Wednesday, August 10, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 10


On this day in 1755, under the orders of Charles Lawrence, the British Army begins to forcibly deport the Acadians from Nova Scotia to the Thirteen Colonies.

***

On this day in the year 1866, the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable - one of mankind's greatest technological triumphs - is finally completed. Once he's announced this milestone to the American people, President James Buchanan proceeds to spend the rest of the day masturbating furiously while engaging in "morse-code-sex" with Queen Victoria.

***

On this day in 1948, the TV show Candid Camera makes its television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone. Hardly seems possible, does it?

***

On this day in 1977, in Yonkers, New York, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz – better known as the Son of Sam – is arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.

***

On this day in 1981, the severed head of six-year-old Adam Walsh is found by two fishermen in a Florida canal. The rest of Adam’s body was never recovered. Adam’s kidnapping and murder - possibly by serial killer Otis Toole - inspired the creation of the television series America's Most Wanted, which was hosted by Adam’s father, John Walsh, for over two decades.

***

On this day in 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaks through the elusive 2,600 point ceiling for the first time ever. Of course, what goes up must eventually come down, and if shit keeps hitting fan, we may well live to see 2,600 again. My advice for riding out the coming storm? Sink all your capital in ammunition, gas generators and out-of-the-way real estate.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 9


On this day in 1173, construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa – now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa – begins. It will take two centuries to complete, and yet STILL they fuck the damn thing up!

***

On this day in 1483, the Sistine Chapel opens for public viewing in Rome with the celebration of a Mass.

***

On this day in 1854, American philosopher-writer Henry David Thoreau publishes his masterpiece, Walden.

***

On this day in 1930, the sexiest little cartoon character of all time, Betty Boop, makes her debut in Dizzy Dishes.

***

On this day in 1936, American Olympian Jesse Owens throws a wrench into Adolf Hitler's plans to use the Berlin Olympics as a showcase for the superiority of Aryan Nazi Supermen when he wins his fourth gold medal of the games. The first person to run over and congratulate Jesse, in full view of a flustered Fuhrer, was the giant, smiling Nazi Luz Long, about whom Jesse Owens would later write: "You could melt down all the medals and cups I have, and they wouldn't be a plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for Luz Long."

***

On this day in 1942, Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.

***

On this day in 1944, the United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.

***

On this day in 1945, the second part of the atom bomb one-two punch landed by the USA against Japan takes place when the city of Nagasaki is devastated by an atomic bomb called Fat Man.  39,000 people are killed instantly in this incredible international horror.

***

On this day in 1965, the island/city of Singapore becomes the first (and so far only) nation in history to gain independence (from Malaysia) against its will.

***

On this day in 1969, members of Charles Manson's "family" butcher Sharon Tate and four of her friends in Beverly Hills. The next day,Manson - upset with his underlings for their lack of murderous panache - orders his crew out on another raid "to show you how it's done." Charlie had forgotten one thing, however: his all-consuming cowardice. The trash-talking, acid-gobbling midget freak had to leave the room before his brain-fried followers slaughtered the victims that Charlie, himself, had hand-picked... the LaBianca family. If you're at all interested in the background and different theories about what really went down back then in those crazy, acid-hazy days, then you should most definitely read Adam Gorightly's incredible book, The Shadow Over Santa Suzana: Black Magic, Mind Control and the Manson Family Mythos.

***

On this day in 1974, as a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, becomes president.

Monday, August 8, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 8

On this day in 1955, a conference is held in Geneva to discuss potential "peaceful uses" for the atomic bomb. My own personal favorite suggestion? Use a few thousand to carve the moon into a continent-sized bust of Ludwig von Beethoven!

***

On this day in 1969, at a street crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan takes the photo that becomes the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road, one of the most famous album covers in recording history. Check out this link for information about all the super-secret messages contained in this image (and other Beatles images).

***

On this day in 1973, South Korean activist and politician Kim Dae-jung is kidnapped by agents of that nation's quasi-fascist ruling regime. Nick-named "the Asian Mandela", he would be set free and eventually become South Korea's eighth President, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in the process.

***

On this day in 1974, while Tricky Dick Nixon was being flown back to the neo-fascist cradle-forge of Orange County with his forked tail tucked between his waxy, sallow legs, newly sworn-in President Gerald Ford goes on television and declares: "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

***

On this day in 1989, Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a "secret" 5-day military mission.

***


On this day in 1991, the Warsaw radio mast, at one time the tallest construction ever built, collapses. It takes a long damn time for the freaking thing to fall all the way down.

***

On this day in 2000, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor and 30 years after its discovery by undersea explorer E. Lee Spence and 5 years after being filmed by a dive team funded by novelist Clive Cussler.



Sunday, August 7, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 7


On this day in 1933, the Iraqi government slaughters over 3,000 Assyrians in the village of Simele. The day becomes known as Assyrian Martyrs Day.

***

On this day in 1965, the infamous first Reyes party between Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hell's Angels takes place at Kesey's estate in La Honda, California introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking hippies and bikers in the public imagination.

***

On this day in 1970, California judge Harold Haley is taken hostage in his courtroom and killed during in a failed effort to free Black Panther leader and "Soledad Brother" George Jackson from police custody. Just over one year later, Jackson would be shot and killed by prison guards during an escape attempt.

***

On this day in 1974, some crazy Frenchman by the name of Philippe Petit performs a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Center 1,368 feet in the air, without safety harness or a net.

***

On this day in 1978, US President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal due to toxic waste that had been negligently disposed of.

***


On this day in 1998, a massive truck bomb explodes outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Minutes later, another bomb goes off outside the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Two hundred and twenty four people, including 12 Americans, die in the attacks. 4,500 more are wounded. At the time, all signs pointed towards disgruntled Saudi construction scion Osama bin Laden.

Thirteen days later, on August 20, President Bill Clinton orders cruise missiles launched against bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, and against a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, where bin Laden was allegedly making or distributing chemical weapons.

