The Indigenous Peoples of North America: Part 2 – The Subarctic

c001917k

Here’s a Subarctic Cree family from early Canada. While the mother and kids are dressed in drab, the father has quite a colorful costume and a gun. He also traps animals and trades their skins and feathers.

Our second stop in my Native American series is the Subarctic region. Now this isn’t as snowy and icy as the Arctic, it’s a pretty forbidding region despite it being a mostly boreal forest region. But it’s a very vast region starting from central interior of Alaska, covering the Canadian Shield, surrounding much of Hudson Bay and the northern Rockies, and ending in eastern Canada and as south as Lake Superior. In fact, it covers most of Canada. Nevertheless, despite that the Subarctic is a huge area, you really don’t see it in movies or on TV much (at least in the US, though in Canada, that may not be the case). Or if you did, you might know have known that they were from the Subarctic region. That, or the movie or show was Canadian made. Yet, many of these people tend to speak Athabaskan languages (though some also speak Algonquin in the east). Whatever the case, the Subarctic region is home to a population known to speak over 30 languages. And this area didn’t have a large population of hunter-gathers either. But what a lot of these peoples have in common is their teepee and wigwam shelters and their dependence on the caribou. Also, many of them wore parkas, too. At any rate, it’s kind of what you get if you put cultural aspects of the Plains, the Arctic, and the Northeastern Woodlands together. But it’s in a way that it makes perfect sense because while it may not get as much snow as the Arctic, it’s nowhere near pleasant enough to support agriculture at all. Not only that, but many of these hunter-gatherer groups dealt with regular periods of starvation as food availability can vary from place to place. So while the Subarctic might have great scenery to put on a postcard (since it’s home to Denali), it’s not a pleasant place to live. Still, since European contact in 1500 with Basques, Bretons, and other Europeans fishing at the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, non-native diseases, STDs, malnutrition and alcoholism would reduce native Subarctic population by 90-100% in some regional locations while some didn’t see a white person until the mid 19th century.

subarctic

While the Subarctic environment isn’t nearly as harsh as the frigid Arctic, it’s quite a forbidding place. Its rugged terrain, long cold winters, short summers, and generally low precipitation in rain, it’s a very hard place to live.

Location: Most of Canada as well as most of interior, western, and south central Alaska. Stretches from Alaska to east of the Rocky Mountains, and the northern Great Lakes.

First Peoples: The first people of the region possibly entered the region at least 12,000 years ago or even as long as 25,000 years ago. Athabaskan speakers descend from a Northern Archaic culture that existed at least 9,000 years ago. The Shield culture was predominant in Labrador before diverging. The Taltheilei tradition existed 6,000 years ago from Great Bear Lake to Lake Athabaska and the Churchill River. The Laurel culture of Manitoba and northern Ontario lasted from 1000 B.C.E. to 800 and known for their ceramic pottery along with the Selkirk and the Blackduck Cree.

Environment: Mountainous and boreal forest with thousands of streams and waterlogged tundra. East has low hills and rock outcroppings. West has high mountains, glaciers, and plains. Climate is characterized by short, mild to hot summers and long, bitterly cold winters. Precipitation is generally low save in some mountainous areas and coastal Alaska and falls mainly as snow. Short springs experience plagues of mosquitoes, black flies, and other insects as well as ice break up and snow melt. Travel can also be limited at that time as well as the fall freeze up. Soil was often poor and often swampy, making agricultural development impossible.

caribouhunters

Central to the Subarctic tribal existence was the caribou for which they depended on for food, clothing, shelter, and tools. Here is a painting of a caribou hunt.

Subsistence: Primarily hunter, gatherer, and fisher subsistence. Moose and caribou were a major part of diets for many tribes, with some groups regularly suffering from hunger or even starvation during shortages. Yet, smaller animals like hare, marmot, beaver, porcupine, and muskrat were also consumed along with fish, roots, and berries. Coastal groups relied on sea mammals and shellfish while western groups even hunted buffalo. Musk ox, bear, lynx, wolf, coyote, fox, mink, weasel, otter, wolverine, wapiti and elk were also hunted where available.

tmp518475493264064514

Teepees and wigwams may not have been the only housing in the Subarctic region. But they were among the most common. Most of these would be covered in caribou or moose hides along with bark.

Housing: Most tribal groups resided in domed and conical lodges consisting of poles covered with skins, boughs, or birch bark. Or in other words, wigwams and teepees but not what you’d see on the Plains or the Northeast. Groups closest to the Northwest Coast tribes built plank houses while some built frame houses partially below the earth as well as bark covered rectangular houses at fishing camps. Some groups built shelters with a double A-ridgepole framework and containing multiple fires as well as sod pit houses. Structures like drying racks, sweat houses, caches, menstrual houses, and others were also commonly built.

Nelson-Family-Athabasan-Clothing-Portrait

This Athabaskan family portrait shows a variety of what native peoples in the Subarctic would’ve worn. In winter, they would’ve worn parkas, snowsuits, and other winter items. In the spring and summer, they’d go with tanned leather clothing of caribou and moose.

Clothing: Most clothing usually came from moose and caribou as well as hare and other skins with trim from beaver or other fur. Hides were often tanned and dehaired so they wouldn’t weigh down except winter items like parkas, hats, and mittens. Many people wore leggings with moccasins. Clothing can be decorated with fringe, paint, quills, claws, or down. Women wore dresses while men wore shirts, jackets, and snowsuits. Mothers often carried their babies on their backs with cradle boards. Adornments consisted of noseplugs, earrings, and tattooing.

Transportation: Overland travel was usually preferred and many used sleds, sledges, and toboggans (sometimes pulled by dogs though not always). Though people did build lightweight birch bark canoes and moose hide boats.

thanadelthur1

Like most nomadic tribes, Subarctic Indian society wasn’t very authoritarian, formal, or centralized. Extended families usually lived in groups though once in awhile bands would get together to socialize, hunt, and trade.

Society: This was a sparsely populated area with no more than 100,000 living in the region at any one time. So most cultures were nomadic. The basic unit was a local group consisting of 10-20 related people but could be up to 75. Membership was fluid and nonbinding, in deference to autonomy values and need for flexibility in a difficult environment. Leadership was extremely informal and nonauthoritarian, except for the groups most influenced by the Northwest Coast. When conditions permitted (possibly not quite every summer), local groups might come together as loosely constructed regional bands of several hundred people to socialize and renew family ties. Kinship names were used in most tribes as a general term. For instance, elders were addressed “Grandmother” or “Grandfather” whether they were blood related or not. Some groups might conduct memorial potlach with chiefs being recognized as among the clan leaders in the Cordillera. Warfare was mostly a local matter though while some groups seeking women, most people fought over revenge for trespass or prior blood transgression. Yet, warfare was more developed in the far west than in other areas. However, there were no regional groups conducting full scale wars. Trade was widely practiced with goods and services being exchanged as a peaceful reason for travel and human interaction while bands frequently shared resources with each other.

Woman_of_the_Snake_tribe_and_woman_of_the_Cree_tribe_0066v

Though Subarctic tribes mostly practiced matrilineal descent, the treatment of women varied from tribe. Some women were treated as no more than mere pack animals while others maintained relative autonomy and even assumed positions of authority and power.

Family Structure: Primarily matrilineal descent, though not always. Women mostly made clothes, prepared food, and looked after children while men hunted the big game. However, it wasn’t uncommon for women to snare hare or fish. Women’s status varied according to local custom with some being treated as essentially pack animals with little to eat and others existing in relative autonomy as well as attaining both authority and power. Female infanticide wasn’t unknown through much of the region while menstrual taboos could be quite rigorous. Yet, both men and women were usually married by 13 or 14 and had some decision power in the bands. Newly married men were required to live with their in-laws for at least a year before establishing their own households (yet, sometimes they could have more than one wife). Exogamy and cross cousin marriage were usually encouraged. Since infant mortality was common, babies were usually not named until it was certain they would survive. Cremation was standard funerary practice.

e5c1c5980b5f6f958ee62180390418c9

The Subarctic tribes were well known for their intricate beadwork and embroidery. After they made contact with the Europeans, these Indians took to using glass beads and sewn floral designs.

Practices: Animism, shamanism, reincarnation, ceramics, storytelling, controlled burning, music, lacrosse, wooden dolls, basket weaving, dance, embroidery, beadwork, and scapulimancy.

Tools and Weapons: Antler clubs soaked in grease, armor, spears, hide containers for holding water, tumplines for carrying, snowshoes, bow and arrow, net traps, gaffs, fish hooks, snares, and weirs. Raw materials usually consisted of bark, wood, root, stone, and sometimes copper. Yet, many groups also liberally borrowed from their neighbors.

Notable Tribes: Cree, Ojibwa, Gwich’in, Dena’ina, Beothuk, Beaver, Mountain, Hare, Han, Tanacross, Yelloknife, Innu, Chipewyan, Eyak, Kuskokwim, Holikachunk, Sekani, Tagish, Ingalik, Ahtna, Babine-Wet’suwet’en, Dogrib, Tutchone, Carrier, Chilcotin, Attikamek, Tanana, Bearlake, Koyukon, Naskapi, Slavey, Tlicho, and Kaska.

The Indigenous Peoples of North America: Part 1 – The Arctic

 

800px-Nordamerikanische_Kulturareale_en

As we have been taught in our history classes, before Europeans arrived to North America, the continent was inhabited by a people called the Native Americans. Of course, those who’ve taken courses in American history in school will probably know that our education doesn’t really touch on these people very much (other than that they later got killed by European disease and relocated to reservations so white people can take their lands). Mostly because an average US history class can only cover so much within 180 days or less. Thus, with the exception of those who took Native American Studies in college or read books about them, most of us tend to learn about the Indians through the media and pop culture. Now your average Native American on TV or in the movies will most likely have long black hair (either free flowing, single thick braid, or loose pigtails) or a Mohawk. Not mention, your average media Native American would have a feather stuck in their hair as an ornament or an elaborate feather headdress (like a war bonnet). If your Indian is a guy, he’ll have on leather pants often lined with fringe along with an age dependent upper wardrobe. Older Indian men usually wear leather tunics and vests while the younger guys have other options of going with just the vest or a bare chest. If he’s shirtless, then expect him to wear some degree of body paint. Yet at any rate, he’ll certainly get his war paint on at the climatic battle scene. If your Indian is a woman, she’ll often wear a single piece leather slip and leave her legs bare. Either way, your average media Native American will wear beaded jewelry as well as soft leather moccasins if they’re not barefoot.

o-SCAR-570

And it doesn’t help that many Native Americans depicted in classic westerns are played by white guys with blue eyes. Yeah, really makes a convincing Indian (sorry, but the heavy dark makeup isn’t fooling me).

Now is this an accurate representation of Native Americans? Well, some of the time. However, pop culture tends to get the idea of representing Native North Americans with a one-size-fits-all approach of beads, buckskins, and braids. Did all Native North Americans dress this way before Europeans? No. Because North America is a big place with a great deal of variation between Native cultures, especially since the continent has a variety of environments. An Indian from New Mexico did not dress the same way as one from North Dakota. And occasionally, you might see indigenous people in Peru wearing buckskin outfits which is another matter entirely (especially if you account for the llama wool). Nevertheless, such Native North American portrayal doesn’t capture the wide variety while many tribes’ traditional outfits look nothing like the stereotype.

playmobil-native-american-camp-with-totem-pole-b253aa2d1e61f0e224ecb936cab349e2

Yet, they still depict teepees and totem poles on the Playmobil Indian camp play set. Sure it looks cute. But it’s seriously wrong and perpetuates cultural inaccuracies. Seriously, you might as well have a play set of the Norse gods with a Grecian temple.

Then there are the aspects of Native North American culture that you see in the media. Of course, there’s the offensive denigration of Indians as savages but this stereotype has been done to death so I won’t bother to talk about it. Then there’s the magical nature worshipping Native Americans who are just misunderstood because a bunch of selfish white guys want their land. Either way, they’re not going to speak English like a normal person. But that’s beside the point. Anyway, you might see Native American tribes depicted doing things and using stuff that belongs to a myriad of different tribes. A good example of this would be the Indian tribe in Peter Pan which juxtaposes Great Plains teepees and Pacific Northwest totem poles. At a cultural and historical perspective, this is as jarring as it’s inaccurate as portraying Vikings with Grecian temples. Also, you might find a lot of Indians wearing mohawks and war bonnets even when they’re not supposed to. In reality, Native North Americans were and are a diverse group ranging from nomadic hunter-gatherers to agricultural civilizations. And they have adapted to a variety of environmental conditions.

5fc534dc2e1de63211ee5a51623af165

Type Indian or Native American on any search engine, you’re bound to get results like this. Now while this certainly is a Native American portrait, the guy is most likely a leader of the Plains tribes. And he only wears the war bonnet on ceremonial occasions.

In this series, I plan on showing my readers a rough view on how Native North Americans really lived. However, I’m not going to go with a tribe on tribe basis because that would take too long (since there are over 500 of them). So instead I’ll go according to cultural area. Yet, note that whatever I say about this series will only apply chiefly to Native North Americans before European contact. So if you want to know about Plains horse culture or Navajo sheep herding and silversmithing, this series isn’t for you (though I will show pictures). Not only that, but understand that a one-size-fits-all approach may not apply to all the Indians living in that particular cultural region, even within a recognized tribe or tribal group. I just have it written in because it applies to some of the Indians living there. Also, some tribes might go in more than one region.

Inupiat Family from Noatak, Alaska, 1929, Edward S. Curtis

A family photo of an Inupiat Eskimo mother, father, and son, photographed in Noatak, Alaska, by Edward Sheriff Curtis circa 1929. It’s certainly plausible that they’d be wearing their parkas in every day life. But most of the Inuit have adopted to modern lifestyles. Yet, that didn’t stop Robert Flaherty drom doing Nanook of the North.

Our first North American region is the Arctic, which is often exempt from most Native American depictions. Mostly because the Arctic is a very frigid place of ice and snow. Arctic Native Americans tend to be depicted more accurately as wearing parkas, living in igloos, hunting seals, riding kayaks, and running on the ice in dog sleds. But it’s not quite right. Since not all Arctic Native Americans lived in igloos (and even those who did didn’t live in them all the time). Plant life does exist there and the ice does thaw (and keeps thawing due to climate change). While these Native Americans resided near polar bears, they didn’t live anywhere near penguins (which actually live in the Southern Hemisphere). And yes, they do take off their parkas once in awhile. Sure they may spend their days dogsledding, ice fishing, and seal hunting, but they also hunt whales, walruses, and other animals, too. Oh, and they didn’t always leave their grandmas to die on ice floes. Nor did they just eat blubber. Nevertheless, while the Arctic can be a rather inhospitable place, these people have managed to survive its harsh climate for thousands of years and continue to do so. Most of them reside in the farthest reaches of Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland. Yet, they don’t necessarily have a lifestyle that 100% akin to Nanook of the North (which is kind of a documentary of the Inuit showing how they lived when they were 12). Because they do know about modern technology, actually take advantage of it, and think the idea of pining for the good old days is utterly insane (even among those who grew up in the traditional lifestyle). However, you might want to avoid calling them Eskimos because some of them see the term as derogatory. Also, a lot of them don’t like being called Indians either which is partly why we tend to refer to indigenous people in North America as Native Americans.

1950.405_Dorset_Figure_Cropped

This is a figurine from the Paleo-Eskimo Dorset culture who were among the first people in the Arctic region. The Paleo-Eskimos inhabited the area from 6,000 years ago before mysteriously disappearing at around 1500 at the latest. DNA evidence has proven that they were not the ancestors of the modern Inuit, a fact that I hardly believe (mostly because if the Thule and Dorset culture coexisted, you’d expect that they’d be having sex with each other. Because that’s what normally happens).

Location: Near the Arctic Circle, encompassing northern and western regions of Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland.

First Peoples: Assuming that the earliest Native Americans arrived to the continent through the Bering land bridge, the Arctic region was only used as nothing more than an area to pass through before venturing into greener pastures. The first groups who inhabited this region didn’t arrive until 6,000 years ago and in at least 2 migrations from Siberia and it was the last area in North America to be populated. The Paleo-Eskimo cultures first developed by 2500 BCE and consists of the Arctic Small Tool Tradition (who lived in tent camps while chasing seals and caribou 4000 years ago), the Dorsets (walrus hunters from 500 BCE-1500), and the Thule (who sailed in large skin boats and hunted whales who are said to arrive in 200 BCE-1600). Only the Thule have any biological, cultural and linguistic connection the modern Inuit and are often considered their ancestors. However, it is known that the Dorsets and Thule had no genetic connection and barely interacted with each other (at least favorably. However, the lack of genetic connection is highly unusual since these two groups existed around the same time. But even if under the most hostile relations, you’d still expect that members of both groups would have sex with each other. How can these people coexist without having sex with each other? I don’t get it). And the Dorset would mysteriously disappear by the 1500s. Some evidence suggests that the Thule and Dorsets had contact with the Vikings.

NanookoftheNorth_landscape

Here’s a scene of Nanook hunting seal from the 1922 Robert Flaherty “documentary” Nanook of the North. The harsh tundra climate and terrain led the Arctic people to hunt sea mammals including seal and whale. By the way, hunting for such animals in the Arctic was a highly difficult and dangerous task that took hours.

Environment: Tundra, which can be better said as a desert of snow that’s cold, flat, and treeless (though Arctic plants do exist). Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures all year round (along with the increasing threat of global warming). Can sometimes experience a white night and midnight sun come summer as well as 24 hours of darkness in winter. But the Aurora Borealis is pretty. One of the harshest environments on earth.

Subsistence: Hunter, gatherer, and fisher subsistence. Diet was mostly meat based consisting of ringed and bearded seals, walrus, narwhal, and whales. On land, caribou were by far the most important source of food (and other raw materials) along with musk ox, wolf, fox, wolverine, and squirrel. Also consumed ptarmigan, duck, geese, and their eggs. Fishing was mostly a 3 season activity. Some areas even had people gather berries. Almost every part of the hunted animals were used.

Eskimo_family_and_their_igloo_cph.3c36050

As you might know, the Inuit are well known for building igloos made of snow and ice. Yet, contrary to what you see in the media, igloos were only used as temporary shelter. Sometimes they could be built close together and connected by tunnels.

Housing: Different types depended on materials available and whether the home wasp permanent or temporary. In the central Arctic region, domed shaped snow igloos were the rule among the Inuit. Many of these would often be built attached to each other for added warmth and sociability. And they even had snow furniture in them, too. But some Inuit tribes built sod houses which consisted of a dug rectangular pit with walls made from sod and rocks as well as wood pieces and whalebone for the roof called a shuswap. Aleut housing consisted of a partially underground house covered with logs, whalebone, or poles before being covered by earth, snow, or moss. This was called a Barabara. Temporary housing included a large men’s ceremonial house called a kashim and its female counterpart called an ena along with summer tents of seal and caribou skin over bone or wooden frames.

ff872219eb1feb6253530e623bb03e56

Unlike a lot of Native American cultures, Arctic tribes like the Inuit sometimes still wear their traditional parkas, a lot of times made from caribou fur for added insulation.

Clothing: Most clothing was made from caribou skin though polar bear, seal, wolverine, squirrel, bird, and fish skins were also used. And it was primarily fashioned for insulation from freezing temperatures and wind. In winter, people wore inner (fur side in) and outer fur side garments (fur side out). But only the inner garment was worn during the summer fur side out. The winter outer garment was a heavy hooded jacket, often lined with fur known as a parka. A mother might wear an extra-large parka to shelter babies. Both sexes wore pants, stockings, mittens, seal skin boots, or low shoes. Raincoats were sewn with waterproof gut. Clothes were often decorated with colored furs or fringe. Men wore snowshoes and snow goggles while hunting in the winter. Adornments consisted of labrets (lip plugs), ear pendants, nose rings, and tattoos. Sothern tribes wore close fitting shits and pants. While Aleut women wore seal or otter skin parkas, Aleut men wore parkas of bird skin where the feathers turned in and out depending on the weather. Aleut children wore down parkas with tanned bird skin caps.

Sled-dogs-archives-e1312915857730

Sleds pulled by dogs and kayaks were the primary modes of transportation among the Arctic Native Americans. Dog sleds for land and kayaks for water. Luckily I found a picture that had both a kayak and sled dogs.

Transportation: Kayaks were closed boats made for one man and used for hunting. Larger open umiaks made from wooden frames and sewn skins for water navigation. Umiaks were employed for either whale hunting or general travel (in the latter case, they’d be paddled and/or rowed by women). Wood and rawhide sleds were pulled by either dogs or people and were used for winter travel.

Society: This was a sparsely populated area that could have consisted as many as 80,000 pre-European contact. Lived a mostly nomadic culture where group members saw themselves tied to the land. Members lived in an isolated existence and would organize into bands on a seasonal basis. Leadership was generally underdeveloped. When strong leaders emerged, there was little formal structure and usually for a temporary situation like whaling expeditions. Leaders were usually older, experienced men who might be leading household heads and probably owned an umiak. Also had a very bloody history of intertribal warfare.

502232021_640

Another scene from Nanook of the North. This one depicts Nanook’s wife Nyla with their baby playing with the husky puppies. Arctic nuclear families normally consisted of 5 to 6 people at a time. And Arctic family life wasn’t always as happy as what you see in this 1922 film. Still, this moment is so filled with cuteness.

Family Structure: Nuclear families usually consisted of 5 to 6 people. Hunting sea mammals was the primary occupation of most men because it could be highly dangerous and/or extremely demanding. Women sewed up skins, cooked food, tended lamps, and looked after children. Both men and women took part in igloo construction. Descent was generally bilateral. Kinship was of such primary importance so much that “strangers” (those who couldn’t immediately document kin affiliations) were perceived as potentially hostile and might be summarily killed. Other groups subject to willful death were infants (especially girls) and old people. Cannibalism and suicide weren’t uncommon, but only in extreme cases of need. Prospective husbands often served the bride’s parents for a period of time (bride service). Wife stealing (committed in the overall competition of supremacy) might result in death as possibly other conflicts. Murders were subject to revenge. Corpses were generally wrapped in skins and left on the ground. Southwest Inuit and Aleuts practiced mummification. Yupik parents tend to name their children after the last person in the community to have died.

