GO-SET: The Life and Death of an Australian Pop Magazine

Introduction

Go-Set was the first Australian weekly newspaper which focused on Australian teenage popular music, culture and fashion.  Its role was to bring these aspects of Australian life to its readership, Australian youth aged between 14 and 20 years old.  In performing this role it also established and developed as an institution through which rock music journalists and writers in popular culture could flourish. Go-Set was able to provide this environment while being produced and published independent of the other mainstream presses at the time. 

It was the first sixties newspaper to explore an emerging and developing Australian popular music industry. Go-Set did not remain locked in its 1960s persona and shifted its appearance and musical tastes to keep up with the changes that were taking place within its areas of interest. The dynamics of these changes were so strong that by the early seventies Go-Set was a significantly different paper in appearance to what it had been in 1966. Its decline and demise in 1974 was as much a condition brought on by crisis as had been its life in keeping in touch with, and reporting on the state of the Australian and overseas music and fashion.

It was because Go-Set’s life was short and crisis filled that we can use developmental psychologist Erik Erikson’s model for the childhood development as a means of explaining its history. Erikson theorised that as a child develops, it goes through a series of crises that allow it to mature and reach adulthood.   These crises are psychosocial in nature. As they get older, human beings, by nature of their physical, intellectual and emotional growth become ready to face new life tasks.  These new life tasks present an outcome that can be a successful graduation or a gradual impairment of the life cycle.  Each crisis is a preparation for the next stage and so the child develops into adulthood (Erikson, 1958, 248). Erikson is saying that child defines itself in terms of the crises it experiences in growing older. Go-Set defined itself in terms of the crises it experienced as a result of being the only magazine in Australia covering the Australian popular music scene and its associated industries. Go-Set’s ego might be defined in terms of the personalities who produced its features, news and gossip columns 

Go-Set provided the training ground for some Australian musicians and non-musicians to get into rock magazine journalism and book writing. Among these were, ex-Valentines singer, Vince Lovegrove, author of a book on nineties rock group INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence. Vince Lovegrove describes the founder of Go-Set, Phillip Frazer, as the man who “gave us opportunities to work at something we loved”. (Lovegrove, 25/8/99). Of the magazines earliest feature writers, writer Lily Brett, is now an established author of fiction books living in New York. Sydney film producer, David Elfick, started the Go-Set’s Sydney office under instructions from Phillip Frazer (Frazer, 26/8/99), and was later significant in keeping the magazine running (McLean, 1999). Ian “Molly” Meldrum was the “talent co-ordinator” for Countdown, the ABC’s long running music show in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s. He has been regarded by some as Australia’s “rock music guru”. Ed Nimmervoll, works as a freelance journalist in Melbourne, his career began producing national top 40 music charts for Go-Set and eventually moved into music industry analysis. Over the nine years of Go-Set‘s existence it employed many up-and-coming writers and journalists.

Go-Set played an important role in the development of Australian pop and rock music, it was also the nurturing center for pop and rock music journalists.  Yet Go-Set‘s history has remained submerged within the music industry.  Go-Set gave many artists and writers the exposure they needed in order to succeed.  This paper presents a disjointed, but chronological first view of Go-Set‘s life.  It focuses on the crisis stages of the development of the magazine. Selective use of Erikson’s childhood ego development model is used where it matches those aspects of magazines history  chosen for this paper. 
  


Beginnings (1966 and 1967)

According to Erikson, the first stage crisis determines the innermost mood of the child in which,  “the baby must establish basic trust as ‘he’ takes in’ the society that surrounds him.  This is through eating (the mother plays the key role here), and through the development of the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Crisis occurs when child realises that mother cannot devote all the time that is needed. The outcome of this crisis will be determined largely through the sense of trust built up between the child and the mother”   (Beringer, R.E., 1978, 94). 

Erikson is saying is that at the beginning of a childs’ life, it is stimulated by its surroundings and develops a trust with its mother.  When the childs’ needs are not met it will may not develop an appropriate bond with its mother, and unless it determines another coping strategy may be weakened by the crisis.  Applying this analogy to the magazine, we could infer that after its initial creation, Go-Set sought the trust and support of its readers, failure to gain this trust could be catastrophic for future of the magazine. 

Go-Set Weekly-A-Go-Go was created at 4 Grace Street, Malvern, the shared rental accommodation for two Monash University students, Phillip Frazer and Tony Schauble (Frazer, 8/9/99). They were editors of the Monash University student paper, Lot’s Wife (Frazer, 28/9/99). Go-Set was initially published through a credit arrangement with the Waverley Press, the company that was printing Lot’s Wife (Frazer, 1999). Borrowing ideas off English and American popular music and fashion magazines, Go-Set began life as a teenage fanzine.

A fanzine is “a magazine dedicated to the journalistic coverage of one artist or one type of music, obviously derived from ‘fan magazine’”  (Cable, 1977, 211).  Go-Set‘s initial market was the Australian teenagers aged 14 to 16 years old (Hawkes, 1999) with a focus on teenage girls.  It included a female fashion column edited by Prue Acton; pictures, comments and views of Australian and overseas pop music stars; beauty hints; pen pal columns; and personal columns all point to this target group. Go-Set was able to establish itself as \ul the teenage magazine covering the Australian youth culture in all Australian states without the support of the other mainstream publishing houses including Frank Packer’s Everybody’s magazine whose market was exactly the same as Go-Set‘s (O’Brien, 1982, 143). 

As a fanzine, Go-Set gave its readers insights into many musicians and performers. Major international artists such as Tom Jones (Go-Set, 2/2/66, 2) and The Rolling Stones (Go-Set, 21/2/66, supplement) lent their words and opinions to the magazine. Local artists, focusing on Melbourne at first but eventually spreading to all the major capitals and large parts of Victorian and NSW country, were to be found within its pages. Australia’s biggest singing star, Normie Rowe (Go-Set, 6/7/66, 1) appeared on the cover in one form or another more than other Australian recording star. Pop group, The Easybeats (Go-Set, 7/3/66, 3) appeared within the magazine many times as one of Australia’s proud international exports. Pop singing duo, Bobby & Laurie (Go-Set, 6/4/66, 9) appeared in many issues, and continued to do so as solo stars after they disbanded.

The inclusion of Ian Meldrum a few months after the magazine began added a new pop music viewpoint. He was a pop fan who liked to mix with pop stars (Charles, 2000).  He would add more to the fanzine aspects of Go-Set. His stories would make the front cover of Go-Set many times during his first three years with the magazine. The first time was a news report on band, The Twilights winning the 1966 annual “Battle of The Sounds” band competition (Go-Set, 27/7/66,1).  Ian Meldrum would travel with 1967 winners of this same competition, The Groop, to England (Charles, 2000).  Ian Meldrum covered the local Melbourne and Australian music scene while Go-Set star reporter Lily Brett and photographer Colin Beard travelled to London to cover the overseas scene first hand on the BOAC World Pop Tour (Go-Set, 1/3/67, 5).  Popular singer Normie Rowe, was  already in England hoping for success (Go-Set, 6/7/66, 1) Lily Brett and Colin Beard reported on Normie’s progress for Go-Set’s readers.  Normie Rowe was already enormously popular with young Australian girls 13 to 15 years old who tried to rip the clothes from his body during a concert in December 1965 (Cockington, ???, 135). 

Fashion was important to Go-Set and it catered this to the female part of its audience.  In providing these fashion columns Go-Set provided a reason for its audience to trust it.   Prue Acton provided the first fashion column introduced readers to overseas fashions dominant in England (Go-Set, 2/2/66, 9). She departed the pages of Go-Set in August 1966. Staff writer, Sue Flett, who doubled as “Dear Leslie Pixie” also contributed a beauty and fashion column called “Beauty Notes” dealing with appearance and looks (Go-Set, 6/7/66, 9). Readers returned Go-Set‘s trust by writing to the magazine. 

Readers could write to Go-Set in three separate columns. “Go-Gos and No-Gos” was a form of immediate and instant means of expressing an opinion. “Postbox” was a letters to the editor type column. The third type was the “Dear Leslie Pixie”, or the personal column.

“Go-Gos & No-Gos” was introduced early in 1966, and was a column by which readers could tell other readers what they thought of rock music groups or even Go-Setwriters journalists. The format remained the same until the column finished in February 1970. Go-Set did not just feature successful pop groups in these columns but many bands whose fame and recognition never went beyond the magazines pages.  The column gave readers the chance to state why they liked or disliked artists or personalities within the music scene. 

Go-Set also used more formal formats within its pages. Reader trust in Go-Set was also expressed through readers letters section, under the 1966 column heading “Postbox”. Readers could express their opinions, concern or admiration for artists or groups. For a short while in 1966, readers also provided review of concerts and events they had witnessed. One issue that caused great concern was the way in which Australian bands in England expressed their nationalism.

While on the one hand, singer Normie Rowe had travelled to England in order to break into the English charts and be a successful artists in the mother country (Go-Set, ??,??), the Easybeats whose origins were England, Scotland and Holland expressed doubts about the Australian music scene (Go-Set, ?1967, ?). In her letter to “Postbox”, reader, Irene Hany of Melbourne discussed the issue of why bands travel overseas: 
  

“Dear GO-SET, 
In reference to your article “Easybeats Knock Australia”, I think people who take offence at this are being over sensitive. A columnist in a magazine can say we are behind England in the pop field, but let the Easybeats say it and they’re being big-headed. If you don’t think we are a bit behind, how come none of the Australian records take off overseas? An Australian artist has to go overseas first before he or she can make it there. Usually they study other artists there and find out what is popular, then they try and mould their image to fit into the English or American scene. Anyway, so far none of the teenagers are complaining about the pop scene in general here, so why worry about what anyone says about it.” 
(Go-Set, 7/12/66, 6).

Readers’ personal problems were answered in Go-Set.  The service was provided by staff writers often with little experience in the field of psychology (Nimmervoll, 1998). The “Dear Leslie Pixie”  were written by Sue Flett, an ex girlfriend of Go-Set founder, Phillip Frazer.   Most of the letters to Sue Flett related to issues of getting, keeping, or dropping boyfriends or girlfriends. “Dear Leslie Pixie” answered questions until 1969 when the column was taken over by Melbourne based blues singer Wendy Saddington. By late 1969 with Wendy Saddington running the column, the letters were of a more sexual nature: 
  

“Dear Wendy, 
I have an older brother who plays soccer and often he brings his team-mates home. e have a tree house in the bush out the back of our house and we often go there. No girls go except me as no other girls live around our way.  At the tree house the boys used to take turns at stripping me. I was about four years younger than I am now. (I am 13 now.) Now they still come and threaten to take me out and try to do something to me and as I am in the position to get into trouble I don’t want to go.  They say they will tell my parents what I did a few years ago.  I don’t want my parents to know as they would be very disappointed in me and also very upset.  What can I do – become pregnant or never be able to face my parents again?” 
Trust or Pregnant 
(Go-Set, 4/2/70, 18)


It was not only the readers who had a critical voice.  Radio personality disk jockey Stan “The Man”  Rofe wrote for Go-Set through a reciprocal arrangement between Go-Set and 3UZ.  Under the arrangement 3UZ would provide radio time for Go-Set in return for advertising of the station within the magazine (Frazer, 1999). Stan Rofe’s first year of columns followed a gossip style format until April 1967. Stan moved to more serious commentary with “Stan Rofe’s Tonic” in April 1967.  An example of some of his criticism related to the axing of the TV shows Kommotion and Go!! by Channel 0.  He wrote: 
  

“It was a bleak dark day when Channel “0” announced the shutdown on Kommotion and Go!! The value both these shows had in promotion of young Australians was inestimable and the effects will not only be felt severely by the end of 1967, but could be the cause of a complete collapse in the ready risky teenage entertainment business. It will initially be felt more in Melbourne than anywhere else in Australia, but eventually all States will suffer by the loss of these outlets for teenage promotions” 
(Go-Set, 6/9/6)


During this period Go-Set did not run an editorial column, that is the editor did not define an issue of concern or point to which the readers could respond. Stan Rofe appeared to fall into the role, the “Tonic” column provided criticism of musicians, social issues, concert performances and music industry decisions.  Readers responded to negative columns about favoured pop through the “Postbox” and “Go-Gos & No-Gos”.  “Stan Rofe’s Tonic” would continue as a regular item until March 1971. 

The horoscope was a fanzine item that survived in one form or another till late in Go-Set‘s history. “Your Stars As I See Them” was prepared by Evelyn King and lasted until the end of 1966. It was replaced with “What’s In The Stars For You” which lasted for another year and was anonymously written. The horoscopes last incarnation was “This weeks [sic] super Go-Set-Oscope” which was shortened to just “Go-Set-Oscope”. Terry Cleary was the outgoing and talkative staff member who sold the magazines advertising space. Terry Cleary was not an experienced fortune-teller (Nimmervoll, 1998). If Evelyn King appeared to know something about fortune telling, then Terry Cleary hasd little or no idea at all. Compare Evelyn King, (Go-Set, 1/6/66, 16)

“A week of upheaval is in store. Overcome tendencies to give up. Make the best of all situations and maintain enthusiasm for new plans. Highlight personality, charm. An eligible newcomer will be impressed. Luck in the family. Lucky number 7. Lucky day: Tuesday.”


with Terry Cleary, (Go-Set, 6/2/71, 23) 
  

“Gemini (May 21 – June 20) Geminis! Your morning exercises! Step (1) Stand before mirror: (2) Smile ‘till it hurts: (3) Say “I am friendly, chatty, nice to know: (4) Clean teeth (and mirror): (5) Go out and make a friend (It’s the only way to get to know them): (6) Shower: (7) Face the mirror and try not to say ‘If they want me they’ll have to pay’.”


From Erikson, the next crisis of childhood, the child begins to develop the sources of what will become its human will, and its sense of individual autonomy (Beringer, ?,?). Erikson is saying that development of a self will occurs slowly, but the real self can only be achieved when individual autonomy or self-controlled self motivated guidance is achieved.

21 March 1970

For Go-Set, the beginning of a sense of self occurred when the magazine began being critical and analytical of the music that was being listened to. Between August 1966 and February 1967, three changes occured that would determine Go-Set individuality as a magazine.  In August it dropped the “-weekly a-go-go” from its title.  It represented a move away from its relationship with its teenage audience.  In October 1966, it developed its first national top 40 chart.   In February 1967, Go-Setstarted publishing a new national top 40 chart developed by music analyst and architecture student, Ed Nimmervoll. 

The top 40 music chart has always been an important part of the pop music industry.  The chart allows readers to see where their favourite song is, a sense of how popular the song is. Until October 1966 there had never been a national top 40 chart, they were always State or radio station based.  When Ed Nimmervoll joined Go-Set he brought with him an intellectual view on music.  He took the top 40 charts seriously, studying the progress of songs in the English and American charts through the magazines he had on overseas subscription (Nimmervoll, 1998).  Nimmervoll added a sense of criticism that had not been clearly visible till then.  His commentary on songs and artists within the top 40 charts through the notes he included (Nimmervoll, 1998) gave the magazine a more serious sense of purpose.  From 1967 and 1973 he provided record reviews and provided critical analysis of the music scene (Nimmervoll, 1998). His integrity, intellect and love of music would help the magazine through its next crisis which did occur until the end of 1968. 

