Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Top 10 Inappropriate Things That Were Once Considered Amusing

By Mar 8, 2024

One person’s idea of a good time may be completely repulsive to another. Indeed, there are many examples throughout history of popular pastimes where the aggrieved parties undoubtedly had a valid argument. The following activities may make you question whether there were ever any standards in the past, but that’s just because tastes vary.What used to be considered entertainment is astounding—and a little disturbing—ranging from the massacre of animals on a moving train to the ridicule of a whole race in films. A skunk that committed sexual offences, a miniature city in an amusement park that treated children like zoo animals, and a song that praised roofies to the top of the charts are among of the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your perspective).

10. Deplorable Tours: A Global Slum-sation

London, in the late 19th century, was one of the most economically unequal cities in the Western world due to the effects of the Industrial Revolution. At the end of the Victorian era, East London was especially poor and crowded with immigrants from all over the world, including the working class, Jews, and people from Ireland and Eastern Europe.A carriage ride away, in the other part of town, lived incredibly rich people who were fascinated by news stories about the slums’ plight. Most were just oglers and cheap thrill seekers, however a few were driven by religious or charitable motives. Some even went so far as to have voyeuristic vacations, where they would dress in disguise and spend the night in rundown tenements with the impoverished.After that, slumming became a global phenomenon. “A Fashionable London Mania Reaches New-York” was the title of an 1884 New York Times article. Slumming Parties Are Going to Dominate the Winter Scene. White New Yorkers from the upper class would spend their free time exploring poor areas like Harlem, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side for decades.[1]Indeed, the tradition is still in use today. Visits to economically depressed regions have grown into a lucrative cottage industry, earning the names “poorism” and “poverty porn” in the process. Whether these constitute embarrassing schadenfreude or well-intentioned educational experiences is a topic of ongoing debate.

9. The First Drive-By Gun Violence

After the Civil War ended, the US government shifted its attention back to expanding westward. Also, the Native Americans needed to be dealt with if the west was to spread unfettered. Destruction of the bison, an essential and irreplaceable animal for many Native American communities, was a tactic employed.Rapid extinction wiped out millions of bison that once roamed the Great Plains. Bison pelts were all the rage in the 1880s, and whole herds were being butchered by more than 5,000 hunters. Above, you can see a photo that speaks a thousand words about the catastrophe that happened.Hunting by rail, a beautiful way of saying “blowing out bison brains from a moving train,” was advertised by railroads, adding an even worse element to the already carnivalesque carnage. Ads for these beasts were all over the Eastern media, and before long, any “adventurous” gentleman could buy a gun and murder a pretty animal for amusement, leaving behind a countryside littered with useless, lifeless bodies.When a herd crossed railway tracks, it was an especially grisly sight to behold. Any hope of excitement was dashed as the train slowed or stopped, allowing for nearly point-blank, fish-in-a-barrel shoots.

8 Things That Could Hurt You

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In most cases, the powerful write history, and the winners keep the spoils. American travelling spectacles of the early 20th century Exotic Americana Shows exemplified both extremes to an extreme degree. Successful performers like “Buffalo Bill” Cody exploited the plight of a whole race by making them relive their humiliation via stories of white heroism and Native American brutality.the thirdThe 1880s saw the beginning of the Wild West’s taming. After being forcibly removed from their homes and forced into barren reservations, the indigenous people of the Americas saw a complete and utter collapse of their culture, economy, and way of life.Playing themselves (or whitewashed versions of themselves) in travelling shows that romanticise the American frontier’s decline was one of the few career opportunities. The portrayal of indigenous peoples as indiscriminate killers and robbers who were vanquished by heroic white heroes in front of enthralled audiences was predictable. Performances continued far into the early 1900s, entertaining an audience that had long before accepted “Indians” as savages deserving of their destined doom.Tragically, many well-known Native Americans were enticed to take part, often as a way out of extreme poverty. In 1885, Cody included Sitting Bull in his performance, while a rival show promoted the renowned Geronimo as “The Worst Indian That Ever Lived”—a sensationalist sentiment—in an effort to attract viewers. He was also a guest on Cody’s show.