07032

While the Inuit mostly dominate the Arctic cultural Native American landscape, the Aleut and the Yupik also reside there. These are Aleuts who reside in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands while the Yupik live in western Alaska. Both groups also live in part of Siberia as well.

Practices: Bone, antler, and ivory figurines, amulets, and toys. Wooden ceremonial and dance masks. Basket weaving, animism, shamanism, music, acrobatics, kickball, string games, and storytelling.

Tools and Weapons: Harpoon, bow and arrow, needle, thimble, knife, adze, ax, drill, scraper, spear, and shovel, primarily from bone and antler as well as chipped stone (for points, blades, scrapers, and pots). Other tools include baleen boxes, soapstone pottery, oil and blubber burning lamps with moss wicks, movement indicators (for breathing-hole sealing), throwers, various types of harpoons (with detachable heads), seal nets, clubs, bird bolas, three pronged spears, fish hooks, stone fish weirs, as well as animal traps and snares.

Notable Tribes: Inuit, Aleut, and Yupik. Some of the Aleut and Yupik are known to reside in Siberia.

In Defense of Labor Unions

image-20150324-17672-1azzmd0

Though unions have greatly shaped the United States throughout much of the 20th century but have fallen out of favor in recent years. While in the 1950s about 1 in 4 workers were unionized, today only 1 in 10 and that number is declining fast. Unions have lost a lot of their power due to things like outsourcing, right to work laws, negative economic conditions, special interests, companies prohibiting them, or other factors. Not to mention, there isn’t a very favorable attitude toward them either for they’ve been blamed for taking away jobs, hurting the economy, or inconveniencing the populace. Some say that unions have served their purpose and aren’t needed anymore. However, as we all remember Scott Walker’s attempt to strip public sector workers of their collective bargaining rights and fast food worker strikes, many Americans don’t really want to see them go away. In fact, perhaps labor unions are still as relevant as ever today and actually do help this country.

Here's a German painting of a bunch of guys working in a foundry during the 19th century. Notice how there's no attention being paid to workplace safety. Also, imagine doing this work 6 days a week at 16 hours a day for less than minimum wage.

Here’s a German painting of a bunch of guys working in a foundry during the 19th century. Notice how there’s no attention being paid to workplace safety. Also, imagine doing this work 6 days a week at 16 hours a day for less than minimum wage.

1. Unions help create better jobs.

Regardless of what detractors may say, unions don’t really take away jobs since mass unemployment is one of the things unions always seek to avoid. It’s usually business management who does since they usually make the decisions whether it’s in the name of profits or power. Sure unions were probably part of the reason why many American industries moved operations overseas for cheaper labor, but not all jobs can be outsourced, especially service jobs. Even so, most jobs in today’s market aren’t unionized but many aren’t very desirable either with long hours, low wages, no room for advancement, not much safety or benefits, and are held for a rather short time. Of course, while businesses may like cheap and expendable workforces, but job seekers and workers do not. Workers don’t like such labor because it gives them little control over their lives and keeps them on the brink of economic instability. Job seekers don’t like them because it gives them more competition in an uncertain job market where obtaining a job can be more trouble than it’s worth. Recent college graduates have it the worst since many job listings have certain specifications that they may not be able to fulfill. However, this doesn’t mean that young people don’t have the skills to be productive citizens, it’s because the pool of job seekers is too big and employers are a very picky bunch and want an employee who’s already tailor made as well as with job experience. Still, though I’m not sure organized labor may make job seekers’ lives any easier, they do create better jobs and history proves it. Unions have helped make many crummy low wage, hazardous, and long hour jobs into decently paid eight-hour a day jobs with workplace safety, overtime pay, health benefits, personal leave, holidays, pensions, and workman’s comp. Jobs like these are very desirable and reduce turnovers and layoffs which may help reduce competition among job seekers since not many people are as desperate to find one. A job is only low wage not because the work is easier but because low wages are only arbitrary values set by employers. We should also understand that Costco employees work the same jobs as anyone else in the retail sector, yet they are treated much better than other retail workers. Thus, low wages often reflect not what the job entails, but the values of the employer.

In the early 20th century, the US experienced some of the deadliest industrial disasters in history. On March 25, 1911, a scrap bin fire at New York City's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory would lead to the deaths of 146 people because the owners locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to prevent theft. This would lead to growth in unionization for garment workers as well as improved safety standards.

In the early 20th century, the US experienced some of the deadliest industrial disasters in history. On March 25, 1911, a scrap bin fire at New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory would lead to the deaths of 146 people because the owners locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to prevent theft. This would lead to growth in unionization for garment workers as well as improved safety standards.

2. Unions help check and hold employers accountable.

While unions help improve workers’ lives, they also help check and hold employers accountable as well as serve as a middle man in workplace and labor relations. A unionized workplace gives employers incentive to treat their workers decently, helps set workplace standards, limit unfair labor practices, and does all it can to ensure that workers receive a fair deal. As a political lobby, they call for legal incentives in order to assure worker’s rights are recognized by law and that employers should observe them. Without unions, many employers would simply get away with treating workers like crap as well as run his or her business with little account to them. And for many years, workers have suffered in the name of profit. Sure there may be companies like Costco who provide their employees with a living wage and benefits, but they’re not the norm in the service industry or any non-unionized industry. Before many blue collar work places had unions like the coal mines and steel industry, it wasn’t unusual for workers to be paid shitty wages and treated like crap. And when these workers finally got the salary, hours, and benefits they wanted, it wasn’t because the management was trying to be nice to them. Then there’s the fact low income workers in non-unionized workplaces are especially prone to becoming victims of wage theft (especially undocumented immigrants), in which employers deny their workers their wages and benefits rightfully owed like minimum wage violations, overtime pay, employee miscalculation, illegal deductions, working off the clock, or not being paid at all. In the US, wage theft is very severe, widespread, and costs the country $40-$60 billion each year which is more than how much money the country loses due to robbery ($340 million), burglary ($1.4 billion), larceny ($5.3 billion), and auto theft ($3.8 billion) as of 2012. This is a crime but because these workers aren’t allowed to form unions due to company policy, a lot of wage theft goes undetected and laws against it aren’t often enforced. And even if workers do win their cases on wage theft, they usually don’t receive a dime of what they’re owed by the employers. Unions can be effective in deterring wage theft since they tend to go on strike over such incidences.

Here's a rough list of what labor unions have done for American workers. Sure unions may represent special interests, yet their interests tend to benefit practically everyone.

Here’s a rough list of what labor unions have done for American workers. Sure unions may represent special interests, yet their interests tend to benefit practically everyone.

3. Unions help promote the democratic process as and 1st Amendment rights.

While unions may be corrupt, they nevertheless serve as a powerful lobbying voice for a major demographic that couldn’t afford a lobbyist otherwise. For years labor unions have always provided a political voice to the common man as well as helped lobby for legislation in favor of ordinary people. In fact, worker’s rights has always been a special interest to unions, which affects most Americans. In the workplace, unions give workers a voice in major workplace decisions as well as protects workers’ 1st Amendment rights relating to their professional lives. If workers feel they’re being treated unfairly they can talk to each other, address their grievances, negotiate a compromise, or go on strike if employers still won’t listen. In many ways, unions help promote the democratic process in both government and in the business world since they stand for a worker’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. Not to mention, they also lobby for a worker’s right to self-govern which is a very American value indeed. Besides, while unions may be identified to the political left, they are probably the closest thing in the K Street lobbying world that best represents the interests of most Americans, especially after Citizens United when most lobbies and corporations don’t. This goes to even non-union members as well as those who oppose them and that’s why having non-union members pay dues in a unionized workplace makes sense. In fact, a lot of their campaigns might pertain to measures like raising the minimum wage, protecting migrant farm workers, mandated paid leave, and other policies designed to help even the lowest earning workers. They even campaigned for policies advancing civil rights for women and minorities as well as protecting the environment. And within companies, unions area powerful, sophisticated player concerned with more than just the next quarters profits at shareholders’ meetings.

Famed union organizer Walter Reuther understood the value unions had in the American economy. When asked how he'd planned to get his men to pay union dues while being shown automated production lines at Ford, Reuther replied, "How do you plan to get them to buy your cars?"

Famed union organizer Walter Reuther understood the value unions had in the American economy. When asked how he’d planned to get his men to pay union dues while being shown automated production lines at Ford, Reuther replied, “How do you plan to get them to buy your cars?”

4. Unions greatly contribute to the economy equality and promote economic activity.

Since unions help create and expand the middle class, they also help decrease income inequality and generate activity in the modern consumer economy. Unionized workers earn more money than their non-union counterparts as well as likely to spend more. The middle class has always played a critical role in a nation’s economy and the US is no exception. Higher earning workers make good consumers since they have more disposable income as well as a great demand for products. And the bigger the middle class, the more consumers there are, the more money businesses make, and the better the economy. Also, higher incomes provide governments with more tax revenues.

As far as non-union workplaces go, Wal Mart has become the poster child of workplace violations as well as paying its employees poverty level wages. It's said that Wal Mart's low wages cost US taxpayers about $1.5 billion a year since the retail giant has a lot of workers on public assistance.

As far as non-union workplaces go, Wal Mart has become the poster child of workplace violations as well as paying its employees poverty level wages. It’s said that Wal Mart’s low wages cost US taxpayers about $1.5 billion a year since the retail giant has a lot of workers on public assistance.

5. Unions save taxpayer money.

Of course, in 21st century America social programs are a mainstay, yet many on government assistance have also been bashed as lazy unemployed freeloaders or drug addicts (personally I’d rather have my tax dollars go to some worthless bum’s government assistance payment than corporate subsidies.) Sure there maybe a few freeloaders among welfare recipients but the public assistance pool is pretty diverse group including the disabled, children, veterans, mentally ill, elderly, chronically ill, and even the working poor. Such public assistance is greatly limited and only provides short term aid. Now the working poor are a pretty unlucky bunch who are probably more likely to end up on public assistance than anyone else in the workforce. They are also more likely to work for an employer prohibiting unionization like Wal Mart as well as have a low paying job with terrible conditions and awful labor practices. Though many conservatives don’t like public assistance programs or unionism, many fail to realize that bad labor practices can cost taxpayers millions, especially if there’s no labor union to challenge them. Low wage workers aren’t just least likely to support themselves and families, they are also more prone to on the job injuries resulting in disability or death, develop work-related health problems which may become serious if left untreated, unemployment, and other things. In many ways the working poor are either welfare cases or welfare cases waiting to happen (including those with dependents). And to some workers, government assistance may be the only option since employers may not listen to demands or maybe even fire someone for whatever reason, especially when it comes to forming a union. A company like Wal Mart is notorious for shifting it’s labor burdens on the taxpayer which isn’t fair for anyone. Since unions help clamp down on bad labor practices, they also help save taxpayer money.

Here is a diagram on the difference being part of a union makes at work. Since union workers are protected under legal contract, they aren't liable to as many workplace abuses as their non-union counterparts. Whereas if a non-union worker is unfairly treated, there is nothing they can do.

Here is a diagram on the difference being part of a union makes at work. Since union workers are protected under legal contract, they aren’t liable to as many workplace abuses as their non-union counterparts. Whereas if a non-union worker is unfairly treated, there is nothing they can do.

6. Unions give workers more control of their lives.

Not only do unions help create a middle class as well as provides a voice for workers, they also allow workers better control of their lives even beyond the confines of their job. Bad labor practices can hurt families and ruin a person’s life. And it’s not unusual for a low wage earner to take more than one job which can result in more time away from home, coming in sick, sending sick kids to school, or leaving them unsupervised from hours on end. Low wage jobs don’t give workers enough to live on or even any room for social mobility. In fact, many of low wage workers live in poverty as well as have their kids suffer the same fate. In many respects, bad labor practices can have long term consequences for not only workers but workers’ families. And in many respects, unionization has helped many kids from working families go to college. Not only that, but since unions give workers leverage against their employer, workers not only can collectively bargain for higher wages as well as know how much each worker owns, but also go to their managers with safety concerns or ideas to improve efficiency and know that they’ll not only get a hearing, but also be protected from possible reprisals.

Wal Mart is notorious non-union workplace which is known to face class action lawsuits every year amounting to millions of dollars. This has given them a very infamous reputation in the field of labor relations. This is especially when the retail giant decided to open on Thanksgiving. And since it's the leading retailer, many stores ended following suit.

Wal Mart is notorious non-union workplace which is known to face class action lawsuits every year amounting to millions of dollars. This has given them a very infamous reputation in the field of labor relations. This is especially when the retail giant decided to open on Thanksgiving. And since it’s the leading retailer, many stores ended following suit.

7. Unions help companies and businesses.

Since unions crack down on bad labor practices, they also help their workplaces in many ways. For one, they make the workplace a much cleaner and safer environment for both workers and consumers alike. Paid sick leave can help keep a worker’s illness from infecting not only their peers but also customers. And paid sick leave for a sick child can prevent other kids from getting sick as well. Unions also help employers by not just giving them consumers but also save money on fighting lawsuits as well as gives them a better reputation. A business with good labor standards not only makes consumers more willing to buy from them, but also makes employees happier working for them, may be even proud. I mean look at Costco’s reputation is much better than Wal Mart’s for this reason. Of course, Costco doesn’t have unions either but it certainly wouldn’t be the company it is if unions never existed.

This is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Some time ago, Brady was implicated in Deflategate and the NFL charged him with a 4 game suspension. Brady appealed to the NFLPA (which is the players' union) and got that suspension removed by order from a federal court. Yes, I know this is a terrible example of unions at work. However, if people think unions are either outdated or bad, then why do unions for people like Tom Brady exist?

This is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Some time ago, Brady was implicated in Deflategate and the NFL charged him with a 4 game suspension. Brady appealed to the NFLPA (which is the players’ union) and got that suspension removed by order from a federal court. Yes, I know this is a terrible example of unions at work. However, if people think unions are either outdated or bad, then why do unions for people like Tom Brady exist?

8. Professional athletes and movie stars have unions.

I know that many people associate unionism with teachers and blue collar workers. However, we should understand that unionism isn’t just confined to the public sector or blue collar jobs that don’t earn a lot of money. For instance, professional athletes have their own union like the NFLPA that helped New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady get out of a 4 game suspension after he implicated in the Deflategate scandal. People in show business also have unions like the Screen Actors Guild whose most famous president was Ronald Reagan at one point. Now neither group is economically in dire straits, but they have union representation nevertheless. That’s because no matter how rich you are, if you’re working for someone, sometimes policies won’t be in your favor. So if rich people feel they need unions, maybe their poorer counterparts feel the same way. Besides, even the most conservative union members wouldn’t want to get rid of theirs.

Here's a satirical cartoon making fun of union opposition. However, it makes a good point on how business don't like certain policies that unions advocate. Then there's the fact that companies don't want to pay extra costs to protect and make them happy or deal with strikes.

Here’s a satirical cartoon making fun of union opposition. However, it makes a good point on how business don’t like certain policies that unions advocate. Then there’s the fact that companies don’t want to pay extra costs to protect and make them happy or deal with strikes.

9. Anti-Unionism is all about big business wanting more power and control over their labor force.

In recent years, Unionism has been on the decline for 2 reasons. First, a lot of blue collar paying jobs were lost during the 1980s, many of which had union representation. Second, many people in the private sector work for big corporations that simply won’t allow them. It’s very well known that big business doesn’t like unions and calls them obstructionists. Yes, unions may have their faults and might inconvenience people. However, I always think that the reason why many workplaces in the country prohibit workers from unionizing has more to do with them wanting more power and control over their workforce than anything else. And if it’s not the workplaces, then it’s free market conservatives who think that corporations having free reign is best for the economy (when in reality, it’s not). For instance, a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee was prevented from unionizing by the state legislature, not management. Sure they want to hire and fire whoever they want. But they also want to control their employees’ hours and only want to pay them as much as it takes to keep them there. Passage of so-called “right to work” laws aimed at curbing union influence, have led to decreased wages and increased poverty rates in several US states. And it’s clear that these laws weren’t aimed to benefit workers but large corporations seeking more power and control of their labor force.

Nearly have the states in the US have "Right to Work" laws in which non-union members don't have to pay union dues in a unionized workplace. Yet, these laws minimize union power as well as lead to devastating consequences such as lower wages, higher uninsurance rates, higher poverty rates, and more workplace fatalities.

Nearly have the states in the US have “Right to Work” laws in which non-union members don’t have to pay union dues in a unionized workplace. Yet, these laws minimize union power as well as lead to devastating consequences such as lower wages, higher health uninsurance rates, higher poverty rates, and more workplace fatalities. Such factors can have devastating consequences not only for the workers, but also for their families (especially children) and communities.

10. The benefits of unions extend to workers’ families and improve society.

While unions may have their faults, we have to acknowledge the fact that they’ve helped not just the workers themselves but also their families, their descendants, and society as a whole. For instance, before many of these blue collar jobs were unionized, it wasn’t unusual for workers to begin their jobs as children after dropping out of school. In fact, it was a very common thing, especially with the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Just ask none other than Charles Dickens who wrote extensively on child labor and why it was a really terrible thing. Why? Because even though their parents might work 12-16 hour days, they could never earn enough money to support their family. Not to mention, a lot of these jobs were dangerous and could put a family in economic disaster because there was no compensation or safety standards. Even when public education was available, it wasn’t always compulsory and a lot of poor kids tended to drop out if their parents’ paychecks couldn’t cover the rent or in the event of a family emergency. And it was because these children were put to work at an early age, they were denied a basic education and the economic opportunities that came with it. So they ended suffering the same fate as their parents. Unions have been very instrumental in curbing child labor in blue collar industries since they gave adult workers leverage so their workplaces would provide them a fair wage, benefits, an 8-hour day, workman’s comp, and medical leave as well as observe workplace safety standards. Such measures not only made workers’ lives easier, but they also allowed children to go to school and stay there as well as focus on their schoolwork so they’d excel and perhaps get into a good college so they can have better opportunities. Now this didn’t necessarily happen overnight. But it’s a major reason why cities like Pittsburgh managed to bounce back after what happened to the steel industry in the 1980s (though I admit that some industrial areas in the Rust Belt haven’t been so lucky like Detroit. But even in those places, things could’ve been worse). Still, when you’re in such cities like Pittsburgh, you’ll find a lot of professionals like doctors, lawyers, teachers, and what not who had ancestors who were coal miners, mill workers, and factory workers. Sure they may say that some of them achieved success by hard work which certainly fits into the equation. However, if their blue collar ancestors didn’t pressure their bosses to unionize they would not be where they are today. Yet, though unions have made the world a decent, that doesn’t mean they’re no longer needed. In the US, we should be reminded time and time again that a parent’s life at work has a profound effect on a child’s progress in school, the quality of their education, life in their neighborhood, and even their health. That is still very much the reality today as it was back in the Gilded Age since a lot of service industry parents work minimum wage jobs, sometimes more than one. A child whose parents work at Sam’s Club is never going to have the same opportunities and quality life than one whose parents work at Costco, despite that both sets have the same job with the same responsibilities. However, we must understand that the Costcos in this world are a rarity and most companies have never been so accommodating to their workers. If most workers in the service industry want those Costco benefits so their kids could have better lives, then unionization might be the only thing possible for them to accomplish that.

Here's a picture of children working at a factory back in the day mostly because their parents work starvation wages and long hours. Since unions helped curbed child labor, be glad you don't have this. Or at least at Gilded Age capacity.

Here’s a picture of children working at a factory back in the day mostly because their parents work starvation wages and long hours. Since unions helped curbed child labor, be glad you don’t have this. Or at least at Gilded Age capacity.

The Tiled World of Mosaics

Vichten-Big-02

While stained glass has been around for over 1000, mosaics have existed even longer. Much longer. The first known mosaics date to the 3rd millennium BCE in Ancient Mesopotamia. They have been found in Ancient Greece and Rome as well as in early and medieval Christian churches around the Mediterranean. Not only that, but they have been used in early mosques in the Middle East during the early days of Islam as well as in medieval synagogues. And they have decked floors, walls, and ceilings. While stained glass only uses colored glass to create pictures, mosaics can use anything from stone, glass, ceramic, or other materials. But these are usually carved into very small pieces and different colors known as tesserae (a term you might’ve heard regarding welfare supplements in the Hunger Games which families receive in exchange for their kids entering their name into the Reaping multiple times). And while the default use of mosaics was mostly floor decoration, they can also be used on walls and ceilings. Hell, they can even be on 3-dimensional objects, too. But I’m sure this isn’t a craft for patient minds or hands. Yet, it’s not uncommon for people to do mosaics with photographs as well. However, in this post photo mosaics aren’t really the focus here. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a look into the world of mosaic art.

 

  1. We’ll start with a bouquet of roses.
Well, a ceramic image of roses to be exact. Seems like all these pieces are cut in just the right way.

Well, a ceramic image of roses to be exact. Seems like all these pieces are cut in just the right way.

2. Looks like someone is surrounded by butterflies.

However, I wonder how her hair is up like that. Or whether the butterflies are getting in her hair.

However, I wonder how her hair is up like that. Or whether the butterflies are getting in her hair.

3. Guess this garden shovel isn’t for digging.

Sure it's only for a decorative purpose. But it surely looks grand even if you can't use it.

Sure it’s only for a decorative purpose. But it surely looks grand even if you can’t use it.

4. Whoever said that mosaics were only for floors, walls, and ceilings?

Guess mosaic art can be successfully applied to lawn fixtures. However, I'm sure the mosaic bird baths won't retain their colorful splendor for long.

Guess mosaic art can be successfully applied to lawn fixtures. However, I’m sure the mosaic bird baths won’t retain their colorful splendor for long.

5. This mosaic bluebird only sends love.

I think there's an artist who does mosaics like this. But at any rate, the bird is pretty.

I think there’s an artist who does mosaics like this. But at any rate, the bird is pretty.

6. A white shelf can contain a pink floral pattern on its walls.

Wonder how long it took to get this mosaic done. Still, goes well with the shelf.

Wonder how long it took to get this mosaic done. Still, goes well with the shelf.

7. By applying shiny tiles on old bottles, who knows how they’ll turn out.

These look like bottles you'd see in some bazaar in Aladdin. Didn't know you could make bottles look this good before.

These look like bottles you’d see in some bazaar in Aladdin. Didn’t know you could make bottles look this good before.

8. Broken china plates can always be reused to decorate a chair.

However, this doesn't mean I'd want to sit on it. Because I'd be afraid of messing something like that up.