Reaction from traitorous, seditious Republicans is swift. Clinton, they claimed, was "wagging the dog" - borrowing the title of a movie that was actually based on former President Ronald Reagan's ass-covering farce of an invasion in Grenada, which was hastily thrown together to deflect criticism of the disastrous Beirut barracks bombing in which 242 Marines were killed - to deflect attention from the blooming Monica Lewinsky scandal. Because, of course, in the minds of such ethical luminaries as Trent Lott and Bob Barr and Jesse Helms and Dan Burton and on and on, ad infinitum, Clinton's actions couldn't possibly have been to avenge the murders of a couple hundred darkies on the least important continent on the planet! Such a move, for these racist, scum-sucking GOP jackasses, could ONLY be either a diversionary tactic, or a waste of good missiles.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 6

On this day in 1890, at Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair.

***

On this day in 1930, Judge Joseph Force Crater steps into a taxi in New York and disappears never to be seen again. This unsolved mystery earns Crater the sobriquet: "Missingest Man in New York".

***

At 8:15 A.M., on this day in the year 1945, with a blinding flash and a deafening roar, a single bomb turns the thriving city of Hiroshima into a twisted, smoldering, radioactive tableau of death and ruin. Nearly all people and buildings within a two-kilometer radius of the drop point were obliterated. An incredible one hundred and forty thousand people were killed by a single bomb... nearly half the city's population. This brief, horrific moment in time still stands as quite possibly the most significant turning point in the history of our doomed and damned species.

***

On this day in 1964, in the American state of Nevada, a bristlecone pine by the name of Prometheus – at somewhere close to five thousand years old, the world's most ancient living tree – is chopped down by a graduate student trying to figure out exactly how old it really is. The freaking idiot.

***

On this day in 1991, a brilliant fellow by the name of Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. Chaos ensues.

***

On this day in 1996, NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms. After that, they fall suspiciously silent... Meanwhile, six years later, on this day in 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars. Coincidence? You be the judge!

***

On this day in 2001, after only seven months in office, Preznit Dubya begins a month-long vacation at the Crawford "ranch" he purchased as a photo-op backdrop in 1999. He wouldn't spend another night in the White House until after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 - the ones he'd been warned about again and again and again - were safely over and done with. The same cannot be said of Dubya's dad, President Poppy, however. Turns out the old man spent the final night of the pre-September 11th era... in the White House. This, of course, raises all kinds of spooky questions.

Friday, August 5, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 5


On this day in 1570, a group of Spanish Jesuits led by Fray Batista Segura arrives in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia in order to convert the native "savages" there to Christianity. Six months later, the entire group was slaughtered by the very Indians they had come to evangelize. BURN!

***

On this day in 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert establishes the first English colony in North America at what is now St. John's, Newfoundland.

***

On this day in 1735, New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger is acquitted of “seditious libel” against the royal governor of New York because what he had published was, in fact, true.

***

On this day in 1861, in order to help pay for the Civil War, the United States government levies the first ever income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861. Back then, you had to give the US government 3% of all incomes over and above $800.

***

On this day in 1861, the United States Army abolishes flogging. Chaos ensues.

***

On this day in 1882, Standard Oil of New Jersey is established. It is more widely known across the globe as Exxon and or Esso, one of the most evil, conspiracy-encrusted corporations in history, run by one of the most evil, conspiracy-encrusted families in history... the Rockefellers.

***

On this day in 1944, the Nazis begin a week-long massacre of anywhere between 40,000 and 100,000 civilians and prisoners of war in Wola, Poland.

***

On this day in 1957, American Bandstand debuts on the ABC television network. The show is dedicated to teenage baby-boomers, playing the songs and showing popular dances of the time. The show’s Dorian Grey-like host, Dick Clark, didn’t age a day during the show’s half-century run.

***

Goodbye, Norma Jean. The once and future Marilyn Monroe blows out her own candle with a fistful of barbiturates on this day in 1962, thus selflessly sparing us, the public, from having to witness her long, sad decline into decrepitude. Meanwhile, half a world away, in South Africa, freedom fighter Nelson Mandela is thrown in jail. He would not emerge from captivity until 28 years later, in 1990.

***

On this day in 1981, US President Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his presidential declaration that they had to return to work, or else.

***

On this day in 2012, some asshole by the name of Wade Michael Page walks into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and opens fire, killing six people. Eventually, he shoots himself in the head after being wounded by police during the post-massacre standoff.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 4


On this day in the year 70 AD, Jerusalem’s Second Temple, located on the Temple Mount (aka Mount Zion) is destroyed by Roman occupiers. The Second Temple had been built 586 years earlier to replace King Solomon's Temple, which was destroyed by neo-Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II upon his siege of Jerusalem and subsequent enslavement of the Jewish people in 587 BC. Jewish eschatology holds that, before the Messiah can appear on Earth, a Third Temple must be built. Various messianic groups have attempted to get this project started up, but that particular piece of real estate is one of the most hotly contested spots on the face of the Earth... if not MOST hotly contested

***

On this day in 1693, a Frenchman by the name of Dom Perignon allegedly invents the sparkling wine commonly referred to as Champagne. This is a traditional belief, however, for which there is no evidence or proof.

***

On this day in 1892, the father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. Borden’s subsequent trial and acquittal gave rise to the popular rhyme: “Lizzie Borden took an axe. Gave her father forty whacks. When she saw what she had done… Gave her mother forty-one!”

***

On this day in 1944, a tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.

***

On this day in 1964, civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21. The film Mississippi Burning is based on these events.

***

On this day in 1964, the destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, near Vietnam. This led to an escalation of American intervention in the region – and the number of deaths on all sides – despite the fact that the events most likely never took place.It was, in many ways, the lie that launched America's war against Vietnam.

***

On this day in 1987, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rescinds the Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues fairly, giving equal time to both sides of an issue. Rush Limbaugh ensues.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 3


A couple interesting "firsts" took place on this day. It was on this day in 1527 that the first known letter was sent from North America. It was written by mariner John Rut and mailed to England's King Henry from St. John's, Newfoundland. It was also on this day, in the year 1678, that construction on the American continent's first full-sized sailing ship was completed. Built by Robert LaSalle, Le Griffon was a sixty-foot, forty-five ton vessel that cruised the Great Lakes for only a few short weeks before disappearing without a trace.

***

On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

***

On this day in 1783, Mount Asama erupts in Japan, killing 35,000 people.

***

On this day in 1929, messianic "world teacher" Jiddu Krishnamurti shocks the Theosophy movement by dissolving the Order of the Star, the organisation built to support him.