Autonomy through addressing social issues also helped Go-Set. In June 1967, the magazine addressed the important social issue of the discotheque. Important because discotheques were for many Melbourne and Sydney teenagers the place where they went on a Friday or Saturday night. “We Need Disco’s [sic]”: There is no argument – Police’. (Go-Set, 6/7/67, 3). Go-Set presented an educated view on discotheques, saying that most had healthy atmospheres in which teenagers could be safe. Go-Set wrote from the perspective of being part of the discotheque scene, with the maturity of an adult or as the parent of the teenager who might visit these clubs. Along with this social conscience, Go-Set started to get critical, it did this through the writings of 3UZ radio personality Stan Rofe.

A sense of autonomy was also being developed for Go-Set through Stan Rofe’s column which grew more critical in late 1967.  One issue he took on was censorship.  He observed that the older generation and authorities were questioning the values and behaviour of teenagers. Go-Set raised this issue and others with its readership.  In doing so it became a force in making rock and pop music more respectable as a source of critical comment, both to the teenagers who read the magazine and to their parents. 

While Go-Set was developing its sense of self, an American magazine called Rolling Stone entered the American scene in October 1967. Rolling Stone took a more serious approach, and did not venture into fanzine territory.  In America it quickly became the cultural bible of American youth (Nimmervoll, 1999), by providing insights and analysis into the American music scene (Draper, 1990). In Australia it did not to have an immediate impact in terms of the style of journalistic coverage Go-Set applied to the Australian music scene.  It took two years for Go-Set to respond to the influence of Rolling Stone.  In the end Rolling Stone would provide the motivation for the shift of Go-Set away from the fanzine role it had played between 1966 and 1968. 
  


Mid-life Crisis and Transition (End 1968 to Early 1971) 

Erikson’s next stage leading to an end of childhood is vital in that it is the search for ego identity and concerns defining social roles, or the niche that they will fit as adults.  They seek a sense of belonging and of knowing that their existence is meaningful for others.  The crisis during this stage is one of identity or identity diffusion.  Most frequently this occurs when young people are uncertain of their future occupations (Berringer, 1978, 95). Erikson is telling us that in order to leave childhood, a child must develop a sense of identity so that it can enter the adult world.  Go-Set sought to leave its teenage beginnings behind and be seen as a more mature form a music journal.  Acceptance as a more mature type of journal would mean it would have to change. 

The transition from fanzine to more serious music journal took from the end of 1968 to the beginning of 1972.  During the change period, Go-Set went through many crises.  It changed its name, generated two new magazines and reinventing itself internally. 

* * * 

While Go-Set‘s initial and prime audience had grown older by three years. In order to keep hold of the new 14 to 16 year old market it was necessary to develop a new magazine. Gas was created originally to take advantage of the Monkees tour of Australia in later 1968 (Frazer, 1999). Gas was a fanzine aimed at the late 1960s teenage market interested in posters and pin-ups. Its full title included the sub-heading “Australia’s Greatest Pin-up Magazine”. Ian Meldrum’s specialisation in gossip and news now ran to three years. He was in contact with many of the pop stars (Nimmervoll, 1998) and was aware of the music trends. He became editor and compiler (Frazer, 1999) of Gas.

Go-Set introduced “Core”  in mid-December 1969.  Its role was to provide analysis and intelligent well written articles on bands and groups that comprised the rock music scene and was edited by Ed Nimmervoll.   It represented his view on what a rock magazine should be (Nimmervoll, 1998). The section was characterised by detailed histories and in-depth studies of Australian and overseas groups sometimes running to two full pages in length. 

One structural change to the Go-Set infrastructure situation was the creation of a separate magazine with a different focus satisfying Phillip Frazer’s need to produce a radical political paper (Hawkes, 1999).  Revolution was a radical underground political paper that also covered rock groups that were not listened to by the Go-Setreaders (Frazer, 1999).  It was edited by Phillip Frazer and more closely represented his views on what a paper should be (Nimmervoll, 1998).  It incorporated a Rolling Stone magazine supplement (Brown, 1981, 197). 

The Australian music industry also experienced great upheaval with the record ban of 1970.  For Go-Set the record ban was significant as the magazine came out in support of the Australian musicians who were affected by the non-playing of their music on radio (Nimmervoll, 1999).  The basis of the record ban lay in the record companies argument that since the radio stations made a profit from the music they played and that it was the record companies supplying the talent, the record companies were owed a percentage of the profits made by the radio stations.  In response, the radio stations argued that they were actually promoting the music provided by the record companies (Nimmervoll, 1999).  Go-Set‘s identity as a music industry watcher was put in crisis by the ban. 

Go-Set took the side of the musicians who were affected by the ban.  The effect on the public was explained by Ian Meldrum who was seen by this time as an authority on Australian music.  Writing from the perspective of the effects of the ban he commented that: 
  

 “From this week on you won’t be hearing any more of your favorite Australian or English records on commercial radio unless some last minute agreement is reached between radio stations and record companies.” 
(Go-Set, 23/5/70,3)


Two weeks later and writing as a radio station insider Stan Rofe explained the situation to readers that the record ban could be worked out through negotiation. He also took the opportunity to criticise other parts of the media industry saying that: 
  

“As was to be expected segments of our daily and week-end press have blown the radio/record company dispute out of all proportion.  Let it be said here and now, that radio stations and record companies will negotiate further and that both parties are on friendly speaking terms.” 
(Go-Set, 6/6/70, 19).


In Erikson’s terms, this criticism from Go-Set is a sign of taking its growth and maturity seriously.  It was capable of taking a stand and standing up for its principles. 

One final issue would seal the future direction of Go-Set, and define the role of Rolling Stone magazine in Australia. Jann Wenner, editor and publisher of Rolling Stone had managed to get an interview with ex-Beatle John Lennon then living in the United States. It was the most important and controversial interview of the early 1970s (Nimmervoll, 1998). In it, John Lennon burst the bubble around the Beatles, he discussed his experiences with the drug LSD. He belittled other Beatle members including Paul McCartney who had been his partner in writing many of the Beatles songs. The interview was eventually published over a five week period in January and February 1971. One difficulty with the interview was its length. Go-Set‘s articles were generally of only half to one page and occasionally longer. After this incident Go-Set started printing articles of two to three pages. Soon after Revolution became Australian Rolling Stone, and Go-Set continued down the path to becoming a serious rock music journal.


Decline and Death (May 1972 to August 1974) 

In the adulthood – ego integrity stage, the full acceptance of one’s self and one’s inevitable fate is realised. The ‘one and only life cycle’ is understood ‘as something that had to be and that, by necessity, permitted of no substitutions’; resignation and wisdom mark the realisation ‘that an individual life is an accidental coincidence of but one life cycle with but one segment of history’ (Beringer, 1978, 97). Erikson is saying that upon reaching this “ego integrity” stage that the adult has accepted the decisions it has made and is now tied to a particular life path, along with this comes the acceptance that this is their destiny. For Go-Set this acceptance of role seems to have been established after its mid-life crisis period 1968 to 1971. Having established itself as the only pop and rock magazine in Australia, it could have continued down this path for many years, but further crises were still to come.

By May 1972 Go-Set was a veteran of the pop music scene in Australia.  It had gained the experience and knowledge of having been around during the growth of the Australian music scene.  It still owed money to Waverly Offset.  The debt was something the magazine could not afford (Nimmervoll, 1998), along with a scandal associated with printing some material from Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This State resulted in Phillip Frazer finally selling Go-Set to Waverly Press (Frazer, 4/10/99).  As a result of the sale Waverley Offset’s placed their advertising manager, Gavan Disney as the national general manager of Go-Set. From 1972, in order to reduce costs, articles were being printed in full from New Musical Express and Melody Maker, both IPC publications. Go-Set now presented a world-view of the music industry, even if it was limited to American and English overseas artists.   Some ex Go-Set staffers believe that the magazine died when Phillip Frazer sold it to Waverly Offset at the end of 1972 (Williams, 1999, MacLean, 1999). 

After the sale Phillip Frazer left to start a new political magazine. Editorial control of Go-Set went to Ed Nimmervoll. In February 1973, Go-Set was sold to Sungravure Press of Regent Street, Sydney. Go-Set was now being controlled from Sydney, and while it meant financial stability, it meant that it was no longer totally free of editorial control (Nimmervoll, 1998).

Ed Nimmervoll states that as editor in 1973, he had independence but was occasionally asked to justify items within the paper to the new publisher (Nimmervoll, 1998).  This period also saw the critical commentary side of the magazine take on a new meaning.   (With) the knowledge, maturity and experience of music industry analyst Ed Nimmervoll, Go-Set gained the confidence to seriously criticise the industry it had helped nurture  Editorials expressed both praise and disappointment at the rock music industry. Go-Set was now ready to play the role of guide, and help the industry re-invigorate itself.  Invigoration of the music industry required some hard questions to be put. 

From July 1973, national editor Ed Nimmervoll used the editorial to put these questions.    He identified issues such as the price of records in Australia (“Our Records Are Too Dear”  Go-Set, 18/8/73, 2); a Senate inquiry into Payola in Australia (“Is There Payola In Australia”  Go-Set, 4/8/73, 2).  His very first editorial questioned the validity of the Australian music scene: 

Over and over we’ve told ourselves “our turn must come” , told the fairy-tale in which a struggling overseas music scene searching for something new and fresh finds the suppressed potential of Australia’‘ rock music, the brilliant new rock revolution ready to pounce and sweep the world charts. 

He then addresses the record companies, writing that they: 
  

“… don’t help the acts in the slightest and the acts don’t help the record companies AT ALL.  What SHOULD happen is that agency, management and record company should get together and organise ATTRACTIVE promotion tours.  But we muddle on.”


Finally, after addressing the uselessness of the musicians union, he addresses the radio stations: 
  

“But what’s crippling this industry most of all is radio, with its single rock network, turning down records left and right, having the scene wide open to one set of radio programmers pointing the scene wherever they see fit, to whoever gets closest to them.  And being a “high-rotation”  station they’re waiting for the other straight”  stations to “break” records.  How dangerous, too, to have a radio chain connected with a publishing concern.” 
(Go-Set, 28/7/73, 3)


There is a sense of frustration associated with his comments.  They are critical of the process and the struggle that Australian bands had to go through. 

In the last issue of 1973, the Ed Nimmervoll’s editorial announced that Go-Set was moving to Sydney. He wrote that Melbourne had both loved and hated Go-Set. The question was now whether Sydney would care about it in the same way (Go-Set, 29/12/73, 2).

Bloggers note: Back in the 1979s, my group of friends socialised with Helen Wilson, wife of Ed Wilson, one of the founders of the Daly Wilson Big Band

Erikson does not deal with the issue of old age except with the reference “one’s inevitable fate”.  This could be considered as a reference to death.  Yet in Go-Set‘s case it had little control over its future. 

There is some confusion as to which company actually owned Go-Set.  Michele O’Driscoll  (aka Mitch) returned to Australia from England in 1974 and took up a writing/editorial position with Go-Set.  She believes that at the time she was working for the English publishers IPC (Williams, 1999).  Rock music journalist Christie Eliezer, who supplied articles to Go-Set in 1974,  believes he was working for Sungravure. Phillip Frazer believes that IPC bought out Sungravure, possibly as a means of killing off Go-Set (Frazer, 15/12/99). 

The 1974 magazine took on a new format.  It combined the old gossip and news sections, with the fanzine photo-feature, and long in-depth two to three page articles courtesy of New Musical Express.  Ian Meldrum’s gossip column fitted the format of the magazine desired by the new owners, he too, returned to his roots, he became the voyeur, with his “Keyhole News”  (Go-Set, 2/2/74, 10).  Go-Set also revisited the photo-feature style of its past with staff photographer, Phillip Morris, visiting venues and recording the action.  Now the feature was called “Scene Around with Philip Morris”  (Go-Set, 2/2/74, 11), not “The Seen, The Scene”  (Go-Set, 2/2/66, 10-11).

Irrespective of who owned Go-Set, it was was compiled alongside Dolly in an office at 57-59 Regent Steet, Sydney. There were now just two full time staff members, Michele O’Driscoll, still writing as Mitch, and editor Jenny Irvine (Williams, 1999).  There were other writers who submitted work but were not resident in the IPC office. 

In losing its independence Go-Set lost control of its direction. Go-Set was already decaying as it shifted to Sydney.   Sungravure’s intentions for Go-Set may not have been destructive, but according to Michele Williams, they placed an editor in charge who was unfamiliar with rock music journalism (Williams, 1999).  Sungravure had its own four-year old, a magazine known as Dolly, whose target audience was teenage girls around the age of 12 to 15.  It is Ed Nimmervoll’s belief that Go-Setbecame Dolly (Nimmervoll, 1998).  There is some evidence to show that it is more likely that Go-Set became RAM magazine. 

According to Michele Williams, IPC policy dictated that no staff could be replaced.  Around the end of the first week of August 1974, Michele decided that Go-Set was not the magazine she remembered, and so she left (Williams, 1999).  It is likely that the result of her resignation was that there was no-one to work on the magazine, IPC therefore had no choice but to close Go-Set down. 

Go-Set‘s demise was not without long term benefits for rock music journalism in Australia.  Out of the ashes of Go-Set came a new revitalised rock music journalism industry.  Go-Set was stripped of its depth, knowledge, experience and dignity.  Six months later Sungravure became active in the music press.  A new magazine called RAM (Rock Australia Magazine) came into existence.  It retained some of Go-Set’s format, and appeared to have the publishing rights to New Musical Express, one of the magazines Go-Set had published articles from. RAM was distributed by Sungravure, and printed by Waverly Offset.   Early in 1975, Ed Nimmervoll started Juke magazine in Melbourne.  His magazine would last until the 1990s.  He is the currently working as an independent rock music chronicler in Melbourne (Nimmervoll, 1998). 
  


References

Beringer, R.E., 1978, Historical Analysis – Contemporary Approaches to Clio’s Craft, John Wiley & Sons, New York. 

Brown, A., (Ed.) 1982, The History of Rock, Volume 1, Issue 11, Orbis Publishing, London. 

Brown, M., 1981, Idealism, Plagiarism, and Greed –  The Rock Music Press, in Beilby, P. &  Roberts, M. (Eds.) 1981, Australian Music Directory, 1st Edition, Australian Music Directory Pty Ltd, Melbourne.

Charles, R., 2000, Interview 20 February 2000.

Cockington, J, 1992, Mondo Weirdo: Australia In The Sixties, Mandarin, Melbourne. 

Draper, R, 1990, Rolling Stone Magazine –  The Uncensored History, Doubleday, New York. 

Erikson, E.H., 1958, Young Man Luther – A Study in Psychoanalysis and History, Faber and Faber, London. 