However, this doesn’t mean I’d want to sit on it. Because I’d be afraid of messing something like that up.

9. A floral table always goes well in any living room.

Doesn't hurt if such mosaic uses bright colors either. However, you might want to place coasters on it before you set your drink.

Doesn’t hurt if such mosaic uses bright colors either. However, you might want to place coasters on it before you set your drink.

10. If you don’t like stringing beads, make a picture from them.

This sure looks pretty. Love the bright colors. Not sure what it's supposed to look like.

This sure looks pretty. Love the bright colors. Not sure what it’s supposed to look like.

11. Never seen a tree against a sky of glass.

Well, it's actually a tiled tree against a mirror background. But it seems to go well with the style.

Well, it’s actually a tiled tree against a mirror background. But it seems to go well with the style.

12. Looks like some of these flowers are larger than others.

This one uses some of those glass stones and flower pieces. All in all, makes a great tile display.

This one uses some of those glass stones and flower pieces. All in all, makes a great tile display.

13. Nothing makes your patio great like a floral tiled table.

Not sure if I'd want a mosaic table exposed outdoors. But I really love the colors on this one, especially the purple.

Not sure if I’d want a mosaic table exposed outdoors. But I really love the colors on this one, especially the purple.

14. Out of the stonework, purple flowers bloom.

Yes, the flowers might seem like they're real or pressed. But they're not. They're made from ceramic tile.

Yes, the flowers might seem like they’re real or pressed. But they’re not. They’re made from ceramic tile.

15. Even sacred art can be depicted in tiny stone pieces.

This one is of the Maddonna and Child. However, while there are a lot of early Christian mosaics, a lot of them also have pieces missing.

This one is of the Madonna and Child. However, while there are a lot of early Christian mosaics, a lot of them also have pieces missing.

16. Nothing’s more amazing than seeing a bright red flower on the floor.

Sure it's not the whole artwork. But that red flower surely looks brilliant in ceramic tile.

Sure it’s not the whole artwork. But that red flower surely looks brilliant in glass tile.

17. Sometimes there’s nothing more quaint than a lovely town sunset.

This almost resembles a painting with the artistic detail. But it's only a painting of tile. And a very good painting at that.

This almost resembles a painting with the artistic detail. But it’s only a painting of tile. And a very good painting at that.

18. How about a purple pansy on your patio table?

Well, here's a large pansy of mosaic tile. All in its spring glory, in fact. Love it.

Well, here’s a large pansy of mosaic tile. All in its spring glory, in fact. Love it.

19. With tile, you can decorate almost anything with no limits.

This one has a mosaic, wall and stairs. You might notice how they use shells, in this as well. Stunning.

This one has a mosaic, wall and stairs. You might notice how they use shells, in this as well. Stunning.

20. You’ve seen flowers through a window. How about flowers in a window?

This one uses glass pieces inside an old window frame. And I'm sure you'll be in awe of these glass flowers.

This one uses glass pieces inside an old window frame. And I’m sure you’ll be in awe of these glass flowers.

21. You’ve heard of a heart of glass. How about a heart of ceramic?

It's all made in a bunch of tiny pieces, too. Also has a golden touch to it.

It’s all made in a bunch of tiny pieces, too. Also has a golden touch to it.

22. While all hearts beat alike, they don’t always look the same.

You can say the same about these hearts in this window. Each one is made up of different pieces.

You can say the same about these hearts in this window. Each one is made up of different pieces.

23. How about a view of inside looking out.

This one seems to depict someone inside looking out into a seaside town. You can almost think it's a painting.

This one seems to depict someone inside looking out into a seaside town. You can almost think it’s a painting.

24. Sometimes mosaic work can make wonderful door decor.

Both sides seem to have different themes to it. Yet both seem to be so artistically well done.

Both sides seem to have different themes to it. Yet both seem to be so artistically well done.

25. Sometimes an owl may appear more fearsome close up.

Yes, this is an owl mosaic close up. Yet, those bright yellow eyes seem so intimidating.

Yes, this is an owl mosaic close up. Yet, those bright yellow eyes seem so intimidating.

26. This mosaic frame gives a real homey touch.

Yes, mosaic picture frames do exist. However, I especially like the little cups on this one. So clever.

Yes, mosaic picture frames do exist. However, I especially like the little cups on this one. So clever.

27. The mirror reflects only on a small pool where the water’s supposed to be.

Mirror frames can also have mosaics on them. Hut this one has only a small one.

Mirror frames can also have mosaics on them. Hut this one has only a small one.

28. Perhaps you’ve never seen anything as magnificent as a mosaic tiger.

Well, I've never seen such an ornate tiger like that before. And in multiple colored stripes, too.

Well, I’ve never seen such an ornate tiger like that before. And in multiple colored stripes, too.

29. Here we come across a green haired girl with a golden streak.

Well, she has her hair multiple colors. But mainly green. The gold strand stands out though.

Well, she has her hair multiple colors. But mainly green. The gold strand stands out though.

30. How about some poppies among a scene of black?

Of course, you don't want to come across a cultivated poppy field in Afghanistan. Because you should know what those poppies are for.

Of course, you don’t want to come across a cultivated poppy field in Afghanistan. Because you should know what those poppies are for.

31. Have you ever came across a funky colored chair like this?

Yes, it's another mosaic chair. But this is in a very different style than the last one. And it has a few hearts to it.

Yes, it’s another mosaic chair. But this is in a very different style than the last one. And it has a few hearts to it.

32. A circle surface should take a circular design.

Of course, a lot of mosaics use geometric designs like the stained glass windows. But I like this one especially due to the purple center.

Of course, a lot of mosaics use geometric designs like the stained glass windows. But I like this one especially due to the purple center.

33. It’s not every day you come across a blue tiled shell.

This one is covered in ceramic tiles and beads. At any rate, it must be either a large shell or one that has very small pieces.

This one is covered in ceramic tiles and beads. At any rate, it must be either a large shell or one that has very small pieces.

34. This bottle seems rather reflective.

Mostly because it's covered in mirrors. But I wouldn't mind having that in my house.

Mostly because it’s covered in mirrors. But I wouldn’t mind having that in my house.

35. Never seen a peacock column like that before.

I really like this one since the mosaic has so many tiles with very bright colors. Also how it reflects off the light.

I really like this one since the mosaic has so many tiles with very bright colors. Also how it reflects off the light.

36. Sometimes it helps that you go with a table that matches the carpet.

And this one seems to go with the decor quite nicely. Kind of seems more like an antique than it actually is. But has a certain something to it.

And this one seems to go with the decor quite nicely. Kind of seems more like an antique than it actually is. But has a certain something to it.

37. Nothing seems more breathtaking to some than an ocean sunset.

As with stained glass, you see a lot of ocean mosaics on Pinterest. This one is one of the better ones.

As with stained glass, you see a lot of ocean mosaics on Pinterest. This one is one of the better ones.

38. This bottle surely has a rather festive disposition.

Well, this one surely has a lot of loud colors to it. But the shapes sure seem stunning.

Well, this one surely has a lot of loud colors to it. But the shapes sure seem stunning.

39. These blue parrots surely know what love means.

Of course, parrots might mate for life. Yet, you have to like the brilliant blue shades on this, too.

Of course, parrots might mate for life. Yet, you have to like the brilliant blue shades on this, too.

40. Remember to keep your ceramic birds all in rows.

These are very lovely. Like how they're all the same size. But each of them has a different color to them.

These are very lovely. Like how they’re all the same size. But each of them has a different color to them.

41. On this bottle, a shadow shows a ray of sunshine.

Now this bottle mosaic has to be made from stained glass. Yet, uses a sunset color scheme.

Now this bottle mosaic has to be made from stained glass. Yet, uses a sunset color scheme.

42. These blue flowers sure look pretty encased in stone.

Well, these certainly look stunning. The blue flowers almost look either real or painted on.

Well, these certainly look stunning. The blue flowers almost look either real or painted on.

43. Nothing looks lovely in stone like a bare tree in the night.

Or during a sunset, anyway. Like how the tree is encased in the clay lines among the tiles.

Or during a sunset, anyway. Like how the tree is encased in the clay lines among the tiles.

44. Well, this mosaic seems familiar to me for some reason.

Had a poster that looked just like this in college. However, it wasn't in the best shape when I tried taking it down though.

Had a poster that looked just like this in college. However, it wasn’t in the best shape when I tried taking it down from my dorm room though.

45. The sun shines brightly in this window.

Well, this sun was made with a window frame, anyway. Still, not sure about the background.

Well, this sun was made with a window frame, anyway. Still, not sure about the background.

46. The fox and the bird seem to get along well.

Never mind that the fox would probably eat the bird in real life. Yeah, interspecies relationships seem quite rosy.

Never mind that the fox would probably eat the bird in real life. Yeah, interspecies relationships seem quite rosy.

47. Now this gives a whole new meaning to the word, “flower pot.”

After all, it's a pot decorated with flowers. Hopefully someone plants flowers in it.

After all, it’s a pot decorated with flowers. Hopefully someone plants flowers in it.

48. Here is a mother owl keeping her owlet under her wings.

You get the impression that there are a lot of mosaics depicting birds. And this one won't be the last. But it's cute.

You get the impression that there are a lot of mosaics depicting birds. And this one won’t be the last. But it’s cute.

49. Looks like this bird is on a lonely perch.

This bird almost looks like one you'd see from your window. But it's in ceramic tile.

This bird almost looks like one you’d see from your window. But it’s in ceramic tile.

50. Guess these boots were made for planting.

Yet, they also have lovely mosaic decoration on them. Also like the flowers in them. Yes, these are boot planters.

Yet, they also have lovely mosaic decoration on them. Also like the flowers in them. Yes, these are boot planters.

51. There are a few things as magical as a white tiger in tile.

At least this one doesn't have pink stripes like the one in stained glass. Almost looks like a photograph.

At least this one doesn’t have pink stripes like the one in stained glass. Almost looks like a photograph.

52. In this pane, it’s a flower per window.

Well, not quite. But you have to admire how pretty these flowers are as well as the craftsmanship.

Well, not quite. But you have to admire how pretty these flowers are as well as the craftsmanship.

53. This art nouveau mosaic is surely a beauty.

Not sure if it's from the 19th century or made to look like it. At any rate, it's stunning.

Not sure if it’s from the 19th century or made to look like it. At any rate, it’s stunning.

54. This blue green cross has a lot of metal on the surface.

Yes, this a cross mosaic. And yes, it says, "Believe" on it. But it's still quite lovely.

Yes, this a cross mosaic. And yes, it says, “Believe” on it. But it’s still quite lovely.

55. Even when you look closer, it’s hard to tell what’s going on in this window.

Yeah, it's kind of hard for me to tell what's going on in here. Then again, it might be an abstract piece.

Yeah, it’s kind of hard for me to tell what’s going on in here. Then again, it might be an abstract piece.

56. For some, there’s nothing like seeing an orca jumping out of the ocean.

And in the setting sun, no doubt. Yes, that's simply a mosaic that's wondrous to look at.

And in the setting sun, no doubt. Yes, that’s simply a mosaic that’s wondrous to look at.

57. Not sure if this planter outshines its plant.

Sure you might find a lot of mosaic outdoor decor for some reason. Maybe because people prefer a tiled patio look. I'm just guessing here.

Sure you might find a lot of mosaic outdoor decor for some reason. Maybe because people prefer a tiled patio look. I’m just guessing here.

58. You’d almost think these flowers came from your garden.

Well, some of them seem to come from the gardens in my house. Save for maybe the blue ones.

Well, some of them seem to come from the gardens in my house. Save for maybe the blue ones.

59. Not sure what to say about a heart on a rock.

Well, I tend to find a lot of these on Pinterest. However, this one seems to stand out since the rock appears quite large. Like door stop large.

Well, I tend to find a lot of these on Pinterest. However, this one seems to stand out since the rock appears quite large. Like door stop large.

60. There’s nothing like a heron in the deep blue—uh, lake.

Well, there are probably some herons that live near saltwater. But the herons in my area are usually freshwater birds.

Well, there are probably some herons that live near saltwater. But the herons in my area are usually freshwater birds.

61. These bright flowers show brilliantly in white.

Well, they may have the same daisy shape. But each is in a different color. Like the blue one.

Well, they may have the same daisy shape. But each is in a different color. Like the blue one.

62. This barn owl surely looks majestic in the night.

This almost looks like the real thing from a far angle. Nevertheless, I think it's a hoot.

This almost looks like the real thing from a far angle. Nevertheless, I think it’s a hoot.

63. Who knows how many flowers are on this circle.

I guess this might be for a table. But at any rate, the flowers surely look stunning.

I guess this might be for a table. But at any rate, the flowers surely look stunning.

64. A tiled rose can almost seem so fantastic to be real.

This rose surely looks fairly 3-dimensional. However, in art, it's hard to tell whether something is at a certain point.

This rose surely looks fairly 3-dimensional. However, in art, it’s hard to tell whether something is at a certain point.

65. A mosaic like this must’ve been inspired by old Paris.

And it almost seems like you're seeing a photo of the city itself. Well, at least the Eiffel Tower.

And it almost seems like you’re seeing a photo of the city itself. Well, at least the Eiffel Tower.

66. Guess she’s what is known as a real flower girl.

Yes, this is a mosaic on a nude statue. But in the world of art, nudity isn't bound to offend anyone.

Yes, this is a mosaic on a nude statue. But in the world of art, nudity isn’t bound to offend anyone.

67. Looks like this cat has been up to no good.

Well, it seems to have a frightened expression. Yet, it seems quite lifelike.

Well, it seems to have a frightened expression. Yet, it seems quite lifelike.

68. Now that’s a very colorful butterfly.

This one has quite a few designs on its wings. Not to mention, it's meant to be put on display in a lawn.

This one has quite a few designs on its wings. Not to mention, it’s meant to be put on display in a lawn.

69. This mosaic seems rather fishy.

Well, it depicts 3 fishes on it. So saying it's fishy shouldn't be very far fetched.

Well, it depicts 3 fishes on it. So saying it’s fishy shouldn’t be very far fetched.

70. Never seen a blue tree before save in Dr. Seuss.

Almost seems like an embroidery sampler. However, it's probably made from glass and tile as I can see.

Almost seems like an embroidery sampler. However, it’s probably made from glass and tile as I can see.

71. Now this is the kind of sculpture that reflects in the sunlight.

Not sure what this is supposed to be. But I like it. I especially like the fact it's purple.

Not sure what this is supposed to be. But I like it. I especially like the fact it’s purple.

72. In some ways, this mirror needs a rainbow frame.

Well, it's not exactly rainbow but close. However, I think it's more suited for a bedroom than a bathroom. Just a thought.

Well, it’s not exactly rainbow but close. However, I think it’s more suited for a bedroom than a bathroom. Just a thought.

73. Bet you’ve never seen a lawn flamingo like this.

Yes, this is the a mosaic version of the tacky lawn decoration we know and love. Bet this was made in Florida.

Yes, this is the a mosaic version of the tacky lawn decoration we know and love. Bet this was made in Florida.

74. Guess this birdbath has an ocean theme.

Well, as far as I'm concerned. Still, despite what you see in the garden store, birdbaths are disgusting.

Well, as far as I’m concerned. Still, despite what you see in the garden store, birdbaths are disgusting.

75. Each of these turtles has a unique shell.

Yes, these are lawn turtles with mosaic shells. And yes, each is a unique work of art in its own way.

Yes, these are lawn turtles with mosaic shells. And yes, each is a unique work of art in its own way.

76. This peacock surely has a lovely feather train.

I guess peacocks are popular to depict in mosaics as well. Nevertheless, looks like a fine bird.

I guess peacocks are popular to depict in mosaics as well. Nevertheless, looks like a fine bird.

77. This blue elephant has a very ornate face.

Well, it's in an Indian art style. But let's say that despite their depictions as gentle giants, elephants aren't animals you should mess with.

Well, it’s in an Indian art style. But let’s say that despite their depictions as gentle giants, elephants aren’t animals you should mess with.

78. Guess this seems like a stroll in an quaint little village.

I think this might be copied from a painting. But I'm not sure. Yet, it looks kind of familiar.

I think this might be copied from a painting. But I’m not sure. Yet, it looks kind of familiar.

79. Well, that’s a highly decorated armchair.

However, I don't think it's comfortable to sit in. But I'll put it in my mosaics post since it's rather unique.

However, I don’t think it’s comfortable to sit in. But I’ll put it in my mosaics post since it’s rather unique.

80. This mosaic really gives a great view of the ocean.

There are a lot of beach scene mosaics on Pinterest. But I think this is probably the best one.

There are a lot of beach scene mosaics on Pinterest. But I think this is probably the best one.

81. Of course, a mosaic mirror must have reflecting pieces.

Well, at least on the frame. Nevertheless, this is a very lovely design.

Well, at least on the frame. Nevertheless, this is a very lovely design.

82. This stunning ceramic red fox appears to be from a painting.

And what a stunning red fox it is. I think I might've saw one while on my walks years ago. But not sure when.

And what a stunning red fox it is. I think I might’ve saw one while on my walks years ago. But not sure when.

83. Of course, you probably don’t have a bathroom counter as colorful as this one.

Then again, ceramic tiles tend to be in most bathrooms. Yet, this mosaic counter is probably not cheap in the least.

Then again, ceramic tiles tend to be in most bathrooms. Yet, this mosaic counter is probably not cheap in the least.

84. This mirror seems to reflect images all over the place.

Well, this is rather interesting. And it seems so finely made with very little color. Just mirror tiles.

Well, this is rather interesting. And it seems so finely made with very little color. Just mirror tiles.

85. This rainbow watering can pours like a charm.

Interesting how it always seems to be stuck like that. Then again, it's a mosaic sculpture so it's kind of intentional.

Interesting how it always seems to be stuck like that. Then again, it’s a mosaic sculpture so it’s kind of intentional.

86. Well, that’s just a picture of a small old barn.

Well, a mosaic picture. However, it surely seems lifelike or from a painting. Not sure if that's dead grass or wheat. Probably the latter.

Well, a mosaic picture. However, it surely seems lifelike or from a painting. Not sure if that’s dead grass or wheat. Probably the latter.

87. A koi pond birdbath isn’t what you see every day.

Even more so if it contains rocks as an artistic touch. By the way, koi aren't small fish at all.

Even more so if it contains rocks as an artistic touch. By the way, koi aren’t small fish at all.

88. I’m sure nobody can resist this rainbow flower.

Well, it's a rainbow flower design. Each petal is a different color. Lovely.

Well, it’s a rainbow flower design. Each petal is a different color. Lovely.

89. This mosaic takes a view from the street.

Surely it's a street scene mosaic. But it also seems like a painting to me, too. Wonder if it's based off anything.

Surely it’s a street scene mosaic. But it also seems like a painting to me, too. Wonder if it’s based off anything.

90. Ever wish you could have window flowers like these?

These are very lovely flowers. And you can have them all year round.

These are very lovely flowers. And you can have them all year round.

91. This bathroom seems to take an undersea ocean theme.

Now I know it's not uncommon for bathrooms to have ocean themed decor. But this takes it to a new level, especially in mosaics.

Now I know it’s not uncommon for bathrooms to have ocean themed decor. But this takes it to a new level, especially in mosaics.

92. The moon and the stars are on the stairs.

Like how the mosaic on here accentuates the moon and the colors. So stunning.

Like how the mosaic on here accentuates the moon and the colors. So stunning.

93. Those who’ve lived prior to 2001 should know what this mosaic depicts.

Yes, this is a mosaic of the NYC World Trade Center Towers in the sunset. Of course, a lot of us know what happened to them.

Yes, this is a mosaic of the NYC World Trade Center Towers in the sunset. Of course, a lot of us know what happened to them.

94. I’m afraid this design is no flash in the pan.

Because if it was, the tiles wouldn't be sticking. And I'm sure it's not something you'd want to cook with.

Because if it was, the tiles wouldn’t be sticking. And I’m sure it’s not something you’d want to cook with.

95. The sun shines bright in this ocean view.

And in a sunset scene, too. Like how the sun is reflecting on the water. So lovely.

And in a sunset scene, too. Like how the sun is reflecting on the water. So lovely.

96. Now that’s the most colorful kiln I’ve ever seen.

This one has a lot of swirly colors. Wonder what pottery and ceramics get baked there.

This one has a lot of swirly colors. Wonder what pottery and ceramics get baked there.

97. Of course, you might want to get a view underwater.

This one seems like you're right in the coral reef. However, fish might want to be careful around those dolphins.

This one seems like you’re right in the coral reef. However, fish might want to be careful around those dolphins.

98. May this mosaic make you think of peace.

Well, This peace sign surely stands out. Like how it's emanated like the sun.

Well, This peace sign surely stands out. Like how it’s emanated like the sun.

99. This clock is finely tiled for any fireplace mantle.

Normally I wouldn't say maroon and teal go together. But I think both colors give a distinctive feel on this clock.

Normally I wouldn’t say maroon and teal go together. But I think both colors give a distinctive feel on this clock.

100. Just saw a trail of butterflies in this window.

Sure it's a stained glass mosaic. But I said the two tend to go together. Also, you have to admire the butterflies on this.

Sure it’s a stained glass mosaic. But I said the two tend to go together. Also, you have to admire the butterflies on this.

The Sacred World of Stained Glass

the-full-stained-glass-window

Stained glass has had a 1,000 year history though throughout most of it, it was used for windows in churches (like the awesome medieval Gothic cathedrals in Europe that still stand to this day), mosques, and other significant buildings. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense since before the days of sheet glass production, glass was expensive as hell since it took a long time to make. Many buildings usually went without them. In fact, during American colonization, it was very common for many families to take their glass windows with them on the boat. Not to mention, it’s not an easy material to transport since it’s quite breakable. So you imagine how Washington and Jefferson had it when they’re building Mount Vernon and Monticello. Nevertheless, many of these large stained glass windows you see in medieval cathedrals have withstood the test of time as a form of pictoral art. Contrary to what you see in movies on the Middle Ages, walk into a Gothic cathedral during the day and you’ll find yourself in a very illuminated place with color. After all, medieval folks didn’t have access to great lighting so these magnificent cathedrals were built with large windows so it can be the brightest indoor space around. Stained glass designs can feature either abstract or figurative themes such as figures and scenes from the Bible or literature, representations of saints, or symbolic motifs. Stained glass windows within a building may also be thematic such as a church depicting scenes of the life of Christ, a mosque depicting geometrics, constituencies’ shields in a parliamentary building, figures representing the arts and sciences within a college, or images of flora, fauna, and landscapes within a home. Today, while windows continue to be the dominant work of stained glass, it can also be seen as decoration as well as as 3 dimensional objects like lamps. In fact, Charles Tiffany became very rich and famous for his stained glass lamps from the Art Nouveau period. So much so that when you look at such a lamp, you’d almost think it’s designed by him. It’s also widely used as a craft as I’ve seen a lot of stained glass panels on Pinterest or Etsy. Then you’ve seen a lot of stained glass integrated in wind chimes and suncatchers for good reason. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of stained glass art.

