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Lolita Controversy Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita deals with a middle-aged writer's sexual infatuation with a 12-year-old girl. Due to its shocking and risque subject matter, Nabokov was unable to find an American publisher for Lolita after finishing his manuscript in 1953. After four refusals, he finally resorted to Olympia Press in Paris in September 1955. (The photo below shows a copy of a first edition.) Although the first printing of 5,000 copies sold out quickly, there were no substantial reviews. However, at the end of 1955, Graham Greene, in an interview with the Times of London, called Lolita one of the best novels of 1955. This statement provoked a response from London's Sunday Express, whose editor called it 'the filthiest book I have ever read' and 'sheer unrestrained pornography.' British Customs officers were then instructed by a panicked Home Office to seize all copies entering the United Kingdom. In December 1956, the French followed suit and the Minister of the Interior banned Lolita. (The ban lasted for two years.) Its eventual British publication by Weidenfeld and Nicolson caused a scandal that contributed to the end of the political career of one of the publishers, Nigel Nicolson. In contrast, American officials were initially nervous, but the first American edition was issued without problems by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1958, and was a bestseller--the first book since Gone with the Wind to sell 100,000 copies in the first three weeks of publication. Today Lolita is widely considered to be one of the finest novels of the 20th century. In 1998, it was named the fourth greatest English language novel of the 20th century by the Modern Library.
Tags: fiction  Lolita  publishing  controversy 
Added: 8th July 2010
Views: 3172
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Posted By: Lava1964
Albertine Lapensee Mystery During the First world War, most of Canada's young able-bodied males enlisted in the military. As a result the quality of men's hockey dropped dramatically. For a short time, women's pro hockey took center stage--and Albertine Lapensee briefly and mysteriously became a superstar. Nicknamed 'the Miracle Maid,' the 26-year-old Lapensee played for her hometown Cornwall (Ontario) Victorias. Her hockey debut came in January 1916 against Ottawa; she scored five of the six goals in Cornwall's victory. Immediately after her debut game, Ottawa players complained that she was really a man. Suspicions and accusations dogged her the rest of her brief career. A week after her debut, Lapensee scored four goals in an 8-0 shutout against the Montreal Westerns before a crowd of about 3,000 fans. At one point the Montreal players yanked off Lapensee's toque to see how long her hair was. (She had braids that fell past her shoulders.) The continuous rumors about Lapensee's gender prompted her hometown newspaper, the Cornwall Standard, to vouch for her. Miss Lapensee, it said, '...played more with her brothers and other boys than with her girlfriends, and this accounts for the masculine style of play she has developed.' Furthermore, 'Scores of people in East Cornwall have known her since her infancy.' Albertine played on, indifferent to the rumours, and the fans didn't seem to mind too much either, as large crowds came to watch her play. In one game she scored 15 goals. When the Victorias agreed to play against the Ottawa Alerts, the Vics' manager had to guarantee Lapensee's appearance by contract. She even behaved like her male counterparts off the ice. She once refused to play until she had been paid, which nearly caused a riot. Although scoring records for the time are incomplete, they indicate Albertine scored about 80 percent of Cornwall's goals in the 1916-1917 season. The next season, Lapensee led her team to an undefeated season. Then, after two spectacular seasons, Albertine Lapensee vanished. There is no record of her playing hockey again--at least as Albertine Lapensee. Family legend says she went to New York in 1918 and had a sex change operation. She/he supposedly married and settled down to run a gas station near Cornwall under the name of Albert Smyth. There are no known photos of Lapensee. Her story is not widely known--not even in Canada.
Tags: hockey  Albertine  Lapensee  controversy  gender 
Added: 24th June 2011
Views: 2595
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Posted By: Lava1964
1896 Five-Dollar Silver Certificate Controversy A new series of $1, $2 and $5 banknotes were printed by the U.S. government in 1896. Known to collectors as the "educational series," the banknotes used classical art motifs to promote advancements in science. For example, the $5 silver certificate's design (shown below) highlighted the new importance that electricity brought to modern society. However, the naked breasts on the female figures sent some prudish folks into a tizzy. Some merchants and bankers in Boston considered the $5 bills to be obscene and refused to accept them--thus creating the term 'banned in Boston.' Despite the controversy, many banknote collectors consider the 1896 series to be the most beautiful ever produced by the U.S. government.
Tags: 1896  banknotes  numismatics  controversy 
Added: 17th July 2011
Views: 3525
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Posted By: Lava1964
Marisa Tomei Oscar Controversy [Note: This is a redo of an earlier post--with a photo that is undoubtedly Marisa Tomei this time!] One of the strangest Academy Awards stories ever focuses on Marisa Tomei's 1992 win for best supporting actress. She was awarded the Oscar for her portrayal of Mona Lisa Vito in the comedy My Cousin Vinny. Immediately after the ceremony, film critic Rex Reed made the stunning claim that presenter Jack Palance had read the wrong nominee's name as the winner. This was an incredible assertion considering that Price Waterhouse (the accounting firm that tabulates the voters' ballots) has two reps stationed near the stage who are empowered to interrupt the ceremony if such a mistake were to occur. (They've never yet had to intervene in the more than half a century of their presence.) Film critic Roger Ebert believes Reed owes Tomei an apology. Tomei herself says the ongoing rumor of her being the wrong winner has tarnished her lone Oscar victory.