***

On this day in 1934, megalomaniacal runt Adolf Hitler becomes the supreme leader of Germany when he combines the offices of President and Chancellor into the single, all-powerful position of Führer. It was all downhill from there.

***

On this day in 1948, former commie Whittaker Chambers accuses Alger Hiss of being a communist and a spy for the Soviet Union.

***

On this day in 1958, the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travels beneath the Arctic ice cap.

***

On this day in 1961, the New Democratic Party of Canada is founded by the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress.

***

On this day in the year 1966, revolutionary "stand-up comic" Lenny Bruce injects a gorilla-dose of morphine into himself and dies for our sins.

***

On this day in 1976... RAID ON ENTEBBE!!!

***

On this day in 1977, the United States Senate begins its hearing on Project MKUltra.

***

On this night in 2000, the GOP gently walks John McCain over to the podium, bends him over, pulls down his pants and fucks him nice and slow for all the world to see. Yer old pal Jerky's always had a soft-spot for McCain, but the speech he gave that night at the GOP convention was pathetic. At one point, he said: "I support Governor Bush. I am grateful to him. And I am proud of him." He supported the man who's campaign team started a whisper campaign declaring him mentally unstable? He was grateful to the man who falsely accused him of voting against breast-cancer research? He was proud of the man who repeatedly and maliciously made up lies about his record? At one point, he said: "Many years ago, the governor's father served in the Pacific, with distinction, under the command of my grandfather. Now it is my turn to serve under the son of my grandfather's brave subordinate." Wow. That is one helluva long way to go to suck ass.

***

On this day in 2004, the Statue of Liberty opens for business after being closed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Better get out to see her now, while you still can.

***

On this day in 2005, some fuzzy nob by the name of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes President of Iran.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 2


On this day in 338 BC, a Macedonian army led by Philip II defeats the combined forces of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea, securing Macedonian hegemony in Greece and the Aegean.

***

On this day in 216 BC, the Carthaginian army led by Hannibal defeats a numerically superior Roman army under command of consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro.

***

Predating disco by about six centuries, the first-ever roller-skating rink opens in London, England, on this day in the year 1375.

***

On this day in 1377, Russian troops are defeated in the Battle on Pyana River... because of drunkenness. Insert sad trombone note here.

***

On this day in 1776, the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence takes place.

***

On this day in 1790, the first US Census is conducted.

***

On this day in 1932, the positron (antiparticle of the electron) is discovered by Carl D. Anderson.

***

On this day in 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America, the effect of which is to render marijuana and all its by-products illegal.

***

On this day in 1939, world-famous scientist Albert Einstein (and some dude named Leó Szilárd) write a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon.

***

On this day in 1990, after getting a green-light from U.S. ambassador April Glaspie, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein orders his military to invade the tiny neighboring monarchy of Kuwait, using weapons supplied by the U.S. government. Then-President George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush gives his former best buddy Saddam the surprise of a lifetime by going on the TV and calling him a Hitler, vowing to protect Saudi Arabia and liberate Kuwait, by any means necessary. So America sets up base in Riyadh, near the Muslim holy city of Mecca, which severely pisses off Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi who'd been among the thousands trained and equipped by the C.I.A. to fight a terror war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The subsequent slaughter of Desert Storm - resulting in the deaths of over 25,000 Iraqi combatants and 200,000 Iraqi civilians - pisses off Osama even MORE. The rest, as they say, is an incredibly depressing, textbook case of BLOWBACK.

***

On this day in 1991, funkadelic super-freak Rick James and his equally super-freaky girlfriend Manya Hijazi are arrested on sexual torture and kidnapping charges after one of their sex slaves escapes from their basement/sex dungeon. James was found guilty and was released in 1996, after which he began his second career as a regularly featured performer on tabloid TV "Where are they now?" segments. James, who died on August 6, 2004, is best remembered for his catch-phrase: "I'm Rick James, bitch!", which was actually coined by stand-up comic Dave Chappelle.

Monday, August 1, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR AUGUST 1

On this day in 1192, English regent Richard the Lionheart lands on Jaffa and defeats the army of Islamic leader Saladin.

***

On this day in the year 1619, a few weeks after having been traded for a shipload of food by a desperate Dutch slave-trader, the very first Africans to ever touch American soil land in Jamestown, Virginia. Unfortunately, they were such a hit with the slave-owning classes (who previously had been content to own native Americans and English paupers), rush orders were soon being placed for millions more. The rest, as they say, is history.

***

On this day in 1914, Germany declares war on Russia at the opening of World War I. The Swiss Army mobilizes because of World War I.

***

On this day in 1944, the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland.

***

On this day in 1957, the United States and Canada form the North American Air Defense Command, better known as NORAD.

***

On this day in 1966, some crazy emmeffer by the name of Charles Whitman climbs a bell tower and kills 16 people at the University of Texas at Austin before being killed by the police.

***

On this day in 1966, purges of intellectuals and imperialists becomes official China policy at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

***

On this day in 1972, the Washington Post reports that a $25,000 cashier's check earmarked for the Comittee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) was discovered in the bank account of one of the men caught burglarizing a Democratic office in the Watergate building. It's the Post's first Watergate story, and it's also the beginning of the end for President Nixon.

***

On this day in 1980, a politician by the name of Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is elected President of Iceland, becoming the world's first democratically elected female head of state!

***

On this day in 1981, MTV begins broadcasting in the United States and airs its first video, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.

***

The combined efforts of Captain J. T. Kirk and T.J. Hooker weren't enough to save William Shatner's wife when he found her, face down in the bottom of the family pool on this day in 1999. And yes, he DID call 911, or, as he calls it: "Nine..... one-one!"

Sunday, July 31, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 31


On this day in 30 BC, the Battle of Alexandria takes place, during which Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide (he was under the mistaken impression that his lover, Cleopatra, had already done herself in). Or was it an Egyptian priest in Octavian's pay who murdered him? We will never know. In any case, after her capture by the Roman general, Cleopatra was allowed to give Marc Antony full burial rites.

***

On this day in 1790, the very first United States patent is granted to Samuel Hopkins, for his miraculous potash processing technique. I don't even know what potash is but am duly impressed, nonetheless!