Frazer, P., 1999, Email Interview, 26/8/99 

Frazer, P., 1999, Email Interview, 8/9/99 

Frazer, P., 1999, Email Interview, 28/9/99 

Frazer, P., 1999, Email Interview, 4/10/99 

Frazer, P., 1999, Email Interview, 15/12/99

Go-Set, 1966, Go-Set Publications, Melbourne. 
Go-Set, 1967, Go-Set Publications, Melbourne. 
Go-Set, 1968, Go-Set Publications, Melbourne. 
Go-Set, 1970, Go-Set Publications, Melbourne 
Go-Set, 1973, Sungravure, Sydney 
Go-Set, 1974, Sungravure, Sydney 

Lovegrove, V., 1999
Email Interview, 25/8/99 

MacLean, S., 1999, 
Telephone Interview, 22/10/99 

Nimmervoll, Ed., 1998, Interview,  Melbourne, Friday, 20/11/98; Saturday, 21/11/98; Sunday, 22/11/98. 

Nimmervoll, Ed., 1999
Telephone Interview, 25/1/99. 

Spencer, C., 1989, 
Who’s Who of Australian Rock
 – 2nd Edition
Five Mile Press, Melbourne 

Williams, M., 1999, Telephone Interview, 12/12/99 (wrote under the by-line of “Mitch” (Michelle O’Driscoll, 1966)

GO-SET
The Life and Death of an Australian Pop Magazine, by David M Kent http://www.milesago.com/press/go-set.htm

Ross D. Wylie: Pop Star and Uptight Presenter

Ross D. Wyllie (born 21 November 1944) is an Australian pop music singer, television presenter and producer from the 1960s and 1970s. Wyllie had a top 20 hit with his cover of Ray Stevens‘ song “Funny Man” and an Australian No. 1 with “The Star”, both in 1969. Originally from Brisbane, he hosted, Uptight, a weekly four-hour music series, on Channel 0 in Melbourne from 1967 to 1969. In 1970 he followed with a similar show, Happening ’70, and from 1978 to 1980, he presented films on a late-night time slot.

Biography

Ross D. Wyllie was born in Ashgrove, Queensland on 21 November 1944,[1][2] to Harold John Wyllie (1913–), an army sergeant serving during world war 2, and Jean nee Jennings (c. 1920–2002).[3][4] He was raised in Brisbane with two siblings.[3][5] As a child he contracted poliomyelitis and for most of his adult life he had a limp.[1] In 1964 he joined a pop band, the Kodiaks, as lead singer.[6] By 1967, as a solo artist, he signed with the Ivan Dayman‘s label, Sunshine Records, and released his debut single, “Short Skirts”.[7] He was backed by label-mates, the Escorts.[6] His next single, “A Bit of Love”, followed later that year,[7] using only studio musicians.

Wyllie relocated to Melbourne and, on 28 October 1967, became the host of a new pop music TV show, Uptight, for local Channel 0.[6] He signed with Festival Records and released a non-charting single, “Smile”, in April 1968.[6] Uptight ran as a Saturday morning three-hour show until 1969.[6][8] By that time it was being produced by Bob Fraser and the presenter’s wife, Eileen Wyllie, for Jardine Productions.[9][10][11] Molly Meldrum was a regular member of the on-air team. Uptight – Party Time, by Ross D. Wyllie and the Uptight Party Team, was issued via Calendar/Festival Records in 1968.[10][12] The record was produced by Roger Savage.[10] It contains two side-long medleys of then-current songs including, “Midnight Hour”, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Day Tripper”.[13]

Wyllie had a No. 17 hit on Go-Set‘s National Top 40 in July 1969, with his cover of Ray Stevens‘ song, “Funny Man”.[14][15] His National No. 1 hit, “The Star”, followed in November.[16]“The Star”, written by Johnny Young, was later covered by United Kingdom act Herman’s Hermits as “Here Comes the Star”.[8][17]

In 1970 Uptight was replaced on Channel 0 by a one-hour pop music series, Happening ’70, with Wyllie retained as host and Eileen as producer.[9] In April he released a double-A-sided single, “Free Born Man” / “My Little Girl”, but its sales were affected by the radio ban, during which commercial stations refused to play recordings by Festival Records (among others) from May to October.[18] The singer, presenter left Melbourne to return to Brisbane late in 1970 and was replaced on Happening ’71, in April 1971, by Jeff Phillips.[6][19]

In 1971 Wyllie signed with the Fable label and released a single, “He Gives Us All His Love”, in April. He followed with “It Takes Time” in August and “Sweet White Dove” in May 1972. He then turned to the pub and club circuit. Later he formed a production company with fellow pop singer, Ronnie Burns, and talent manager, Jeff Joseph. With Tony Healy he created a public relations company. In the late 1970s he presented a late-night movie show on Melbourne’s Channel 0–10.[6] During the mid-1970s Wyllie opened and operated a record retail store in Bayswater, Arch Rivals.

In May 1988 Festival Records released, Smile: The Festival Files Volume Ten, a compilation album of Wyllie’s singles, as a part of their Festival File series.[10][20] In a review of the collection for The Canberra Times, Stuart Coupe observed, “Star of Uptight, Wyllie’s run of hits ended in the early ’70s. This is probably the least interesting of the albums in this series, but at worst is a curio item.”[20] In August 2003 Wyllie performed an Uptight-themed variety show at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne, reuniting with other 1960s performers.[21]

Aztec Records released another compilation, Ross D. Wyllie: the Complete Collection, in August 2014.[22][23][24] Paul Cashmere of Noise11 described it as “the first definitive career overview of 60s pop star.”[23] Toorak Times‘ Gary Turner observed, “[it features] all the classic hits including ‘Funny Man’, ‘The Star’, ‘My Little Girl’, ‘Smile’, ‘Uptight Party Medley’, ‘Short Skirts’ and many more tracks including tracks live from Festival Hall Melbourne in 1994.”[24] Wyllie and Eileen were still living in Melbourne as from September 2014.[24] During November 2016 Wyllie used a crowd funding site to attempt to raise money for a motorised wheelchair.[1]

Discography

Compilation albums

TitleDetailsUptight – Party Time(by Ross D. Wyllie and the Uptight Party Team)

  • Released: 1969
  • Label: Calendar / Festival Records (R66-522)

Smile: The Festival Files Volume Ten

  • Released: May 1988
  • Label: Festival Records (L-19010)

Ross D. Wyllie: The Complete Collection[22]

  • Released: 14 August 2014
  • Label: Aztec Records (AVSCD071)

EPs

Title Details Funny Man

  • Released: 1969
  • Label: Festival Records (FX11618)

Singles

List of singles, with Australianchart positions

Year

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

Title

Short Skirts

A Bit Of Love

Smile

Funny Man (No.17 on charts)

The Star (No.1 on charts)

My Little Girl (No.65 on charts)

He Gives Us All His Love (No.42 on charts)

It Takes Time (No78 on charts)

Sweet White Dove (No.99 on charts)

Reference

General

Specific

  1. ^ a b c Knox, David (30 November 2016). “GoFundMe Page for 60s Pop Star Ross D. Wyllie”. TV Tonight. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2018. Ross contracted polio at an early age and now at age 72 is in need of a customised, motorised wheelchair and a scooter to get around.
  2. ^ “‘Childs Dream’ at APRA search engine”. Australasian Performing Right Association(APRA). Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b “Family Notices”. The Sunday Mail (762). Brisbane, Qld. 26 November 1944. p. 8. Retrieved 25 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ “Wyllie, Harold John Marshall”. World War Two Nominal Roll. Commonwealth of Australia. 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  5. ^ “Family Notices”. The Telegraph. City Final Last Minute News. Brisbane, Qld. 14 July 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 25 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for “Ross D. Wyllie”. Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 11 June2016.. Retrieved 20 November 2010. Note: McFarlane gives birth year as 1948.
  7. ^ a b Kimball, Duncan (2002). “Record Labels – Sunshine Records”. Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b “The Star”. Where Did They Get That Song?. PopArchives (Lyn Nuttall). Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  9. ^ a b Nelson, Stuart (2013), Stammer your way to success: From a suburban orphanage to an international career, Xlibris, pp. 56–8, ISBN 978-1-4836-0207-3
  10. ^ a b c d Uptight. Australian Television Memorabilia Guide. Nodette Enterprises Pty Ltd. 2009. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  11. ^ Nichols, David (2016), Dig: Australian rock and pop music, 1960-85, Portland, OR: Verse Chorus Press, p. 202, ISBN 978-1-891241-61-1
  12. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). “Record Labels – Calendar Records”. Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  13. ^ Wyllie, Ross D; Uptight Party Team (1960), Uptight Party Time, Calendar, retrieved 11 November 2017
  14. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (19 July 1969). Go-SetNational Top 40 with Ed Nimmervoll”. Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 20 November2010.
  15. ^ “Funny Man”. Where Did They Get That Song?. PopArchives (Lyn Nuttall). Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  16. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (15 November 1969). Go-Set National Top 40 with Ed Nimmervoll”. Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  17. ^ Nichols, David (2006). “‘Does the meaning mean a thing?’ Johnny Young’s Hit Songs of the 60s–70s – DRO”. ACH: The Journal of the History of Culture in Australia. Routledge. 24: 163–84. hdl:10536/DRO/DU:30003708. ISBN 1-92084-525-9. ISSN 0728-8433.
  18. ^ Kent, David Martin (September 2002). “Appendix 6: The Record Ban” (PDF). The place of Go-Set in rock and pop music culture in Australia, 1966 to 1974 (MA). Canberra, ACT: University of Canberra. pp. 265–269. Archived from the original (Portable Document Format (PDF)) on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2017. Note: This PDF is 282 pages.
  19. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). “Encyclopedia entry for ‘Jeff Phillips'”. Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 20 April 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  20. ^ a b Coupe, Stuart (29 May 1988). “Music: New Release a Festival of Australian Memories”. The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). National Library of Australia. p. 18. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  21. ^ Cashmere, Paul. (28 July 2003), “Melbourne Gets Uptight”. Archived from the original on 15 December 2003. Retrieved 28 June 2007.. Undercover Music News(Undercover Media). Retrieved on 20 November 2010.
  22. ^ a b Wyllie, Ross D (2014), Ross D. Wyllie: the Complete Collection, Collingwood, Vic: Aztec Records, retrieved 11 November 2017
  23. ^ a b Cashmere, Paul (1 September 2014). “Ross D Wyllie Complete Collection Released”. Noise11. Paul Cashmere, Ros O’Gorman. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  24. ^ a b c Turner, Gary (18 September 2014). Ross D. Wylie The Complete Collectionremastered”. Toorak Times. Retrieved 20 January 2018. Note: Last name is incorrectly given as “Wylie”, although corrected in first sentence.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Austr
  26. alian Chart Book. p. 344. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  27. ^ “Who’s who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry”. catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 8 November 2

What the Hell is a Doodlebug?

A doodlebug is much more than just a bug. (Photo: Scott Robinson/Flickr)

“DOODLEBUG” IS ONE OF THOSE quaint old terms that seems to have been around forever, and crops up in the news repeatedly: this past year saw the discovery of an orphaned kangaroo by that name and deep dive on the actual insect. At this point, though, the word can be used for any number of meanings from someone who simply likes to draw, to a person who wastes all sorts of time.

So what exactly is a doodlebug? All of these things.

1. A simpleton or time-waster

Just look at this doodlebug… (Photo: Library of Congress/Wikipedia)

The term “doodle” actually dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a pejorative to describe simpletons. Over the next couple of centuries it increasingly came to be used as a verb meaning to waste or fritter away time, and it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that it seems to have taken on the specific association with drawing and scribbling. The term “doodlebug” seems to have arisen in 1800s, initially meant to once again mean, “idiot.” Today, the term has evolved to describe someone who incessantly draws.

2. An actual bug

Doodlebug seems like a pretty cute name for this monster. (Photo: Jonathan3784 on Wikipedia)

The other most frequently used meaning of doodlebug is probably as a description of an actual insect. Doodlebugs, as they refer to an actual creature are usually associated with ant lions in their larval form. These squat little bugs, who mostly live in loose sand where they create pit traps, earned their goofy nicknames not because they are thought to be stupid, but instead because of their unintentional drawings. When the (frankly kind of scary-looking) ants move through the sand, their big butts drag behind them, leaving behind scribbly little trails. While ant lions are the most well known as doodlebugs, the term has also been used to describe other insects like pill bugs and some beetles, although this seems to be earned simply thanks to how goofy the nickname sounds.

3. Someone in the business, reputable and otherwise, of locating oil deposits

Doodlebugging was once pretty close to dowsing for water. (Photo: Wikipedia)

This usage of doodlebug actually started as an insult but seems to have been coopted as an affectionate name for those bold souls who head out in search of black gold. Dating back to 1940s America, the a “doodlebug” initially referred to devices that were said to be able to locate oil deposits, although in in the day, they were mainly just scams as miraculous oil detecting technology did not actually exist. The snake oil salesmen who peddled such devices came to be known as doodlebuggers. However, as the technology progressed, and more reliable methods of finding underground oil actually emerged, doodlebuggers came to mean people who head out into the wild and use actual methods (usually seismic mapping) to try natural resources trapped underground. It seems to be a much more affectionate nickname today.

4. A World War II-era drone bomb

The Nazis were into drones too. (Photo: Jessica Paterson/Flickr)

Long before we were afraid of drone aircraft zooming silently overhead, there was were V-1 flying bombs, otherwise known as “doodlebugs.” This Nazi missile looked like a small plane, but inside was nothing but machinery and death. During World War II, the large bombs were deployed against Britain with devastating effect before countermeasures were developed that made the bomb planes essentially obsolete. The bombs got their misleadingly whimsical nickname from the sound their pulsejet engines as they flew overhead.

Alternately they were also known as “buzzbombs.” The nickname would later be applied to other experimental aircraft as well.

5. A self-propelled rail car

All aboard the doodlebug! (Photo: N2xjk/Wikipedia)

In the early 20th century, short rail lines and tracks that were in light use would employ single, self-propelled train cars that were known as “doodlebugs.” These autonomous cars were a welcome alternative to large locomotives and carriage cars, and often ran on gasoline or electricity. The nickname supposedly popped up when the first of these cars hit the tracks and a rail person described it as a “potato bug” (see above) which morphed into doodlebug.

6. A DIY tractor

This ol’ doodlebug has seen better days. (Photo: David Berry/Flickr)

From the Great Depression on into the World War II, material resources were scarce in America’s heartland, but that didn’t stop them from working! During this period a specific variety of homemade tractor began to pop up on farms across the country. Generally using old cars as the base, inventive farmers would crop and chop the vehicles into makeshift tractors most often called, doodlebugs (they were also known as Friday tractors and scrambolas, among other names). The conversions became so popular that custom kits even began being sold through catalogs.

6. Brogan Doodlebug: Frank Brogan Offered “Minimal Motoring” in Small Numbers

Sleek 1946 Brogan Doodlebug looked like an escapee from an amusement park.

Minimal motoring” – small, no-frills, basic transportation – has never satisfied the American automobilist. In 1912, a cyclecar craze began in Europe and quickly spread to the United States, where more than 200 manufacturers sprouted and shriveled within 18 months. After Ford stopped producing the Model T in 1927, upstarts like Martin, Littlemac, American Austin, and Bantamattempted to fill the economy car void. But the public preferred large used cars over tiny small ones.

