on you for thinking that. So, here we present just a few of the conditions that those guys before their times included to show positive example by way of toons dealing with ailments in their everyday lives. Bless.

Porky Pig has a severe stutter and that leads to him replacing the word he intended with another at the last minute. What's going on?" might become "What's guh-guh-guh-guh—...what's happening?" One of the signature traits of Parkinson’s disease is that it affects speech. Porky was obviously in the early stages of this progressive condition.

Daffy Duck is a prime example of someone struggling duckfully with their condition – in this case it is ADHD. ADHD is defined as a “persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity—impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.” – And if that ain’t Daffy, who is it?

Sexual Addiction
The Michael Douglas of the toon world, Pepé Le Pew was always after the ladies – often with dismal results but that never, ever stopped him trying. Of course, sexual addiction comes in many forms and with Pepé it is the fact that he tries consistently but with little or no result. The fact that his natural odor keeps them away (even lady skunks) not to mention his passion-aggressive approach does not deter him.

Something of a flapper, Olive Oyl’s numerous encounters with brutes (before she met Popeye of course) led her to blame herself and stop eating. Yes, OK the cartoons do not state that explicitly, but any junior high school psychologist can work this one out. She was feisty, but boy, she sure was skinny. If only the sailor man would have shared his spinach.

One of the symptoms of delirium is confused and exaggerated movement and Yosemite Sam exhibits these symptoms. Delirium is often associated with over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system and it can lead to attacks on those perceived to have slighted the sufferer. In other words he runs around a lot and shouts a great deal – and sometimes tries to kill people.

Eeyore always seems to fall asleep – no matter where he goes or what is going on. True enough, the condition is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in which a person (or toon) experiences extreme fatigue and possibly falls asleep at inappropriate times. That's our Eeyore, then.

Napoleon Complex
Marvin the Martian certainly has what it takes to be diagnosed with this condition. Wikipedia defines it as “an alleged type of inferiority complex which is said to affect some people, especially men, who are short in stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives.” Marvin consistently tries to invade or destroy the Earth. Et voila.

Violent Mood Swings
Say No More. Nuff said.

Severe Lisp

Poor old Sylvester – the lisp he acquired as a kitten leads him to the murderous pursuit of a poor, innocent canary. Who also had a speech impediment. Is there a medical condition for those who pursue others with similar a prognosis? Who can say, but this was a daring attempt by the animators of the time to shed light and awareness on something which makes many unhappy.

Amphetamine Addiction
The physical effects of amphetamine addiction can include increased or distorted sensations, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, constant restlessness and general hyperactivity. So, Speedy Gonzales, your secret is out.


I mean, look at those fore-arms. Come on!

Your Turn

Why not make a suggestion below? Which of your favorite toons also displays all the symptoms of a medical condition? Keep it clean (not)!

Webphemera would like to point out – as if you didn’t already know – that this article is in no means an attempt to ridicule the conditions which are described. Any slight or insult felt by the reader was unintentional.

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