 

  1. A heron always looks great near the front door.
I know this isn't a Great Blue Heron since it has dark blue feathers. Not sure when this was made either because it seems quite stylized.

I know this isn’t a Great Blue Heron since it has dark blue feathers. Not sure when this was made either because it seems quite stylized.

2. How about a lovely forest scene outside?

This one depicts a stream with flowers and trees. And in a rather abstract style, too.

This one depicts a stream with flowers and trees. And in a rather abstract style, too.

3. A glass star looks great with blue.

Yes, you're going to see more like these, too. Love the glass star and the blue swirls.

Yes, you’re going to see more like these, too. Love the glass star and the blue swirls.

4. Flowers near your window? How about flowers on your window?

At least these flowers won't wilt after a couple of weeks. Still, these are so beautiful.

At least these flowers won’t wilt after a couple of weeks. Still, these are so beautiful.

5. Perhaps a landscape may cheer you up.

Here's another stained glass landscape. This depicts a mountain scene. Love the blue lake and sky.

Here’s another stained glass landscape. This depicts a mountain scene. Love the blue lake and sky.

6. Snoopy always dances with delight in stained glass.

4ead08749ea0800634598de5faaa60a2

Okay, he seems like he’s skating. But he’s quite endearing as always.

7. If you love penguins, then this glass panel answers your prayers.

Seems like it could depict a scene from March of the Penguins. With the Morgan Freeman voiceover, this would be perfect.

Seems like it could depict a scene from March of the Penguins. With the Morgan Freeman voiceover, this would be perfect.

8. As a practicing Catholic, I tend to be a sucker for stained glass religious imagery.

Well, I have to put some religious stuff on here. This window depicts Christ on the cross. And it's an example of a stained glass masterpiece.

Well, I have to put some religious stuff on here. This window depicts Christ on the cross. And it’s an example of a stained glass masterpiece.

9. Never seen such a colored swordfish before.

You tend to see a lot of sea stuff on these windows as well. But the marlin jumping out of the water is sure a majestic sight.

You tend to see a lot of sea stuff on these windows as well. But the marlin jumping out of the water is sure a majestic sight.

10. This one has a Spanish church on the seashore.

I guess the Spanish church is on here because it looks great in the scene. Like the sun in this.

I guess the Spanish church is on here because it looks great in the scene. Like the sun in this.

11. Looks like a couple of bears are roasting marshmallows at the campfire.

I know Smokey the Bear might not approve of this. But I think it's cute, especially since it has an adult bear and cub.

I know Smokey the Bear might not approve of this. But I think it’s cute, especially since it has an adult bear and cub.

12. A stained glass sculpture can always stand out in the sun.

This looks pretty huge. Look closer and you can see a face in the details.

This looks pretty huge. Look closer and you can see a face in the details.

13. Guess this one has a lovely decorated skull.

This seems like a Southwestern or Mexican stained glass panel. Possibly for Dia de la Muertos.

This seems like a Southwestern or Mexican stained glass panel. Possibly for Dia de los Muertos.

14. Sometimes all you need are flowers and butterflies.

This is one a little 3-dimensional since the butterflies have raised wings. Love the flowers, too.

This is one a little 3-dimensional since the butterflies have raised wings. Love the flowers, too.

15. There’s nothing like seeing the hummingbirds pollinate the flowers.

Sure some people may have hummingbird feeders (like my mom). But these hummingbirds drinking nectar as nature intended.

Sure some people may have hummingbird feeders (like my mom). But these hummingbirds drinking nectar as nature intended.

16. With this stained glass panel, you can look under the sea.

I think the fish should be wary of the dolphin. But this is a beautiful work of art. Love the blue sea.

I think the fish should be wary of the dolphin. But this is a beautiful work of art. Love the blue sea.

17. On this panel, you’ll come across a magnificent dark horse.

This seems to take a more mosaic look. But it's nevertheless lovely.

This seems to take a more mosaic look. But it’s nevertheless lovely.

18. How about a some windows like your bookshelf?

I have to admit, this is very ingenious. Like how the books are different colors.

I have to admit, this is very ingenious. Like how the books are different colors.

19. This white tiger really looks magnificent.

Not sure about the stripes being pink. And I don't think the tiger looks very happy.

Not sure about the stripes being pink. And I don’t think the tiger looks very happy.

20. How about some flowers around your mirror?

Yes, these are stained glass flowers. And they only have a decorative purpose in this case.

Yes, these are stained glass flowers. And they only have a decorative purpose in this case.

21. This killer whale would certainly shine in a circle.

Like I said, stained glass ocean scenes are a thing. And orcas sure are popular.

Like I said, stained glass ocean scenes are a thing. And orcas sure are popular.

22. Just a little blue jay admiring the flowers.

Seems like the blue jay is only a small part of this panel. But the flowers are pretty.

Seems like the blue jay is only a small part of this panel. But the flowers are pretty.

23. It’s always lovely to see a cardinal on the ledge.

Like ocean life, birds are another popular stained glass motif. The northern cardinal and other backyard birds especially.

Like ocean life, birds are another popular stained glass motif. The northern cardinal and other backyard birds especially.

24. This stained glass panel is always, “Semper Fi.”

Yes, this is one for the US Marine Corps. Not sure if there are ones for the other military branches. Probably.

Yes, this is one for the US Marine Corps. Not sure if there are ones for the other military branches. Probably.

25. Get a load of this flowery lamp.

Yes, that's a stained glass lamp all right. And on a stained glass table, too. Not sure if it's a Tiffany though.

Yes, that’s a stained glass lamp all right. And on a stained glass table, too. Not sure if it’s a Tiffany though.

26. Some blue violets for the window?

I guess the owners don't use the fireplace very often. Wouldn't want to see anything happen to this. Because it's so lovely.

The flowers on this are certainly exquisite. Guess this is for decorative purposes only though.

27. How about something more geometric?

Geometric designs are also popular for stained glass windows. They're also not as difficult to produce either.

Geometric designs are also popular for stained glass windows. They’re also not as difficult to produce either.

28. This heart of butterflies is something you’re bound to love.

And here this woman stands proud at her creation, I guess. Still, this is so pretty.

And here this woman stands proud at her creation, I guess. Still, this is so pretty.

29. These 3 panels boast really colorful flowers.

I'm sure this is used as porch decoration. But the flowers stand out in bright colors.

I’m sure this is used as porch decoration. But the flowers stand out in bright colors.

30. Sometimes you can use some blue glass lighting.

Well, the style seems a bit unconventional. But you can't go wrong with the color.

Well, the style seems a bit unconventional. But you can’t go wrong with the color.

31. A glass totem will look great anywhere.

I guess this is the kind of art that comes from the Pacific Northwest. Not sure if like the color scheme though.

I guess this is the kind of art that comes from the Pacific Northwest. Not sure if like the color scheme though.

32. I’m sure a peacock has a beauty beyond compare.

Because peacocks have a large flower train display they use to attract mates. Like the flowers on here, too.

Because peacocks have a large flower train display they use to attract mates. Like the flowers on here, too.

33. I call this one “Loon on a Snowshoe.”

Didn't know they made stained glass displays in snowshoes. Guess they're for decoration, then.

Didn’t know they made stained glass displays in snowshoes. Guess they’re for decoration, then.

34. You’ve seen stained glass windows in church. But have you seen a stained glass nativity scene?

Yes, they have stained glass nativity scenes, too. May seem abstract but it does look lovely.

Yes, they have stained glass nativity scenes, too. May seem abstract but it does look lovely.

35. Never seen glass raccoons in a tree before.

I guess this is inlaid into a tree trunk slice. Still, the raccoons are so adorable.

I guess this is inlaid into a tree trunk slice. Still, the raccoons are so adorable.

36. On this tree, it’s always autumn.

Well, autumn leaves are pretty on the trees. But the autumn display doesn't last long though.

Well, autumn leaves are pretty on the trees. But the autumn display doesn’t last long though.

37. Guess you call that a rainbow surrounding a black center.

Wonder if that's supposed to be a solar eclipse or something. Might make some sense.

Wonder if that’s supposed to be a solar eclipse or something. Might make some sense.

38. This panel seems to be bursting with flowers.

Now this is certainly the kind of Art Nouveau style you might see on old mansions. This one has a spring theme.

Now this is certainly the kind of Art Nouveau style you might see on old mansions. This one has a spring theme.

39. Wonder what this is supposed to be.

This is art based on Northwest Coast Native American legend. Not something from Lovecraft, but I see your point.

This is art based on Northwest Coast Native American legend. Not something from Lovecraft, but I see your point.

40. This stained glass lamp sports radiant purple flowers.

Now this is an example of what you might see in a Tiffany lamp. However, I'm not completely sure if this is one. But I have a good idea.

Now this is an example of what you might see in a Tiffany lamp. However, I’m not completely sure if this is one. But I have a good idea.

41. What you see through this window is pure fantasy.

I guess I was right with that. Still, you'll have to look closer to get the idea. Beautiful though.

I guess I was right with that. Still, you’ll have to look closer to get the idea. Beautiful though.

42. Seems like the shepherds have a couple unexpected visitors.

This one depicts angels appearing to the shepherds and announcing the birth of Christ. It's in Luke's Gospel. But I don't think this window was used for a church.

This one depicts angels appearing to the shepherds and announcing the birth of Christ. It’s in Luke’s Gospel. But I don’t think this window was used for a church.

43. This geometric panel has a cross in the center.

Not sure on what to make out of these geometric ones. On one hand, they look cool. But on the other hand, they just consist of a bunch of shapes.

Not sure on what to make out of these geometric ones. On one hand, they look cool. But on the other hand, they just consist of a bunch of shapes.

44. Take a look at this stained glass bison from the open range.

In North America, they're also seen as "buffalo" by the way. However, you have to love this bison's expression.

In North America, they’re also seen as “buffalo” by the way. However, you have to love this bison’s expression.

45. Never came across a white palm tree in the sand.

Beach scenes are fairly common stained glass motifs for some reason. Not sure why.

Beach scenes are fairly common stained glass motifs for some reason. Not sure why.

46. This panel seems to depict a big arrowhead.

I think this style might be Southwest inspired. But I'm not sure. But I do love the colors on this.

I think this style might be Southwest inspired. But I’m not sure. But I do love the colors on this.

47. This penguin family will melt your heart.

I know this is my second penguin one on this post. But I know people will find this irresistibly adorable.

I know this is my second penguin one on this post. But I know people will find this irresistibly adorable.

48. This night scene surely has the moon shining bright.

Sure this might be a mosaic piece. But a lot of mosaics use glass for obvious reasons.

Sure this might be a mosaic piece. But a lot of mosaics use glass for obvious reasons.

49. From window, you can see 4 kinds of birds.

Consists of a Northern Bluebird, a Chickadee, a Goldfinch, and a Northern Cardinal. All these are North American birds.

Consists of a Northern Bluebird, a Chickadee, a Goldfinch, and a Northern Cardinal. All these are North American birds.

50. Have to admire the purple flowers and the chickadees.

I guess this might be fore a door. Yet, I do love the flowers on these, especially since they're purple.

I guess this might be for a door. Yet, I do love the flowers on these, especially since they’re purple.

51. A cactus flower blooming is a glorious sight.

However, you don't want to touch a cactus though. You know, because of the needles.

However, you don’t want to touch a cactus though. You know, because of the needles.

52. Does this panel depict a star or a snowflake?

Either way, it sure goes well with the winter scenery. This must've been made with a lot of care and patience.

Either way, it sure goes well with the winter scenery. This must’ve been made with a lot of care and patience.

53. Here I give you a horse close up.

And that seems to really capture one up close. Must be made by a really good artist.

And that seems to really capture one up close. Must be made by a really good artist.

54. Here we have Mary and Jesus seated and adored by all.

Here's another church window. But this one seems to be made in the Renaissance at least. But you have to appreciate the detail.

Here’s another church window. But this one seems to be made in the Renaissance at least. But you have to appreciate the detail.

55. These 4 flowers always bloom bright at any season.

Mostly because they're encased in stained glass. Love the colors though.

Mostly because they’re encased in stained glass. Love the colors though.

56. Of course, I couldn’t forget a stained glass representation of the Madonna and Child.

Because a lot of these are depicted in Catholic churches. Yet, not this well though.

Because a lot of these are depicted in Catholic churches. Yet, not this well though.

57. Bet you’ve never seen a globe in glass.

This one even looks great in the light. Of course, I don't think this was easy to pull off. But it's worth seeing.

This one even looks great in the light. Of course, I don’t think this was easy to pull off. But it’s worth seeing.

58. This view of the stream is simply breathtaking.

This one seems to have brighter colors than some of the landscapes on here. I especially like the purple flowers.

This one seems to have brighter colors than some of the landscapes on here. I especially like the purple flowers.

59. Ever had a forest inlaid in a cabinet?

Well, look no further than these cabinet doors. And yes, they'll probably put your furniture to shame.

Well, look no further than these cabinet doors. And yes, they’ll probably put your furniture to shame.

60. Never came across a vase of purple flowers in the window.

I bet this was for someone's front door. But the flowers are so lovely, too.

I bet this was for someone’s front door. But the flowers are so lovely, too.

61. How about this rose lamp for your kitchen?

This lamp of roses is for the overhead. However, not sure if it fits in a kitchen though. Dining room, maybe.

This lamp of roses is for the overhead. However, not sure if it fits in a kitchen though. Dining room, maybe.

62. This panel reminds you of an ocean breeze.

Well, this is a lovely view of the beach. Like the palm trees that seem to be gently blowing.

Well, this is a lovely view of the beach. Like the palm trees that seem to be gently blowing.

63. Here’s a scene of a night in the mountains.

You have to admire the colors on this one. Seems to use a lot of blues and whites for a snow capped look.

You have to admire the colors on this one. Seems to use a lot of blues and whites for a snow capped look.

64. Perhaps you’ve never seen a mountain view like this before.

Wonder what this mountain range is supposed to be. Looks kind of familiar for some reason.

Wonder what this mountain range is supposed to be. Looks kind of familiar for some reason.

65. Have you ever seen a stained glass guitar lamp?

I don't think these guitars are for playing since they light up and are made of glass. But I couldn't pass these up.

I don’t think these guitars are for playing since they light up and are made of glass. But I couldn’t pass these up.

66. This church window really brings out brilliant colors.

Some church windows might have a lot of abstract imagery like this one. However, the symbols on this one are hard to see from this photo.

Some church windows might have a lot of abstract imagery like this one. However, the symbols on this one are hard to see from this photo.

67. This stained glass room divider has a rather abstract feel.

Wonder if this is Art Nouveau or Art Deco. Sometimes it can be very hard to tell.

Wonder if this is Art Nouveau or Art Deco. Sometimes it can be very hard to tell.

68. Behold, the beauty of the snowy owl.

Of course, you might see one in places like Alaska and Canada. Or in Harry Potter since Hedwig is this.

Of course, you might see one in places like Alaska and Canada. Or in Harry Potter since Hedwig is this.

69. I’m sure you might want to take a look at this woman in green.

Now this has to be Art Nouveau for obvious reasons. However, wonder what room this was used for.

Now this has to be Art Nouveau for obvious reasons. However, wonder what room this was used for.

70. This glass panel comes with wings.

You see windows in that kind of style, too. However, this is just a pair of white wings.

You see windows in that kind of style, too. However, this is just a pair of white wings.

71. I’m sure anyone would find this scene of Jesus and the children very endearing.

Well, this is a very well known biblical scene in the gospels. Still, I know this wasn't made for a medieval cathedral.

Well, this is a very well known biblical scene in the gospels. Still, I know this wasn’t made for a medieval cathedral.

72. Some doors open to trees. Some doors have trees on them.

Yes, this is another forest scene. But this one makes you feel like you're in the forest. That's different.

Yes, this is another forest scene. But this one makes you feel like you’re in the forest. That’s different.

73. Here we come across the Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra.

Because who else is depicted like she's way too overdressed for Ancient Egypt? Also, there might be a pyramid in the background.

Because who else is depicted like she’s way too overdressed for Ancient Egypt? Also, there might be a pyramid in the background.

74. This dove has come across a grapevine.

Christian symbolism might be at work there. However, what's with the ivy leaves? Because I don't know if grape leaves look like that.

Christian symbolism might be at work there. However, what’s with the ivy leaves? Because I don’t know if grape leaves look like that.

75. In these folding doors you’ll find a tree.

And there's the tree encased in stained glass. Seems to be very wide.

And there’s the tree encased in stained glass. Seems to be very wide.

76. Nothing like a mountain view on a country road.

With an orange sky, this has to be a mountain sunset. And I see a fence near the dirt path, too.

With an orange sky, this has to be a mountain sunset. And I see a fence near the dirt path, too.

77. Some might appreciate a view of a sunset on the beach.

Yes, a stained glass sunset on the beach. Notice how the sky is in yellow, orange, and purple.

Yes, a stained glass sunset on the beach. Notice how the sky is in yellow, orange, and purple.

78. So many birds, so many branches.

Not sure if these birds would hang out together in real life. But this makes a nice window to look at.

Not sure if these birds would hang out together in real life. But this makes a nice window to look at.

79. Didn’t know there were so many different color daffodils.

Because they usually come in yellow and white. Then again, these may not be daffodils.

Because they usually come in yellow and white. Then again, these may not be daffodils.

80. These flowers look wondrous on a trellis.

I think this might be a rocky seashore scene. But the flowers on the vine get more attention and add to the color.

I think this might be a rocky seashore scene. But the flowers on the vine get more attention and add to the color.

81. Here we come to some trees on an island.

Well, within a body of water, of course. Hope they have enough soil to spare.

Well, within a body of water, of course. Hope they have enough soil to spare.

82. This panel shows the splendor of a winter night.

Because the trees are covered in snow. Then again, it might just be another night scene.

Because the trees are covered in snow. Then again, it might just be another night scene.

83. From a mountain, out sprouts a stream.

Yes, that's a view of a mountain stream. And it's somewhat seems like a painting for some reason.

Yes, that’s a view of a mountain stream. And it’s somewhat seems like a painting for some reason.

84. Now she must be a fine beauty in the spring.

Wonder if she's a nymph or something. Because I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Wonder if she’s a nymph or something. Because I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

85. This lamp is covered with branches and chickadees.

Well, this is a tall lamp that has stained glass on it. But it's a cool lamp nonetheless.

Well, this is a tall lamp that has stained glass on it. But it’s a cool lamp nonetheless.

86. If you like the American Southwest, this panel is for you.

This depicts a longhorn with Indian feathers on a desert scene. You can't get more Southwest than that.

This depicts a longhorn with Indian feathers on a desert scene. You can’t get more Southwest than that.

87. For homey types, this winter house near a bridge is perfect.

Or is it a barn. Because it looks pretty big. Then again, I don't think it matters.

Or is it a barn? Because it looks pretty big. Then again, I don’t think it matters.

88. In this window, you’ll see a great colossus.

This is definitely something you'll find in some rich person's house. That's for sure. Have to admire the detail.

This is definitely something you’ll find in some rich person’s house. That’s for sure. Have to admire the detail.

89. These two dolphins will greet you at the door.

Well they're in the door. But they're sure to delight visitors. So cute.

Well they’re in the door. But they’re sure to delight visitors. So cute.

90. These stained glass flowers look perfect in any window.

And you don't have worry about watering them or wilting after a few weeks. Because they're made of glass. But be careful around them, though.

And you don’t have worry about watering them or wilting after a few weeks. Because they’re made of glass. But be careful around them, though.

91. As they say, geese mate for life.

But there are some people who wish Canadian geese won't mate at all. Because they can be a nuisance.

But there are some people who wish Canadian geese won’t mate at all. Because they can be a nuisance.

92. Guess, this one is from the Pacific Northwest.

Because the totem pole on this is a dead giveaway. Because it's from the Northwest Coast.

Because the totem pole on this is a dead giveaway. Because it’s from the Northwest Coast.

93. A peacock surely has a beautiful tail.

Yes, this is my second peacock stained glass panel. But this one has a more vivid tail. Love the feathers.

Yes, this is my second peacock stained glass panel. But this one has a more vivid tail. Love the feathers.

94. You’d think there was something geometric going on with this lantern.

0d467841c3d95e96d412e07a9dd1a9b1

This one uses a light to denote the mailbox number, which is 147. I won’t say where though.

95. A moose in the woods is a magnificent sight.

A moose on the road, on the other hand, is a traffic hazard to avoid. Because moose are said to kill more people than bears.

A moose on the road, on the other hand, is a traffic hazard to avoid. Because moose are said to kill more people than bears.

96. For yuletide joy, this snowman lamp is a delight.

I know it's a Christmas one. But the snowmen on this are so adorable. And most stained glass lamps usually have flowers and shapes on them.

I know it’s a Christmas one. But the snowmen on this are so adorable. And most stained glass lamps usually have flowers and shapes on them.

97. Now that’s one great buck.

Okay, it's an elk. But elk are technically deer but bigger. And no, they're not like Bambi. Neither are deer.

Okay, it’s an elk. But elk are technically deer but bigger. And no, they’re not like Bambi. Neither are deer.

98. These windows have a lovely view of a violet field.

I think this might be for a mausoleum. But the light really shines through this. Like it.

I think this might be for a mausoleum. But the light really shines through this. Like it.

99. Here this woman in red ventures to a river.

This woman seems to be in medieval dress. Or what the Victorians saw medieval dress as. Yet, it really stands out.

This woman seems to be in medieval dress. Or what the Victorians saw medieval dress as. Yet, it really stands out.

100. The woodpecker is on the shade while the lamp is its tree.

Another lamp I like. Love how the trunk is made to resemble wood. Wouldn't mind owning this.