However, as the supply of dependable used cars dried up during World War II, pilot Frank Brogan believed attitudes would change. His B & B Specialty Company at Rossmoyne, Ohio, primarily manufactured a variety of screws, fasteners, and other machine products. But he also created the lightweight Brogan Foldable Monoplane that could be towed from the airport to the owner’s home for garage storage. Later, he designed a motor scooter for his daughter. And in 1944, his wife asked him to design a small car to make shopping tasks easier for women whose husbands took their primary vehicles to work.

So, Frank Brogan crafted a sleek, two-passenger runabout he called the Brogan Doodlebug. It featured a highly streamlined steel body with headlights and windshield posts seamlessly blended in. The topless, doorless three-wheeler measured 96 inches long, rolled on a 66-inch wheelbase, and could be turned around within its own length. With the buyer’s choice of rear-mounted, single-cylinder Briggs & Stratton or twin-cylinder Onan air-cooled engines, the Doodlebug could achieve a top speed of 45 miles per hour and travel nearly 70 miles on a gallon of gas.

Brogan designed the Doodlebug especially for women, so he made sure operation and maintenance were easy. Gear-shifting was automated using a mercury-actuated system similar to fluid drive, which eliminated the clutch pedal. Changing the hidden front tire simply required popping out the grille and unscrewing two bolts. The engine was removed just as quickly—lift the rear deck lid, release three pins, disconnect the gas line, and lift the engine from its position beside the five-gallon fuel tank and battery. Frank Brogan referenced an October 1944 clipping from The Washington Post, which featured Ray Russell’s Gadabout in his patent application.

After photos of the Doodlebug appeared in the nation’s newspapers and popular magazines, Brogan received an average of 200 postcards and letters per month. Requests to buy and distribute came from every state and 20 foreign countries. Brogan hand-built 30 Doodlebugs and sold them for $400 each before realizing he lost $100 on every car he turned out. Tooling for mass production required $150,000 that he didn’t have, so he suspended Doodlebug sales. Instead, he used the same chassis design for the three-wheeled Errand Boy delivery scooter, and developed the four-wheeled Brogan-Truck pickup and delivery van. Brogan-Trucks featured one steerable wheel upfront and three independently sprung wheels in the rear with power transferred via chain to the center rear wheel. The odd configuration eliminated the need for a costly differential. Brogan-Truck prices started at $450, and Frank Brogan sold more than 200 of them. But he still wanted to build passenger cars.

Ten-horsepower Doodlebug rolled on a 66-inch wheelbase

More information on Frank Brogan and his inventions is available from the second link below/

Reference

The Outrageous Story Of Amelia Bloomer And The Fashion Trend That Infuriated Victorian Men

In 1851, an American editor named Amelia Bloomer wrote an article in support of female pantaloons — inspiring women to wear a controversial garment called “bloomers.”

Amelia Bloomer
Getty ImagesAmerican suffragist Amelia Bloomer dared to suggest that women wear trousers under their skirts.

In the 1850s, crushing corsets, heavy skirts, and a half-dozen petticoats weighed women down as a literal hamper to their quest for liberation. So one women’s rights activist named Amelia Bloomer thought to change that by way of an outfit that became known as “bloomers.”

Even though bloomers still kept women covered from their necks to their feet, the garment sparked a backlash from anti-suffragists that was so fierce even Bloomer herself abandoned the new fashion. 

As Amelia Bloomer’s suffragist friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton privately confessed, “Had I counted the cost of the short dress, I would never have put it on.”

This is the story of how bloomers completely backfired — and almost stalled the women’s rights movement in America.

Who Was Amelia Bloomer?

Amelia Jenks Bloomer
Seneca Falls Historical SocietyBloomer in the notorious pantaloons or “pantalettes.”

Born in 1818 in rural New York, Amelia Bloomer began her career as a humble teacher, but then she moved to Seneca Falls, a city that hosted a vibrant community of women’s rights activists.

In 1848, Bloomer attended the historic Seneca Falls Convention, where suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott discussed the condition of women’s rights in the United States. 

The experience inspired Bloomer to found a newspaper called The Lily, which was dedicated to the growing fight for gender equality. It was the first American newspaper edited by a woman.

While encouraging increased access for women in education and in the ballot box, Bloomer waded into another major issue in the 19th-century women’s rights movement: fashion.

Victorian women were weighed down by pounds of petticoats and heavy corsets, a stark representation of their muted voices outside of the home. Additionally, the heavy styles of the mid-1800s weren’t just uncomfortable — they could prove deadly. 

Tightly laced corsets impaired breathing, and flammable crinolines burned3,000 women to death between 1850 and 1860. Additionally, bulky garments got caught in newfangled machines, injuring and killing women. 

Bloomer thus wondered, could a change in style change the condition of women?

The Invention Of Bloomers

In 1851, Amelia Bloomer read an editorial from a man who recently became supportive of the women’s suffrage movement in which he suggested that women adopt “Turkish pantaloons and a skirt reaching a little below the knee” as an alternative their current clothes.

The notion of loose pantaloons stuck with her.

Around the same time, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s cousin, Elizabeth Smith Miller, showed up in “Turkish trousers” that she’d designed herself. 

Miller explained that long skirts impeded her work in the garden. In a moment of frustration, she declared, “This shackle should no longer be endured.” Miller donned “Turkish trousers to the ankle with a skirt reaching some four inches below the knee.”

Bloomer quickly adopted the style herself. Then, she promoted the new fashion to her readers.

The idea caught fire. Women wrote from across the country and subscriptions to The Lily skyrocketed. The outfit, once called a “freedom dress” or “Turkish pantaloons,” had earned a new name: bloomers. 

“As soon as it became known that I was wearing the new dress,” Bloomer wrote, “letters came pouring in upon me by hundreds from women all over the country making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns—showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts.”

Stanton declared that bloomers made her feel “like a captive set free from his ball and chain.” In August 1851, American suffragists made the trend international when they wore bloomers to the World’s Peace Congress in London. 

The Backlash Against Amelia Bloomer’s Costume

The style certainly caused an uproar. Magazines demonized bloomers as “a sort of shemale dress.” Gangs of boys harassed “Bloomerites” on the streets. 

Stanton confessed that her own father banned her from wearing bloomers at his house and her sister “actually wept.” Men declared “they would not vote for a man whose wife wore the Bloomers.”

Stanton eventually gave up on bloomers herself, returning to “uncomfortable, inconvenient, and many times dangerous” Victorian dresses. “We put the dress on for greater freedom, but what is physical freedom compared with mental bondage?” She wrote. “By all means have the new dress made long.”

Women In Bloomers
Punch/Wikimedia CommonsWomen who dared to wear bloomers marked themselves as radicals, according to critics. “Bloomerites” would surely break other gender norms, like smoking in public.

But Amelia Bloomer continued to wear her namesake trousers for years. She did eventually return to petticoats and full-length skirts and tried to frame the retreat as a victory. 

“We all felt that the dress was drawing attention from what we thought of far greater importance — the question of woman’s right to better education, to a wider field of employment, to better remuneration for her labor, and to the ballot for the protection of her rights,” she wrote.

“In the minds of some people, the short dress and woman’s rights were inseparably connected. With us, the dress was but an incident, and we were not willing to sacrifice greater questions to it.”

Suffragists Abandon Bloomers

Why did bloomers spark such a backlash? Amelia Bloomer had a theory. By donning pants, women visibly likened themselves to men. The bloomers hinted at a larger-scale “usurpation of the rights of man,” Bloomer lamented. 

For generations, bloomers were linked with all kinds of subversive female behavior. Once women put on trousers, critics argued, they’d begin smoking cigars, working as police officers, and engaging in lewd behavior. 

In Bloomer’s day, suffragists thus retreated to a less controversial fashion statement: Susan B. Anthony tied a simple red shawl around her neck. The Philadelphia Press lavished praise on Anthony for her “plain dress and quaint red shawl,” a look deemed appropriately matronly.

Anthony’s clothes offered “not a hint of mannishness but all that man loves and respects. What man could deny any right to a woman like that?”

Amelia Bloomer tried to improve women’s lives by lightening their burden and increasing their mobility. But trousers were men’s domain, and when women donned them, they threatened the gender order. 

A quiet, red shawl could be forgiven — but bloomers were apparently too much.

Best known for her trousers today, Amelia Bloomer devoted her life to women’s suffrage.

Reference

  • The Outrageous Story Of Amelia Bloomer And The Fashion Trend That Infuriated Victorian Men, All That’s Interesting, 9 June 2021, by , By Genevieve Carlton | Checked By Jaclyn Anglis https://allthatsinteresting.com/amelia-bloomer

The World’s Creepiest Abandoned Theme Parks

Theme parks that fall into disrepair seem to receive the same fate around the world: rusting roller coasters, overgrown swings and the eerie absence of children’s laughter.

From giant, decaying Gulliver statues to an overgrown yellow brick road, these are the theme parks left to the annals of time. A creepy experience awaits all who enter.
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1. Dadipark, Belgium

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Decaying Dadipark (Image: Reginald Dierckx/Flickr)

Opened in 1950, Dadipark, Dadizele, was closed in 2002, reportedly after a young boy had his arm ripped off on the Nautic Jet water ride.

RobertKuehne/Shutterstock

Starting life in the 1950s as a church playground, Belgium’s Dadipark was transformed into an amusement park in the 1980s. Although it was initially popular, with a million people visiting at its peak, disaster loomed.

Pel Laurens/Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0

In 2000, a child lost his arm on one of the rides and two years later the park closed. This was supposedly due to renovations, but these refurbishments never happened and the park was eventually abandoned.

Pel Laurens/Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0

However, unlike many other deserted amusement parks which become tourist attractions in their own right, Dadipark is set to soon be transformed into a residential area, with the rides demolished and a grassy recreational area planned instead.

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2. Okpo Land, South Korea

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Fatal Okpo Land (Image: Reginald Dierckx/Flickr)

A once-popular theme park at the southern tip of South Korea. It was shut down in 1999 after a number of fatal accidents.

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3. Land of Oz, North Carolina

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Land of Oz charred (Image: Thomas Kerns)

A Wizard of Oz-themed amusement park in North Carolina, the Land of Oz was deemed a success when it opened in 1970. However, it closed in 1980, after a fire in 1975, reportedly started by disgruntled former employees, destroyed some of its Oz artifacts, including the dress worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film.

It was hoped the park might become a year-round attraction as a ski resort, but these hopes were not fulfilled. There are few things creepier than a yellow brick road left to rot.

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4. Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan

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Fallen Gulliver (Image: Mandias/flickr)

Only open for four years from 1997 to 2001, Gulliver’s Kingdom was built near Mount Fuji near Aokigahara, an infamous suicide spot. The park was based on the novel Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, as the giant creepy Gulliver statue is testament to.

Mandias/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In prime position in the park was an enormous 147-foot (45m) statue of Lemuel Gulliver, tied to the ground by tiny Lilliputians as per the story. It’s not just this eerie statue that put off visitors though. The location of the park was inauspicious – it sat next to both Aokigahara, a dense forest where an unusually high number of people have taken their own life and also the former headquarters of Aum Shinrikyo, a religious cult that killed 13 people in a nerve gas attack in Tokyo March 1995.

Mandias/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The park opened in 1997, but closed just four years later after failing to attract visitors. Gulliver’s Kingdom was then demolished in 2007, leaving just concrete slabs and exposed foundations where the creepy statue once lay.


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5. Pripyat Amusement Park, Chernobyl, Ukraine

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Pripyat radiated (Image: Getty)

Perhaps one of the world’s best-known abandoned theme parks, the park near Chernobyl was due to open on May 1, 1986. Then three days earlier on April 26, disaster struck Chernobyl. The park opened for a few hours the following day to entertain locals before the city’s population was ordered to evacuate.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

This now derelict amusement part tells a wider, more tragic story than just a few abandoned Ferris wheels. Located in Pripyat, Ukraine, the park was one of the many areas of the city to be left behind by residents after the devastating Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

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The explosion halted the park’s opening, which was supposed to take place just four days later, and so it was left to be swallowed by nature. Over 30 years on, the rides are covered in rust and there’s not a soul to be seen.

Kateryna Upit/Shutterstock

Its rusting Ferris wheel has become a symbol of the disaster, standing motionless in the abandoned city, which is much like a ghost town, except for the occasional tour group exploring to understand the catastrophe for themselves.

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6. Encore Garden, Taiwan

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Tragic Encore Garden (Image: Alexander Synaptic/Flickr)

The park in the hills above Taichung City closed after the 921 earthquake in Taiwan in 1999, which killed more than 2,400 people.
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7. Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

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Spreepark has a history (Image: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty)

Shut in 2001, Berlin’s Spreepark opened in 1969 as East Germany’s only amusement park and welcomed 1.5 million visitors a year in its heyday. When it closed, due to falling visitor numbers, owner Norbert Witte packed up six of the park’s most popular rides into shipping containers and had them sent to Peru – a new park in Lima never quite took off and Witte’s problems grew when some of the rides were shipped back to Germany and customs officers discovered 167 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the mast of the Flying Carpet. Tours of the abandoned park ran until last year when the city council put up a perimeter fence to protect the remaining rides.

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Spreepark once saw over 1.5 million visitors a year, but decades after it opened in 1969, the park ran up millions of euros worth of debt, and it couldn’t renovate the rides that needed attention. It eventually fell into disrepair, and today stands abandoned east of the German capital.

Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images

Despite its closure, the amusement park is still popular with locals, who visit the ghostly site now used for events, performances, festivals, markets and screenings.

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Originally known as Plänterwald, the park was renamed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991 to Spreepark. And there’s hope for yet another new chapter in the park’s history too. Thanks to a regeneration project that includes a beer garden, exhibition space and even a rebuilt Ferris wheel, the site could welcome thrill-seekers again in 2022.

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8. Jazzland, New Orleans

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Flooded Jazzland (Image: Matt Ewalt/Flickr)

Originally opened by Alfa Smartparks, Jazzland was bought by Six Flags in 2002. The attractions company turned around the park’s fortunes and planned to turn it into a water park. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit, devastating the park and flooding much of it. The park never reopened and is now owned by the City of New Orleans. It lies abandoned.

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Instead of the screams of joy and laughter once heard in the park, it’s now silent, with graffiti gracing almost every surface, and disused roller coasters, dodgems and Ferris wheels rusting away, never to be used again.

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It’s not always abandoned, though, as the park occasionally sees life as a filming location. Blockbusters such as Jurassic World and Dawn of the Planet of the Apeshave been filmed here. There have been talks of redeveloping the park but nothing has ever stuck, and in 2019 the mayor said they were considering demolition. Today, though, it still stands as a example of the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina.


