Why you should be in passionate horny love with Elizabeth ‘Nellie Bly’ Cochrane
- Born in 1864/65, Elizabeth, one of 15 children, was always ‘the rebellious one’. Fierce as fuck from an early age, she testified against her abusive stepfather in her mother’s divorce trial.
- In 1880 she enrolled in a teacher-training college but had to leave after her first semester due to lack of funding - then moved to Pittsburgh to help run a goddamn boarding school.
- This is where we get to the good shit. Age 18, she wrote a letter-to-the-editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch bitchslapping the everloving fuck out of a sexist ballsack of an article entitled ‘What Girls Are Good For’.
- The editor was so goddamn wooed by her razor-sharp tongue that he RAN AN AD asking her to identify herself. Elizabeth owned up, and was hired instantaneously, her badassery radiating from her pores and intoxicating all within a twenty mile radius.
- Working under the pen-name Nellie Bly, Elizabeth kicked the butts of morons everywhere, writing articles aimed at social justice, particularly labour laws to protect working ‘girls’ and reform of Pennsylvania’s divorce law, which greatly favoured men.
- Not content with changing the world from behind her desk, Elizabeth became a founding mother of investigative journalism. She was expelled from Mexico for exposing political corruption, and henceforth wrapped in cotton wool by her editors. Infuriated by their mollycoddling, Lizzie left them a note essentially telling them to fuck themselves and hot footed it to NYC. She was still only 23.
- Within six months she was hired by Joseph fucking Pulitzer himself, and continued her batshit crazy investigations uninhibited. Her very first assingment had her feigning mental illness to expose repulsive conditions in Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum. Her cutting report was so fucking horrifying, compelling and persuasive that it triggered public and political action, leading to reform of the institution.
- In the next couple of years she had herself thrown in jail and hired by a sweatshop, all for shits and giggles. Oh, and to uncover incomprehensible injustice, cruelty, poverty, and the concealed, heinous treatment of the vulnerable and voiceless.
- But was pioneering journalism, social revolution and batshit badassery enough for our Liz? Like fuck it was. On a whim Nellie did what any self-respecting 25 year old woman in the 1800s would do - she emulated Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, and did it in 72.
- Millions followed her journey, and its appeal to a semi-literate populace resulted in greatly increased newspaper readership. So while travelling the entire globe (IN THE 1800s, AS A WOMAN) by ship, train, burro and balloon, she helped the world to read.
- Having essentially conquered the entire goddamn universe before hitting 30, Nellie retired, and wed 72 year old industrialist Robert Seaman. Their marriage was a happy one, and after his death she took over Iron Clad Manufacturing Co.
- But Lizzie was a writer, what would she know about the metal industry? Well, she INVENTED the steel barrel that became the model for the widely used 55-gallon drum and turned her inherited businesses into multimillion-dollar companies, so apparently a fuck ton.
- Furthermore, she set a precedent for working conditions, ensuring her workers had good pay, gymnasiums, staffed libraries, and health care, all completely unheard of at the time, while still writing to further the plight of the Suffragette movement.
- Nellie may have died age 58 of pneumonia, but HBICs live on forever.
I’m so pissed right now because I NEVER, EVER found her in a single of the history and literature books I studied on. Fuck that shit, this woman needs a whole entire chapter in every single book in print
A chapter? She needs a whole fucking damn book that we need to learn from.
Working on your birthday is kind of a bummer. Unless you’re us! And this is what work is!
Pat and I are in this picture. Really!
You’ve been having a tough time of it of late - well, for quite some time actually - and have had some pretty radical thoughts. Luckily, the “one step at a time, ever forward” part is stronger than the “why the hell do I even bother” part and I’ve seen some signs of progress.
Indian River State College.
Dental Laboratory Tech and Management.
Why yes, I was trained in that in the Air Force some upteen years ago. Not something you can pick right back up on though, so I did a little college hunting. Seems there’s only two schools for it in Florida and IRSC seems like it might be a good fit.
It’s a scary proposition. I’ll be fifty years old next month. Long time since any type of schooling. Long time since any kind of hope. But though my boot straps are broken, I’m getting a tight grip on what’s left of them and pulling as hard as I can. I’m thinking positive, pushing through my fear, and damning the torpedoes.
No promises on that college softball team thing though.
Encased in ice as thin and flexible as skin
Breaths so shallow not even the air moves
Silence as loud as rushing water in my ears
Where, then, the peace of ending?
One foot in front of the other. No matter how thick the mud is that’s sucking the shoes off your feet. One step. Then two. Ever forward. Ever onward. Don’t stop. Don’t look down. Don’t look back.