7. The Delightful Details

Dreamland was one of the original three amusement parks that helped establish Coney Island’s funfair history in New York City, alongside Steeplechase and Luna Park. Despite its brief run from 1904 to 1911, Dreamland was already firmly established as one of the most audacious entertainment-driven endeavours that have ever been… imagined.A gondola ride through a miniature version of Venice, a train trip through the Swiss Alps (replete with icy air gusts), and a six-story tenement building fire put out by scores of actors twice a day were all inventive attractions at Dreamland, which was lit up by an otherworldly one million light bulbs.Lilliputia, a tiny European village home to some 300 miniature residents, was one spectacle that stooped extremely low.[4] The now-offensive “Midget City” was a diminutive town complete with half-size buildings, miniature furniture, and stables housing miniature horses.Its people performed in operas, plays and circuses for spectators at fairs and funfair sideshows around the nation. Since Lilliputia is home to Coney Island’s beachgoers, it naturally had its fair share of tiny sunbathers and lifeguard chairs.It goes without saying that in today’s world, treating small people like a zoo exhibit would cause quite a commotion.

6. An Emerging Star: Preemie Exploration

Dreamland deserves to be on our list twice since it was so strange. Just a short walk from Lilliputia, guests were greeted by an even odd attraction, with much tiny stars. An innovative sideshow that required special entry showcased the use of incubators to sustain the life of premature infants.[5]Dr. Martin Couney came up with the brilliant inventions, but the clinical running costs were too high when he developed the lifesaving device. The facility was partially funded by charging googling gawkers an additional 25 cents, which is equivalent to around $7 in today’s money.Premature infants were viewed as medically useless and genetically inferior when the exhibit first debuted in 1903, just like the inhabitants of the incubator. Couney’s innovation proved wrong this presumption, demonstrating that premature infants might grow up to be healthy with the right support.Despite medical professionals’ distaste for the show, Couney’s clinic miraculously survived the 1911 fire that destroyed Dreamland. Rather, it stayed open until 1943, during which time it changed the face of paediatric research. Looking back, it’s a controversial proposal that deserves support.

5. Blackface performances’ astounding (and repulsive) pervasiveness

The emergence of blackface minstrelsy, in which white people play the role of “Blackness” through the use of over-the-top costumes and makeup, is hardly shocking when considering the disturbing racial history of the United States. Surprisingly, it was a popular kind of entertainment that was widely enjoyed and endured for a long time.White performers in torn garments and shoe-polish-blackened cheeks performed in the earliest minstrel performances in the 1830s in New York City. Racist, sexist, and sexually promiscuous, the actors painted Black people in a negative light. Jim Crow, a name most commonly associated with the oppressive anti-Black legislation enacted by Southern states in the decades following the Civil War, was one of the most beloved recurrent characters.Surely something that obnoxious could never become ultra-popular, could it?That is incorrect. The practice of blackface persisted throughout the nineteenth century and even reached the silver screen at the turn of the twentieth.[6] The first half of the 1900s saw the production of films with obscene titles like Wooing and Wedding of a Coon, as well as the feminist masterpiece Coon Town Suffragettes, and the creation of poisonous characters with names like Stepin Fetchit and Sleep ‘n Eat.A long number of Hollywood A-listers appeared in films with or as blackface characters because the practice was so common. Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Milton Berle are among them.

