February 04, 2019 12:48PM
OK, Russo--- I'm going to give you a summary of some research that I did about 200 years ago. You probably shouldn't quote me, though----I'm probably stealing most of it from long-forgotten sources... In the twenties, when cartoons began having sound tracks, a character appeared named Bosco, or sometimes seen as Bosko. In the frame of reference of the period ( and aren't we still having all sorts of problems when these frames-of-reference come into conflict-- witness Virginia today), this little fellow was an outgrowth of blackface minstrel show tradition. He was even said to have been a loose copy of Al Jolson's Jazz Singer makeup. Many popular minstrel stage names for the characters had the "o" ending, such as Sambo and Tambo, and Bosco was apparently one such name. Little Cartoon Bosc(k)o was a bit of a schizophrenic fellow, who varied between an obvious black stereotype-- with a penchant for saying "Mmm- Dat sho' is fine!"--- and a cute barnyard animal, among whom he played and sang. He did have a girlfriend named Hony, and even a dog.
All this sounds pretty hideous in our frame of reference, but as always, one must be careful about these historical juxtapositions. African American groups at the time considered Bosco and Hony to be the most favorable representation of black people shown in the popular culture. As minstrel shows and blackface died away, these names began to appear as private family nicknames for babies in white families--- my Great Uncle was called "Rastus" by his Kansas family even as an adult, for no discernible reason. The advent of Bosco drink mix blunted the crypto-racism even further, and the name lost most all of its old derivation, and formed a new reference point.
In the fifties, when TV was new and voracious for material, these grainy old Bosco cartoons were played over-and-over. Some were quite bawdy--- with a fixation for barnyard animal butts-- and some were quite violent--- with poor Bosco suffering some painful incidents. Again, it is very tricky and hard to view these cultural aspects with any sort of objectivity. But I think it is interesting and productive to examine them and their remnants in our own place and time--- it's a valuable tool which many seem uneasy to use.
Are we all baffled and confused now????
john
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Subject Author Posted

Anyone remember Lester "Bosco" Herschel?

superfleet January 31, 2019 02:53PM

Re: Anyone remember Lester "Bosco" Herschel?

Earl January 31, 2019 08:03PM

Re: Anyone remember Lester "Bosco" Herschel?

superfleet February 02, 2019 02:10PM

Re: Anyone remember Lester "Bosco" Herschel?

Russ489 February 02, 2019 02:47PM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

Russo Loco February 02, 2019 07:19PM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

o anderson February 02, 2019 08:00PM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

GeorgeGaskill February 03, 2019 12:35AM

Re: Way OT - Origin of NAME 'Bosco', not the Drink ?

Russo Loco February 03, 2019 10:40AM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

Brian Norden February 03, 2019 03:01PM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

johnegert February 04, 2019 12:48PM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

Russo Loco February 04, 2019 01:35PM

Re: OT - meaning of name 'Bosco'?

johnegert February 04, 2019 09:23PM

Re: OT - Origin of name 'Bosco'?

Russo Loco February 05, 2019 10:14AM



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