***

On this day in 1922, some dude by the name of Ralph Samuelson becomes the first person to ride on water skis. The weird thing is, he doesn't do it in Florida, where you might expect that kind of thing to happen. Trail-blazing Samuelson strapped those planks to his tootsies in the great state of Minnesota, on one of her many scenic (and ice-cold) lakes.

***

On this day in 1932, the NSDAP (better known as the Nazi Party) wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections. It is their greatest showing at the polls.

***

On this day in 1941, under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired Final Solution of the Jewish question." The birth of the Holocaust.

***

Starting just before midnight on this day in the year 1966, chronic headache-sufferer Charles Whitman goes totally fucking ape-shit. After killing his mother and wife, he grabs a rifle and climbs to the observation deck of the University of Texas clock tower and proceeds to rain hot leaden death upon the cowering students below. Ninety minutes and sixteen corpses later, a police officer is finally able to introduce Mister Whitman to his maker. Later, an autopsy would reveal a golf ball-sized tumor in Whitman's brain. The concept of S.W.A.T. policing basically came about because of Whitman's rampage.

***

On this day in 2006, revolutionary Cuban dictator Fidel Castro hands over power to brother Raúl Castro like it was some kind of car dealership or something.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 30


On this day in 762, Baghdad is founded by caliph Al-Mansur.

***

On this day in 1619, colonial Virginia's House of Burgesses is established. The first popularly elected legislature in the New World, the House of Burgesses meant Americans had a 157-year head start on democracy once they declared full independence from England in 1776, assuring a relatively smooth transition towards self-rule. Of course this "democracy" applied only to land-owning white dudes. But hey, you know... baby steps, people!

***

On this day in 1733, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States (aka Grapes Tavern) is constituted in Massachusetts.

***

On this day in 1839, a bloody revolt takes place on the slave ship La Amistad, thereby laying the groundwork for yet another "message" movie by Steven Spielberg.

***

On this day in 1945, Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen during World War II.

***

On this day in 1962, the Trans-Canada Highway, the largest national highway in the world, is officially opened.

***

On this day in 1965, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

***

On this day in 1975, union boss Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again, and will be declared legally dead on this date in 1982.

***

On this day in 1991, publicists for MTV announce that the groundbreaking cable music video channel would soon be splitting into three separate channels. Marketers call the move "expansion and diversification," while music lovers describe it as "metastasization."

Friday, July 29, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 29


On this day in 1836, the very beautiful Arc de Triomphe is inaugurated in Paris, France. It remains one of that nation's most cherished and beloved landmarks.

***

On this day in 1848, the Irish nationalist Tipperary Revolt against British rule takes place during the Irish Potato Famine. It is unsuccessful. 

***

On this day in 1900, King Umberto I of Italy is assassinated by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci.

***

On this day in 1907, the Brownsea Island Scout camp is set up by Sir Robert Baden-Powell in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England. The camp ran until August 9, 1907, and is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement.

***

On this day in 1921, after first joining the organization as a government infiltrator/spy, Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, later known as the Nazi Party.

***

On this day in 1976, in New York city, David Berkowitz (aka the "Son of Sam") kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks.

***

On this day in the year 1981, England's Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer, and they lived happily ever after.

***

On this day in 1987, hippy ice cream entrepreneurs Ben & Jerry team up with Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia to create a popular new flavor: Cherry Garcia. Subsequent partnerships with other musicians, resulting in such flavors as Grape Slick, Strawberry Pearl Jam, and M&Eminem&M, were nowhere near as successful.

***

On this day in 2005, astronomers announce their discovery of the dwarf planet Eris.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 28



On this day in 1794, French revolutionary Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre loses his head to one of the many guillotines he, himself, helped to erect across France during his "Reign of Terror."

***

On this day in 1945, a B-25 US Army bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building. 14 people die in the resulting explosion.

***

On this day in 2061, Halley's Comet will make its 31st recorded pass through our solar system. Most of us will be dead, buried and dissolved by then. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 27


On this day in 1586, Sir Walter Raleigh brings the first ever shipment of tobacco from the New World (Virginia) to England, where the addiction takes firm hold and begins to spread - much like cancerous polyps - across Europe. Eventually, the sweeter leaf makes its way down through the Muslim lands and around Asia until basically, the entire planet is hooked and puffing. Combined with the arrival from the opposite direction of coffee - and caffeine - a mere thirty years later, is it any wonder that the ensuing century would be so productive when compared to, say, the previous ten?

***

On this day in 1794, French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre is arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 "enemies of the Revolution".

***

On this day in 1837, the United States Mint opens in Charlotte, North Carolina. Exactly seven years later to the day - in 1844 - it burns to the ground in a fire. Kinda makes you wonder why they bothered building it in the FIRST place!

***

On this day in 1890, painter Vincent van Gogh shoots himself and dies two days later.

***

On this day in 1919, the Chicago Race Riot erupts after a racial incident occurred on a South Side beach, leading to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.

***

On this day in 1940, the animated short A Wild Hare is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.

***

On this day in 1981, 6 year old Adam Walsh, son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh, is kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida and is found murdered two weeks later.

***

On this day in 1996, in Atlanta, USA, a pipe bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. One woman, Alice Hawthorne, is killed, and a cameraman suffers a heart attack fleeing the scene. 111 are injured. Early on, heroic-yet-tubby security guard Richard Jewell is considered a suspect, but eventually the far more handsome right-wing anti-abortion crusader and lone nut survivalist Eric Rudolph is identified as the true culprit.

***

On this day in 2002, at a Ukraine airshow, a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes in Lviv, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others, the largest air show disaster in history.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 26

On this day in 1533, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, Atahualpa, dies by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro's Spanish conquistadors. His death marks the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

***

On this day in 1775, Hellfire Club charter member Benjamin Franklin becomes America's first Postmaster General.

***

On this day in 1847, Liberia declares independence... and they all lived happily ever after.

***

On this day in 1887, publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.

***

On this day in the year 1928, cinematic sorceror-king Stanley Kubrick enters the world kicking and screaming. During the time-span between the release of Dr. Strangelove in 1964, through the five years it took to film 2001: A Space Odyssey, continuing up until the premiere of Clockwork Orange in 1971, no popular artist had as firm a grasp on the zeitgeist of the West as did Stanley Kubrick. Two-hundred years from now, if human beings are still around to watch and discuss film, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces will continue to be watched, revered and fiercely debated, while 99.999% of the tepid dreck that currently pollutes our movie screens will be blissfully forgotten.