Another lamp I like. Love how the trunk is made to resemble wood. Wouldn’t mind owning this.

US Vice Presidential Hall of Shame

2000px-US-VicePresident-1948Seal.svg

In the coming weeks, we have the coming national conventions for the Republican and Democratic nominees. However, before these can get off the ground, we have the veepstakes where the presumptive nominee has to choose a running mate for the ticket. Now selecting the VP has been a long tradition in American politics and history. But what does a vice president do, exactly? Well, as far the presidential campaign goes, a vice presidential candidate is supposed to balance the ticket and make the presidential candidate look good. As for the vice president, well, their job is to make the president look good, do a lot of ceremonial stuff, and be prepared to take over whenever the president can’t perform their duties. But it depends. If the president is sick or injured and is still kicking, then the VP might assume the president’s duties in an acting capacity. But if the president  dies or gets assassinated, then the VP assumes the job. This has happened 8 times, starting with President John Tyler assuming office after William Henry Harrison contracted pneumonia and died after 30 days. Since Harrison was the first president to die in office, this was much uncertainty regarding succession. But Tyler cleared this up by resolving Harrison’s death made him president and had himself sworn in. Or the VP can ascend the presidency if the president gets into some shady shenanigans that either results in their removal or resignation as in the case with Gerald Ford succeeding Richard Nixon. VPs are also said to preside over impeachment trials of federal judges and preside as President of the Senate. Other than that, the VP role can vary depending on the guy who’s in office as well as his relationship with the president. However, don’t assume that the vice presidency is a useless position because political campaigns as well as the fact 9 guys assumed the presidency from there show it’s not. Nevertheless, while our nation has had some good veeps, but a lot of vice presidents have held office and achieved little of consequence. Then there are ones who deserve special mention but not because they’re good or a nonentity. Mostly because they’re noteworthy for being really terrible veeps such as corrupt, backstabbing, useless, just plain stupid or something else. So here is a list of vice presidents that no presumptive nominee wants on their ticket.

Vanderlyn_Burr

Unlike the other VPs on this list, at least Aaron Burr gets to be depicted in a hit Broadway musical. Unfortunately, for him, it’s called Hamilton and it’s about the guy he shot in a duel.

  1. Aaron Burr

Served Under: Thomas Jefferson (1801-1805)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Actually while he was intended to be Jefferson’s vice president, Jefferson didn’t have much say in the actual selection. Nevertheless, this brilliant guy graduated from Princeton at 16, served as a Continental Army officer in the American Revolution (rising to the rank Lieutenant Colonel), as well as had a successful career as a lawyer and politician (he was US Senator from New York). Had a great relationship with his daughter Theodosia (and was a better father to his known illegitimate children, too, unlike Jefferson. He also supported women’s rights and opposed slavery). Not to mention, being from the north provided a great balance with Jefferson’s southern disposition.

Why He Wasn’t: He’s one of the best known US vice presidents and it’s mostly for the wrong reasons. Aside from being relentlessly horny (his second wife divorced him when he was 80 on grounds of adultery, kept detailed records on his encounters with prostitutes, fathered at least two illegitimate children, and was considered a notorious womanizer), he had a knack for making powerful enemies as well as a reputation for being a political opportunist with an unbridled ambition. Though he ran as vice president on Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican ticket, most voters tended chose both men without indicating the intended office. When he and Jefferson were tied in the election of 1800, Burr dragged out the uncertainty to manipulate it to his will which resulted in political instability and a potential constitutional crisis (which would later be corrected by the 12th Amendment establishing a separate selection process for President and Vice President). Luckily, Alexander Hamilton sorted the matter out by rallying his fellow Federalists in Congress to side with Jefferson who ended up winning the presidency, mainly because he hated Burr more. Though it did take 36 ballots. Nevertheless, since Jefferson was understandably pissed at Burr for not doing anything to stop efforts to usurp the presidency, there was understandable tension. And it was enough for Jefferson to drop Burr from the ticket in 1804. After losing the New York gubernatorial election to a dark horse candidate by one of the largest margins in that state’s history, he would be forever known in American history for challenging and killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in New Jersey. Though indicted, he was never tried and all charges were eventually dropped. But it effectively ended his political career. Yet, despite the incident which led his name live on in infamy, he was said to be unmoved by Hamilton’s death and expressed no regret for his role in the duel.

Later Life: After his vice presidency, he’d travel west seeking both new political and economic opportunities, which led to his arrest and indictment for treason in 1807. According to accusations, he schemed to create an independent country in the center of North America and or the present day American Southwest and parts of present-day Mexico. Some claim he wanted some or all the Louisiana Purchase form himself. Burr on the other hand, claimed he intended to take possession of a 40,000 acre Texas farm leased by the Spanish Crown. He was acquitted but his schemes left him with large debts and few influential friends. Spent time in Europe to regain his fortunes before returning to New York to resume his law practice. Daughter and son-in-law would disappear in 1812-1813 at sea and it’s unknown whether they were murdered by pirates or shipwrecked in a storm. Married his second wife, wealthy widow Eliza Jumel in 1833 who kicked him out after 4 months when he tried to make off with her fortune. Suffered a stroke in 1834 and died two years later in a Staten Island boardinghouse at 80.

Trivia: Grandson of the famed Puritan fire and brimstone preacher Jonathan Edwards, best known for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” His father was also a minister and even studied theology at the time (as an attempt to join the family business). But he changed career paths when he realized that a church career wasn’t for him. Was a college classmate to James Madison and introduced him to his future wife Dolley. Befriended philosopher Jeremy Bentham while he was trying to regain his fortunes in Europe. Son John Pierre Burr was an active member of Philadelphia’s Underground Railroad, served as an agent for the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, worked in the National Black Convention movement, and served as Chairman of the American Moral Reform Society. Grandson Frank J. Webb wrote the second African American novel The Garies and Their Friends which was published in 1857. His complex character and political self-interest perhaps made him the most controversial American Founding Fathers to date.

FC-003-ElbridgeGerry

Sure he became infamous due to his state’s redistricting map that he’ll always be known for the term “gerrymandering.” But he wasn’t Madison’s first choice. So he kind of had to take what he can get.

  1. Elbridge Gerry

Served Under: James Madison (1813-1814)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: For one, he had a long political career from the American Revolutionary period and it didn’t hurt he resided in Massachusetts. He vocally opposed British colonial policy in the 1760s and was active in the early stages of organizing resistance in the American Revolution. Signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as well attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787 (but refused to sign it since it lacked a Bill of Rights). However, he would be actively involved with drafting and passing the Bill of Rights as an inaugural member of the US Congress. Was friends with both Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. Also, since Madison was a Southerner who was a teenager and college student at the time, Gerry seemed to complement him quite well. Not to mention, he posed less of a threat to James Monroe.

Why He Wasn’t: By 1812, the guy had a shady political reputation, especially in his home state. As Governor of Massachusetts, the legislature approved new state senate districts that led him becoming the namesake of “gerrymandering” a process in which electoral districts are drawn with the aim of aiding the party in power as well as caused political gridlock across the country ever since. Not to mention, also being remembered for refusing to sign the US Constitution, which we know was based on many of Madison’s ideas. Then there’s his role in the XYZ Affair which led to an undeclared naval Quasi-War with France. He would be accused of collaborating with the French (when he wasn’t and only stayed in France after Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and John Marshall had left because Talleyrand threatened war if he left). This resulted in the negative press damaging his reputation and being burned in effigy by protesters in front of his home. The “gerrymandering” incident, support of the War of 1812, and clashes with Federalist newspapers and printers during his term as governor damaged his reputation even further led to him to lose election in 1812. When he was selected for the vice presidency, he was having financial difficulties and asked Madison for a federal position. Luckily, Madison managed to win reelection quite easily and Gerry died a year and a half after being sworn in. However, this is not the guy you want as your running mate.

Later Life: He died during his term at 70 so there’s not much about him. Though his career has been difficult to characterize.

Trivia: Only Declaration of Independence signer buried in Washington D.C. Grandson became a US Congressman from Maine.

George_Peter_Alexander_Healy_-_John_C._Calhoun_-_Google_Art_Project

While John C. Calhoun was one of the most influential American politicians in history, his ideas about slavery and states’ rights would eventually end up tearing the nation apart as well as continue to sour American race relations and the political process as we speak. While Andrew Jackson’s presidential legacy isn’t a bed of roses, at least his decisive victory in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 led Britain to recognize the Louisiana Purchase as US territory. Calhoun’s legacy by contrast, contains nothing worth commemorating a statue for. And he makes Andrew Jackson look good by comparison.

  1. John C. Calhoun

Served Under: John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson (1825-1832)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: When it came to the divisive and very ugly elections of 1824 and 1828, having him as vice president was the only thing everyone could agree upon. Not to mention, he was one of the best known politicians of his day as well as seen as a voice for the antebellum South.

Why He Wasn’t: While Calhoun was certainly one of the most influential politicians in American history, he leaves one of the worst political legacies which has fucked up this country ever since. And it doesn’t help that his ideas have had enormous influence on Southern secessionist leaders as well as other politicians. While it wasn’t unusual for many American politicians to express racist views and own slaves, Calhoun was also a staunch defender of slavery which he viewed as a positive good as well as based his claims on paternalism and white supremacy. Chief Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney would base his infamous Dredd Scott decision on Calhoun’s ideas, ruling that that the federal government can’t prohibit slavery and that blacks have rights no white man is bound to respect. As for having him as vice president, well, let’s just say if there was one thing John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson can agree on it’s that Calhoun was a complete prick. Calhoun didn’t see eye to eye with Adams on most things and worked to undermine him. So in 1828, he decided to run with Andrew Jackson thinking things would be different. After all, while Adams hated slavery, Jackson owned slaves on his Tennessee plantation. He was wrong. Mostly because Calhoun championed nullification which states that if states don’t like a federal law, they could just ignore it (laying groundwork for secession, the American Civil War, and 600,000 dead Americans). Jackson disagreed with this policy completely. The two men becoming estranged and Calhoun’s resignation, but not after the Peggy Eaton affair resulted in most of Jackson’s cabinet being fired. Jackson had also replaced him in the meantime with anti-slavery Northern diplomat Martin Van Buren with whom he was on much better terms. For the rest of his life Jackson would express regret over not executing Calhoun as a traitor, making backroom conflicts between JFK and LBJ seem trivial. And let’s just say, it’s hard to disagree with him.

Later Life: Went to the US Senate where he’d advocate for slavery, states’ rights, and agricultural interests. He’d resign in 1843 so he could run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1844. But he gained little support and decided to quit. That same year, he was appointed by John Tyler as Secretary of State where he presided over the Oregon Boundary Dispute and the Annexation of Texas (prompting the Mexican-American War). He returned to the Senate in 1845 and opposed the Mexican-American on account that it would distort the national character by undermining republicanism in favor of empire by bringing non-white persons (also known as “Mexicans”) into the country. Vigorously opposed the Wilmot Provisio which would’ve banned slavery in the new territories and it was defeated in the Senate each time it passed the House. Also rejected the Compromise of 1850 as well as affirmed the right of the South to leave the Union in response to Northern subjugation. Died of TB in 1850 at 68.

Trivia: Calhoun’s wife Floride prompted her own scandal by shunning the War Secretary’s wife Peggy Eaton, on account that she was fooling around with future Husband #2 while Husband #1 was still alive. Since Jackson and his wife Rachel were themselves subject to such political attacks when they married while her should’ve been ex-husband failed to finalize their divorce and Eaton being a close friend of his, Jackson was massively pissed. Called the Petticoat Affair, this resulted in almost all but one of Jackson’s Cabinet members being replaced. Body was hidden during the American Civil War over concerns on desecration.  Let’s just say you’re bound to hear his name when controversy arises out of something named after him for good reason. His monument was vandalized in Charleston, South Carolina after the Charleston Shooting in 2015.

Angew in Trouble at News Conference

Caption: “Vice President Spiro Agnew points to a reporter at a news conference called to answer accusations of corruption and wrong-doing by him.” Agnew might’ve been a shitty human being. But that’s no excuse for being a shitty vice president. He’s on here because he was known for taking bribes and had to resign in disgrace.

  1. Spiro T. Agnew

Served Under: Richard M. Nixon (1969-1973)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Let’s see. He was a graduate of Johns Hopkins University as well as served as a US Army officer during WWJJ and Korean War. Was a prominent Greek American politician who served as Baltimore County Executive which was predominantly Democratic and Governor of Maryland. Also opposed segregation that 82,000 Democrats in that state voted for him. Not to mention, as governor, he worked with Democrats to pass tax and judicial reforms, anti-pollution laws, as well as civil rights actions like open housing and repealing anti-miscegenation. His immigrant background, moderate image, and success in a Democratic state made him an attractive running mate. And Nixon personally selected him over better known Republican names for these reasons. His career is one of the fastest political rises in American history.

Why He Wasn’t: Regardless on what you think about Gerald Ford as president, you should at least praise the Lord and rejoice that Ford just happened to be vice president when Nixon resigned. Seriously, Gerry Ford may have his faults and critics, but at least he wasn’t anything like this guy who, if he spent another 10 months in office would’ve became president instead. And let’s just say, it would’ve been very bad for the nation. Sure we don’t expect much in our vice presidents. Yes, the public was willing to overlook his habit of using terms like “fat Jap” and other denigrations to minorities. And yes, the public tended to be fine with Agnew being Nixon’s attack dog relishing in uttering phrases like “nattering nabobs of negativism” to define the White House press corps. Yet, even other VPs do such mudslinging so that’s kind of expected. However, we do kind of wish that they not take any bribes or at least pursue them openly. Unfortunately, this was too difficult for Agnew. In 1973, he was investigated by Maryland’s US Attorney Office on charges amounting to extortion, tax fraud, bribery, and conspiracy. He was charged with having accepted bribes amounting to more $147,500 while Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and Vice President. That October, Agnew pleaded no contest to a single charge that he failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967, on condition that he resign as VP in disgrace to avoid prison time. He was fined $10,000 as well as received 3 years probation, and disbarment. Historians widely consider him among the worst VPs in American history.

Later Life: Agnew would remain unrepentant post-resignation, insisting the money was actually campaign contributions and unsuccessfully attempted to write off the $268,462 fine on his taxes in 1983. Always maintained that the tax evasion and bribery charges were attempts by Nixon to divert attention from the growing Watergate scandal (reality, they were not). He and Nixon would never speak to each other again, though Agnew attended the latter’s funeral at his daughters’ invitation. After leaving politics, he became an international trade executive with homes in Rancho Mirage, California, as well as in Arnold and Bowie, Maryland. Briefly reentered the public spotlight calling for the US to withdraw support from Israel on its allegedly bad treatment of Christians. In 1980, he published a memoir implying that Nixon and Chief of Staff Alexander Haig had planned to assassinate him if he refused to resign. Died of leukemia in 1996 at 77.

Trivia: Wrote a novel called The Canfield Delusion about a Vice President who was “destroyed by his own ambition.” Maryland state portrait was taken down between 1979-1995.

1424101166-154351616-cheney

Dick Cheney may be one of the most qualified and powerful vice presidents to date. However, as a behind the scenes man, Cheney was seen as either the architect or shadowy puppetmaster behind the Bush Administration’s most controversial policies. He has certainly not admitted being wrong on any of them after leaving office, even defending them.

  1. Dick Cheney

Served Under: George W. Bush (2001-2009)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Cheney was a seasoned Republican politician and businessman who rose from congressional intern to White House Chief of Staff during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Was Wyoming US Representative from 1979-1989 and served as Defense Secretary under George H.W. Bush. Was CEO of Halliburton during the Clinton Administration where he left with a $20 million retirement package. Also, it helps that he was the head of Dubya’s own vice-presidential search committee. Then again, he did have a very impressive political resume. So he wasn’t quite wrong.

Why He Wasn’t: During his political career, Cheney was known to vote against Head Start and a resolution calling on South Africa to release Nelson Mandela (and still stands by this one). While he trumpets his success in the private sector, his primary “accomplishment” with running Haliburton was purchasing a company that eventually had to pay out $4 billion in settlements related to asbestos lawsuits. However, as VP, he’d make up for it by advocating for 2 wars and doling out no-bid contracts. Play a major role behind the scenes during the Bush Administration, particularly in its response to 9/11, the War on Terror, and Iraq (based on erroneous WMD claims), as well as defended its record on anti-terrorism. Was often criticized for such policies as well as NSA wiretapping and so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” better known as “torture.” Oh, and he cited executive privilege over refusing to disclose documents. As one of the most powerful vice presidents in US history, Cheney was often seen as a “shadow president” and creating a “fourth branch of government” all to himself. In 2005, his office was investigated over the CIA Leak Scandal which resulted in the resignation, perjury conviction, and commutation of his chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Has been compared to Darth Vader, stirred controversy as commencement speaker at Brigham Young University in 2007, and has had calls from media and advocacy groups calling for his prosecution under various anti-torture and war crime statutes. Shot his friend Harry Whittington in the face during a quail hunt in 2006 by accident with alcohol certainly being involved. Term in office was highlighted as he exceeded the authority of his office, contributed to secrecy in government, engaged in political vendettas and taken the lead in advancing unwise policies on the environment, energy, foreign affairs, budgets and taxes. By the time he left office, he was almost universally loathed by the American people.

Later Life: Since leaving the vice presidency, he has been active in defending the Bush Administration’s legacy as well as vociferously criticized the current Obama Administration. Hosted a private fundraiser for Mitt Romney in 2012 that netted $4 million. Spoke positive about the Tea Party. Written two books with his daughter Liz.

Trivia: Wife Lynne Cheney was chair of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1986-1996 and is now a public speaker, author, and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She also wrote a lesbian romance novel.

DA-SC-07-43800

As the elder Bush’s VP, Dan Quayle would be a cause of continual embarrassment throughout the Bush campaign and presidency for being a total idiot. Another good Quayle quote: “The other day [the President] said, I know you’ve had some rough times, and I want to do something that will show the nation what faith that I have in you, in your maturity and sense of responsibility. Would you like a puppy?”

  1. Dan Quayle

Served Under: George H.W. Bush (1989-1992)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Well, he was a young fresh face to the Republican Party who served in variety of political offices in Indiana, defeated an 8 term veteran in his first US congressional race, and was elected to the US Senate at 33 as well as won reelection by large margins. He came from a wealthy family (that owned a newspaper in Indiana) and wasn’t a bad looking guy. Reagan once said the man had, “energy and enthusiasm.” Apparently, the elder Bush viewed him as a great insurance policy that would help save taxpayers money on his personal security detail. Also, having Quayle around would prevent Democrats from calling for his impeachment when it came to policies they really didn’t like.

Why He Wasn’t: Let’s just say the senior Bush’s choice in a running mate cause controversy from the very beginning. On questions regarding his military service in the National Guard to evade the draft during the Vietnam War, a golf trip with Paula Parkinson in Florida, and whether he had enough experience to be president, he seemed evasive in his answers. He would later be epically shut down by Lloyd Bentsen with “You’re no Jack Kennedy” in the vice presidential debate after he compared his own public service to that of John F. Kennedy. Yet, Bush and Quayle still won. During his vice presidency, Quayle would be widely ridiculed by the media and general public as well as be seen as an idiot and generally incompetent. Had a tendency to make public statements that were either self-contradictory, confused, or impossible. Examples: “The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. … No, not our nation’s, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century, but in this century’s history,” “I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future,” “Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child,” and during his address to the United Negro College Fund whose slogan is “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”: “You take the UNCF model that what a waste it is to lose one’s mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” When asked about sending humans to Mars, Quayle said, “Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth]….Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.” Also, while we may not expect much from vice presidents, we do think that they should at least be able to spell the word “potato” right. But that didn’t stop him from trying to alter a 12-year-old boy’s already correct spelling to “potatoe.” And no, I don’t care if he was relying on an errant flashcard from that elementary school. If you’re an adult, you should’ve learned how to spell potato without having to rely on flash cards!

Later Life: Declined offers to run for Governor of Indiana and the presidency and moved to Arizona. Ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2000, ironically saying “we do not want another candidate who needs on-the-job training” on then front-runner George W. Bush. But he quickly withdrew and backed Bush after coming 8th in an Ames straw poll. Wrote 3 books. Joined Cerberus Capital Management in 1999 where he now serves as chairman of the company’s Global Investments division. Serves in various boards of directors for corporations like the Heckmann Corporation, Azora Bank, K2 Sports, Amtran, Inc., Central Newspapers, Inc., and BTC, Inc.

Trivia: Son was a one term congressman in Arizona but was defeated in a reelection primary due to redistricting. But he’s said to be equally moronic.

20090817053612!RichardMentorJohnson

Richard Mentor Johnson’s status as a war hero for killing Tecumseh, his political career in Kentucky, and endorsement by Andrew Jackson himself should’ve made him a viable running mate for Martin Van Buren. Unfortunately, the guy was way too open about his personal life which made him a political nightmare in 1836 that the Democrats decided to run Van Buren with no VP at all.

  1. Richard Mentor Johnson

Served Under: Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Was reported to personally kill Tecumseh during the War of 1812 which he always used to exploit in his political career with glee that included time in the House and Senate. Was a campaigner against debt imprisonment and religious freedom (like abolishing the practice of “no mail on Sundays” rule). Also being from Kentucky helped balanced the ticket since Van Buren was from New York. Then there’s the slogan, “Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh,” which is just great. Not to mention, he was endorsed by none other than Andrew Jackson himself for the vice presidency.