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9. Dunblobbin, Crinkley Bottom Theme Park, England

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Rotting Dunblobbin (Image: Urbanexboi/SWNS

Originally part of Noel Edmond’s Crinkley Bottom theme park, Dunblobbin, Mr Blobby’s once-home, was abandoned and left to rot after the rest of the park in Somerset was renovated and turned into a hotel and wildlife park. Rumour has it the ghost of the ’90s television character haunts this rundown shack.
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10. Dogpatch USA, Arkansas

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Deadly Dogpatch (Image: Clinton Steeds/Flickr)

The ownership of Dogpatch USA changed hands a number of times before the park closed in 2002. It was put on eBay for US$1 million (A$1.4 million) in 2002, but there were no bids. In 2005 a teenager was driving through the park, he says with the owner’s permission, when he collided with a length of wire strung between two trees and was nearly decapitated. After a successful lawsuit, he was awarded the deed to Dogpatch when the owners failed to pay compensation. There are murmurings of a reopening.
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11. Dreamland, Margate, England

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Dreamland slumbers (Image: Deadmanjones/Flickr)

The Kent attraction is set to reopen this summer as a “Reimagined Dreamland” following an 11-year campaign to save the amusement park from destruction. It was first opened in 1880 but closed in 2003 after a number of rides were sold to other theme parks.
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12. Cornwall Coliseum, England

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Silent Gossips (Image: ndl642m/Flickr)

Dating back to the 1930s, the entertainment complex became increasingly popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s before losing business to the Plymouth Pavilions in 1991. The venue declined until 2003 when only the Gossips nightclub remained. Development plans are said to be in the pipeline but no work has begun.
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13. Camelot, Lancashire, England

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Camelot lost (Image: ndl642m/Flickr)

Based on the story of the Knights of the Round Table, Camelot opened in 1983 on land once covered by the largest lake in England, Martin Mere, also known as the Lost Lake of Sir Lancelot after it is believed that Sir Lancelot’s parents fled to its shores from enemies in France. After it closed in 2009, numerous plans have failed to develop the area and so it lies in ruin.

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Located in the English county of Lancashire, this theme park opened in 1983 and was a popular family attraction.Now however, this incarnation of Camelot has sadly seen better days. It operated for almost 30 years, but visitor numbers and poor food ratings led to the park’s downfall. Its closure was finally announced in 2012, and some of its rides and roller coasters were sold off. You can ride the Whirlwind, for example, at Germany’s Skyline Park. 

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The Magical Kingdom of Camelot, to give it its full name, had roller coasters, children’s rides and staff dressed in medieval costumes. The site has had a few ups and downs since closure, with planning sought for a housing development quashed by the council, and another plan for new homes jettisoned by the developers in 2018. Today, parts of the park remain in a state of disrepair, with some rides such as Knightmare, pictured, only removed and sold for scrap in February 2020.


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14. Pontins, Blackpool, England

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Perished Pontins (Image: Getty)

The Blackpool holiday park closed in 2009 after steadily falling visitor numbers. It has been earmarked for redevelopment with planning permission granted for housing but as yet remains half-demolished. A Pontins holiday resort in Hemsby, Norfolk, met a similar fate.
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15. Geauga Lake, Ohio

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Geauga stagnant (Image: Getty)

Opened in 1887, the amusement park ran alongside a water park until 2007 when the former closed. It remains empty while the water park still operates today as Wildwater Kingdom.

16. Boomers! Dania Beach, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Kateryna Upit/Shutterstock

Is there anything creepier than a frozen Ferris wheel or a creaking roller coaster track? At these abandoned theme parks, there’s no fun to be had. Some were left to rot and ruin after natural disasters, while others suffered nuclear catastrophe or financial struggle. Click through to see haunting images of some of creepiest abandoned amusement parks in the world.

David Bulit/Shutterstock

The Hurricane, a 100-foot-tall (30m) wooden roller coaster, was the main attraction at Boomers! Park in Dania Beach. It was the longest wooden roller coaster in Florida when it first opened in 2000 and, although it was part of the Boomers! Park, it was owned and operated independently. It was shut down by its operators in 2011 with the owners citing “business reasons”. It’s thought the humid climate in Florida made maintaining the roller coaster unviable.

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The rest of the park stayed open, attracting visitors to its colourful mini-golf course and arcades until April 2015, when the park was closed to make way for development.

David Bulit/Shutterstock

However, once closed, the park lay dormant for long enough to let the vegetation take over a little. While several plans to demolish the roller coaster and the buildings on site were made over the years, it wasn’t until recently that a new development started taking shape. Now called Dania Pointe, it’s a 102-acre space with offices, luxury apartments, retail stores and restaurants

17. Joyland Amusement Park, Kansas, USA

Randy/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas opened in the 1940s and was once the largest theme park in central Kansas, with a wooden roller coaster and 24 other rides. It enjoyed a long life, entertaining residents of the state and visitors passing through. But in 2004, disaster struck.

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The park was the scene of a serious accident in which a teenager fell from the Ferris wheel and was injured. Joyland was then closed and, apart from a brief lease of life in 2006, remained empty and grew increasingly dilapidated, with vandals and thieves flocking to the deserted space to break windows, start fires and mark it with graffiti.

Randy/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In 2015, after more drama including severe windstorms, alleged arson attacks and looting, demolition began. Locals, some of whom had visited with three generations of their family, stopped by to take their last photos of the park before the attractions were hauled away.

18. Nara Dreamland, Japan

JP Haikyo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Japan certainly has its fair share of creepy theme parks. Nara Dreamland, in southern Japan, was opened in the 1960s as the country’s “answer to Disneyland”. It was dreamt up by a local businessman, who was inspired after a trip to the USA.

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It was a reasonably popular theme park, but as Universal Studios Japan opened, visitor numbers dwindled. The park was closed in 2006, and it soon became popular with urban explorers. Those fascinated by ruined landscapes visited the park to take photos and explore the empty rides.

thecrypt/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Until 2016, when demolition of the park began, it had been abandoned for ten years and resembled a ‘nightmare-land’ rather than a Dreamland, with rust and overgrown foliage engulfing the roller coaster tracks, and the sinister silence of desolate rides.

19. Yongma Land, Seoul, South Korea

Christian Bolz/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

This tiny abandoned theme park has now become an attraction in itself. While you can’t ride the merry go rounds or dodgems at Yongma Land, pay a small fee to enter and you can wander among the derelict grounds as you wish.

Christian Bolz/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

Established in 1980, Yongma was popular with the locals in Seoul. But when Lotte World opened in 1989, featuring indoor and outdoor rides, Yongma lost favour, and the park’s income dwindled. It was closed in 2011 due to suffering profits.

Christian Bolz/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

Today, the park is popular with photographers who come to take artistic shots of its once bright and breezy attractions. It has appeared in music videos, and is now owned by a local businessman who will turn on the lights of the carousel for you for a fee.

20. Wonderland, China

Joe Wolf/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

This Chinese theme park never welcomed visitors. Wonderland, around 20 miles (32km) outside of Beijing, was pipped to be the largest amusement park in Asia, but it was a promise that proved too big for the developers.

Joe Wolf/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Construction was halted after disagreements over property prices and a political corruption scandal. Ever since, the park – which was only partially constructed and is now littered with half-finished buildings – has been mostly empty, drawing only photographers and local kids to explore its eerie skeleton.

Joe Wolf/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

After 15 years of abandonment, much of the attraction was demolished in 2013, leaving only foundations in place of the empty buildings. Reports have said that a luxury shopping centre will be built in its place.

21. Ho Thuy Tien, Hue, Vietnam

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Today, it stands abandoned and its water slides, the only attraction that was ready at the time of opening, lie dormant with no gushing water and screeching thrill-seekers. Instead, you’ll just see the odd curious backpacker, and perhaps a herd of cows who are now helping keep the weeds at bay.

strny/Shutterstock

Set in lush countryside around five miles (8km) to the south of the city of Hue in central Vietnam, it’s easy to see the potential this aqua adventure park once held. But the once blue splash pools are now smelly and stagnant, and the flumes have been left to rot.

MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps the most intriguing structure in the park is this giant sculpture of a dragon, overlooking a lake. Urban explorers have even climbed inside, via a staircase located in the beast’s body, to peer out from its gnashing teeth.

22. Ghost Town in the Sky, Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA

Abandoned Southeast

Known as Ghost Town in the Sky, this abandoned Wild West-themed amusement park has seen as many ups and downs as its Red Devil roller coaster pictured here. Located on Buck Mountain, a mountaintop site towards the bottom of the Great Smoky Mountains, the park opened in 1961 and closed for good in 2016. Today it lies in ruins. It’s featured here courtesy of Abandoned Southeast, in images taken by photographer Leland Kent.

Abandoned Southeast

At the height of its popularity, Ghost Town attracted thousands of guests every year. In the early 1970s, the park welcomed 400,000 visitors during its peak seasons, from families to Wild West enthusiasts.

Abandoned Southeast

From the early 2000s a series of mechanical failures, expensive repairs and lack of cash meant the park was on a downwards spiral. In early 2009, Ghost Town’s owners failed to secure any further funding and declared bankruptcy. Now the park has been left to Mother Nature.

Reference

How An Ordinary English Pointer Became A Decorated World War II Soldier

Born in Shanghai just before the war, Judy the dog was adopted by British sailors and protected them across Indonesia — where she became the only animal imprisoned as a POW.

Judy The Dog
People’s Dispensary For Sick AnimalsJudy the dog survived three years as a prisoner of war.

From Greco-Roman war elephants and medieval horses to World War I carrier pigeons, animals have been used in military conflicts throughout human history. But perhaps one of the most inspiring stories of an animal in battle might be that of Judy the dog — the British Royal Navy canine who became a prisoner of war.

From surviving a crocodile attack to abandoning ship in the middle of the South China Sea, Judy navigated the perils of life at war like a fearless soldier. 

Even after three years in an Indonesian POW camp, she never stopped wagging her tail — and saved countless men from despair.

Early Adventures In Asia For Judy The Dog

Judy was born in a Shanghai dog kennel in February 1936, when Adolf Hitler rejected the Versailles Treaty and placed his troops on the eastern border of France.

The white English Pointer found her way onto one of the British Royal Navy ships stationed in Shanghai that fall when she was purchased by Lieutenant Commander J. Waldergrave. Originally named Shudi, her name was anglicized to Judy, and The Royal Navy’s official paperwork crowned her “Judy of Sussex.”

It was a precarious time in China as Japan invaded the country the following year. As global war loomed on the horizon, Judy became a beloved crew member of the HMS Gnat. When she fell into the Yangtze River, the crew ordered a full stop to rescue her.

Judy The Dog And Frank Williams
Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesJudy and Frank Williams, her lifelong caretaker who she met while a prisoner of war.

Judy also had an uncanny ability to sense danger. She could alert the crew to incoming enemy aircraft and once even notified her sleeping peers of pirates who tried boarding the ship. She survived being dognapped by the crew of an American gunboat, and in 1938, gave birth to 13 puppies.

And then in September 1939, Britain officially declared war on Nazi Germany. With Large British Royal Navy gunboats deployed to the Yangtze that summer, Judy and part of her crew were transferred to the HMS Grasshopper, a 585-ton gunboat headed for Singapore.

The ship remained stationed there in relative peace until Japan invaded in January 1942. The crew escaped with their lives and set sail for the Dutch East Indies but were bombed by Japanese aircraft in the South China Sea. Judy and some of the crew survived, marooned on an island.

While there, Judy saved the crew when she sniffed out a fresh-water spring. After days of starvation, the sailors discovered a Chinese sailboat that they commandeered upriver to Sumatra. They arrived, only for a 200-mile hike through the jungle to lead them into enemy hands.

Bringing Joy As A Prisoner Of War

Judy Receiving Her Medal
Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesJudy receiving the Dickin Medal from Major Roderick Mackenzie at London’s Returned British Prisoner of War Association on May 2, 1946.

The journey had taken five weeks, during which the sailors were stalked by a Sumatran tiger, and Judy was attacked by a crocodile. They had not only missed the final British evacuation boat by nine days but arrived in an Indonesian village that was occupied by Japanese troops. 

The group was taken to the Gloegoer Camp in Medan, Indonesia. Aware that their captors would likely kill Judy, the sailors hid her under rice sacks.

While at that camp, Judy met Frank Williams, a leading aircraftman in the Royal Air Force. He won her over in February 1942 after letting her eat his entire bowl of rice, and in return, Judy snarled at the guards who beat him.

Williams knew Judy would be shot dead for her defensive behavior, so he wisely waited for a night when the camp’s commander was properly inebriated in order to convince them to garner her official POW 81A status, which protected her.

As the only animal to be registered as an official prisoner of war during the global conflict, Judy’s presence provided psychological relief for the inmates. Williams later said her loving look in the mornings gave him the will to survive for the years he spent as a prisoner.

Finally, in June 1944, the prisoners were transferred onto the Harukiki Maru, formerly the SS Van Warwyk. But the ship was torpedoed on June 26. Williams shoved Judy out of a porthole and navigated his own way off the ship.

While more than 500 men drowned, Judy paddled to debris and showed many the way to safety. The survivors were tragically reinterred at another camp, but Judy and Williams survived and were finally freed when the camp was liberated at the end of the war in 1945.

Her friendship with Williams continued for the rest of her life and she received the Dickin Medal of valor for her bravery in May 1946. Though Judy died of cancer at 13 in 1950, her legacy lives on as one who selflessly protected and gave joy to those without hope in a deadly conflict.

Reference

Gay History: Wall Street’s Secret Society

Joe Daniel’s salary had broken the six-figure mark, and he had just received a promotion to vice-president. But something was about to sink his career on Wall Street: He couldn’t bring himself to lie.

It was a Monday in late June, and Daniel had reported for work at the securities division of Dresdner Bank, Germany’s second-largest. When a colleague remarked on his suntan, Daniel explained that he had spent the weekend at his beach house. Where’s your rental? asked his co-worker.

For most of his colleagues, the question would have been an innocuous one. For Daniel, it posed a dangerous dilemma.

A quiet, button-down executive with master’s degrees from both Harvard and Yale, Daniel was hardly an activist.

Like most other gays on Wall Street, he had lived a strictly closeted existence at work. In the past, he would have constructed a plausible cover: a particular Hampton that he could bluff some knowledge about, the name of a fashionable restaurant or two. But after four years at the firm, he was tiring of the charade.

His beach house was on Fire Island, he replied. At the Pines. His colleague looked stunned. Daniel had just outed himself.

Until then, Daniel’s career had been proceeding according to plan. His boss complimented him regularly on his work and, Daniel says, rewarded him with a big promotion a few days earlier. The firm had printed new business cards and stationery and even fabricated a new signboard for the door of his office. A memo announcing his new position was distributed to all departments.

But according to Daniel, gossip about the Fire Island remark quickly reverberated through the office and soon reached his boss, George Fugelsang. In the past, says Daniel, Fugelsang, a gruff, fiftyish executive who heads Dresdner’s North American division, had made crude anti-gay jokes. Suddenly he seemed more careful about his language. But beyond the superficial correctness, something was very wrong. Though Daniel had assumed the duties of a vice-president, Fugelsang never got around to signing the papers that would make the promotion official. Instead, Daniel says, he was relegated to a kind of purgatory, shunned by his boss and many of his colleagues.

The situation festered for nearly a year, until the following April, when Daniel, emboldened, decided to force the issue. He approached Dresdner’s personnel department, asking whether the firm could extend the same health benefits to the domestic partners of gay employees that it provided to the spouses of straight ones. A few days later, he was laid off in an abrupt “downsizing” of his department. Daniel was the only person fired.