***

On this day in 1936, the Axis powers decide to intervene in the Spanish Civil War, thus giving macho liberals, socialists and other assorted left-wingers - like Ernest Hemmingway - a chance to earn their battle scars and gain some macho street cred, years before World War II really got rolling.

***

On this day in 1941, in response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States. This does not sit well with them.

***

On this day in 1944, the first German V2 rocket hits the United Kingdom. Seeing as they were supersonic, you never heard the one that hit you.

***

On this day in 1947, US President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act into law, thus creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the US Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the United States National Security Council. One year later, on this day in 1948, Truman signed Executive Order 9981, thereby desegregating the US military.

***

On this day in 1956, following the World Bank's refusal to fund building the Aswan Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, sparking international condemnation.

***

On this day in 1977, the National Assembly of Quebec mandates the use of French as the official language of the provincial (and perhaps, one day, national) government.

***

On this day in 1989, a federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert T. Morris Jr for releasing the Morris Worm, thus becoming the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

***

On this day in 1990, President George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush signs into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, thereby making it possible for his very own son, George "Dubya" Bush, to become the nation's first mentally retarded Preznit, only a decade later.

***

On this day in 1991, a Florida police officer arrests Pee Wee Herman after watching him jerk off in a porno theater. Within hours, every last person on the planet - including people who had no idea who Pee Wee Herman was - are informed that Pee Wee Herman jerked off in a porno theater. For a while there, he was the designated Global Village Idiot.

Monday, July 25, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 25


On this day in 1755, British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council order the deportation of the Acadians. Thousands are sent to the British Colonies in America, France and England. Some later move to Louisiana, while others resettle in New Brunswick. That's what my ancestors did, anyway.

***

On this day in 1946, America's military scientists detonate the first ever underwater atomic bomb off the Bikini atoll. Meanwhile, in Paris, a new two-piece swimsuit makes its debut at a fancy-shmancy fashion show. It's name? The Bikini! Coincidence? YOU BE THE JUDGE!

***

On this day in 1965, folk singer Bob Dylan "goes electric" as he plugs in at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music. Some in the audience boo, but the world at large applauds. Figuratively speaking, of course.

***

On this day in 1976, the Viking 1 probe takes the famous Face on Mars photo.

***

On this day in 1978, the world's first "test tube baby", named Louise Brown, is born.

***

On this day in 1984, Salyut 7 cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to perform a space walk!

***

On this day in 1990, US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie tells Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein: "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America." Four days later, Iraq invades Kuwait. A few months later, the United States bombs Iraq. BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!! Suckers!

***

On this day in 1999, a conflagration - half barbarian self-affirmation, half banal suburban vandalism - erupts belch-like from the belly of a lost generation. The children of the seventies and eighties - the children of greed, selfishness and solipsism - have their Woodstock, and brother, it ain't pretty. Better to call it Altamont '99, or Woodstockalypse Now. It's pointless to compare the hellish negativity of Woodstock 99 with the benign goofiness of the one that came thirty years before, so why bother? There was public nudity at both events, sure, but the nudity of Woodstock 99 was confrontational, vile and pathetic... it stank of the peep-show booth. Look at me! Touch me! It's all about my tits and cock! Conservatives, of course, see in Woodstock 99 a confirmation of their prejudices. "You see?! THIS is what happens when you allow a counterculture to thrive!" But most of these kids were either born or raised during the greatest surge of social conservatism this nation has ever known. These kids who were setting fire to everything that would burn, these kids who were overturning cars, trucks and ambulances for the rush of it, these kids who looted concessions and sent merchants running for their lives, these are the bastard offspring of the dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself conservatism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Brutal, narcissistic and numb. Woodstock is dead... long live Woodstock.

***

On this day in 2010, WikiLeaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 24


On this day in 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and takes possession of the territory in the name of Francis I of France.

***

On this day in 1847, after 17 months tramping through the American wilderness, Brigham Young and his merry band of Mormon pioneers finally settle down in the Salt Lake Valley region of what would one day become the state of Utah. California sure dodged a bullet!

***

On this day in 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham III finds Machu Picchu, the legendary Lost City of the Incas. Bingham was the well-to-do son of a Protestant Hawaiian missionary who became a gentleman scholar, a prolific author, a profoundly vile racist, a governor of Connecticut, a Senator at the federal level, and, finally, the real-life inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones. They don't make 'em like Bingham anymore.

***

On this day in 1915, the passenger ship S.S. Eastland capsizes while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. A total of 844 passengers and crew are killed in the largest loss of life disaster from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

***

On this day in 1922, the draft of the British Mandate of Palestine was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations; it came into effect on 26 September 1923.

***

On this day in 1959, then vice-president Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev engage in their infamous "kitchen debate" while standing in the middle of a model kitchen at theAmerican National Exhibition in Moscow. Eventually, the two men reach a compromise, deciding to go with Krushchev's choice of enamel tile instead of the formica Nixon wanted, but in the sky-blue color pattern favored by Tricky Dick, rather than the deep red tones favored by Nikita.

***

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy said: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." On this day in 1969... mission accomplished.

***

On this day in 1967, during an official state visit to Canada, French President Charles de Gaulle declares to a crowd of over 100,000 in Montreal: "Vive le Québec libre!" The statement, interpreted as support for Quebec independence, delighted many Quebecers but angered the Canadian government and many English Canadians.

***

On this day in 1998, Russell Eugene Weston, Jr. bursts into the United States Capitol and opens fire killing two police officers. He is later ruled to be incompetent to stand trial.

***

On this day in 2001, real estate mogul Larry Silverstein signs a $3.2 billion, 99 year lease on the World Trade Center. It includes an insurance policy which specifically covers acts of terrorism, which was extremely fortuitous, because in 7 weeks the terrorist attacks of 9/11 would take place.

***

On this day in 2001, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the last Tsar of Bulgaria when he was a child, is sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria, becoming the first monarch in history to regain political power through democratic election to a different office.

