Intl. Notebook Nov 1 2020
VERY GOOD YEARS
We're still at it because like all PIs we're persistent.


So we've been doing Pulp Intl. for twelve full years, as of today. That's a lot of trainspotting. Sometimes we're asked why there's so little information about us on the site. To us, there's too much, but we're flattered anyone would care. We can put a little info out there. We're nobodies. See? That was easy. We've also had people ask us to explain exactly what the site is about. Okay, what we're trying to do is create a conversation about art, literature, and cinema, and how they're perceived culturally, but especially temporally, while also mixing in real world material mirroring the focus of those media, which is why we examine feminine beauty, vintage tabloids, and old crimes. We're trying to do all that while using the actual art as a launching point and being light in tone when we discuss it. First the art, then the work it promotes, then the implications of the art and the work.

One aspect of these musings involves the influence of the profit motive on media. Seeking ever larger payouts, publishers and movie studios have jettisoned virtuosic promo illustrations created by artistic masters in favor of art designed in computer programs, nearly all of it within the capabilities of any graphic design graduate. The arc is interesting to observe. At the beginning of the mass media era beautiful art was not a priority for publishers and studios. Both realms experienced a peak in design that paralleled the rising popularity of their products, followed by a dramatic falloff in artistic quality even though their products remained popular. So with Pulp, in addition to discussing the merits of film and literature, we also like to look at how promo art developed, improved, then degraded over time.

Another area we're interested in is sex in media. Depictions of sex—the single most important thing humans ever do—have almost vanished from popular media. We think this happened due to fear, guilt, the influence of a minority of puritanical reactionaries, and the politicization of even loving and joyful depictions of sex. Yet the ongoing banishment of sex hasn't benefitted society, but instead has given an innovative pornography sector outsize influence over ideas of what constitutes normal forms of sex. We sometimes imagine future alien archaeologists, thousands of years from now, sifting through the rubble of U.S. civilization. Like earthly archaeologists they would look for clues who their subjects were in their art, and when they discerned that violence and death were viewed as entertainment but the procreative act was seen as shameful, they'd reach the conclusion that there was something seriously wrong with the creatures they were studying. So with Pulp, we like to ponder whether the loss of sex from popular media is a step forward or a step backward.

Why are we qualified to do ask all these questions? We're not. But we've been well schooled, well careered, and have seen and done a lot. We've been, either separately or collectively: screenwriters, magazine editors, musicians, workers in the porn industry (behind the camera), Hollywood insiders, social outsiders, bar owners, heavy drinkers, heavy drug users, global travelers, longtime residents of lands far flung from the Colorado where we spent our youths, and sources of consternation for many. And there are only two of us that do this site, so that's a lot of experiential ground covered in a number of years that would surprise you in their brevity. We're not experts about anything related to pulp, and the only credentials we have consist of Pulp Intl. itself. We use this website to learn as we go, and our visitorship from you guys makes the process fun.

Right now, twelve years in, Pulp. Intl. is doing fine. But we still haven't gotten the site redesigned, and at this point we realize we never will. Little pieces of it stop working occasionally, due to changes in the architecture of the internet. We realize that one day, due to some glitch or obsolescence, the entire site will go offline. We'll wake up and it'll be inaccessible, and that will be that. But we're going proceed as if Pulp Intl. will last forever. And if that moment comes when the site vanishes and doesn't reappear within a few days, it won't because we just quit. It'll be because rebuilding it was too hard. On the other hand, maybe instead of trying to do it ourselves we'll finally pay somebody to bring it all up to spec so it'll run smoothly. There's that option too. We'll see. Thanks for your visits, and please keep coming back. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 12
1945—Franklin Roosevelt Dies
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage while sitting for a portrait in the White House. After a White House funeral on April 14, Roosevelt's body is transported by train to his hometown of Hyde Park, New York, and on April 15 he is buried in the rose garden of the Roosevelt family home.
April 11
1916—Richard Harding Davis Dies
American journalist, playwright, and author Richard Harding Davis dies of a heart attack at home in Philadelphia. Not widely known now, Davis was one of the most important and influential war correspondents ever, establishing his reputation by reporting on the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War, and World War I, as well as his general travels to exotic lands.
April 10
1919—Zapata Is Killed
In Mexico, revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata is shot dead by government forces in the state of Morelos, after a carefully planned ambush. Following the killing, Zapata's revolutionary movement and his Liberation Army of the South slowly fall apart, but his political influence lasts in Mexico to the present day.
1925—Great Gatsby Is Published
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is published in New York City by Charles Scribner's Sons. Though Gatsby is Fitzgerald's best known book today, it was not a success upon publication, and at the time of his death in 1940, Fitzgerald was mostly forgotten as a writer and considered himself to be a failure.
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Reader Pulp
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