Unemployed for nearly a year, Daniel is now suing Dresdner Bank for $75 million under a New York City statute that outlaws bias based on sexual orientation. It is a landmark case, Wall Street’s first gay-discrimination lawsuit ever, although other clashes have been secretly settled in arbitration. In order to avoid unwanted publicity, brokerage firms require new hires to sign an agreement stipulating that employment disputes will be resolved by a Wall Street arbitration panel rather than by the courts. Intent on proving a point, Daniel’s lawyer, Madeline Lee Bryer, circumvented this agreement by suing the foreign bank that owned his firm, not the New York securities outfit he worked for.

Attorneys for Dresdner insist that Daniel’s promotion was not official and that sexual orientation played no role in his “restructuring.” The case is currently in pretrial discovery, and after a flurry of publicity, the presiding judge issued a gag order on both litigants. Nonetheless, it has drawn serious attention to a rarely discussed issue, spurring anxiety not only among Wall Street firms suddenly worried about lawsuits but also among their largely closeted gay and lesbian employees.

How many gays and lesbians are there on Wall Street? James J. Cramer, the seemingly omnipresent and omniscient hedge-fund manager, can’t name any. Jessica Reif Cohen, the top-ranked analyst of entertainment and media stocks, doesn’t know any gays at her firm, Merrill Lynch, which has nearly 10,000 employees in New York City alone. Within the broader community of research analysts, “there’s only one person I even think is gay,” she adds: a middle-aged guy who supposedly lives with his mother, a fact that has provoked gossip at his firm because “almost everyone else is married with children.” Elizabeth Goldstein, who recently left Bankers Trust after six years as a star on the trading desk, says, “I can’t think of anyone. I’m sure they exist, but it’s very, very, very, very quiet.” When a trader talked about attending a lesbian wedding, she recalls, “People’s mouths were wide open. It was totally foreign to their experience.”

Welcome to turn-of-the-century Wall Street. In a city where openly gay professionals are commonplace in such industries as media, advertising, and law, Wall Street remains a notable exception – one where the prevailing mind-set seems more characteristic of 1959 than of 1999. Like the military, the financial world promulgates an unwritten policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which affords gays and lesbians a chance to prosper, and even rise to prominence, but only if they deliberately obscure their personal lives.

“Living in a liberal, diverse environment like Manhattan, you realize that banking isn’t really part of that,” says one closeted banker. “It’s a different world. My boss and my boss’s bosses live in very sheltered communities in Westchester and Connecticut. They don’t live in the Village or the Upper West Side. They find it very difficult to manage sexual diversity.”

For young gay Wall Streeters, he says, “it’s very common to have gay friends, party on the weekend, live in Chelsea, then put on a suit and take the subway to work on Monday. No one needs to know you spent Saturday night at the Roxy.”

This enforced invisibility is all the more remarkable given the fact that gays are actually all over the Street, working as traders, brokers, securities analysts, money managers, and investment bankers at such major houses as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, CS First Boston, and Salomon Smith Barney as well as at a slew of smaller private-investment firms. Many hold positions of considerable stature. Two of the street’s best-known firms, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Drexel, Burnham Lambert, were founded in part by gay men; three others include gays at their very top levels.

Walter Schubert, the founder of the Gay Financial Network (gfn.com) and the only openly gay member of the 1,365-member New York Stock Exchange, estimates that there are thousands of gay financial professionals in New York and perhaps tens of thousands nationwide. A gay Wall Street organization called New York Bankers’ Group boasts 300 members; more than 100 were on hand for a Christmas party last December. Still, the membership list is kept strictly secret, and six of the group’s eight board members are not out at work.

For many gays and lesbians, Wall Street is a not-so-quaint throwback – a testosterone-drenched frat house complete with ritual hazing. One man came to work to discover the word faggot Magic Markered on his office wall; another found nude pictures from a gay magazine glued to his computer. For most, however, the pressure is more subtle. “It’s like high school all over again,” says one mid-level trader. “You hear people talking and joking and whispering, and you’re sure it must be about you.”

One gay banker recalls a group meeting with his boss (who was a managing director) and another vice-president to discuss a prospective client. Paging through the company’s annual report, his boss opened it to the photo of the company’s president. “God, this guy looks like such a faggot!” he exclaimed in disgust, looking directly at the employee, who wasn’t out at work. “No offense,” he added sarcastically. An investment banker says she was told she was being passed over for a promotion because “the firm wanted to uphold a family-values image.”

Not surprisingly, fear and paranoia persuade all but the boldest gays and lesbians to conceal their private lives. Some count on a stable of attractive “girlfriends” and “boyfriends” to escort them to business dinners and company functions. One investment banker asked a woman friend to leave a breathless outgoing message on the answering machine he shared with his male lover. Another decorates his desk with portraits of friends’ children that he passes off as his own.

In some ways, gay white males on the Street have enjoyed an advantage over other minorities – blacks and women – because they can pass as straight white males. In the fifties and early sixties, when Wall Street was a less macho place, gay men in particular found it easy to hide in open sight. These men were perceived by their clients – conservative, midwestern CEOs – not as New York queers but as cultured, urbane gentlemen.

The code of silence was so strict that in 1983, an executive named Robert Hudson co-owned a brokerage firm with a gay partner, and neither realized that the other was also gay. But as the culture of Wall Street turned increasingly rabid during the late eighties, the Gentleman Bankers of an earlier generation were shoved aside by Swinging Dicks so big they made even Tom of Finland’s look modest.

AIDS further changed the equation. Like every other industry in the city, Wall Street suffered a number of aids deaths, the majority of which were disguised as pneumonia or cancer in death notices. Among the epidemic’s earliest casualties was Leon Lambert, a name partner at then-mighty Drexel Burnham Lambert and a familiar figure on the city’s gay circuit. Activist Larry Kramer, who was invited to attend Lambert’s funeral, remembers that Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller delivered eloquent eulogies – but neither mentioned that the financier was a closeted homosexual or that the real cause of his death, according to Kramer and others, was aids.

The epidemic also pitted gay activists against their more conservative Wall Street counterparts. Up until the eighties, most activists were willing to grant closeted tycoons their privacy, but as the gay movement took a radical turn, Kramer and his cohorts dispensed with the rules. Magazines like Outweek began outing closeted titans like David Geffen and Malcolm Forbes. In a much-talked-about speech in 1982, later published in his book Report From the Holocaust, Kramer took aim at one of the Street’s most celebrated figures, Richard Jenrette, for not taking a more public stance during the epidemic.

At the age of 30, Jenrette co-founded, with two of his Harvard Business School classmates, the investment-banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, which now grosses more than $5.4 billion a year. In the late sixties, Jenrette launched Alliance Capital, which became one of the world’s largest money-management firms, and he went on to head the Equitable, leading a stunning turnaround at the struggling insurance giant. Now retired at 69, he remains the courtly southern gentleman, favoring conservative Brooks Brothers suits. An avid art collector and an antiques buff, he spends most of his time restoring old mansions. He currently owns six, including an 1840 plantation in South Carolina, an 1838 house in Charleston, and a spectacular 1820 house on the Hudson River.

Though scrupulously low-key about his sexuality, he has lived with the same partner for nearly two decades and occupies a position on the periphery of the Gay Establishment. Kramer says that when Gay Men’s Health Crisis was founded in the early eighties, Jenrette was among the first to write a check, but the financier spurned subsequent requests to donate more or to serve on the GMHC board.

“The fact is, Jenrette has benefited a lot from the strides of the gay movement,” argues Kramer. “We, in turn, need visible people like him to self-identify. Why are gays on Wall Street living by the fears of a previous generation?

“If Dick Jenrette had been a real hero and honest about his sexuality, maybe the current generation would be bolder,” Kramer adds. “At this point, he has absolutely nothing to lose.”

Jenrette is just as vehement in response. “I’ve always thought a person’s sex life is their own business,” he bristles when asked about criticisms such as Kramer’s. “I don’t see why I have to declare my sexuality. I don’t need to have a confessional. I think it’s terrible: Are you gay or straight? People are everything. I think it sets a worse example if everyone declares how they do it. Orally, anally, with the family dog? One’s personal life is a very private thing. I think my personal life is my own.”

While many younger Wall Street gays cite Jenrette’s unwillingness to take the lead as a disappointment, Andrew Tobias, the best-selling financial writer and gay memoirist, believes the reticence of people in Jenrette’s generation is understandable. “They came of age at a time when to be gay was an abomination, like cheating on your wife,” he says. “The younger, more junior gay people on Wall Street are proud, but they say, Why jeopardize the chance of making big money?

In fact, for younger gays, many of whom came out in the liberal atmosphere of college only to find themselves pushed back into the closet at work, the transition can be especially difficult. “The anti-gay jokes are common, accepted, and almost encouraged,” says Robert Fenyk, a young Merrill Lynch broker who left the firm in disgust in 1994. “When traders make anti-gay jokes, they really do it because they are anti-gay, versus just ‘busting’ on a Brooklyn guy because he has an Italian accent. I don’t think the straight community on Wall Street wants to know you’re gay. They don’t want to learn how to deal with gay men. I don’t see full acceptance in my lifetime, and I’m 31.”

While there are no particular fiefdoms at the big financial firms that are uncommonly tolerant of homosexuality, some institutions and divisions are reportedly more tolerant than others. Most gays and lesbians take pains to avoid the trading floors – raucous boys’ clubs that one gay trader compares to “a holding pen at Rikers – but less refined.”

Nevertheless, there are exceptions. One trader began his career in mergers and acquisitions but transferred after just two years, partly because he figured that the trading floor would be easier to take than the suburban-country-club socializing expected of investment bankers: “Sure, there’s an awful lot of machismo on the trading floor. There are guys who smash phones. There’s a lot of shouting, talking about football, going out for beers after work. But I don’t find that particularly problematic. I always thought that M&A was a more difficult environment to be out in, especially at a senior level, when you’re forced to take clients and their wives to golf events.”

While Wall Street may talk up the meritocratic ideal, its entrenched culture is still socially conservative. Wall Street firms do keep very close tabs on who produces what profits, but they don’t always pay the individuals in direct proportion to their performance.

This discrepancy is particularly pronounced when it comes to bonuses, which often constitute the biggest part of a professional’s pay. Elizabeth Goldstein, the former Bankers Trust trader, says that married guys with children are usually able to plead rather effectively for the largest bonuses, claiming they need the money for things like private-school tuition.

Their supervisors – often family men with financial burdens – empathize with them and pay up. Single women and gay men tend to be shortchanged at bonus time, because they can’t make as effective a case for higher compensation. Since the system rewards married providers with children, it’s not surprising that many Wall Streeters seem to have unusually large families and traditional, stay-at-home wives. In this environment, a single gay man with no children – and a partner whose existence he doesn’t dare discuss – seems conspicuously out of place.

In fact, some find it especially hard to maintain relationships in the atmosphere of Wall Street. “Every time I’d find a relationship, my company would move me to another continent,” sighs one trader. “If you’re straight, the firm will make provisions to move your wife or girlfriend along. Because you can’t be open, they move you around at will.”

James Pepper, an openly gay managing director at Brundage, Story and Rose, a money-management firm, describes the dilemma of a closeted investment banker currently under consideration for a lucrative partnership at one of the Street’s most prestigious houses. “If he were out, they might not feel comfortable having him as a partner. Yes, they will shut their eyes if he makes a strong economic contribution. But if there are five partnerships available and six people who make equal money, then they won’t choose him.”

There are exceptions, of course. When Joe Cherner was trading 30-year Treasury bonds at Kidder, Peabody in the eighties, his lover accompanied him to Christmas parties and social events. “My sexuality had very little to do with my job,” says Cherner, who was president of his class at Columbia Business School. “I don’t see where sexuality is or should be an issue. In my specific instance, I didn’t have a problem being accepted.” But Cherner left Wall Street after seven years.

Though gay bankers and traders may know one another by reputation, they by and large take pains to avoid one another at work. A loose social network of gay financial types sometimes hooks up at private homes and parties, but “when you run into someone that’s gay during the day, you’re not gonna ask them how their boyfriend is or anything,” says one banker. It’s not something you want to bring up.” At Goldman Sachs, two partners in a long-term relationship were so worried that their secret would be exposed that they didn’t speak to each other at Goldman’s offices.

In 1983, a group of gay financiers at J.P. Morgan and Bankers Trust founded a professional association they called the New York Bankers’ Group, with the idea that it would allow them to share experiences and contacts. In the group’s early days, meetings were held at private homes, and many of the addresses on their mailing list read “Mr. and Mrs.” because members were pretending to be married.

Today, NYBG has more than 300 members, 70 percent of them male, ranging from traders in their mid-twenties to retirees, who meet monthly at various Manhattan locales. The majority are in commercial banking, but there is a large investment-banking contingent as well. Ironically, even the president of the organization, a 27-year-old working for a foreign bank, declines to be identified.

“We provide a way to network with other people in your institution,” he says. “Many people meet their boss’s boss or a close co-worker who they didn’t know was gay.”

Though the group’s president says NYBG members include senior executives at J.P. Morgan, Standard & Poor’s, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, and Bankers Trust, the group’s membership list is kept strictly confidential: NYBG internally publishes a networking directory that’s available only to members.

Last December, 106 members attended the group’s Christmas party at Flute, a swank champagne bar in an old speakeasy. NYBG events like this are “not cruisey,” says one NYBG member who met his first boyfriend through the group, “but a lot of business cards are exchanged. There are a lot of good-looking guys, professional and well-off – very high dating-and-relationship potential.”

More important, he says, he has found the Bankers’ Group to be a great way to find mentors – though for the most part, their experience has convinced him that it wouldn’t be advisable to be out at work.

Judging from their representation in groups like NYBG, Wall Street’s lesbians are even less visible and organized than their gay male counterparts. “There so much competition that most of us feel fortunate just to be here,” says “Gina,” who works in the securities operation of a major firm. “Plenty of people with strong credentials would like to sit in my chair right now.” A trader in her thirties, Gina is out to her family, friends, and neighbors but not to her co-workers, with the exception of her closest colleague, whom she told only after they worked together for years.

Personal lives are usually left alone, she says: “I wouldn’t lie ever, but nobody has ever asked me, Do you have a boyfriend? or Are you married?” But since the firm sent around an announcement saying that it was beginning to extend health benefits to domestic partners, Gina has pondered whether to participate: “I’m not worried about being fired, but I have no doubt that I’d be treated differently given the quite blatant, openly homophobic culture in sales and trading.

“When I’m on the desk, I hear not-nice things about people who are suspected of being gay: ‘Get me that faggot on the line.’… I’ve never heard any racial slurs on the trading desk, and though you hear things about women, they never say anything when I’m around. People have been trained to know better.

“There is progress,” she adds. “You don’t see strippers on the trading floor anymore as ‘birthday presents’ for traders, as there were in the early nineties. But the culture of the swashbuckling trader is definitely still there.”

Personally, she admits, she has little incentive to push for lasting change at the firm, since she isn’t committed to spending her entire career there, as most of her straight colleagues are.

“I don’t foresee a career on Wall Street,” she says. “I took the job to pay off my student loans. The money’s been great for a while, but it’s too oppressive an environment for me to stay here.” Instead, she hopes to start a second career, related to public service.

That’s not an uncommon ambition: In a field where it’s possible to earn enough in a few years to retire in your forties, Wall Street gays often pack up their windfalls and start new lives in philanthropic or political causes. aids organizations and gay-rights groups like the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are also supported by large pools of Wall Street money.

