Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

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Mars Attacks
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Mars Attacks

In the middle of the twentieth century, fear and paranoia were ingrained into the subconscious of every American. The 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite had Americans wary of Soviet attack from the skies. And the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 assured the world that Soviet Premier Khrushchev was serious in his threat when he said “We will bury you.” The spectre of mutually assured...

Satan Magazine – A Devilish Magazine for Halloween
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Satan Magazine – A Devilish Magazine for Halloween

After Playboy magazine made its mark in the early 1950s, imitators of all kinds sprang up with titles like Sir, Knight, and Gent. In 1957, one publisher took a devilish bent and called its new magazine Satan. Satan was little more than a Playboy clone. Both magazines had pin-ups, articles on the urban bachelor lifestyle, a jokes page, and an iconic anthropomorphic mascot. But maybe...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

Another Story
The Cocktail Nation on October 8th, 2017

Podcast #466: Another Story

Cult Vegas – The Weirdest! The Wildest! The Swingin’est Town On Earth

The Golden Age of Las Vegas has been over for quite some time. If you don’t count auxiliary members like Shirley MacLaine, Buddy Greco, or Angie Dickinson, the last member of The Rat Pack, Joey Bishop, passed away in 2007. He outlived Frank by 9, Dino by 12, Sammy by 17, and Peter by 23 years. Even the buildings, which are supposed to outlive those...

Ray Bradbury Lives on Mars
Written by James Vaughan in Readable

Ray Bradbury Lives on Mars

The man and his wheelchair sat silhouetted against an endless vista of bright unblinking stars and twisting nebula. He was a very old man. Born in 1920. That made him one year into his ninth decade of life. Very old indeed he mused … except for the fact that he was already dead. Well, if this was Heaven it wasn’t half bad he thought. Sitting...

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook – Inside The Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men

Paradigm shift. If you could boil down into a phrase what Mad Men is about, it would be “mid-century paradigm shift.” Mad Men explores it on the large scale: Clueless about how to sell coffee to young adults, the men of Sterling Cooper attempted to shoehorn the Port Huron Statement into their ad campaign. They completely missed the point because the cultural paradigm was changing....

When The Mob Ran Vegas
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

When The Mob Ran Vegas

On September 7, 1963, during a performance at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Dean Martin joked “Right now, ladies and gentlemen, somewhere backstage, Frank Sinatra is punching a dealer right in the mouth.” Little did Martin know that four years later, Sinatra actually would start a fight with a Sands pit boss over revoked casino credit — only, in the end, it...

Cocktail Nation – The Interviews
Written by Baron von Swankenstein in Readable

Cocktail Nation – The Interviews

Mid-century retro goes by many names — Retro culture; Atomic culture — and it sometimes overlaps with many other subcultures like kustom kulture (i.e. hot rod & rockabilly fans); tiki culture, and even Goth. My preferred term for this subculture is Lounge Revival. To the outside observer, it would seem that the only thing your average Lounge Revivalist is interested in is dressing up in...

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