Tags: Marisa  Tomei  Oscar  controversy 
Added: 19th August 2011
Views: 5436
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Posted By: Lava1964
Tony Randall Late-Life Fatherhood Controversy Tony Randall, the actor most famous for his TV role as fastidious Felix Unger on The Odd Couple, created a stir in 1997 when he announced that his second wife Heather, 25, was expecting a child. Randall was 77 years old at the time. His first marriage of 50 years, ending with his wife Florence's death in 1992, produced no children. Randall's situation was an oddity: U.S. birth statistics indicate that only about one-tenth of one percent of American children are fathered by men over 60 years old, much less someone nearing 80. Randall learned of the stork's impending visit in 1996, while rehearsing for a production of A Christmas Carol in New York City. Randall was giddily anticipating becoming a father despite his advanced age. “What I look forward to,” he said, “is when the kid is 15 and we go out in the yard to play ball. I’ll only be 90.” (Tony's arithmetic was a little bit off the mark.) But Randall never made it to 90. He was 84 when he died in 2004, leaving behind not only a 7-year-old daughter, Julia, but also a 6-year-old son, Jefferson. The mere fact that Randall was becoming a first-time father as a septuagenarian bothered a lot of people. They complained that although Randall was financially well off, he was virtually guaranteeing his children would be fatherless at an early age. Sociologists' opinions varied. Some claimed that lower testosterone in elderly men made them better suited for parenthood because they were more nurturing. Others suggested Randall was being selfish at the expense of his children's well-being. Still others maintaned it was only the business of the Randall family. After Randall's death, his widow admitted in an interview with Larry King that she had not adequately prepared her children for the likelihood of their father dying while they were young.
Tags: fatherhood  Tony  Randall  controversy 
Added: 20th August 2011
Views: 16471
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Posted By: Lava1964
Proctor and Gamble Logo Controversy Proctor & Gamble's former logo originated in 1851 as a crude cross that barge workers on the Ohio River painted on cases of P&G star candles to identify them. P&G later altered this symbol into a trademark (shown below) featuring a man in the moon overlooking 13 stars. It was said to commemorate the original 13 American colonies. Nobody seemed bothered by it for more than a century. In the mid-1980s, though, the company received unwanted media publicity when wild rumors spread that the moon-and-stars logo was a satanic symbol. The odd accusation was based on a particular passage in the Bible, specifically Revelation 12:1, which states: "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 stars." P&G's logo consisted of a man's face on the moon surrounded by 13 stars, and some claimed that the logo was a mockery of the heavenly symbol alluded to in the aforementioned verse, thus construing the logo to be satanic. Where the flowing beard meets the surrounding circle, three curls were said to be a mirror image of the number 666, or the reflected number of the beast. At the top and bottom, the hair curls in on itself, and was said to be the two horns like those of a ram that represented the false prophet. These interpretations were strongly denied by company officials, and no evidence linking P&G to the Church of Satan or any other occult organization has ever been presented. The company unsuccessfully sued Amway from 1995 to 2003 over rumors forwarded through a company voicemail system in 1995. In 2007 P&G successfully sued individual Amway distributors for reviving and propagating the false rumors. Tired of the controversy, the moon-and-stars logo was discontinued by P&G in 1985.
Tags: controversy  Proctor  and  Gamble  logo  santanism 
Added: 30th September 2011
Views: 11944
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Posted By: Lava1964
Vanessa Williams Penthouse Scandal The September 1984 issue of Penthouse magazine was responsible for two major scandals. First, the issue featured explicit, raunchy photographs of recently crowned Miss America Vanessa Williams, some of which showed her getting, ahem, friendly with another female. (They were actually test photos taken by a photographer friend of Williams and not meant for publication.) Nevertheless they were acquired by the magazine and prominently featured in its 15th anniversary edition. It was a huge seller, netting a profit of $14 million for Penthouse. The subsequent uproar caused Williams to voluntarily relinquish her Miss America title. The second controversy did not surface for nearly two full years: The Pet of the Month in that very same issue was rising adult film star Traci Lords. In 1986 it was revealed that Lords was only 16 years old at the time of the photo shoot.
Tags: Penthouse  magazine  Vanessa  Williams  Traci  Lords 
Added: 14th December 2011
Views: 11446
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bridget Loves Bernie - Controversial Sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie was a CBS sitcom that ran for just one 24-episode season in 1972-73. Starring Meredith Baxter and David Birney, it was based on the long-running Broadway play Abie's Irish Rose. The show's premise was that a young school teacher from a well-to-do Irish-American family falls in love with and marries a poor Jewish cab driver. The show was given an excellent time slot--Saturdays at 8:30 PM, between All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore--and finished fifth in the overall ratings for the season. Why was the show cancelled? It was widely reported that Jewish groups opposed to inter-religious marriages inundated CBS with hate mail! (Officially, CBS claimed the show's ratings were disappointing.) Bridget Loves Bernie remains the highest-rated show ever to be cancelled after just one season. Birney and Baxter were later married in real life.
Tags: Bridget  Loves  Bernie  CBS  religion  controversy 
Added: 21st February 2012
Views: 2663
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Posted By: Lava1964
YRT Japanese I was checking what was being viewed on YRT (YouRememberThat.com) when I came across this post in Google translate. We have followers from around the world! The post? Japanese Skull Controversy. Another gem posted by Lava.
Tags: YRT  Japanese  Japanese  Skull  Controversy  Lava  Google  Translate 
Added: 22nd May 2012
Views: 2101
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Posted By: Steve
Stella Walsh and Helen Stephens About four years ago I made a post about the gender controversy surrounding Stella Walsh, a Polish-born sprinter who competed at both the 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics. Only after 'her' 1980 death was it discovered that Walsh was actually a male. Walsh's great rival at the 1936 Berlin Games was American Helen Stephens (shown on the left in this photo). Stephens passed her gender test and won the gold medal in the women's 100 meters.
Tags: gender  controversy  Helen  Stephens  Stella  Walsh 
Added: 15th May 2012
Views: 2447
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Posted By: Lava1964

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