In recent years, in part because of the threat of lawsuits like Joe Daniel’s, dozens of firms have taken steps to officially ban discrimination against gays and lesbians. According to the Human Rights Campaign, New York-based firms that officially ban discrimination include the Equitable, Citigroup (which includes Travelers and Salomon Smith Barney), Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and PaineWebber.

American Express, Bankers Trust, Chase Manhattan, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and Scudder Kemper also offer domestic-partnership benefits for the partners of gay employees.

In 1998, a gay financial writer named Grant Lukenbill helped start a service called the Equality Project, which surveys financial firms and Fortune 500 companies on their workplace policies toward gay and lesbian employees. The group’s Website (www.equalityproject.org) lists companies that meet its seven requirements, which include diversity training as well as domestic-partner benefits and explicit anti-gay-discrimination policies.

Of the New York-based financial firms, only four make the list: American Express, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and Bankers Trust. (Out-of-town firms on the list: BankAmerica in Charlotte, Charles Schwab in San Francisco, and BankBoston.) In any case, even Lukenbill admits that stated policies sometimes don’t make much of a difference. “Some of the companies with the best policies,” he says, “have people with the worst anecdotal examples to the contrary.”

While Bear Stearns does have an official anti-discrimination policy, its existence is news to chairman Alan “Ace” Greenberg. “I don’t think we need one,” he says. “I think it’s clear that we wouldn’t tolerate that kind of thing. All we look for is smart, hungry people who want to be rich. I don’t give a damn what they do at home. We don’t discriminate against anybody,” he jokes. “We even hire Jews!”

Despite official advances, most gay Wall Streeters feel it’s still too risky to venture out. “My manager doesn’t have a problem with gays, but what about my next manager?” asks an experienced broker at one of the biggest firms, who believes his bosses could fire him at will without worrying about discrimination charges. They could simply claim that he didn’t meet performance goals, since every year he’s required to agree to new accounts and greater assets – incredibly high targets that only a tiny percentage of brokers actually attain. “They’ve always got that over you,” he explains. “I’m constantly seeing people fired.”

Those who are openly gay outside work worry about colleagues’ finding out. One broker at a small, stuffy, conservative firm agreed to be filmed for a documentary about a gay march, but he was wary when the producers said they wanted to show the film in a city where he had clients. After much prodding, they agreed to run it only in regions where he had no clients, so the identification of his homosexuality wouldn’t hurt his business. “My clientele is 99 percent heterosexual,” he explains. “They’re high-net-worth individuals, very well-off, and a lot of them are conservative in their political views.”

Sometimes, even the most careful precautions misfire: In a scene out of a Paul Rudnick comedy, “Keith,” an executive at a major investment bank, agreed to an after-work date with his boyfriend at a bar near his office. The boyfriend suggested the location, which he thought was a “gay lounge.” It was, but just one night a week. That evening, it drew a mixed crowd.

When Keith arrived early for the rendezvous, the scene was set for a farce. He immediately ran into a straight associate who asked Keith to join him and a friend for a drink. As the trio talked, Keith noticed his boyfriend enter the bar and move quickly toward him.

Keith knew what would happen next. “It suddenly occurred to me that he was going to give me a kiss,” Keith recalls. “I wanted to put up my arms to block him. My reaction was horror, which is appalling.” Sure enough, the boyfriend kissed him on the lips. It was a chaste, closed-mouth “hello” kiss, but nonetheless, the straight financiers appeared shocked. On cue, they began talking about women, as if to prove their heterosexuality bona fides.

“It was a very awkward moment, and I was just happy to get out of there,” recalls Keith, who points out that he faced no repercussions. “The bottom line is, I don’t have a problem being myself. The danger in this business is being myself too loudly.”

For a long time, walter schubert felt the same way. Now 42, Schubert grew up in a conservative, Republican, Irish Catholic family in West Orange, New Jersey, where “it was just not okay to be gay,” he says. “I lived for many years with an inordinate amount of shame and guilt.” He hadn’t planned to follow his grandfather and father to the floor of the exchange. He really wanted to be a diplomat in the foreign service. But in 1977, when Schubert was a sophomore at Skidmore, his father was told by doctors that he had only six months to live. Walter, then 20 and the oldest of six children, quit school to learn the family business at the Big Board.

“My role was to be the provider for my mother, brother, and sisters,” he recalls. “I didn’t hesitate.” A year after his father’s death in 1979, Schubert became the youngest member of the New York Stock Exchange. He was 23.

“I knew from the start that I was going to have to face this, but I couldn’t construct a successful career being an openly gay man on the floor of the exchange. In 1980, it was a very conservative, conformist place that didn’t like anyone who was challenging to the status quo. To step out, to be even slightly different – people weren’t going to go for that.”

Trying to fit in, Schubert dated many women and was even engaged to be married – twice. But the pretense wore him down. “I was becoming unhappy, self-destructive. I started to sabotage my success. By the mid-nineties, after fifteen years of taking care of my family, I thought it was time to live my life.”

In 1993, he began coming out privately to friends and relatives, though he remained closeted at work. But by 1994, the rumors of his homosexuality were spreading wildly. “It was becoming an open secret on the trading floor. It was pretty uncomfortable,” he says. Finally, a colleague confronted Walter directly. “When I was asked on the floor, rather than being sheepish, I said yes. Twenty-four hours later, I was ‘the gay guy.’ Since then, I’ve been trying to get back my whole identity. It’s been a hard journey.”

When he came out, he held a meeting with his employees, many of whom feared that the firm would lose its customers. Schubert himself had the same fear. He told his people he’d understand if they wanted to leave. None did.

Others who have found mainstream firms too stifling have struck out on their own. In 1994, Robert Fenyk, who spent two unhappy years as a broker at Merrill Lynch, switched from Merrill to Christopher Street Financial, which promotes itself as the only gay-owned-and-operated brokerage and financial-advisory firm in the nation. At Christopher Street (actually located on Wall Street), clients and brokers can talk freely about financial-planning issues specific to homosexuals – tax laws, pension benefits, and how to pass estates on to partners. Founded in 1981, the company was recently taken over by a group of investors including Jennifer Hatch, a 38-year-old veteran of J.P. Morgan and Bear Stearns. It recently opened an office in Fire Island Pines and is planning other branches in Short Hills, New Jersey; Los Angeles; and four to six other cities in the next eighteen months.

Although Christopher Street had the gay market to itself for most of two decades, major firms such as Merrill Lynch and American Express Financial Advisors are also getting into the act. AmEx, in particular, has a reputation for fostering a socially active and politically vocal group of gay employees. Its efforts began five years ago, when an employee named James Law realized that he was the company’s only financial adviser in New York who was openly gay. Noting that the major firms had forfeited the lucrative gay market to boutique firms like Christopher Financial, he and a group of colleagues argued that AmEx should broaden its reach into the community.

The company responded by advertising in national gay magazines such as Out and pouring money into gay charities and organizations. “We’ve found that if we make a commitment to community relations, that’s how we get most of our clients,” Law says. Today, almost 300 of AmEx’s 10,000 financial advisers nationwide, including 30 in New York, are involved in its gay-and-lesbian network, although Law admits that a majority of these advisers are straight, not gay.

Dana Giacchetto, who runs the successful investment-advisory firm the Cassandra Group, says his company has also benefited by hiring openly gay employees and maintaining a welcoming attitude toward gay clients. “Because we focus on the entertainment business, we have a more open, creative client base,” he says. “We serve many, many gay people, and I think they find it easier to do business with us than with buttoned-up firms. For us, it’s not an issue at all.”

Ironically, even as their straight colleagues wake up to the potential of the gay market, many gay brokers remain ambivalent about marketing to other homosexuals. A salesman at a top New York brokerage watched quietly as a straight colleague asked for and received funding from the firm to run a promotional booth at a gay-and-lesbian convention. He realized that he wouldn’t be comfortable making the same request for fear of outing himself at the firm.

Why, in the end, if Wall Street is so inhospitable, do so many gays stay on? Perhaps because, like many of their straight counterparts, they accept that sacrifice is part of the bargain: Staying quiet, playing the game, ignoring the faggot jokes, getting a lap dance – this is the price they pay for a career that offers such lavish material rewards. “It’s a deal with the devil,” says one banker. “No one can say they didn’t know what they were getting into.”

One top gay bond trader relishes the conflict. “Lets face it,” he says, “there’s no place in the world you can make so much money so quickly. Wall Street is the ultimate boys’ club, and like all boys, they get off by pushing each other around and earn special points by bashing the fags. But it’s a culture that rewards performance and aggression. If you earn enough, and you’re mean enough, and you go with the flow, no one can hurt you. You just need to remember that every time they fuck with you, you fuck with them twice as hard.”

On the worst days at work, they can comfort themselves with Rolex watches, Aspen ski weekends, Gramercy Park apartments, orchestra seats, and the other perks of their profession. At a recent party attended by gay financial-world types, the payoff was palpable. Well-dressed men chattered happily as a handsome server walked around with trays of hors d’oeuvre. They discussed plans for their Hamptons summer houses and Fire Island retreats, trips to South Beach, safaris in Kenya.

One man, a tanned, dapper banker in his forties, talked cheerfully, if a tad defensively, about his life. Working on Wall Street, he said, had allowed him to see the world, meet famous people, generously donate to the causes he found important. Yes, it was true that he had to be discreet at work, but in the end, what a small price to pay.

After his third glass of champagne, he settled into the plush leather couch, and for a moment his brimming confidence seemed to shrink. He acknowledged that he had not had a relationship in more than five years, and that sometimes all the posturing and hiding made him sick. He talked about moving out of New York, cashing out, settling down. “I guess it’s true that in the end they buy you,” he said. “They buy your dignity. And the worst thing is, you happily sell it to them.” Thinking it through, he remained silent for about a minute, until a thought seemed to perk him up again. “I guess,” he said, smiling, “people have sold their self-respect for a lot less than $3 million a year.”

Reference

Stefano Cucchi: How One Death In Custody Has Become The Symbol Of Police Brutality In Italy

Stefano Cucchi's siter, Ilaria Cucchi

The death in custody of 31-year-old Stefano Cucchi has brought the abuse of police power under scrutiny in Italy. After losing her brother and enduring the subsequent trial, Ilaria Cucchi is now receiving harassment and online threats from police officers. Sociologists say Stefano’s case is not isolated and ask what the country will do to clean up its policing.

The Netflix film On My Skin (Sulla Mia Pelle), directed by Alessio Cremonini and starring Alessandro Borghi, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August 2018.

At the end of the screening, Ilaria, a woman wearing a red dress, walked towards the film’s director, who was standing in the front row of the cinema receiving applause, and wrapped her arms around his neck.

The embrace momentarily hid their noticeably moved faces from the gaze of the surrounding crowd.

On My Skin (featured in our collection of human rights documentaries) tells the story of a man who was arrested by Carabinieri (Italy’s domestic police) officers in Rome and died in unclear circumstances after seven days of being in precautionary custody.

The man was Ilaria’s younger brother, Stefano Cucchi.

Since his death in 2009, Stefano, 31, has become an icon of the abuse of police power in Italy.

He was arrested on 15 October 2009, after being caught handing a dose of cannabis to his friend Emanuele Mancini.

He spent his first night in custody in a Carabinieri cell. The next day he was taken to a prison wing of the local general hospital with distinct marks and bruises on his eyes, back pain and injuries to his legs.

Seven days after his arrest, at 6.15am on 22 October, Stefano was found dead in his hospital bed.

This young amateur boxer was in good health before his arrest but his family obtained photographs from the morgue showing Stefano’s emaciated body covered in purple bruises. They rejected the assertion that Stefano had died of natural causes and began a campaign for justice.

A SISTER’S FIGHT FOR JUSTICE

Stefano’s story sparked a debate about the abuse of police power at a national level. The case polarised the Italian public, as the story was heavily politicised and peppered with accusations, slander, threats and cover-ups.

Stefano’s sister Ilaria received support from many, but she also received criticism and scorn from those who believed the Carabinieri officers’ integrity and innocence.

However, this year – seven years after the first trial – one of the Carabinieri officers involved in the trial added a new twist to the story.

On My Skin Sulla Mia Pelle film poster

On My Skin (Sulla Mia Pelle) film poster

On 11 October 2018, Francesco Tedesco, one of the three indicted officers, confessed that Stefano had been beaten, accusing his two colleagues, Alessio di Bernardo and Raffaele D’Alessandro. Tedesco claimed he was only a witness to the abuse and tried to stop the other two officers as they beat him for refusing to cooperate.

Furthermore, he accused his superiors of forcing him to stay silent about what happened that night.

He claimed to have written a report about the beating, but said it was suppressed by his managers.

Seven years after the first trial, following 45 hearings, dozens of reports, investigations and more than 100 testimonies collected from witnesses, the second trial is still not concluded. The confession of Francesco Tedesco, however, could add a new direction.

Stefano’s sister Ilaria Cucchi hasn’t been alone in her battle as she has significant public support in fighting for justice.

Nevertheless, since the release of On My Skin, Ilaria has been receiving death threats on Facebook from supporters of the Northern League (one of Italy’s two co-ruling political parties) and from accounts she believes belong to police officers.

On 20 October 2018, Ilaria posted one such comment on Facebook, saying she feels that she and her loved ones (as well as lawyer Fabio Anselmo, who followed Stefano’s case from the beginning) are in danger.

SHINING A LIGHT ON POLICE BRUTALITY IN ITALY

Anselmo’s law career spans some of the most renowed cases of abuse of power in Italy.

In 2005, he represented the family of 18-year-old Federico Aldrovandi, who was killed by four police officers when he was returning to his home in Ferrara. The trial ended in 2012 with the four officers sentenced to three years and six months each. This was later reduced by the Italian parliament to just six months each and the officers have now returned to work.

Lawyer Fabio Anselmo
Lawyer Fabio Anselmo

Anselmo was also involved in the case of Giuseppe Uva, who died in unclear circumstances in 2008 while in police custody. The trial is ongoing.

These and other cases have brought to public opinion the concept of “morti di Stato” (deaths at the hands of the Italian State), a term which defines all those incidents of violent deaths in police custody and the corresponding abuse of power.

While the abuse of police power is not unusual in Italy, it’s not easy to obtain statistics or figures on the topic as the only available sources are the witnesses in the trials.

And while the stories of Stefano Cucchi, Federico Aldrovandi and Giuseppe Uva are the most well known among the Italian public, there are many more cases which have not yet had media coverage.

Federico Aldrovandi before his death
Federico Aldrovandi before his death

International organisations such as the UN and the EU have criticised Italian policing of certain events.

One of the most widely reported episodes in recent years of abuse of police power in Italy occurred in July 2001, during the 27th G8 summit hosted by Italy, in Genoa.

The two-day summit was attended by leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US. The summit drew 200,000 protesters from all over the world for a mass demonstration.

Between July 19 and 22, hundreds of demonstrators were involved in clashes with Italian police officers. Many were injured and 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani, was shot dead by officer Mario Placanica as he and other protesters attacked the officer’s van.

