1926 – Sufferin Powder puffs

Here is the pink powder puff article published Sunday in the Chicago Tribune, which was the immediate occassion for the asserted wrath of Rudolph Valentino resulting in his challenging the writer to a duel:
“A new public bathroom was opened on the North Side a few days ago, a truly handsome place and apparently well run. The pleasant impression lasts until one steps into the mens washrooom and finds there on the wall a contraption of glass tubes, and levers and a slot for the insertion of a coin. the glass tubes contain a fluffy pink solid and beneath them one reads an amazing legend which runs something like this Hold personal puff beneath this tube and then pull the lever. ” A powder puff vending machine! In a mens washroom! Homo Americanus! Why did someone quietly drown Rudolph Valentino alias Valentino years ago? “And it was the pink powder machine pulled from the wall or ignored? It was not. It was used. We personally saw ‘two men’ as a young lady contributor to the voice of the people is wont to describve the breed step up – insert coin, hold kerchief beneath the spout, pull the lever then take the pretty pink stuff and pet it on their cheeks in front of the mirror. “Another memeber of this department one of the most benevolent upon the earth, burst raging into the office the other day becuase he had seen a young man combing and pomenading his hair in a elevator. but we claim our pink powder story beats his all hollow.  It is time for a matriarchy if the male of the species allows such things to persist. Better a rule by masculine women than by effemoinate men. Man began to slip we are beginning to believe when he discarded the strtaight razor for the safety pattern. We shall not be surprised when we hear that the safety razor has given way to the depthatory.
“Who or what is to blame is what puzzles us. Is this degeneration into effeminacy a cognate reaction with pacifam to the virilities and realities of the war? Are pink powder and aarlor pinks in any way related? How does one reconcile masculine cosmetics, sheiks, floppy pants and slave bracelets with a disregard for law and an aptitude for crime more in keeping with the frontier of half a century ago then a twenty century metropolis.” Do women like the type of man who pats pink powder on his face in a public washroom and arranges his coiffure in a public elevator> Do women at heart belong to the Wilsonian era of “I didnt rais my boy to be a soldier”. What has become of the old cave man line? It is strange social phenomenon and one that is running its course not only here in America but to Europe as well. Chicago may have the powder puffs, Lond has its dancing men and Paris its gigolos. Down with Decatur; up with Elinor Glyn. Hollywood is the national
school of masculinity. Rudy, the beautiful gardeners boy. It is the prototype of the American male. “Hells, bells, oh sugar! The foregoing editoral is mild, however, compared with the following published Nov 10, 1925, entitled “thank God for 50 yard McCarty” being a line crushing Chicago full-back: “right at the start we admit prejudice, all sorts of it. Our gorge rises our back hair prickles; we want to chew tobacco and spit; we wan to go home and assert our masculinity by rescuing those torn but so dearly beloved carpet slippers from the waste barrel on the back porch and wearing em despite orders to the contrary. Probaby there’s no one quite so cordially hated by the average American male as Valentino. We admit sharing the feling. Call it what you will. We repeat the admission and announce were proud of it. A symphony in green was Rudy when he passed through Chicago. thank heavens, our green suit went the way of wool five years ago. And a beavor
collar on his overcoat. Great guns, what a man. And the wrises watch worn on a slave bracelet? It gives us a horrible sinking feeling at the pit of the stomach to know that within the next few days tailors and clothing stores will be swamped with requests for green suits, think overcoat buyers will demand beavor collars, tha jewelers will be besought for slave bracelets whatever they are Just like Valentinos. Sadly we acknowledge ourselves that this will happen. “Rudy says he tried to make his wife happy. But a man with my particular temperament being very suspectible to any kind of beauty, whether in feminity or art really hasnt any business with a wife. There always is that feeling of disatisfaction; that consciousness of the women in the background.”  As they say in vaudeville and they shot Lincoln. “Rudy doesn’t like marriage because it cramps his style. He says there is too much fun to be found afield to be tied down by the conventions of monogamy. Rudy is a strayer, is this lover of things beautiful? Blood will tell. Heredity and early environment do mold the individual. Green suit, beaver collar, slave bracelet adorning this Don Juan. whos too self-important, too bent on gratifying his fancies, to fancy marriage. Rudys nothing more than a spaghetti-gurgling garnders helper, product of modern feminishm, and all the wishy-washy feminine gurgling in the work cant change him. Thank god for five-yard McCarty.

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