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22 October 2006 @ 09:24 pm
No hangers!, revisited  

One of my recent posts, consisted simply of this symbol:

No Hangers!

One of our friends confessed confusion as to its possible meaning, so I thought it would be good to explain.

It's actually an image with a multiplicity of meanings and potential meanings—layers of 'em in fact.

1. What I believe most everybody on the thread's been responding to is that it can be taken to mean "no coathangers" = "no going back to back-alley abortions using rusty coathangers*" = "keep abortion safe and legal". (*that being the canonical word image of illegal abortions from back in the bad-old-days).

2. I must admit that the reference to Joan Crawford that occurred to asimovberlioz and sweetalice escapes me. Perhaps one of them will explain it.

3. The particular image I posted was actually once in one of my photographs, but I've photoshopped it rather dramatically. I will make clear the meaning intended by the people who originally posted the sign by showing you its original context and then the original photo from which I extracted the post.

Original context:
hotel room

Original photo:
no hangers sign

3.a. Finally (as far as I know at the moment, but there may well be further reverberations and levels of meaning), seeing the sign gave me rather a giggle as I've heard The True Story about The Incident which likely caused hotels throughout the nation to decide that such a warning sign is necessary. It took place at a science fiction convention at a hotel in (I think it was) Washington D.C. It seems a couple who were of a cultural subgroup whose membership to some extent overlaps that of fandom were particularly bone-headed about where they attached the equipment they then used to engage in their particular form of … um … fanac….

Matthew B. Tepper: Jar Jar and Kathie Leeasimovberlioz on October 23rd, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)
2. I must admit that the reference to Joan Crawford that occurred to asimovberlioz and sweetalice escapes me. Perhaps one of them will explain it.

It's a rather outdated kitsch popular culture reference. Joan Crawford's adopted daughter, Christina, wrote a tell-all book entitled Mommie Dearest. One of her claims was that Joan beat her over the use of wire coat hangers, which I suppose ruined the drape of clothing or something fussy like that; the incident is depicted in a movie adaptation of the book starring Faye Dunaway.

I never read the book nor saw the movie, but the wire coat-hanger incident was parodied in an early sketch on "Saturday Night Live" with Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 23rd, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Ahh, that explains it. Thank you.
DrSdocstrange on October 23rd, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
and in the movie... "NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!"
So the symbol is very apropos.
Mspiritdance on October 23rd, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
It was wet (so wet!)
It was wet (so wet!)
It was wet when that sprinkler came down,
Disclave '97

A bit of one of at least three songs about that incident :-)
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on October 23rd, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
So it was in D.C. I'm glad my memory isn't playing tricks on me. Thanks!
dd-bdd_b on October 23rd, 2006 05:07 am (UTC)
Yep. That final Disclave is now sometimes referred to as "Dripclave".
Geri Sullivangerisullivan on October 23rd, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
Yep, except the stickers reportedly started showing up in hotels before DripClave. While a certain New York cop and his girlfriend put the sprinkler head to one egregiously stupid use, brides are all too likely to misuse sprinkler heads in another way.

Stevetarkrai on October 23rd, 2006 06:42 am (UTC)
... are wedding nights *that* bad?
Stevetarkrai on October 23rd, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
*nod* And the rumor that I had heard was that it happened on Saturday night.. and the offending couple commented that, "Well, it worked just fine *last* night..."
gomeza on October 23rd, 2006 12:45 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall one MiniCon where someone deliberately tied something to a sprinkler head and set it on fire, too, but, well, I guess that's rather a non-sequitur, so never mind. Or was that a MileHiCon?? Hmmm...

"Brain! Brain! What is 'brain??' "
Teslatesla_aldrich on October 23rd, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
I think it was a Minicon, I think it was around '90, and I think it was a magnesium flare. But I wouldn't quote me on any of that.
kip_wkip_w on October 23rd, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
Cathy and I were at "Twenty Thousand Leaks Under DC." It was strangely wet even before the incident -- our room's window was precipitating water that ran down the wall below it, and I notified the management that it was getting an electrical outlet wet. I used a towel to divert the stream, and they seemed satisfied with that. Not a great sign.

Then, at an ungodly hour in the morning -- sevenish, maybe -- we were awakened by the alarms and had to clear out of our room. I grabbed a pillow as we left, and sat back in the car to try and recapture some sleep, but the alarm kept going. From the car, I could see a pipe sticking out high up in the building with water gushing out of it in an unending stream. After maybe a couple of hours (it's been a while since it happened), the alarm stopped, and we were allowed back in.

Let's see, I think our room was on the third floor, and the incident was up on the fourth. The B&D (or was it S&M?) group that generally met the same weekend as the con was first blamed for the whole thing, but (as noted above) it was really the stupidity of a New York state cop -- whose first move was to get in his car and run away; never mind that he'd paid with a card.

We re-entered the lobby, where the hotel wisely was giving out pastry and coffee to pacify folks. The carpets were skwushy, and the biggest thrill was being near the elevators, because drenched ceiling tiles were pancaking down one by one, making wet noises on the floor.

So ended DisClave; not with a bang but a splat.
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on October 23rd, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
I find it odd that some people don't know the abortion reference.

Feelings are what you make of themmrsmodew on October 23rd, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Coathangers
That is the first thing that popped into my mind, but I didn't want to post that with not knowing the lean of fredcritter on that topic.
Matthew B. Tepper: Ducks mallards pair quack greenheadsasimovberlioz on October 23rd, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Coathangers
It was the very first thing that came to my mind, though I felt I just had to say something that I thought was funny.
et in Arcadia egoboo: Ada  Lovelaceapostle_of_eris on October 23rd, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Coathangers, historical symbolism of
generation gap! It's from the unknown past.

Tangentially, I'm boggled that the crowd which winges about Culture the most does the most to destroy cultural transmission. How can anything more than six weeks old be of any interest, much less value?! It's only for sale on eBay anyway.