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Much ado about Leo.


WELCOME!

Oil up to the bar, old horse, order a stiff one from young Mabel and meet your host, Leo Biblitz, a spreading blot on the family escutcheon:

Biblitz escutcheon

Reynard the Fox at the court of King Noble, celebrated Biblitz forebear, by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, from Geothe's Reineke Fuchs, 1846, the frontispiece of a new Biblitz favorite, In Praise of Flattery by Willis Goth Regier.

Biblitz, in a word:

TeaMan

A variation on the Ceylon Tea poster featured in Rupert Garcia, Prints and Posters 1967-1990, p. 16.

Biblitz on the current state of human relations:

TigerDudgeon

The tiger (just like Biblitz, it seems) can test 'scents' it encounters in its environment, using the Jacobson's organ, which is located on the roof of its mouth. It does so through a behavior known as 'flehmen', which consists of opening the mouth with the head raised, and sticking its tongue out briefly, while the lips are curled and drawn back. The tongue is then drawn in and the strange scent tested using the Jacobson's organ. Flehmen is performed in response to scent from other tigers, other carnivore species, and sometimes with other unfamiliar odors. (From The Way of the Tiger by K. Ullas Karanth, p. 52)

Biblitz employs a similar test though to somewhat less spectacular effect while trawiling the Internet and the world at large, seeking solutions to the mysteries that seem to dog each of us, so to speak, on The Great Journey. How, for instance, to sniff out predators and other riff-raff skulking about various social networks in search of easy pickings?

There is a great deal more to be said, seen and heard about all this in the days and weeks and weary work - gasp! - still to come. In the meantime, if you, dear reader, have anything to say on the matter of dating, marriage, divorce, children, work, construction fiascos, product liability, bylaw enforcement, international trade, the price of fish or turnips or going green, BLAST that Biblitz!, dash him, using the icon top left on this very page.

Biblitz on a few of life's harmless pleasures:

Prohibition, forsooth!
Have A Few Quick Ones!

prohibition

"When, oh when, will they outlaw alcohol?" cries this temperance poster, voicing the unspoken words of the wife and mother. Covering her eyes in shame - as if that would prevent her children and the rest of the world from seeing her husband's sorry state - she asks him to give up his bottle. But even if he does, it won't be for long. (From the caption beside the poster by Chavannah in First Ladies of the Poster, The Gold Collection by Laura Gold, p. 36)

Tut-tut. Stick to it, my good man, like glue, says libertarian Biblitz. Strong drink and strong opinions, each in liberal measure!

Biblitz on fitness and, ugh, diet:

First, a few words on moral decay.

... and how to remedy the situation:


In Praise of Flattery

Hardcover
By Willis Goth Regier


Erasmus, that wisest of humanists, on flattery, a noble pastime Biblitz would encourage:


There is a kind of flattery which is wholly noxious, and a good many treacherous persons use it in mockery in order to destroy their unfortunate victims. But the form I use stems from a sort of ingenuous goodness of heart and is far nearer being a virtue than the critical asperity which is its opposite: what Horace calls a harsh and disagreeable surliness. Mine raises downcast spirits, comforts the sad, rouses the apathetic, stirs up the stolid, cheers the sick, restrains the headstrong, brings lovers together and keeps them united. It attracts children to pursue the study of letters, makes old men happy, and offers advice and counsel to princes in the form of praise which doesn't give offence. In short, it makes everyone more agreeable and likeable to himself, and this is the main ingredient in happiness ... For the moment I'll say nothing about the large part flattery plays in your celebrated eloquence, a larger one in medicine and its largest in poetry, but will sum up by saying that it is what sweetens and gives savor to every human relationship. (-- p. 31)

Knew his onions, this Erasmus fellow. Cups up to him, says Biblitz!

Rupert Garcia

Prints and Posters Grabados y Afiches 1967-1990

Paperback

Rupert Garcia first became known for his political posters during the late sixties and early seventies when he was active in student and Mexican American/Latino cultural movements. Working primarily with silkscreen technique, he developed a bold style, appropriating many of the pictorial devices and premises of Pop Art, but subverting them from a Mexican American and Third World perspective to serve his own aesthetic and ideological ends. (From the Directors'Forward, p. 7)

A man of sound artistic principles, Biblitz feels!

The Way of the Tiger

Natural History and Conservation of the Endangered Big Cat

Hardcover
By K. Ullas Karanth

An underlying social factor helped the establishment of tiger reserves in India and Nepal. In both countries the predominant Hindu religion accepted the basic idea that in addition to humans, other species, too, have a right to survive on this planet. While this broad philosophy did not stop people from killing tigers or their prey, it certainly helped them to accept the establishment of protected areas in their localities with a greater degree of tolerance than almost anywhere else in the world. The Hindu sense of guilt at killing an animal (even the most inveterate meat-eaters turn vegetarian when ritual demands) made it easier for the reserve staff to prosecute poachers. ... (From The Enemy We Admire, p. 105)

First Ladies of the Poster

The Gold Collection

Paperback
By Laura Gold

... Along the way, the focus of my private collection became the story of women at the turn of the 20th century. Women emerging into the full force of life at the time. We see the female being used for commercial exploitation and, at the same time, coming out of the home and into the swirl of the Industrial Revolution, entering the social fabric of "La Belle Epoque." ... This selection of images may not be as comprehensive as a historian or curator would prefer. ... (From the author's Preface, p. xi)

True enough, madam, but Biblitz won't hold it against you.

A good pal Biblitz consults frequently:

Miss Manners Rescues Civilization

From Sexual Harassment, Frivolous Lawsuits, Dissing and Other Lapses in Civility

Hardcover
By Judith Martin
With illustrations by Daniel Mark Duffy


On simple etiquette, that most essential tool in human relations that seems to have gone missing:


The charge that etiquette is elitist is something else. That hurts. Etiquette is the great equalizer. It applies equally to everyone, and it's equally available to everyone - free. The etiquette-less rule of behavior used by those with power toward those without power is a natural and logical one: Might makes right. Get out of my way or I'll blast you into next week. There is a more refined version, which is: Go ahead, sue me - and may the most expensive lawyer win. When society refuses to obey the rules of etiquette, rudeness becomes much more of a burden to the poor than to the rich, who can often pay for special treatment and buy their way out of any trouble caused by their own rude behavior. It takes quaint old manners to come up with such an unnatural and illogical concept as noblesse oblige. A mainstay of etiquette, this requires the powerful not only to avoid taking easy advantage of the weak, but to behave even more politely to those whom they could buy and sell than to those whom they might find it advantageous to flatter. Etiquette condemns all rudeness, but it secretly recognizes that being rude to a superior at least has a bit of reckless glamour to it. (Caution: This should not be interpreted to mean that Miss Manners is fair game.) Being rude to a subordinate, such as an employee, who is not in a position to respond in kind is one of the most heinous crimes known to etiquette. Who dares call that elitist? (From The Case Against Etiquette, pgs. 6-7)

... But how the deuce is one to know whether an actual person will, in fact, read each submission?

ladyReading

A variation of Fernand Gottlob's poster for the 2e Exposition des Peintres Lithographes featured in its entirety in First Ladies of the Poster, The Gold Collection by Laura Gold, p. 126.

Oh, ye of little faith! How hath one so young acquired such a jaundiced view of dear old Uncle Biblitz? Rest assured, dear readers and dear writers, that there are vast legions of earnest toilers just like this gentle lady under the Biblitz command, busily scraping at sealing wax and whistling a cheerful tune as they set the mail before me in neat, little piles!