***

On this day in 2009, the MV Arctic Sea, supposedly carrying a cargo of timber but rumored to be carrying far more disturbing cargo, is allegedly hijacked in the North Sea by pirates - which hardly EVER happens - so much speculation remains as to the actual cargo and events.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 23


On this day in 1967, in Detroit, Michigan, one of the worst riots in United States history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city. It will leave 43 killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings burned.

***

On this day in 1968, in Cleveland, Ohio, a violent shootout between a Black Militant organization led by Ahmed Evans and the Cleveland Police Department occurs. During the shootout, a riot begins and lasts for five days.

***

On this day in 1973, occultist/philosopher Robert Anton Wilson either achieves contact with extraterrestrials from Sirius or starts a long-term period of having wild hallucinations, depending on which way you want to look at it.

***

On this day in 1974, the military dictatorship controlling Greece collapses. Taziki-dripping chaos ensues.

***

On this day in 1982, during the filming of the John Landis segment of the Steven Spielberg production of Twilight Zone: The Movie, actor Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese child actors are torn apart when a crippled helicopter falls right on top of them. Their grisly (though mercifully instantaneous) deaths are captured on film, from a half-dozen angles, for all the world to see, over and over again, on Fox's latest TV special: When Helicopters Attack Beloved Character Actors and the Vietnamese Child Actors They're Holding in Their Arms: Part One!

***

On this day in 1984, the first ever Black woman to be crowned Miss America - the truly gorgeous Vanessa Williams - is forced to step down when Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione reveals photographs showing her taking part in a softcore lesbian romp. Because of the resulting press and exposure, Vanessa went on to have the most lucrative career of any so-called "winner" in the history of the pageant. That's a fine kind of justice, all things considered.

***

On this day in 1986, Prince Andrew, Duke of York marries Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, in London. They eventually divorce, but it could have been worse. At least Queen Elizabeth didn't have Fergie killed for shaming the Royal Family, like she did with Lady Di. Then again, maybe that's because Fergie was smart enough not to run around fucking Egyptian billionaires.

***

Speaking of Egypt, it was on this day in 2005 that 88 people were killed in a terrorist bombing at the Naama Bay tourist area of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Friday, July 22, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 22



On this day in 1946, the Zionist underground terrorist organisation known as Irgun bombs the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, site of the civil administration and military headquarters for Mandate Palestine. 91 people, mostly British diplomats and their wives and children, are killed. It remains the worst act of terrorist bombing in the modern history of Palestine/Israel.

***

This day is a bad day for bad guys. It was on this day in 1934 that John Dillinger was gunned down by FBI agents outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre. Also on this day, in 1991, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested after police found the remains of eleven men and boys in his Milwaukee apartment. And, finally, this day in 2003 saw Uday and Qusay Hussein's last stand. Saddam's boys had held off the 101st Infantry and Special Forces for days, holed up in a fortified compound, before planes were called in to bomb the hell out of the place and give Preznit Dubya a necrophiliac photo-op and another chance to claim, ridiculously, that America had "turned a corner" in Iraq.

***

This day was also a bad day for a not so bad guy in 2005, when London police chased Jean Charles de Menezes into a subway car and gunned him down in cold blood after allegedly mistaking him for one of the London Bombers, much to the delight of mentally ill FOX News on air "personality" (sic) John Gibson.

***

On this day in 2005, the last Buick LeSabre rolls off the assembly line. Over the last twenty years, yer old pal Jerky has owned two of these road-tanks, and loved them both.

***

On this day in the year 1988, fearing that any advances they make will eventually find their way into dangerous hands, a group of 500 American research scientists pledge to boycott any and all biological weapons development proposals sent their way by the Reagan administration. I wonder if even these thoughtful, forward thinking gentlemen could envision a day when the wrong hands would be their own.

***

On this day in 2011, psychopathic right-wing "Christian Identity" terrorist, wannabe Freemason, self-declared Templar, Islamophobic Cosplay enthusiast Anders Breivik sets off a bomb targeting government buildings in central Oslo, Norway, killing eight. He then makes his way to a youth camp taking place on the island of Utøya, where he kills an incredible 69 more people, the vast majority of whom are teenagers. The videos and manifestos subsequently put out by Breivik have left no doubt about the fact that Breivik is a pathetic narcissist with delusions of grandeur who deserves a hundred lifetimes of unremitting, round-the-clock torture. Too bad the maximum time he can serve in Norway's jails is... 21 years!??!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 21


On this day in 356 BC, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is destroyed by arson. How does one burn down marble columns?!

***

On this day in 365, a tsunami devastates the city of Alexandria, Egypt. The tsunami was caused by the Crete earthquake estimated to be 8.0 on the Richter Scale. 5,000 people perished in Alexandria, and 45,000 more died outside the city.

***

On this day in 1865, the first-ever true-life old-timey "wild West showdown" takes place in Springfield, Missouri, when Wild Bill Hickok guns down Dave Tutt in the market square. Eight years later to the day, on this day in 1873, the James Younger Gang pulls off the first-ever true-life old-timey train robbery. Tupac and Biggie had nothing on those gansta honkies, I tell ya whut.

***
On this day in 1880, twenty workers are killed during the construction of the Hudson River Rail Tunnel. The men had been able to dig beneath the river thanks to an air compressor that pumped 35 lbs of pressure into the void, thus preventing the river from collapsing down on top of them. But they were digging through soft silt, and when they came to within fifteen feet of the bottom, the whole thing blew out like a wad of herniated chewing gum.

***

On this day in 1973, Mossad agents assassinate a waiter in Norway after mistaking him for one of the terrorists who took Israeli athletes hostage during 1972's Munich Olympics. D'Oh!!!

***

On this day in 1984, our soon-to-be metallic overlords take the first tentative step in their plan to destroy the human race when a factory robot in Jackson, Michigan crushes a worker against a safety bar… history's first robot-related death!

***

Also on this day in 1984, fitness guru Jim Fixx - the man who single-handedly launched the jogging craze of the late seventies - dies of a massive heart attack at the ripe old age of… 43! BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!

***

On this day in 1990, legendary sour-puss Roger Waters and a cast of dozens perform the infamous prog-rock opera The Wall on the very site where the Berlin wall once stood. Paid attendance is around 200,000 people, but it is estimated that the real attendance figure was somewhere around 600,000. Every penny of the gate went to the War-Dead Fund.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 20

On this day in 1712, the Riot Act of euphemism fame takes effect in Great Britain, giving local authorities the power to declare any group of more than twelve people to be "unlawfully assembled", thus forcing them to disperse or face the consequences.