On 21st July, the day after Giuliani’s death, 250 police officers raided the Armando Diaz school with additional support from Carabinieri officers, beat demonstrators who were spending the night there. Police authorities justified the assault claiming that they were looking for black-bloc members (hard left protesters who wear black and obscure their faces) who had devastated part of the city of Genoa during the previous days of the summit. They arrested 93 people, but only one belonged to the black-bloc group. Nevertheless, 61 of them were taken to hospital with injuries.

In the same night, the police brought some of the activists and demonstrators arrested in the school to holding cells in the barracks of Bolzaneto, a suburb of Genoa. There, some of the officers tortured several people, mentally and physically, using humiliation, threats and beatings. They even forced some to exalt Fascism.

Amnesty International labelled the incidents during 2001’s G8 “the most serious suspension of democratic rights in a Western country since the Second World War”.

In 2015, The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Italy for the events, defining the violence committed by police officers as acts of torture. Later, Italy financially compensated 29 people who were beaten at Armando Diaz School and six who were tortured in the Bolzaneto barracks.

ITALIAN LAWS FAIL TO MEET INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

At an international level, Italy ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture in 1989, but did not introduce the convention into its legal system. In 2016, Ilaria Cucchi launched a petition on Change.orgto introduce a law against torture. She gained more than 240,000 signatures. Eventually, Italy introduced the law in 2017, motivated by the verdicts of the ECHR

Ilaria Cucchi's Change petition for Stefano Cucchi

However, according to the UN, as well as some experts and international human rights associations, the new law doesn’t respect international standards. As Human Rights Watch highlighted in their report, “the text of the new law requires ‘multiple acts’ for torture to occur. The [UN] convention, reflecting the international law, affirms ‘any act’ might be torture if it meets the gravity standard. The new law also requires that psychological trauma be ‘verifiable’ to establish ‘psychological’ torture”.

In the same report, Human Rights Watch said the discrepancy between the definition of torture drafted in the UN convention and the new law adopted by Italy (article 613-bis of the Penal Code) implies that “the restrictive definition and short statute of limitations – in a country whose judiciary system is infamous for its lengthy trials – raises the risks that torture will go unpunished, as well as hinder the ability of victims to get redress. This means that Italy will continue to be in violation of its international obligations.”.

Criticism about the new law, but for opposite reasons, came from some Italian right-wing movements too. On 12th July 2018, Fratelli D’Italia (Brothers of Italy) leader Giorgia Meloni announced on Twitter two proposals to abolish the crime of torture in Italy, on the grounds that the law would hinder the police officers to work properly. Her tweet has been widely criticised.

Two years before the introduction of the law, the current Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini criticised the verdict of the ECHR concerning the G8 in 2001 and said that a law against torture is a nonsense law that would allow criminals to blackmail police officers.

COULD CUCCHI’S CASE LEAD TO IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICING?

Based at the University of Genoa, professor of sociology Salvatore Palidda is one of the few Italian researchers focusing on the relationship between police and civil society.

Stefano Cucchi before his death
Stefano Cucchi before his death

According to Palidda, there are hundreds of cases like Cucchi’s, Aldrovandi’s and Uva’s that have not received media coverage, because they concern outcasts or immigrants without residency permits.

“The activity of police forces is always characterised by the coexistence of a peaceful management and a violent one. The discretion of power held by officers may turn into free will and lead to torture and murder”, Palidda said.

Key to understanding the violence perpetrated by some officers is their sense of impunity. “Some police managers tolerate and cover up illicit behaviours of officers in order to earn the respect of other subordinates and police trade unions,” Palidda explained.

Another factor that facilitates impunity is the reticence of police force members to report their colleagues. The stories of Aldrovandi, Cucchi and Uva, as well as the facts of the 2001 G8 in Genoa and many others are characterised by cover-ups and silence imposed by the officer’s superiors and colleagues. Indeed, the unexpected confession of the Carabinieri officer Francesco Tedesco regarding the death of Stefano Cucchi is a rare breach of this convention.

Palidda says one practical method of containing and controlling police brutality in Italy is to “establish an independent authority that would monitor and regulate the activities of police forces. This should bring impunity to an end and tribunals would investigate the alleged crimes without the support of police”.

However, he added, “these measures are possible only in a country where most of the population has an effective sense of democracy”.

Reference

Gay History: The Pink Triangle: From Nazi Label to Symbol of Gay Pride

Pink triangles were originally used in concentration camps to identify gay prisoners.

Before the pink triangle became a worldwide symbol of gay power and pride, it was intended as a badge of shame. In Nazi Germany, a downward-pointing pink triangle was sewn onto the shirts of gay men in concentration camps—to identify and further dehumanize them. It wasn’t until the 1970s that activists would reclaim the symbol as one of liberation.

Homosexuality was technically made illegal in Germany in 1871, but it was rarely enforced until the Nazi Party took power in 1933. As part of their mission to racially and culturally “purify” Germany, the Nazis arrested thousands of LGBT individuals, mostly gay men, whom they viewed as degenerate.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates 100,000 gay men were arrested and between 5,000 and 15,000 were placed in concentration camps. Just as Jews were forced to identify themselves with yellow stars, gay men in concentration camps had to wear a large pink triangle. (Brown triangles were used for Romani people, red for political prisoners, green for criminals, blue for immigrants, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses and black for “asocial” people, including prostitutes and lesbians.)

Homosexual prisoners at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, wearing pink triangles on their uniforms on December 19, 1938.
Homosexual prisoners at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, wearing pink triangles on their uniforms on December 19, 1938. Corbis/Getty Images

At the camps, gay men were treated especially harshly, by guards and fellow prisoners alike. “There was no solidarity for the homosexual prisoners; they belonged to the lowest caste,” Pierre Seel, a gay Holocaust survivor, wrote in his memoir I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual: A Memoir of Nazi Terror.

An estimated 65 percent of gay men in concentration camps died between 1933 and 1945. Even after World War II, both East and West Germany upheld the country’s anti-gay law, and many gays remained incarcerated until the early 1970s. (The law was not officially repealed until 1994.)

The early 1970s was also when the gay rights movement began to emerge in Germany. In 1972, The Men with the Pink Triangle, the first autobiography of a gay concentration camp survivor, was published. The next year, post-war Germany’s first gay rights organization, Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (HAW), reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of liberation.

“At its core, the pink triangle represented a piece of our German history that still needed to be dealt with,” Peter Hedenström, one of HAW’s founding members said in 2014.

Memorial plaques for homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and Wehrmacht deserters are placed where once stood one of the demolished barracks in Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany.
Memorial plaques for homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Wehrmacht deserters are placed where once stood one of the demolished barracks in Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany. Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images

Afterwards, it began cropping up in other LGBT circles around the world. In 1986, six New York City activists created a poster with the words SILENCE = DEATH and a bright pink upward-facing triangle, meant to call attention to the AIDs crisis that was decimating populations of gay men across the country. The poster was soon adopted by the organization ACT UP and became a lasting symbol of the AIDS advocacy movement.

The triangle continues to figure prominently in imaging for various LGBT organizations and events. Since the 1990s, signs bearing a pink triangle enclosed in a green circle have been used as a symbol identifying “safe spaces” for queer people. There are pink triangle memorials in San Francisco and Sydney, which honor LGBT victims of the Holocaust. In 2018, for Pride Month, Nike released acollection of shoes featuring pink triangles.

Although the pink triangle has been reclaimed as an empowering symbol, it is ultimately a reminder to never forget the past—and to recognize the persecution LGBT people still face around the world.

Reference

Buddhism 101: Ten Famous Buddhas: Where They Came From; What They Represent

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1. The Giant Faces of Bayon 

The stone faces of Angkor Thom
The stone faces of Angkor Thom are known for their smiling serenity.Mike Harrington / Getty Images

Strictly speaking, this isn’t just one Buddha; it is 200 or so faces decorating the towers of the Bayon, a temple in Cambodia very near the famous Angkor Wat. The Bayon probably was constructed at the end of the 12th century.

Although the faces are often assumed to be of the Buddha, they may have been intended to represent Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Scholars believe they were all made in the likeness of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219), the Khmer monarch who built the Angkor Thom temple complex that contains the Bayon temple and the many faces.

2. The Standing Buddha of Gandhara 

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Standing Buddha of Gandhara, Tokyo National Museum. Public Domain, via Wikipedia Commons

This exquisite Buddha was found near modern-day Peshawar, Pakistan. In ancient times, much of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan was a Buddhist kingdom called Gandhara. Gandhara is remembered today for its art, particularly while being ruled by the Kushan Dynasty, from the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century CE. The first depictions of the Buddha in human form were made by the artists of Kushan Gandhara.

This Buddha was sculpted in the 2nd or 3rd century CE and today is in the Tokyo National Museum. The style of the sculpture is sometimes described as Greek, but the Tokyo National Museum insists it is Roman.

3. A Head of Buddha from Afghanistan 

Head of Buddha from Afghanistan
Head of Buddha from Afghanistan, 300-400 CE.Michel Wal / Wikipedia / GNU Free Documentation License

This head, believed to represent Shakyamuni Buddha, was excavated from an archaeological site in Hadda, Afghanistan, which is ten kilometers south of present-day Jalalabad. It probably was made in the 4th or 5th century CE, although the style is similar to the Graeco-Roman art of earlier times. 

The head now is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Museum curators say the head is made of stucco and was once painted. It’s believed the original statue was attached to a wall and was part of a narrative panel.

4. The Fasting Buddha of Pakistan 

Fasting buddha at lahore museum
The “Fasting Buddha,” a sculpture of ancient Gandhara, was found in Pakistan.Patrik Germann / Wikipedia Commons, Creative Commons License

The “Fasting Buddha” is another masterpiece from ancient Gandhara that was excavated in Sikri, Pakistan, in the 19th century. It probably dates to the 2nd century CE. The sculpture was donated to the Lahore Museum of Pakistan in 1894, where it is still displayed.

Strictly speaking, the statue should be called the “Fasting Bodhisattva” or the “Fasting Siddhartha,” since it portrays an event that took place before the Buddha’s enlightenment. On his spiritual quest, Siddhartha Gautama tried many aesthetic practices, including starving himself until he resembled a living skeleton. Eventually, he realized that mental cultivation and insight, not bodily deprivation, would lead to enlightenment.

5. The Tree Root Buddha of Ayuthaya 

Ayutthaya-Buddha-Head.jpg
© Prachanart Viriyaraks / Contributor / Getty Images

This quirky Buddha appears to be growing from tree roots. This stone head is near a 14th-century temple called Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya, which was once the capital of Siam, and is now in Thailand. In 1767 a Burmese army attacked Ayutthaya and reduced much of it to ruins, including the temple. Burmese soldier vandalized the temple by cutting off the heads of the Buddhas. 

The temple was abandoned until the 1950s when the government of Thailandbegan to restore it. This head was discovered outside the temple grounds, tree roots growing around it.

Another View of the Tree Root Buddha 

Ayutthaya Buddha Head closer
A closer look at the Ayutthaya Buddha. © GUIZIOU Franck / hemis.fr/ Getty Images

The tree root Buddha sometimes called the Ayuthaya Buddha, is a popular subject of Thai postcards and travel guidebooks. It is such a popular tourist attraction it must be watched by a guard, to prevent visitors from touching it.

6. The Longmen Grottoes Vairocana 

longmen Vairocana
Vairocana and Other Figures at Longmen Grottoes. © Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Getty Images

The Longmen Grottoes of Henan Province, China, are a formation of limestone rock carved into tens of thousands of statues over a period of many centuries, beginning about 493 CE. The large (17.14 meters) Vairocana Buddha that dominates the Fengxian Cave was carved in the 7th century. It is regarded to this day as one of the most beautiful representations of Chinese Buddhist art. To get an idea of the size of the figures, find the man in the blue jacket beneath them.

Face of the Longmen Grottoes Vairocana Buddha 

Vairocana Buddha
This face of Vairocana may have been modeled after the Empress Wu Zetian. © Luis Castaneda Inc. / The Image Bank

Here is a closer look at the face of the Longmen Grottoes Vairocana Buddha. This section of the grottoes was carved during the life of the Empress Wu Zetian (625-705 CE). An inscription at the base of the Vairocana honors the Empress, and it is said that the face of the Empress served as the model for the face of Vairocana.

7. The Giant Leshan Buddha 

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Tourists flock around the giant Buddha of Leshan, China. © Marius Hepp / EyeEm / Getty Images

He’s not the most beautiful Buddha, but the giant Maitreya Buddha of Leshan, China, does make an impression. He’s held the record for world’s largest seated stone Buddha for more than 13 centuries. He is 233 feet (about 71 meters) tall. His shoulders are about 92 feet (28 meters) wide. His fingers are 11 feet (3 meters) long.

The giant Buddha sits at the confluence of three rivers — the Dadu, Qingyi, and Minjiang. According to legend, a monk named Hai Tong decided to erect a Buddha to placate water spirits that were causing boat accidents. Hai Tong begged for 20 years to raise the money to carve the Buddha. Work began in 713 CE and was completed in 803 CE.

8. The Seated Buddha of Gal Vihara 

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The Buddhas of Gal Vihara remain popular with pilgrims and tourists alike. © Peter Barritt / Getty Images

Gal Vihara is a rock temple in north-central Sri Lanka that was built in the 12th century. Although it has fallen into ruin, Gal Vihara today is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims. The dominant feature is a giant granite block, from which four images of the Buddha were carved. Archaeologists say the four figures were originally covered in gold. The seated Buddha in the photograph is over 15 feet tall.

9. The Kamakura Daibutsu, or Great Buddha of Kamakura 

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The Great Buddha (Daibutsu) of Kamakura, Honshu, Kanagawa Japan. © Peter Wilson / Getty Images

He isn’t the biggest Buddha in Japan​ or the oldest, but the Daibutsu — Great Buddha — of Kamakura has long been the most iconic Buddha in Japan. Japanese artists and poets have celebrated this Buddha for centuries; Rudyard Kipling also made the Kamakura Daibutsu the subject of a poem, and the American artist John La Farge painted a popular watercolor of the Daibutsu in 1887 that introduced him to the West.

The bronze statue, believed to have been made in 1252, depicts Amitabha Buddha, called Amida Butsu in Japan.

10. The Tian Tan Buddha 

Tian Tan Buddha
The Tian Tan Buddha is the world’s tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. It is located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. Oye-sensei, Flickr.com, Creative Commons License

The tenth Buddha in our list is the only modern one. The Tian Tan Buddha of Hong Kong was completed in 1993. But he’s quickly turning into one of the most photographed Buddhas in the world. The Tian Tan Buddha is 110 feet (34 meters) tall and weighs 250 metric tons (280 short tons). It is located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is called the “Tian Tan” because its base is a replica of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

The Tian Tan Buddha’s right hand is raised to remove affliction. His left hand rests on his knee, representing happiness. It is said that on a clear day the Tian Tan Buddha can be seen as far away as Macau, which is 40 miles west of Hong Kong.

He’s no rival in size to the stone Leshan Buddha, but the Tian Tan Buddha is the largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha in the world. The massive statue took ten years to cast.

Reference

  • O’Brien, Barbara. “Ten Famous Buddhas: Where They Came From; What They Represent.” Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, learnreligions.com/famous-buddhas-where-they-came-from-what-they-represent-449986.