Why He Wasn’t: While he was said to dress like a farmhand and curse like a sailor, he was a antebellum political PR disaster. He publicly admitted to having a black common law wife named Julia Chinn and treating his slave daughters as legit. He also had two other slave mistresses, one of whom he tried to introduce to polite society. So what’s wrong with that? Morally nothing but politically everything, especially in the antebellum years where it earned him “the most vulgar man of all vulgar men.” Let’s just say when you’re running for a major political office and have cater to a bunch of racist slave owners as well as incredibly racist whites, it’s just completely stupid. This goes even if you’re the 19th century equivalent to the “I Killed Bin Laden Guy” like he was. Besides, this already cost him his career in the Senate. Though he had Jackson’s backing in the 1836 election (because Jackson didn’t give a shit about his personal life), the Democrats were far from united behind him and barely obtained the necessary two thirds vote at the 1835 DNC. Despite one state’s Democratic legislators refusing to vote for him, he won anyway. Unsurprisingly he proved to be a great liability in the 1836 general election. His public relationship with his slave cost a lot of Democratic votes in the South. He also failed to garner much support in the West despite his reputation as an Indian fighter and a war hero. As vice president, Johnson’s penchant for wielding his power for his own interests didn’t abate. After the Panic of 1837, he took a 9 month absence during which he returned to Kentucky to open a tavern and spa on his farm to offset his continued financial problems. Also proposed an expedition to the North Pole so Americans could drill into the center of the earth which was soundly defeated. Since he proved to be such a liability for the Democrats in 1836, they refused to renominate him for vice-president in 1840 and Van Buren campaigned without a running mate, while Jackson saw him as a “dead weight” and threw his support to James K. Polk. Undaunted Johnson continued to campaign to retain his office where he made rambling, incoherent speeches, raising his shirt to show war wounds from the Battle of the Thames, and leveling charges against William Henry Harrison that were so poorly received that they led to a riot in Cleveland.

Later Life: Returned to his Kentucky farm to oversee his tavern where he served in the state legislator and was a pallbearer for Daniel Boone at his reinternment at Frankfort Cemetery. But he never gave up on a return to public office with an unsuccessful campaign for the US Senate against John C. Crittenden in 1842 and a presidential run in 1844. Ran for Kentucky governor as an independent in 1848 but later conceded. Suffered dementia and died of a stroke at 70.

Trivia: Known for wearing a bright red vest and tie in his later life. Political prominence led to a family dynasty with 2 brothers and his nephew all being elected to the US Congress. Also had 2 other slave mistresses after his “wife” Julia Chinn died. One tried to run off with an Indian but he sold her while the other was her sister.

John_C_Breckinridge-04775-restored

As James Buchanan’s vice president, John C. Breckinridge was a rising political star and the youngest VP ever at 36. However, his views on slavery and secession alienated Buchanan and his friend Stephen Douglas as well as tore apart his party. He later got expelled from the US Senate and became a general for the Confederacy.

  1. John Breckinridge

Served Under: James Buchanan (1857-1861)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Well, he was only 36 at the time, making him the youngest VP in US history as well as came from a prominent Kentucky family. Was a veteran of the Mexican American War. Was a states’ rights proponent who was against the legal interference with slavery which balanced the ticket with Buchanan. And let’s just say, things in the US were getting really bad by this time. Helped that he actively campaigned for Buchanan, too.

Why He Wasn’t: Well, let’s just say Buchanan resented the fact that he supported Franklin Pierce and Stephen Douglas (though to be fair Douglas was his friend but their relationship wouldn’t last). His pro-slavery views frequently led him to clash with Buchanan and Douglas, especially over the matter with Kansas that would soon be bleeding. When elected to the Kentucky legislature during his term, he endorsed the Dredd Scott decision and cautioned that John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry was evidence on either negro equality or violence. In 1860, he accepted the nomination for president from protesting Democratic delegates who didn’t like Douglas. Another group of protesting delegates formed the Constitution Union Party and nominated John Bell. Believed in the right of secession and was accused of favoring Union breakup. Though he denied it, they were right. Still, while Breckinridge won 18.1% of the popular vote and placed second in the Electoral College, such disunion in the Democratic Party would result in Abraham Lincoln swept most of the northern states and won the presidency with 180 electoral votes. After losing to Lincoln, he announced his support for slavery and secession.

Later Life: His support for slavery and secession in his return to the Senate made his term a very short one. Since 7 states had already left the Union by this time, he was almost alone in his defense. He would later be indicted for treason after enlisting in the Confederate Army as well as be declared traitor and expelled by the US Senate. He would flee behind Confederate lines where he was commissioned as a Brigadier general. Was promoted to major general after the Battle of Shiloh as well as saw action at Stone River, Missionary Ridge, and the Shenandoah Valley. In 1865, he was appointed to Confederate Secretary of War and urged Jefferson Davis to surrender at the fall of Richmond. After the war, he fled to Cuba, Britain, and Canada as well as toured Europe for 2 years. All to escape treason charges before he could return after granted amnesty. Back in Kentucky, he resumed his law practice, served as counsel for the Cincinnati Southern Railway, and resisted calls to return to politics. Suffered from a variety of health problems in his later years. Died in 1875 at 54.

Trivia: Publicly denounced the Klu Klux Klan in 1870 as well as supported passage of a state statute legalizing black testimony against whites in court. Was played by Jason Isaacs in the 2014 film Field of Lost Shoes.

William_Rufus_DeVane_King_1839_portrait

William Rufus King was a moderate Unionist Democrat and a Southerner who made a great running mate for Franklin Pierce. However, he took the oath of office in Cuba and was dead after 45 days.

  1. William Rufus King

Served Under: Franklin Pierce (1853)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: He was a longtime politician and diplomat. As a Democrat, he was considered a Unionist as well as a moderate on issues pertaining to sectionalism, slavery, and westward expansion, all of which contributed to the American Civil War. He helped draft the Compromise of 1850.

Why He Wasn’t: Uh, he wasn’t in the best shape at the time. Because he took the VP oath of office on foreign soil in Havana, Cuba. Died 45 days into his term. Also, prior to the vice presidency, supported a gag rule in the Senate on antislavery petitions, opposed proposals to abolish slavery in Washington D.C., and was a member of one of Alabama’s largest slaveholding families with a vast cotton plantation to boot.

Later Life: He died 45 days after being sworn in from TB. So there’s nothing to say about him.

Trivia: Only vice president never to marry and resided much of his life with future president James Buchanan (who also never married, by complete coincidence. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but there has been speculation that they might’ve been more than just good friends).

Hannibal_Hamlin,_photo_portrait_seated,_c1860-65-retouched-crop

As a do nothing politician from Maine, Hannibal Hamlin was a safe choice as Abraham Lincoln’s VP in a very ugly election year. However, once he became vice president, he continued being useless that he spent most of his time in Maine anyway.

  1. Hannibal Hamlin

Served Under: Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: He was a senator, congressman, and governor from Maine mainly put on the ticket with Lincoln to provide a geographical balance in the 1860 election. That and the fact, his reputation as a do nothing politician who used his office to grant favors made him a safe choice as a running mate at a time when having a certain political agenda would lead to controversy. And since Lincoln was a highly controversial candidate for his stance against slavery expansion, having Hamlin as his running mate worked in his favor.

Why He Wasn’t: He’s a classic example of a vice president who exercised no power and no influence, even losing control of the patronage for his own state. It didn’t help that he and Lincoln never met until after the 1860 election. While Lincoln sometimes asked Hamlin for advice, his role was so limited that he often stayed in Maine, complaining about his insignificance. Also strongly supported Joseph Hooker’s appointment as commander for the Army of the Potomac that would end in failure at the Battle of Chancellorsville. He was so bored with his job that he joined the Maine Coast Guard as a cook. He was dropped from the ticket in 1864 for Andrew Johnson.

Later Life: Returned to the US Senate in 1869 where he served until 1880 due to ailing health. Served as Ambassador to Spain from 1881-1882. Died at 81 in 1891.

Trivia: Had two sons who became Civil War generals (one of them was a brevet). Son Cyrus called for enlistment of black troops and commanded a brigade of freedmen in the Mississippi River Campaign. Son Charles and daughter Sarah were present at Ford’s Theater during the Lincoln assassination. Great-granddaughter Sally was a child actress who made many spoken word for Victor Talking Machine Company in the early 20th century. Nephew was an Civil War surgeon who wrote books about Chancellorsville and Andersonville Prison.

Thomas_Riley_Marshall_headshot

While Woodrow Wilson’s VP was known for his good sense of humor, he didn’t show much enthusiasm for the job and didn’t get on with his boss. However, what puts him on the list is that when Wilson suffered from a debilitating stroke, he refused to do his job.

  1. Thomas R. Marshall

Served Under: Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: He was a prominent lawyer in Indiana as well as a politician who rose to become its governor where he proposed controversial and progressive state constitution and pressed for other progressive reforms. It also helped that Indiana was a critical swing state in 1912. Was also great at giving speeches.

Why He Wasn’t: Wilson and Marshall had an ideological rift that led Wilson limit his influence in the administration and his brand of humor led Wilson to move his office away from the White House. Still, his best known moment was when Wilson was incapacitated from a stroke in October 1919 which prompted a leadership crisis. Because of personal dislike, Edith Wilson and his advisers sought to keep Marshall uninformed about to president’s condition to prevent him from easily assuming the presidency. Yet, while many people, including cabinet officials and Congressional leaders urged Marshall to become acting president, he refused to forcibly assume the presidency for fear of setting a precedent. Well, since there was no such thing as an acting president at the time, isn’t setting a precedent for one supposed to be his fucking job? I think so. Hell, the guy was already holding cabinet meetings while Wilson was in Europe. I’m sure setting a precedent as acting president would be something he could handle. But because Marshall didn’t do his job and was too chickenshit to stick up against Edith and Wilson’s advisers, there was no strong leadership in the executive branch. And the administration’s opponents defeated the ratification of the League of Nations treaty which effectively returned the US to an isolationist foreign policy.

Later Life: Tried to run for president in 1920 but only the Indiana Democrats supported him. Opened an Indianapolis law practice, wrote several legal books and a memoir, as well as continued to travel and speak publicly. Died of a heart attack while on a trip in 1925 at 71.

Trivia: Was known for his wit and sense of humor who said, “What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar.” Only VP to be a target of an assassination attempt.

Henry-A.-Wallace-Townsend

As FDR’s Secretary of Agriculture, Henry Wallace was almost second to none when it came to helping farmers and feeding the hungry during the Great Depression. However, as vice president, his left-wing views, crazy religious beliefs, and idiotic perception of the Soviet Union made him a source of controversy. It’s no wonder that the Democrats had FDR dump him for Harry S. Truman and the nation is better for it.

  1. Henry Wallace

Served Under: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1941-1945)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Unlike John Nance Garner, he was a strong supporter of New Deal liberalism, rapid desegregation, and softer policies toward the Soviet Union. Also, had a successful career in agriculture that FDR appointed him Secretary of Agriculture when he was still a Republican (to be fair, the Roosevelts knew him a long way back). And while controversial, he was said to be really good at that job. Arthur M. Schlesinger wrote of him: “In 1933, a quarter of the American people still lived on farms, and agricultural policy was a matter of high political and economic significance. Farmers had been devastated by depression. H.A.’s ambition was to restore the farmers’ position in the national economy. He sought to give them the same opportunity to improve income by controlling output that business corporations already possessed. In time he widened his concern beyond commercial farming to subsistence farming and rural poverty. For the urban poor, he provided food stamps and school lunches. He instituted programs for land-use planning, soil conservation, and erosion control. And always he promoted research to combat plant and animal diseases, to locate drought-resistant crops and to develop hybrid seeds in order to increase productivity.”

Why He Wasn’t: Even as Secretary of Agriculture, Wallace was very controversial for his left wing views, bizarre religious beliefs (such as dabbling in mysticism and fad diets), and friendship with a Russian man said to cause a diplomatic upset while on an expedition in Asia. This guy tended to march his own unique political funky drummer. FDR’s tapping him as VP caused considerable controversy among the conservative Southern Democrats, many of whom mistrusted him, revolted during the Democratic National Convention that FDR threatened to decline the nomination while Eleanor delivered a conciliatory speech. As vice president, his tremendous naiveté about the world would prevent him from seeing the Soviet Union as a particular threat (as the tens of millions Stalin killed begged to differ). This is mostly because he saw a fully sanitized version of the Siberian slave labor camps in which the Soviets claimed the work as being done by, “volunteers.” Wallace took it hook, line, and sinker (idiot). May have had a Messiah-Complex. But his public feuds with officials caused significant controversy in the midst of WWII. During the 1944 election, the Democrats got fed up with Wallace and dropped him from the ticket in favor of Harry Truman (winning 90% of the vote) who became president had FDR died after 82 days. Had he been VP at the time, the Wallace administration would’ve been a very trippy administration. Sure Truman has received a lot of criticism from both left and right over the years, but even his staunches foes have to concede that the Berlin Airlift was a humiliating defeat for the Eastern Block. Not to mention, despite not having a college education and being unprepared for the presidency since FDR largely ignored him, Truman proved to be a way better president than this guy could’ve been.

Later Life: Served as Secretary of Commerce during FDR’s last month in office and into the Truman administration where he continued to attract controversy on his comments pertaining to the Soviet Union. This led Truman to fire him in 1946. After that, he became editor of The New Republic which he used as a platform to oppose Truman’s foreign policies and ran for president in 1948 as a Progressive Party candidate, advocating universal healthcare, desegregation and end to black disenfranchisement, and an end to the Cold War where he won 2.4% of the popular vote. Retired to New York to focus on farming. Supported the Korean War and later apologized for his former stance on the Soviet Union. Died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1965 at 77.

Trivia: George Washington Carver resided with his family as a student and later teacher at Iowa State. Wallace would accompany Carver on his nature walks. Work on plants helped introduce the concept of hybrid vigor as well as experimented with breeding high-yielding hybrid corn. Introduced econometrics to the field of agriculture. Founded the Hi-Bred Corn Company.

2896_127849027553

Before Henry Wallace was VP, FDR had conservative Texas Democrat John Nance Garner. Now first term Garner was great. But second term Garner, not so much. Hell, he even tried to run against FDR in 1940.

  1. John Nance Garner

Served Under: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1941)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: He was a US congressman from Texas who rose to Speaker of the House. His conservative stance and Southern background made him a great balance on the FDR ticket in the 1932 election.

Why He Wasn’t: First term John Nance Garner was great since he helped sell FDR’s New Deal policy. Second term Garner, not so much. As a conservative Democrat from Texas, he opposed labor union sit down strikes and New Deal deficit spending, he sabotaged FDR’s policies (such as the court packing scheme). In 1940, he became the only sitting VP to challenge the sitting president for the party’s nomination. He lost. But by this time, a lot of Democrats didn’t find him appealing. Make way for proto-hippie Henry Wallace.

Later Life: Retired to his Uvalde, Texas home where he spent the last 26 years of his life as well as settled into a life of an elder statesman who was consulted by active Democratic politicians. Died in 1967 at 98 and is the longest lived VP to date.

Trivia: Called “Cactus Jack.” Was close to Harry S. Truman.

Schuyler_Colfax_portrait

Close to the same age as Ulysses S. Grant, Schuyler Colfax seemed to be a great running mate due to his illustrious congressional career which led to him becoming House Speaker and being a champion against slavery and nativism. However, the guy was was corrupt as hell when it was revealed in a congressional investigation that he had taken bribes from the Union Pacific Railroad. Also, kind of a backstabbler. Oh, and he should’ve been played by a younger man in Lincoln because he was a year younger than Grant.

  1. Schuyler Colfax

Served Under: Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1873)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Well, like Grant, he was only in his mid 40s as well as had a political career that led him to become House Speaker, which made up for Grant’s lack of political expertise. Was known for his opposition to slavery, anti-nativism, and a founder of the Republican Party. Not to mention, he had a pretty awesome name.

Why He Wasn’t: Two things. First, thinking Grant would serve one term, he attempted to garner support for his 1872 Republican presidential bid by telling friends he wouldn’t seek a second VP term. By the way, this was part of his plan. But when Grant ran again, so did he but ended up being dropped from the ticket in favor of Henry Wilson. Second, in 1873, a Congressional investigation into the Credit Mobiler Scandal named him as one of the Congressmen who likely received payments of cash and discounted stock from the Union Pacific Railroad in exchange for favorable action during construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad. It was later revealed that he had taken $1,200 gift check for 20 shares of Credit Mobiler stock, which he denied after leaving office. In addition, Congress also revealed a more damning accusation that Colfax received a $4,000 gift in 1868 from a contractor who supplied envelopes to the federal government while he was chairman of the Post Office and Road Committee. Since these incidents took place while he was a Congressman and was scheduled to leave office the following month anyway, he wasn’t censured or forced to resign.

Later Life: Never ran again for office since his political career was ruined. Spent the rest of his life working as a business executive as well as a popular lecturer and speech maker. Died in Minnesota in 1885 while changing trains as he was en route to Iowa.

Trivia: Was friends with Horace Greely.

Chas_G_Dawes-H&E

It’s no wonder that Calvin Coolidge selected Charles G. Dawes as his VP since he was a successful businessman, politician, and military general. However, the guy refused to attend cabinet meetings and napped through an appointee’s confirmation vote which cost the guy his job.

  1. Charles G. Dawes

Served Under: Calvin Coolidge (1925-1929)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: He was a successful businessman and politician as well as served as a US Army officer during WWI rising to Brigadier general. Was also awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Dawes Plan in 1925, was a program to enable Germany to restore and stabilize its economy after the war. Also, he was the first guy willing to take the job and was loyal to him and his campaign.

Why He Wasn’t: While there are presidents who didn’t get along with their veeps, Dawes didn’t even try. Soon after election, he sent Coolidge a letter saying that he would not attend cabinet meetings. The first time he addressed the Senate, he made a speech denouncing the way it conducted business, pissing off Coolidge. Later, he napped through a decisive vote which resulted in a Coolidge attorney general appointee losing his job. By 1929, he and Coolidge would despise each other and they’d have a feud that broke into open hostility. As for his Nobel Peace Prize win for his plan to restore German economic equilibrium, well, that worked spectacularly (it was ultimately an epic disaster since it didn’t help Germany’s economic woes nor prevent the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany).

Later Life: Became the US ambassador to the UK and headed Herbert Hoover’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Returned to the banking business for nearly two decades and became chairman of the board of City National Bank and Trust Co. until his death in 1951 at 85.

Trivia: Was a self-taught pianist and composer who composed “Melody in Major” in 1912 which has been used to the lyrics “It’s All in the Game” that’s become a pop standard that’s been covered countless times. Was friends with General John Pershing. Descendant of William Dawes who accompanied Paul Revere.

220px-DTompkins

As governor of New York, he organized the state militia and invested his own money into it during the War of 1812. As James Monroe’s vice president, he was mostly drunk due to money problems and not being reimbursed for his efforts by the federal government.

  1. Daniel D. Tompkins

Served Under: James Monroe (1817-1825)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: While a jurist by background, he was noted as one of the most enterprising governors during the War of 1812. Organized the state militia by often investing his own capital when the legislature wouldn’t approve the necessary funds. Yet, he failed to recover the loans despite massive litigation.

Why He Wasn’t: Well, the guy was already not in the best of health when he was sworn in. He fell off a horse in 1814. He also suffered money problems and slipped into alcoholism. Let’s just say he was often so drunk that he couldn’t perform simple parliamentary duties. Described by Martin Van Buren as “the most injured of men” as well as by another as a “degraded sot.” He made an especially poor presider when of the Senate while it debated the Missouri Compromise in 1820.

Later Life: His post-vice presidency was among the shortest in US history. Because he drank himself to death 3 months after leaving office at 50 in 1825.

Trivia: Has a neighborhood in Staten Island named after him.

Levi_Morton_-_Brady-Handy_portrait_-_standard_crop

While Levi Morton had enormous walrus sideburns that were fashionable at the turn of the century, he was a shitty VP to Benjamin Harrison. His failure to ensure passage of a black voting rights bill was due to his belief that he should remain impartial. Harrison, on the other hand, had other ideas.

  1. Levi P. Morton

Served Under: Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Was a distinguished politician who was once considered to be James A. Garfield’s running mate but declined. Served as an ambassador to France and was very popular there. Also placed the first rivet in the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Besides, I guess Harrison wanted to repeat the Garfield tradition of selecting the running mate with the most awesome side burns. Since it worked before.

Why He Wasn’t: Had little noteworthy to hang his enormous sideburns on. His one “accomplishment” was doing little to support passage on a bill to enforce black voting rights in the South against a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. Harrison blamed him for the bill’s failure because he believed his role was to be impartial. Was outfoxed by parliamentary procedure and replaced by Whitelaw Reed in the election of 1892 which Harrison lost. Because that’s what happens when you’re an utterly useless vice president.

Later Life: Served as Governor of New York and retired as a real estate investor. Died on his 96th birthday in 1920.

Trivia: Had vast landholdings. His summer home in Rhode Island is now owned by Salve Regina University.

Thomas_Andrews_Hendricks

As a seasoned politician and popular Indiana governor known for defending the Democratic position during the American Civil War, Thomas A. Hendricks was a natural choice for Grover Cleveland’s running mate. Unfortunately, what made him very popular among the Democrats at the time was that he hate black people.

  1. Thomas A. Hendricks

Served Under: Grover Cleveland (1885)

Why He Seemed Good at the Time: Was a prominent politician in Indiana where he rose to become congressman, senator, and governor. Was also quite popular in the Democratic Party for defending its position during the American Civil War.

Why He Wasn’t: He was a fervent secessionist and pro-slavery supporter who opposed ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th, Amendments abolishing slavery as well as granting citizenship and suffrage to African Americans. Also supported segregation. Luckily he was in ill health at the time and died 8 months into his term at 66.

Later Life: He only lasted as VP for 8 months so there’s not much to write about in this section.

Trivia: There’s not anything interesting about him.

Uninspiring Olympic Uniforms

Ralph-Lauren-outfits-USA-Olympic-team-1152x759-e1464631301105

While most sports teams have uniforms, the ones athletes wear during the Olympics usually get a lot of attention from the press. They may be designed by someone famous like Ralph Lauren if you’re talking about the Team USA. However, a lot of times the attention isn’t always going to be good. And let’s just say even Ralph Lauren has gotten criticism for his creations even though this blogger thinks his clothes are overpriced and overrated anyway. Then again, sports clothes were built for function, not effect. And it’s no surprise that a lot of these outfits would fail on the runway at a fashion show. Then again, the world of the fashion runway is one that’s set in a whole different universe from our own and has no relevance in our lives. But there are a lot of ugly Olympic uniforms out there, some more so than others. You have to wonder how these even got made at times. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a look at some of the big Olympic uniform catastrophes. Most are from opening ceremonies and general team outfits unless explained otherwise.

 

  1. 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France: South Korea
I guess 1980s ski outfits weren't on their way out at this point. And Team South Korea has to parade in PennDOT yellow.

I guess 1980s ski outfits weren’t on their way out at this point. And Team South Korea has to parade in special PennDOT yellow.

2. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Spain

Didn't know Spain would model their uniforms after the McDonald's drive-thru worker in Saturday Night Fever. And no, I don't want fries with that.