***

On this day in 1903, the Ford Motor Company ships its first car. Today, some industry analysts are wondering how long it will be before the day they ship their last.

***

On this day in 1932, in Washington, DC, police fire tear gas on World War I veterans who were marching on the White House to demand their long-promised and as-yet unpaid bonuses. Generals MacArthur and Patton, with Eisenhower tagging along, were sent in to quash this surly display. Hundreds of soldiers and their family members were injured, and several were killed. It was, as the kids say today, "a bad scene, maaan." Especially for President Herbert Hoover, who was voted out of the White House a few months later.

***

On this day in 1969, Apollo 11 lands on the fucking Moon. It's been all downhill for our species ever since. And don't come back at me with Viking 1 landing on Mars exactly seven years later, to the day. That was one for the robots.

***

On this day in 1977, the Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing that it had engaged in Nazi-style mind control experiments, code-named MKUltra. See? They admitted it, and yet some people STILL don't believe it.

***

On this day in 1984, the Miss America organization demands that Vanessa Lynn Williams - the first African American Miss America - hand in her tiara after Penthouse publishes a really hot naked lesbian photo-set in which she had participated when she was young and hungry… for vagina!

***

Despite repeated post-9/11 claims that they had "no idea" that terrorists might hijack commercial jetliners and use them as weapons, at the 27th Annual G8 summit in Genoa, Italy - which started on this day in 2001 - the city was ringed with anti-aircraft guns precisely to prepare for this exact potential threat.

***

On this day in 2003, the Director of BBC News reveals that WMD expert Dr. David Kelly was the source of claims that Downing Street had "sexed up" the infamous "Dodgy Dossier" that was a large part of the US and UK justifications for invading Iraq. Shortly thereafter, in an alleged fit of guilt, the good doctor wanders into the woods and commits suicide by slashing his own arms open with a knife. It's true, I tells ya! He killed himself! An inquest ruled it so! 

***

On this day in 2012, during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman opens fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 19


On this day in the year 64 AD, Emperor Nero gently strums his lyre and sings a tune while watching the city of Rome go up in smoke. Of course, this historical example of a disastrous failure of leadership has absolutely no parallels with Preznit Dubya's reaction to the Katrina disaster, because… um… because fire is, like, the total opposite of water. A-and Rome didn't have any Black people in it. Or at least not as much as New Orleans does. I mean did.

***

On this day in 1979, the Sandinista rebels overthrow the government of the Somoza family in Nicaragua, much to the delight of... well... UK punk rock group The Clash, for one.

***

On this day in 2001, a writer named James Howard Hatfield - author of the highly critical and controversial Dubya biography Fortunate Son - is found dead in an Arkansas hotel room, victim of an apparent "suicide". Hatfield's most contentious claim was that Dubya had been arrested on cocaine dealing charges back in the early seventies, and that Poppy Bush had to pull some major strings to get the charges wiped.
Yer old pal Jerky was a spectator of the Hatfield saga from pre-release buzz for his book, to the post-release controversy of its claims, to the attempts to assassinate Hatfield's character (unlike the individual he investigated, Hatfield had no way to wipe his criminal record clean), to the unprecedented mass burning of the original run, to the second printing by the courageous folks at Soft Skull Press, to the claim that Karl Rove was a source for the cocaine story, and eventually to the author's convenient hotel-room suicide. Shades of Danny Casolaro. Shades of Steve Kangas.

But no matter what one thinks of the author as a man, Fortunate Son remains a book about which respected social critic Mark Crispin Miller said: "If there's any future for American democracy, the trashing of Fortunate Son and its author will eventually stand out as an important early episode in the history of the Bush reaction." Your humble blogging friend concurs with Miller's assessment. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 18


On this day in 1870, the First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility. That means the Pope can never be wrong. Imagine that.

***

On this day in 1872, Britain introduces voting by secret ballot. Up until then, Brits had been using a complicated system that involved shaving candidates' names into stray dogs, then hurling the mutts into the Thames, where they were scooped up by raft-going hooligans who would call out the results while Freemasons in full apron'd regalia wandered the docksides recorded the tally. The hooligans would then kill, gut, cook and then eat the dogs, saving the penis for the Queen, of course.

***

On this day in 1925, some Austrian dude by the name of Adolf Hitler publishes his personal manifesto: Mein Kampf. It barely makes a dent on the Top 10 charts.

***

After being denied a permit to fly solo across the Atlantic, aviator Douglas Corrigan changed his official flight plans, declaring his intent to fly across America from New York to California instead. But mere minutes after taking off, Corrigan - who claimed, with a wink and a smile, that his compass was "busted" - doubled back and flew his plane to Ireland, earning himself the nickname "Wrong Way." That's BALLS! He completed his solo trans-Atlantic flight on this day in 1938.

***

On this day in 1968, Intel is founded in Santa Clara, California.

***

Happy Chappaquiddick Day! It was on this day in 1969 that Senator Ted Kennedy gave the conservative movement a gift that keeps on giving when he flipped an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge, then swam ashore and spent the night in a hotel, leaving his passenger - campaign volunteer and Kennedy family friend Mary Jo Kopechne - to drown.

***

On this day in 1984, sad sack loser-boy James Oliver Huberty walks into a San Ysidro McDonalds and starts shooting at the walls of heart-ache, bang, bang. By the time a police sniper's bullet ends his rampage, Huberty had snuffed out 21 lives.
***

On this day in 2003, NBA star Kobe Bryant is charged with anally raping a 19-year old hotel employee, thus putting into motion a series of events that would ultimately lead to the revitalization of several small Central African nations' diamond industries.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 17


On this day in 1917, England's King George V issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British Royal Family will bear the surname Windsor. This is done to remove the Teutonic stink from their "royal house", due to rising anti-German sentiment over the First (and eventually, the Second) World War(s).