4. The Great Depression’s Dancing Destitute: Will Foxtrot For Food

The first dance marathons, which began in the mid-1920s as entertaining endurance challenges, featured the last couple standing and awarded prizes to the pair who could Charleston, Jitterbug, and Lindy Hop for the longest duration.The Great Depression began in late 1929 when the New York stock market collapsed, and dance-a-thons became more gloomy and desperate as a result. What had been a fun competition had become something more akin to The Hunger Games when those awards were the sole means of subsistence for numerous dancers.Destitute dancers were easy to find in a country where the unemployment rate is over 25%. The wealthy paid to laugh as the pitiful pairs attempted all they could to outlast their less fortunate rivals. On long, drawn-out events, many would take turns dozing off in the arms of their partners.In a country when food was scarce, the dancers would often receive food as long as they continued to perform.[7]People stood by and waited for the dancers to pass out, fall, or suffer a nervous breakdown from lack of sleep. Several nations outright prohibited the schadenfreude-fueled spectacles due to their gruesome nature.

3. MePew: The Skunk Who Committed Sexual Offences

Many cartoons have depicted, at best, dubious behaviour: An anthropomorphized rabbit was Elmer Fudd’s target in his attempted murder. Homer Simpson and his son Bart were choked. The vast majority of South Park.But Pepe Le Pew, the fan-favorite forced fornicator, must take the cake for “Worst Behaviour in an Animated Programme” of all time.To be fair, Fudd’s armed pursuit of Bugs Bunny is commendable. Hunting wabbits, though, is within the law. Interspecies rape is an overwhelming urge for Ol’ Pepe.Penelope the Pussycat is his eternally hapless prey.[8] Pepe has been her skunky, amorous attacker, and she has been running away from him ever since. Kids have seen Pepe a Merrie Melodies repeatedly try to sexually subjugate a female cat since the show first aired in 1945, and they seem to have found it funny enough to keep watching.Was attempted rape socially acceptable enough in the West after World War II to be used as cartoons for children’s entertainment? It’s unreasonable to compare cartoonists from the early 1900s to those from the present day. Original episodes continued until 1962 and were rebroadcast for many years thereafter.

2. Theme Song for Flipper: Not Exactly Smiling Flipper (the fish)

Even before Sea World’s contentious orca performance, there was the ubiquitous dolphin, beloved by Americans everywhere.Flipper, a popular TV show from 1964 to 1967, portrayed a seafarer who was said to be quicker than lightning and wiser than his peers. The marine animal rescued people from drowning, apprehended criminals, and even (for some reason) even took to the skies in a helicopter before plunging into the ocean to rescue a distressed ship.But that wasn’t Flipper, in actuality. The helicopter dropped a frozen dolphin, which was already dead. Of course, before computer-generated imagery (CGI) let directors design virtually whatever picture they desired, the entertainment industry was in a tough spot. However, there is a far darker plot to the show.A small group of dolphins played the role of Flipper. One of them took his own life a few years following the show’s termination.[9] Dolphins are presumably capable of that.After spending a lot of time in confinement, dolphin Kathy finally swam into the arms of her trainer, Ric O’Barry, in 1970. By the time she hit the bottom of the tank, she had stopped breathing. The ability to stop breathing is a conscious decision in dolphins, but not in humans (try it). O’Barry became an advocate for the rights of marine mammals and wrote a memoir titled Behind the Dolphin Smile in 1988. He used the term “really depressed” to characterise Kathy shortly after.People frequently wonder if the animals featured in these shows and films are treated humanely. It was reasonable to be concerned about Flipper.

1. Regular Cold Rohypnol

There are a lot of songs that insult women, whether it’s by being dated or just being demeaning. The music business has perfected the objectification of women for years, from the traditional, noncompliant holiday tune “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”[10] to rappers sitting on enormous female posteriors.But few tracks are as unsettling as “Funky Cold Medina” from 1989. To put it simply, it’s a song about women getting roofied.Here is the way the story goes: Tone Loc, the artist behind the similarly racy (but thankfully rape-free) “Wild Thing,” was out and about like any good-natured dude, looking to meet some eligible bachelorettes. But when our hero walks into a neighbourhood watering hole, he can’t understand why so many beautiful, supposedly romantic young women are hanging out with a less conventionally looking guy.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 The Best Odd and Funny Fundraisers

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