Didn’t know Spain would model their uniforms after the McDonald’s drive-thru worker in Saturday Night Fever. And no, I don’t want fries with that.

3. 1908 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Denmark Women’s Gymnastics

From New Republic: "At the 1908 games in London, the Danish women's gymnastics team undertook incredible feats of flexibility, considering their team uniforms are straitjackets." Wonder what the women's swim team wore that year. Consider if they had a women's swim team.

From New Republic: “At the 1908 games in London, the Danish women’s gymnastics team undertook incredible feats of flexibility, considering their team uniforms are straitjackets.” Wonder what the women’s swim team wore that year. Consider if they had a women’s swim team.

4. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Lithuania

I'm not sure what the average Lithuanian thinks of when they view these uniforms. But when I look at them, I imagine a PennDOT worker during an epic blizzard.

I’m not sure what the average Lithuanian thinks of when they view these uniforms. But when I look at them, I imagine a PennDOT worker during an epic blizzard.

5. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: France

Think of a suit jacket and women's trench coat repurposed into a bathrobe. And use a depressing gray color along with it. You get these.

Think of a suit jacket and women’s trench coat repurposed into a bathrobe. And use a depressing gray color along with it. You get these.

6. 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico: United States

From Ugly Sweaters: "This badass team had soul. Solid! Coincidentally the singing group “Color Me Bad” would try to resurrect this look later but it looked a little more… jive-ass." Apparently, this fashion was all the rage at the time.

From Ugly Sweaters: “This badass team had soul. Solid! Coincidentally the singing group “Color Me Bad” would try to resurrect this look later but it looked a little more… jive-ass.” Apparently, this fashion was all the rage at the time.

7. 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Australia

One Australian newspaper likened them to the Hogwarts class of 1999. However, I find that comment insulting, to Hogwarts. At least their uniforms come with awesome black robes.

One Australian newspaper likened them to the Hogwarts class of 1999. However, I find that comment insulting, to Hogwarts. At least their uniforms come with awesome black robes.

8. 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece: Japan

For God's sake, Japan, this is an Olympic opening ceremony, not an Easter parade! Seriously, get it right.

For God’s sake, Japan, this is an Olympic opening ceremony, not an Easter parade! Seriously, get it right.

9. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Spain

Or as I called it: What it would look like if McDonald's employees were made to wear outfits designed by NASCAR and Christian Dior. I think I've made my point.

Or as I called it: What it would look like if McDonald’s employees were made to wear outfits designed by NASCAR and Christian Dior. I think I’ve made my point.

10. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Togo

Can someone tell Togo that the 1990s are over? Also, lime green? Really?

Can someone tell Togo that the 1990s are over? Also, lime green? Really?

11. 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, USA: United States

Apparently, the US decided to go with the Hopalong Cassidy winter edition. On bright side, at least the US beat the Russians in hockey that year.

Apparently, the US decided to go with the Hopalong Cassidy winter edition. On bright side, at least the US beat the Russians in hockey that year.

12. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Germany

Uh, Germany, are your athletes competing in the Olympics or trying to promote tourism? Because those uniforms just don't cut it.

Uh, Germany, are your athletes competing in the Olympics or trying to promote tourism? Because those uniforms just don’t cut it.

13. 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Azerbaijan

From Fast Company: "Say what you want about the fluffy white fur trapper hats, when Team Azerbaijan made their entrance, we couldn't help focusing below the belt. Psychadelic paisley in the colors of the Azerbaijani flag is kind of like an (acid) party in your pants."

From Fast Company: “Say what you want about the fluffy white fur trapper hats, when Team Azerbaijan made their entrance, we couldn’t help focusing below the belt. Psychadelic paisley in the colors of the Azerbaijani flag is kind of like an (acid) party in your pants.”

14. 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Finland

From Fast Company: "Is it sports or science? Looks as though the designer of Team Finland's jackets had circuit boards—rather than snowboards—on the brain."

From Fast Company: “Is it sports or science? Looks as though the designer of Team Finland’s jackets had circuit boards—rather than snowboards—on the brain.” Or perhaps the designer was aiming for a “winter camo” look. Whatever that is.

15. 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: United States Freestyle Ski Aerials

Sure freestyle ski aerials may look awesome to watch. But in a re-imagined set of Captain America pajamas? Not so much.

Sure freestyle ski aerials may look awesome to watch. But in a re-imagined set of Captain America pajamas? Not so much.

16. 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China: Hungary

Uh, Hungary, what are those red splotches on your uniforms? Is it spilled red dye or blood? Because the latter might get you subjected under an IOC investigation for vampirism.

Uh, Hungary, what are those red splotches on your uniforms? Is it spilled red dye or blood? Because the latter might get you subjected under an IOC investigation for vampirism.

17. 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain: Australia

Apparently, the Australian team decided to go with a style inspired by what your grandpa would wear during the 1970s. And yes, it's as bad as you'd expect.

Apparently, the Australian team decided to go with a style inspired by what your grandpa would wear during the 1970s. And yes, it’s as bad as you’d expect.

18. 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain: China

For some reason, the Chinese Team that year went with pastel lavender track suits. We're still asking for an explanation to this day.

For some reason, the Chinese Team that year went with pastel lavender track suits. We’re still asking for an explanation to this day.

19. 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil: China

And it seems that they went with what you'd expect a McDonald's worker to wear in Casablanca. I mean in the iconic 1940s movie starring Humphrey Bogart.

And it seems that they went with what you’d expect a McDonald’s worker to wear in Casablanca. I mean in the iconic 1940s movie starring Humphrey Bogart.

20. 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Canada

Apparently, cowboys were all the rage in the 1980s. So the Canadians had to have such outfits for their Olympics, too. Still, mountie costumes would've been more appropriate.

Apparently, cowboys were all the rage in the 1980s. So the Canadians had to have such outfits for their Olympics, too. Still, mountie costumes would’ve been more appropriate.

21. 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France: Russia

Just because a fashion might look cool in a 1940s movie doesn't mean it would look great at the Olympics or anywhere else. These 1940s inspired Russian uniforms illustrate my point.

Just because a fashion might look cool in a 1940s movie doesn’t mean it would look great at the Olympics or anywhere else. These 1940s inspired Russian uniforms illustrate my point.

22. 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Greece: Australia

Green windbreakers with stars on them? Are you nuts, Australia? I wouldn't want to be caught dead in one of these.

Green windbreakers with stars on them? Are you nuts, Australia? I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in one of these.

23. 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China: France

Well, those uniforms look very, uh, French. Also, are those women wearing kimono ties on their waists? That ain't right.

Well, those uniforms look very, uh, French. Also, are those women wearing kimono ties on their waists? That ain’t right.

24. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Great Britain

Well, having 1970s inspired track suits are one thing. But gold patch armpits? You got to be kidding me.

Well, having 1970s inspired track suits are one thing. But gold patch armpits? You got to be kidding me.

25. 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China: New Zealand

Do they have bowling in the Olympics? If so, does New Zealand have a bowling team? It would explain a lot.

Do they have bowling in the Olympics? If so, does New Zealand have a bowling team? It would explain a lot.

26. 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: France

France, just because the Madeline books make great children's literature, doesn't mean your Olympic uniforms have to be designed from them. And in baby blue?

France, just because the Madeline books make great children’s literature, doesn’t mean your Olympic uniforms have to be designed from them. And in baby blue?

27. 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy: United States

These guys can break out in a barbershop quartet at any minute. You'll never know. Too bad there's no Olympic barbershop quartet event.

These guys can break out in a barbershop quartet at any minute. You’ll never know. Too bad there’s no Olympic barbershop quartet event.

28. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Sweden

The Blues Clues Brigade has arrived at the stadium. Seriously, Sweden, stop dressing like you're on a children's show.

The Blues Clues Brigade has arrived at the stadium. Seriously, Sweden, stop dressing like you’re on a children’s show.

29. 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Mortiz, Switzerland: US Women’s Skiing

Guess these ladies decided to go with what they wore at the munitions factory during WWII. Well, at least it looks that way.

Guess these ladies decided to go with what they wore at the munitions factory during WWII. Well, at least it looks that way.

30. 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, USA: Australia Ice Hockey

From Whitelines: "Pin-striped suit trousers, patent black shoes (I would not like to walk on snow in those!) and a mustard-coloured sweater with a Peter Pan collar. They look like some sort of Nordic Christmas choir. Poor Australia, they produce talent like Torah and then disastrous outfits like this."

From Whitelines: “Pin-striped suit trousers, patent black shoes (I would not like to walk on snow in those!) and a mustard-coloured sweater with a Peter Pan collar. They look like some sort of Nordic Christmas choir. Poor Australia, they produce talent like Torah and then disastrous outfits like this.”

31. 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan: Canada Skiing

From Whitelines: "But the girls! Mini skirts and bare legs! They must be freezing their asses off. This isn’t a Newcastle night out! Someone obviously felt sorry for them and whacked those hideous Yeti shoes on their feet. And they seem to have recruited Velma from Scooby Doo into their ranks."

From Whitelines: “But the girls! Mini skirts and bare legs! They must be freezing their asses off. This isn’t a Newcastle night out! Someone obviously felt sorry for them and whacked those hideous Yeti shoes on their feet. And they seem to have recruited Velma from Scooby Doo into their ranks.”

32. 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France: US Bobsleigh

From Whitelines: "No one is entirely sure who these fellas are, apart from the fact they’re one of the first ever Olympic bobsleigh teams with a truly out-there fashion sense. Clearly the dude on the far right didn’t get the memo: “I said Breton stripes, not sabotage the American flag!” And when did pantaloons go out of fashion – 1601?"

From Whitelines: “No one is entirely sure who these fellas are, apart from the fact they’re one of the first ever Olympic bobsleigh teams with a truly out-there fashion sense. Clearly the dude on the far right didn’t get the memo: “I said Breton stripes, not sabotage the American flag!” And when did pantaloons go out of fashion – 1601?”

33. 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain: Canada

Sorry, Canada, but the tacky tourist look really isn't for you. Also, the maple leaf gloves, really?

Sorry, Canada, but the tacky tourist look really isn’t for you. Also, the maple leaf gloves, really?

34. 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia (now in Bosnia-Herzegovina): United States

Once again, they went with the cowboy option. How original and trendsetting (sarcasm). The sign says it all.

Once again, they went with the cowboy option. How original and trendsetting (sarcasm). The sign says it all.

35. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Norway Men’s Curling

I remember when they debuted these. Let's just say, they'll go well in my ugly Christmas sweater posts quite nicely.

I remember when they debuted these. Let’s just say, they’ll go well in my ugly Christmas sweater posts quite nicely.

36. 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia: Japan

Apparently, it's said that their capes were designed by Lisa Frank. Seriously, Japan, just go with the black outfits and leave the capes at home.

Apparently, it’s said that their capes were designed by Lisa Frank. Seriously, Japan, just go with the black outfits and leave the capes at home.

37. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Malaysia

For the love of God, animal prints are tacky as hell. What's tackier? This.

For the love of God, animal prints are tacky as hell. What’s tackier? This.

38. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Ukraine

The men's outfits were inspired by 1970s fashion. The women's, I have no idea. Seriously, I don't.

The men’s outfits were inspired by 1970s fashion. The women’s, I have no idea. Seriously, I don’t.

39. 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France: US Biathlon

Could you imagine Ned Flanders in a star spangled ski outfit? Well, here's a good visual approximation.

Could you imagine Ned Flanders in a star spangled ski outfit? Well, here’s a good visual approximation.

40. 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Czech Republic.

And it seems that they went with outfits patterned after Jackson Pollock paintings. Really something I don't want to see.

And it seems that they went with outfits patterned after Jackson Pollock paintings. Really something I don’t want to see.

41. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Ukraine

Don't look too much into the jackets. Might hurt your eyes. And no, something's not going to jump out at you like in those magic eye pics.

Don’t look too much into the jackets. Might hurt your eyes. And no, something’s not going to jump out at you like in those magic eye pics.

42. 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Mexico

For some reason, their outfits were inspired by Top Gun. And no, they can't seem to make it work.

For some reason, their outfits were inspired by Top Gun. And no, they can’t seem to make it work.

43. 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Japan Speed Skating

From Complex: "Speed skating uniforms are a hit or miss. Sometimes they can look really awesome and slick (see the Mach 39), and other times they just look awkward and unfitting. It's the chance you take when wearing a skin tight body uniform. Unfortunately, for Japan this one was a miss."

From Complex: “Speed skating uniforms are a hit or miss. Sometimes they can look really awesome and slick (see the Mach 39), and other times they just look awkward and unfitting. It’s the chance you take when wearing a skin tight body uniform. Unfortunately, for Japan this one was a miss.”

44. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Mexico

Inspired by Mexican American Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Or so it seems.

Inspired by Mexican American Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Or so it seems.

45. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Czech Republic

I can understand the umbrellas given the UK's weather patterns. But go-go boots, not so much.

I can understand the umbrellas given the UK’s weather patterns. But go-go boots, not so much.

46. 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain: Lithuania Men’s Basketball

I don't know about you. But for some reason, I don't believe that tie dye and Olympic basketball don't mix. Just my opinion.

I don’t know about you. But for some reason, I don’t believe that tie dye and Olympic basketball don’t mix. Just my opinion.

47. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Mexico Men’s Bobsledding

No, that's not a bobsledder uniform. That's what you wear when you're part of the 3 Amigos. Seriously, I more likely expect him to shoot an invisible swordsman than go on a bobsled.

No, that’s not a bobsledder uniform. That’s what you wear when you’re part of the 3 Amigos. Seriously, I more likely expect him to shoot an invisible swordsman than go on a bobsled.

48. 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway: Canada

Canada: We didn't have time to design our Olympic uniforms this year. Can you please help us? Russia: I'm sure these old Soviet uniforms will do the trick. How does that sound like? Canada: Fine.

Canada: We didn’t have time to design our Olympic uniforms this year. Can you please help us?
Russia: I’m sure these old Soviet uniforms will do the trick. How does that sound like?
Canada: Fine.

49. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Germany

Apparently, Germany was aiming for a 1970s pastel look that just seems inspired by an acid trip. Yeah, that doesn't look right.

Apparently, Germany was aiming for a 1970s pastel look that just seems inspired by an acid trip. Yeah, that doesn’t look right.

50. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Japan Skiing

They seem more like they're dressed for a Broncos game to me. Yeah, bright orange and blue doesn't strike me as Japanese colors for some reason.

They seem more like they’re dressed for a Broncos game to me. Yeah, bright orange and blue doesn’t strike me as Japanese colors for some reason.

51. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Belgium

The striped prep school uniforms really don't do these athletes justice. Not sure what to say about the red jackets.

The striped prep school uniforms really don’t do these athletes justice. Not sure what to say about the red jackets.

52. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Estonia

Seems like space age outfits are all the rage there. But seriously, these are just horrendous.

Seems like space age outfits are all the rage there. But seriously, these are just horrendous.

53. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Finland

Basically wearing the kinds of shirts you'd see folks from the 1980s in Awkward Family Photos. Atrocious.

Basically wearing the kinds of shirts you’d see folks from the 1980s in Awkward Family Photos. Atrocious.

54. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: South Korea

Had they waited until 2016 to wear these, they would've been appropriately dressed. But no, South Korea isn't known for their Panama hats.

Had they waited until 2016 to wear these, they would’ve been appropriately dressed. But no, South Korea isn’t known for their Panama hats.

55. 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Russia

It's kind of ironic that a country known for its hostility toward LGBT people would authorize uniforms that seem to come straight out of a gay pride parade. Doesn't it seem that way.

It’s kind of ironic that a country known for its hostility toward LGBT people would authorize uniforms that seem to come straight out of a gay pride parade. Doesn’t it seem that way.

56. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Russia

Sorry, but 1970s curtain patterns are so not the rage at this time. But don't tell the Russians that.

Sorry, but 1970s curtain patterns are so not the rage at this time. But don’t tell the Russians that.

57. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Czech Republic

From Complex: "The jackets aren't so bad, other than the fact that they look like a Wonder Bread bag. The real problem here is the Johnny Appleseed hats. The second guy on the left doesn't look to happy about them."

From Complex: “The jackets aren’t so bad, other than the fact that they look like a Wonder Bread bag. The real problem here is the Johnny Appleseed hats. The second guy on the left doesn’t look to happy about them.”

58. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Germany

From Complex: "Girls wear pink and boys wear blue. Those are words you mainly hear at a baby shower. This theme isn't the first time Germany took cues from a newborn baby, check out what they wore for the 1988 opening ceremony in Calgary. Lavender and baby blue, now those were bad."

From Complex: “Girls wear pink and boys wear blue. Those are words you mainly hear at a baby shower. This theme isn’t the first time Germany took cues from a newborn baby, check out what they wore for the 1988 opening ceremony in Calgary. Lavender and baby blue, now those were bad.”

59. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: United States

Star spangled Olympic outfits designed by Ralph Lauren? Or ugly American Christmas sweaters? You decide.

Star spangled Olympic outfits designed by Ralph Lauren? Or ugly American Christmas sweaters? You decide.

60. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Russia

I get that a lot of countries want to honor their traditional cultures. But Russia's just seem like they're more appropriate for SantaCon.

I get that a lot of countries want to honor their traditional cultures. But Russia’s just seem like they’re more appropriate for SantaCon.

61. 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France: Morocco

It's basically what you'd expect the Slytherin uniforms to look like had Harry Potter took place in the 1960s. Yeah, that bad.

It’s basically what you’d expect the Slytherin uniforms to look like had Harry Potter took place in the 1960s. Yeah, that bad.

62. 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China: Netherlands

Gray suits and orange ties? Seriously, the 1980s were over by 2008. Not cool.

Gray suits and orange ties? Seriously, the 1980s were over by 2008. Not cool.

63. 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China: Canada

No, Canada, you just can't wear such things. These are simply hideous. That suit looks as if it's been in the washing machine with the wrong colors.

No, Canada, you just can’t wear such things. These are simply hideous. That suit looks as if it’s been in the washing machine with the wrong colors.

64. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: United States

Now here are the infamous Ralph Lauren prep school uniforms they wouldn't shut up about. Doesn't really suit the US as a nation, does it?

Now here are the infamous Ralph Lauren prep school uniforms they wouldn’t shut up about. Doesn’t really suit the US as a nation, does it?

65. 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Norway Men’s Curling

Seems like the Norwegian men's curling team doesn't disappoint. Apparently, they prefer table cloth pants that year.

Seems like the Norwegian men’s curling team doesn’t disappoint. Apparently, they prefer table cloth pants that year.

66. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Volunteers

From the Richest: "Although obviously not part of any Olympic team, these garish uniforms nonetheless warrant a place on our list for simply being the very definition of ‘eye vomit.’ This is the likely result of what happens when you mate a Crayola crayon set with a myopic cartographer."

From the Richest: “Although obviously not part of any Olympic team, these garish uniforms nonetheless warrant a place on our list for simply being the very definition of ‘eye vomit.’ This is the likely result of what happens when you mate a Crayola crayon set with a myopic cartographer.”

67. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Mongolia

From The Richest: "Just admit it; you didn’t even know they were competing, did you? Team Mongolia is clearly making their first attempts to embrace the 21st century with these updated versions of a 1930’s movie theater attendant."

From The Richest: “Just admit it; you didn’t even know they were competing, did you? Team Mongolia is clearly making their first attempts to embrace the 21st century with these updated versions of a 1930’s movie theater attendant.”

68. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Great Britain

A few of these seem to bear similarities to the logos you'd see for the US Postal Service. But apparently, Britain didn't get the memo.

A few of these seem to bear similarities to the logos you’d see for the US Postal Service. But apparently, Britain didn’t get the memo.

69. 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia: Australia

These were said to reflect the colors of the outback. Unfortunately, they reflect on the 1970s fashions in old photos we'd like to forget.

These were said to reflect the colors of the outback. Unfortunately, they reflect on the 1970s fashions in old photos we’d like to forget.

70. 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil: Australia

These people seem like they're dressed for a yacht party than the opening ceremony. Seriously, why, Australia?

These people seem like they’re dressed for a yacht party than the opening ceremony. Seriously, why, Australia?

71. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Denmark

No, these aren't Boy and Girl Scouts. These are Danish athletes. But I understand if you don't know the difference.

No, these aren’t Boy and Girl Scouts. These are Danish athletes. But I understand if you don’t know the difference.

72. 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan: United States

I guess they decided to have their uniforms designed by NASA that year. Seems fair enough.

I guess they decided to have their uniforms designed by NASA that year. Seems fair enough.

73. 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, USA: United States

If it wasn't for the American flag present, I would've sworn they were from the Soviet Union. Seriously, they just seem that bland.

If it wasn’t for the American flag present, I would’ve sworn they were from the Soviet Union. Seriously, they just seem that bland.

74. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: US Men’s Beach Volleyball

Seems like the US men's beach volleyball team decided to use some of the tablecloth pattern from Norway. Luckily not many people watch men's beach volleyball anyway to notice.

Seems like the US men’s beach volleyball team decided to use some of the tablecloth pattern from Norway. Luckily not many people watch men’s beach volleyball anyway to notice.

75. 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece: Lithuania

Not sure if those shirts go with those suits. Then again, at least these aren't like their PennDOT Sochi ones.

Not sure if those shirts go with those suits. Then again, at least these aren’t like their PennDOT Sochi ones.

76. 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, USA: United States

Apparently, the US team didn't have time to get out of their gym clothes before the opening ceremony. But at least they beat cowboy outfits though.

Apparently, the US team didn’t have time to get out of their gym clothes before the opening ceremony. But at least they beat cowboy outfits though.

77. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Belize

The kind of outfits you see on plantation owners in South America during the 1950s. Really not what you'd want a Central American nation to have.

The kind of outfits you see on plantation owners in South America during the 1950s. Really not what you’d want a Central American nation to have.

78. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: New Zealand

Good: At least they're not like the ones from Beijing. Bad: Seem to go with the same scheme as the ones from Beijing.

Good: At least they’re not like the ones from Beijing.
Bad: Seem to go with the same scheme as the ones from Beijing.

79. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Volunteers

Yes, I do like pink and purple a lot. But no, I don't think Barbie's windbreaker has a place at the Olympics though.

Yes, I do like pink and purple a lot. But no, I don’t think Barbie’s windbreaker has a place at the Olympics though.

80. 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain: Australia

Guess these were inspired by the latest in flight attendant fashion. Because that's what they remind me of.

Guess these were inspired by the latest in flight attendant fashion. Because that’s what they remind me of.

 

Olympic Fans Dressed and Ready for the Opening Ceremonies

Snapshot_20160708_13

I don’t own a lot of patriotic clothes or items compared to Steelers stuff or items from college and high school. So to show my support Team USA at Rio this year, I went with my star spangled baseball cat and my pink rose shirt as an approximate match (though it’s not necessarily red, white, and blue. I also took the picture in my back yard for added scenery.

Growing up in the Pittsburgh area and by extension the United States, I’m well aware that plenty of sports fans can be a bit crazy. So much so that they’d show up to a game for their time in an outlandish costume like you’ve seen in my NFL fan post back in the fall. A lot of them also tend to get drunk, start fights, and occasionally riot. Fortunately, while NFL and other football fans may be among the craziest sports fan contingents in the country (since we have plenty of college sports fans who do the same such as WVU fans burning couches when their team wins) or even in the world. After all, the craziest hockey fans hail from O, Canada while soccer fans tend to be notorious in Europe and South America. Seriously, there are reports about a ref getting killed and his head put on a pike for stabbing a player in Brazil. Yeah, they take soccer that seriously. However, as far as sport fan insanity goes, Olympic fans have to be up there (though it’s hard to say whether they compare to soccer fans at the World Cup). I mean these fans spend tons of money to travel to a foreign country and possibly dress in an outlandish outfit to show support for their team. And I’m sure Olympic tickets aren’t cheap either. Still, while going to the Olympics in London, Torino, or Vancouver might not be too bad, sometimes the Olympics can be held in areas a lot of people wouldn’t travel to like Sochi which is in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Beijing based in a country with known human rights violations, poverty, and is known for extreme air pollution, and this year in Rio de Janiero with problems like corruption, Zika, water pollution, poverty, environmental devastation, lots of crime, an insufficient police force, and a whole other shitload of problems. Let’s just say whoever thought having the Olympics in Rio didn’t foresee that it was probably not a good idea. Nevertheless, many Olympics fans will come to support their teams from all around the world. And many will wear their crazy fan costumes along with it. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of Olympic  fans in their gold medal glory. Enjoy.

 

  1. When it comes to supporting USA, there’s always that one guy who has to appear in an American flag suit.
And one even has his face painted. However, you see this all the time in the US for all kinds of sporting events.

And one even has his face painted. However, you see this all the time in the US for all kinds of sporting events.

2. I guess these two are from China.

Because the panda bear hats make it incredibly obvious. Not sure about the medals in their mouths.

Because the panda bear hats make it incredibly obvious. Not sure about the medals in their mouths.

3. Seems like the Capitol has their own share of Olympic fans.

My mistake, these people are actually from Lithuania. But they're all anticipating for the odds being ever in their favor.

My mistake, these people are actually from Lithuania. But they’re all anticipating for the odds being ever in their favor.

4. This woman always has to look her Olympic best.

And she has the hat to top it off with. Hope she doesn't accidentally end up injuring anybody. Because that would be bad.

And she has the hat to top it off with. Hope she doesn’t accidentally end up injuring anybody. Because that would be bad.

5. This Brazilian proudly shows off his tickets.

However, you wouldn't want to sit behind this guy in the stands. Or his friend for that matter.

However, you wouldn’t want to sit behind this guy in the stands. Or his friend for that matter.

6. Some Brazilians always have to attend in style.

I guess you can do quite well in Brazil if you work as an Elvis impersonator and a circus clown. How else could I explain his outfit?

I guess you can do quite well in Brazil if you work as an Elvis impersonator and a circus clown. How else could I explain his outfit?

7. This American will go to great lengths as an ultimate Olympic fan.

Not sure of how to make out that in the Olympic stands. Yet, he shaved US on his chest for his country.

Not sure of how to make out that in the Olympic stands. Yet, he shaved US on his chest for his country.

8. In support of Team Japan, some fans would attend the games wearing traditional kimono attire.

Okay, I know that kimonos are unisex attire in Japan. However, I find a guy in one with floral decoration and blue hair somewhat awkward. Okay, I know that men wear stuff like that in kabuki theater. But that's beside the point.

Okay, I know that kimonos are unisex attire in Japan. However, I find a guy in one with floral decoration and blue hair somewhat hard to take seriously. I know that men wear stuff like that in kabuki theater. But that’s beside the point.

9. This American fan decided to carry his own Olympic torch.

However, he also decided to dress in a way that's mocking his fellow country men earning at a significant lower income level. Also that torch is made from Bud Light beer cans.

However, he also decided to dress in a way that’s mocking his fellow country men earning at a significant lower income level. Also that torch is made from Bud Light beer cans.

10. Guess this man is all Union Jacked for the Olympics.

Because this British guy seems to look like a UK flag waving circus clown. Even has the wig and the face makeup.

Because this British guy seems to look like a UK flag waving circus clown. Even has the wig and the face makeup.

11. Nothing says, “Viva la France” at the Olympics like face paint an jester hats.

And you thought the French were above that sort of thing, save in soccer. You were wrong.

And you thought the French were above that sort of thing, save in soccer. You were wrong.

12. At the Olympics, even the Japanese youth engage in their national spirit.

If he were an anime character, you wouldn't take it as anything out of the ordinary. Still, kind of reminds me of a child circus clown more than anything.

If he were an anime character, you wouldn’t take it as anything out of the ordinary. Still, kind of reminds me of a child circus clown more than anything.

13. For Russians, the Olympics are always a family activity.

Here's a Russian family in their team spirit. All are donned in their ridiculous clown wigs and flag colors. The father even painted his face.

Here’s a Russian family in their team spirit. All are donned in their ridiculous clown wigs and flag colors. The father even painted his face.

14. At Sochi, you can never see a more resplendent Russian hat than this.

For some reason, I wonder if his hat was taken from a logo in a beer advertisement or something like that. However, I think it's the Russian national seal.

For some reason, I wonder if his hat was taken from a logo in a beer advertisement or something like that. However, I think it’s the Russian national seal.

15. Guess this guy is literally, “horny” for Norway.

Sure his Viking ancestors didn't wear horned helmets in battle. But he doesn't care. He and his buddy also have their faces painted in the Norwegian flag.

Sure his Viking ancestors didn’t wear horned helmets in battle. But he doesn’t care. He and his buddy also have their faces painted in the Norwegian flag.

16. A British fan must always dress in formal attire.

Not sure about a flashy tuxedo though. But I'm sure it's probably a British thing even though Americans might see it akin to Las Vegas.

Not sure about a flashy tuxedo though. But I’m sure it’s probably a British thing even though Americans might see it akin to Las Vegas.

17. A hat with horns is always all the rage among Hungarian fans.

Is this supposed to be a Hun helmet? Because that would explain a lot. Still, I don't think Huns wore helmets like that into battle either.

Is this supposed to be a Hun helmet? Because that would explain a lot. Still, I don’t think Huns wore helmets like that into battle either.

18. Don’t tell me Santa Claus is at the Olympics.

Actually that's Grandfather Frost, or Ded Moroz who was used as a Santa Claus figure for New Years during the Soviet era. However, since the 1990s, he's become the Russian Christmas mascot.

Actually that’s Grandfather Frost, or Ded Moroz who was used as a Santa Claus figure for New Years during the Soviet era. However, since the 1990s, he’s become the Russian Christmas mascot.

19. I now give you the Swedish version of Blue Man Group.

Okay, these are just Swedes with their bodies painted and wearing Viking helmets. Still, this is pretty insane if you think about it.

Okay, these are just Swedes with their bodies painted and wearing Viking helmets. Still, this is pretty insane if you think about it.

20. Apparently, these are two wild and crazy star spangled guys.

These two are wearing flag faces, have flag painted faces, and are don flag shades. So their patriotism should be unquestioned.

These two are wearing flag faces, have flag painted faces, and are don flag shades. So their patriotism should be unquestioned.

21. I suppose these two guys hail from New Zealand.

Because they're dressed like a couple of kiwis. And I know the kiwi is a symbol for that country. Might've been cooler if they came as Hobbits.

Because they’re dressed like a couple of kiwis. And I know the kiwi is a symbol for that country. Might’ve been cooler if they came as Hobbits.

22. Nothing says Dutch pride than dressing up as an orange animal.

Dutch fans tend to wear a lot of orange and are very easy to identify at international sporting events. They also tend to have a lot of crazy fans.

Dutch fans tend to wear a lot of orange and are very easy to identify at international sporting events. They also tend to have a lot of crazy fans.

23. Hey, is that one of the guys from the Battleship Potemkin?

Probably not, but he sure looks like it. However, only Russian film buffs will understand that reference.

Probably not, but he sure looks like it. However, only Russian film buffs will understand that reference.

24. Oh, my God, it’s Russian president Vladmir Putin!

Sorry, my mistake. Just a Russian fan in a reptilian mask that sort of resembles Lord Voldemort. Probably more harmless than he appears. Except when he's drinking.

Sorry, my mistake. Just a Russian fan in a reptilian mask that sort of resembles Lord Voldemort. Probably more harmless than he appears. Except when he’s drinking.

25. This fan is all decked out for Morocco.

Don't see a lot of Morocco Olympic fans on the Internet. But this guy is proudly wearing his country's flag.

Don’t see a lot of Morocco Olympic fans on the Internet. But this guy is proudly wearing his country’s flag.

26. Seems like someone really has the Irish spirit.

Because nothing shows off Irish patriotism than showing up at the Olympics in a leprechaun costume. Hey, at least these are Irish fans from Ireland here.

Because nothing shows off Irish patriotism than showing up at the Olympics in a leprechaun costume. Hey, at least these are Irish fans from Ireland here.

27. Nothing shows one’s love for Uruguay than wearing a tall blue furry hat.

Even though you wouldn't want to wear a hat like this in Uruguay. But these guys don't seem to care.

Even though you wouldn’t want to wear a hat like this in Uruguay. But these guys don’t seem to care.

28. For Team Canada, just shouting, “Go Team Canada!” won’t do.

So this guy has to get a megaphone and a siren because he's a Canadian patriot, dammit. Nevertheless, this picture is from the 1980s.

So this guy has to get a megaphone and a siren because he’s a Canadian patriot, dammit. Nevertheless, this picture is from the 1980s.

29. My, those are big Olympic mittens.

Let me guess, this guy is from the Netherlands? How do I know that? Guess it's the orange.

Let me guess, this guy is from the Netherlands? How do I know that? Guess it’s the orange.

30. In Russia, it’s possible that old Soviet nostalgia lives on.

Well, from what I can tell from these costumes. Still, they may just be fans who want to stand out for all you know.

Well, from what I can tell from these costumes. Still, they may just be fans who want to stand out for all you know.

31. These guys all have Norway on their faces and the rest of them.

They're also wearing Viking hats, too. Because that's what Norwegian fans do, apparently.

They’re also wearing Viking hats, too. Because that’s what Norwegian fans do, apparently.

32. Apparently, these two are partial to wearing a queenly mask.

Because they're British and the Queen is part of their tradition. Still, looks kind of creepy.

Because they’re British and the Queen is part of their tradition. Still, looks kind of creepy.

33. For this Chinese fan, he wears his team spirit on his skin.

Because he's just a crazy Olympic fan to have such design on his chest forever. I know it's nuts but it's his choice.

Because he’s just a crazy Olympic fan to have such design on his chest forever. I know it’s nuts but it’s his choice.

34. This man is dressed in support of American Olympic gold.

And I guess he has to don a ridiculous star spangled outfit to prove it. Love the hat though.

And I guess he has to don a ridiculous star spangled outfit to prove it. Love the hat though.

35. I guess these guys are supporting the British swim team.

Oh wait, they're actually British weightlifting fans. How they find weightlifting exciting, I have no idea. But they seem super pumped for it.

Oh wait, they’re actually British weightlifting fans. How they find weightlifting exciting, I have no idea. But they seem super pumped for it.

36. This woman has her hair done in the latest Olympic style.

Yes, she has her hair in Olympic rings. Perhaps it's not the craziest display at the Olympics. But it's up there.

Yes, she has her hair in Olympic rings. Perhaps it’s not the craziest display at the Olympics. But it’s up there.

37. Nothing shows British pride like a sparkly Union Jack suit.

So I guess these outfits are worn by British Elvis impersonators. Then again, they must really love their team.

So I guess these outfits are worn by British Elvis impersonators. Then again, they must really love their team.

38. This fan is proud to support Norway as a bearded Norseman.

His helmet is even crocheted even at the horns and beard. So he could really get the Viking look.

His helmet is even crocheted even at the horns and beard. So he could really get the Viking look.

39. For the British, there’s no better way to attend the Olympics than in a suit.

As long as it's in a Union Jack suit, that is. Otherwise, it wouldn't be proper.

As long as it’s in a Union Jack suit, that is. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be proper.

40. This Czech isn’t afraid to clown around.

And it seems this clown is proud of his country. Don't mind the red nose and horn.

And it seems this clown is proud of his country. Don’t mind the red nose and horn.

41. Even Uncle Sam likes to get into the Olympic action.

Here he is in an American flag suit as well as his hat, glasses, and beard. And he's really getting into it.

Here he is in an American flag suit as well as his hat, glasses, and beard. And he’s really getting into it.

42. You can never get a more star spangled crows than this.

And it seems that this group is decked in American flags. How patriotic that you'd almost think they're celebrating the 4th of July.

And it seems that this group is decked in American flags. How patriotic that you’d almost think they’re celebrating the 4th of July.

43. This Brazilian always knows how to give a shout out.

Because he's carrying a megaphone with him. Doesn't hurt he's clothed in Brazilian attire.

Because he’s carrying a megaphone with him. Doesn’t hurt he’s clothed in Brazilian attire.

44. This Brit has a very severe case of Olympic fever.

After all, he's decked in Union Jacks and has a large Olympic hat. So he's ready to support Team Britain.

After all, he’s decked in Union Jacks and has a large Olympic hat. So he’s ready to support Team Britain.

45. You haven’t heard of an Olympic torch hat, have you?

Now that's a really big hat with a really big torch. Not sure if I'd want to sit near someone like her.

Now that’s a really big hat with a really big torch. Not sure if I’d want to sit near someone like her.

46. With the Dutch, it’s always Orange is the New Black.

Because they're always decked in orange. One even has an orange shaped hat.

Because they’re always decked in orange. One even has an orange shaped hat.

47. You’re not an Australian fan until you have a kangaroo on your shoulder.

Or at a blow up or stuffed one on your shoulder. Because real kangaroos are big and mean.

Or at a blow up or stuffed one on your shoulder. Because real kangaroos are big and mean.

48. Apparently, Australians prefer to dress in green.

And these two seem to resemble two backup dancers from a 1980s hair band music video. Not to be critical.

And these two seem to resemble two backup dancers from a 1980s hair band music video. Not to be critical.

49. A Canadian suit always has to have fur accessories.

Like a furry hat no less. Also, a Canadian suit has to be decked in maple leaves. Because a maple leaf is on their flag.

Like a furry hat no less. Also, a Canadian suit has to be decked in maple leaves. Because a maple leaf is on their flag.

50. Guess she’s one of those curling heads.

Because she's wearing a curling stone hat. Helps that she's also from Canada, eh.

Because she’s wearing a curling stone hat. Helps that she’s also from Canada, eh.

51. While The Thomas Crown Affair had “Windmills in Your Mind,” the Dutch have windmills in their eyes.

Yes, nothing shows pride for the Netherlands than windmill sunglasses. How Dutch of him.

Yes, nothing shows pride for the Netherlands than windmill sunglasses. How Dutch of him.

52. Don’t worry, that’s a little Dutch girl.

Okay, it's a Dutch guy in a pigtail wig. But as they say, anything goes in Amsterdam.

Okay, it’s a Dutch guy in a pigtail wig. But as they say, anything goes in Amsterdam.

53. In warmer weather, the Norwegians put their scarves on their Viking horns.

Well, as far as this picture tells us. Then again, he might've done so to look more badass.

Well, as far as this picture tells us. Then again, he might’ve done so to look more badass.

54. Nothing shows spirit for Team Russia than hats made from tissue paper.

Don't ask me where they got the idea. I wasn't consulted. And yes, that looks ridiculous.

Don’t ask me where they got the idea. I wasn’t consulted. And yes, that looks ridiculous.

55. Even the horses attend the Olympic festivities in Russia.

Okay, it's a Russian in a horse head. But you have to appreciate the Russians' sense of humor.

Okay, it’s a Russian in a horse head. But you have to appreciate the Russians’ sense of humor.

56. America: Land of the Free, Home of the Cheese.

I bet you any money that this guy is from Wisconsin. Because cheese hats are associated with Green Bay Packers fans.

I bet you any money that this guy is from Wisconsin. Because cheese hats are associated with Green Bay Packers fans.

57. For Uruguay fans, dred hats will do just fine.

Seems that Uruguay fans have an interesting taste in headwear. Not sure why.

Seems that Uruguay fans have an interesting taste in headwear. Not sure why.

58. Apparently, the front Dutch line is ripped.

Well, they're wearing outfits like that. Still, these guys seem to be insane.

Well, they’re wearing outfits like that. Still, these guys seem to be insane.

59. Looks like this Canadian fan got boxed in.

Then again, he probably doesn't mind so much in the head. Some Canadians are funny that way.

Then again, he probably doesn’t mind so much in the head. Some Canadians are funny that way.

60. Some Swiss fans can be recognized by the crosses on their faces.

However, don't assume they're neutral in sporting events. Because they're team usually participates. In war, it's an entirely different matter.

However, don’t assume they’re neutral in sporting events. Because they’re team usually participates. In war, it’s an entirely different matter.

61. Sometimes the Swiss might take to clown wigs.

Not sure if that makes them look even more ridiculous. Guess they tend to go all out.

Not sure if that makes them look even more ridiculous. Guess they tend to go all out.

62. Didn’t know you’d have some of King Arthur’s knights showing up.

Reminds me so much of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Must have something to do with the outfits.

Reminds me so much of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Must have something to do with the outfits.

63. For Uruguay fans, kush makes them stand out.

Yes, have to hand it to these Uruguay guys again. Those wigs certainly look ridiculous to me.

Yes, have to hand it to these Uruguay guys again. Those wigs certainly look ridiculous to me.

64. For New Zealanders, everything is better with penguins.

What the hell do penguins have to do with New Zealand? Kiwis, I understand. But penguins, I give up.

What the hell do penguins have to do with New Zealand? Kiwis, I understand. But penguins, I give up.

65. For Japanese fans, nothing makes you stand out than being dressed as a bowling pin.

Because that's what this woman is dressed as. I know it's ridiculous, but you expect such stuff from Japan.

Because that’s what this woman is dressed as. I know it’s ridiculous, but you expect such stuff from Japan.

66. Guess that’s what you call an Olympic gear head.

Not sure where this guy's from. But you have to like his gear Olympic rings.

Not sure where this guy’s from. But you have to like his gear Olympic rings.

67. For added American patriotic pride, try Captain America’s helmet and shield.

Because sometimes flags aren't enough for American patriotic pride. Occasionally, you'll have to use a patriotic superhero.

Because sometimes flags aren’t enough for American patriotic pride. Occasionally, you’ll have to use a patriotic superhero.

68. Seems like we have a couple of old men from Oman.

Okay, they may not be actually old. But is it ridiculous? I'll say.

Okay, they may not be actually old. But is it ridiculous? I’ll say.

69. All hail the Canadian Olympic bugler.

Okay, I don't think they have buglers like that. But it is pretty funny, especially since he's wearing tights.

Okay, I don’t think they have buglers like that. But it is pretty funny, especially since he’s wearing tights.

70. Perhaps you didn’t know Canadians preferred big hats.

My, that's a really huge hat with feathers. Might expect that from Mexico. Canada not so much.

My, that’s a really huge hat with feathers. Might expect that from Mexico. Canada not so much.

71. So I suppose this Dutchman is a literal strawman.

Since he has straw in his hair. Yes, the Dutch have a strange way with things at the Olympics.

Since he has straw in his hair. Yes, the Dutch have a strange way with things at the Olympics.

72. You’ve heard of an afro. How about a Fin fro?

I know the guy's wearing a wig. But he also has his face painted in the Finnish flag.

I know the guy’s wearing a wig. But he also has his face painted in the Finnish flag.

73. Nothing shows American patriotism like an American Eagle hat.

Well, he has an American Eagle on his hat. That and not supporting Donald Trump.

Well, he has an American Eagle on his hat. That and not supporting Donald Trump, by the way.

74. Here are a couple of yeti in support of Team Canada.

You'd think they'd be for Team Nepal since they're legendary Himalayan monsters. But no, they have Canadian flags.

You’d think they’d be for Team Nepal since they’re legendary Himalayan monsters. But no, they have Canadian flags.

75. I bring you a couple of Canadian puck bunnies.

I'm really not sure what a "puck bunny" is. But I think this scene is hilarious.

I’m really not sure what a “puck bunny” is. But I think this scene is hilarious.

76. Just a couple of Canadian fans minding their own business.

Okay, these guys are in the bathroom. But, hey, everyone's got to go sometime.

Okay, these guys are in the bathroom. But, hey, everyone’s got to go sometime.

77. That Dutch woman is really, oh, wait, that’s a guy.

Now this is just crazy. Seriously, why the hell is he wearing a boob suit? That's just so wrong on many levels.

Now this is just crazy. Seriously, why the hell is he wearing a boob suit? That’s just so wrong on many levels.

78. Guess these two are what you call Italian ostriches.

I'm not sure why they'd go with the ostrich heads. To me, that's just plain crazy.

I’m not sure why they’d go with the ostrich heads. To me, that’s just plain crazy.

79. Hey, look, an Olympic torch runner.

Wait a minute, that's a fan from Brazil. But at least he's appropriately dressed for Rio this year.

Wait a minute, that’s a fan from Brazil. But at least he’s appropriately dressed for Rio this year.

80. Guess this Dutchman has his athletes’ places.

Well, at least his hat gives plenty of shade. Still, wouldn't want to sit behind him.

Well, at least his hat gives plenty of shade. Still, wouldn’t want to sit behind him.

81. Even an Elvis impersonator comes out to support Team USA.