***

On this day in 1918, in Russia, the Bolshevik Party orders - and the Cheka carries out - the murders of emperor Nicholas II and his family. After the deed is done, the victims' bodies are dipped in acid, set on fire, then dumped down an abandoned mine shaft in an undisclosed location, to prevent loyalists from having bodies over which to grieve. Rumors soon began to spread, however, so the murderers retrieved the bodies with the intent of dumping them down a different mine shaft, far away. The vehicle in which they were transporting the bodies broke down along the way, however, and the conspirators had to settle on burying the bodies in a sealed pit 12 miles outside Yekaterinburg. In 1981 Nicholas and his family are canonized as saints by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The bodies remained undiscovered until 1991, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Finally, after a long, strange post-life - and, not so coincidentally, on the 80th anniversary of their murder - the Romanovs' remains are buried in St. Catherine Chapel on this day in 1998.

***

On this day in 1945, the leaders of the three Allied nations, Winston ChurchillHarry Truman and Joseph Stalin, meet in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.

***

On this day in 1955, animation industry titan Walt Disney's ambitions for total world domination take a big step forward when he first opens Disneyland, his fully-realized, 160-acre model of the Utopian ideal to which he believes all of mankind should aspire. Today, on the American continent alone, Disney's combined Florida and California properties span an impressive 70 square miles, dwarfing the Vatican in both surface area and cultural influence. Can a request to the U.N. for recognition of statehood be far behind?

***

On this day in the year 1967, planet Earth passes through some kind of radioactive space cloud that mangles the very fabric of space and time, causing everybody to go slightly bonkers. Milk goes sour in the bottle, toads rain down from the sky, and, perhaps worst of all, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix plays a concert where he's the opening act for… the fuckin' MONKEYS!!!

***

On this day in 1985, the EUREKA Network for research and development of new technologies and financial markets is founded by former heads of state François Mitterrand (France) and Helmut Kohl (Germany). A cursory examination of the organization makes it seem relatively harmless - even somewhat inspiring - but I'm pretty sure there's a great potential for some James Bond level villainy behind the scenes, there.

***

On this day in 1986, White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan says imposing economic sanctions on the Apartheid government of South Africa wouldn't work because "American women" would never be willing to "give up all their jewelry". One year later, after being forced out of his job due to clashes with the First Lady, Regan would reveal to the world both Nancy Reagan's increasing influence on the President's decision-making process, as well as her frequent consultations with personal astrologer Joan Quigley for advice on national affairs.

***

On this day in 1996, Paris-bound  TWA Flight 800 explodes in mid-air off the coast of Long Island, New York,  killing all 230 on board. The authorities urge everyone to "move along" because there is "nothing to see here." Of course, as usual, the authorities are (ahem) full of shit. Or are they? You be the judge, I suppose, in this, the grandaddy of all Internet Conspiracy Theories..

Saturday, July 16, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 16


On this day in 622, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) begins his Hijra - i.e. "schlep" - from Mecca to Medina, thus marking the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

***

On this day in 1054, three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as the start of the East–West Schism, splitting the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

***

On this day in 1661, the first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco, thus beginning the era of "paper money" that is working out so well for us all. I am referring, of course, to the recent revelation that putting 250 dollars into a Chase "savings account" will net you 12 cents a year in accumulated interest while costing you 4 dollars a month in assorted bank fees.

***

On this day in 1790, the District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act. After Vatican City and the City of London, it features one of the most conspiracy-spawning civil engineering layouts of any big city in the world.

***

On this day in 1935, the world's first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

***

On this day in 1945, the Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The test site was named Trinity, after one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets, and Manhattan Project chief Robert Oppenheimer recalled a passage from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad-Gita: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Heavy shit, and not without cause.

***

On this day in 1948, the storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marks the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane in history.

***

On this day in the year 1951, a former member of the CIA’s psychiatry division unleashes on an unwitting public one of the greatest hypnotic trigger mechanisms ever created. That man is J.D. Salinger. The mechanism is his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, which was a favorite of at least three crazed "lone" gunmen: Sirhan Sirhan (who was involved in the assassination of RFK), Mark David Chapman (who assassinated John Lennon) and John Hinkley Jr (who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan on behalf of the Bush Crime Family)..

***

On this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket is launched at the moon. Sitting atop this rocket is the Lunar Module. On board are three men: Buzz AldrinNeil Armstrong and Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin will be the first human beings (that we know of) to walk on the lunar surface. Unfortunately for Collins, Commander Neil caught him trying to steal one of Buzz's Tang packets, and as punishment, was not allowed to leave the module. Collins is bitter to this very day, and vows that when he dies, his ghost will haunt the moon forever. Just kidding.

***

On this day in 1979, Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Uncle Sam's Man in Baghdad... Saddam Hussein.

***

On this day in 1994, fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet smash spectacularly into Jupiter, poking huge holes in the giant planet's gassy atmosphere.

***

On this day in 1999, there was absolutely nothing worth being suspicious about in relation to the small airplane crash that took the lives of pilot John Kennedy Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette. Nope... nothing at all worth being suspicious about.

Friday, July 15, 2022

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 15


On this day in 1149, the reconstructed Church of the Holy Sepulchre is consecrated in Jerusalem.

***
On this day in 1741, Russian explorer Aleksei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

***

On this day in 1799, French military captain Pierre-Francois Bouchard discovers the Rosetta Stone in an Egyptian village. The large stone tablet is essentially a Greek/Egyptian translation dictionary using three scripts: Hieroglyphic, Demotic Egyptian and Greek. Greek being relatively well understood, the stone was the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, including such rules of grammar as "feather before squiggly line, except after bird."

***

On this day in 1869, everybody's third-favorite toast spread – margarine – is patented in Paris, for use as a butter substitute by the French Navy. It is neither healthier, nor is it better tasting, than butter, but it does serve nicely as an inexpensive lubricant for anal sex. How ironic, then, that it should be made with "rape seed oil."

***

On this day in 1964, Republicans nominate arch-conservative, extremist Arizona senator Barry M. Goldwater for president, thus ensuring the election of Texas Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson by one of the widest margins in electoral history.

***

On this day in 1974, Ohio morning news personality Christine Chubbuck goes on the air and says: "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first: an attempted suicide." She then pulled a .38 revolver out from underneath her desk, put it to her head and pulled the trigger, thus becoming the first person to commit live, publicly broadcast suicide.

***

On this day in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter gives his so-called malaise speech, where he characterizes the greatest threat to the country as "this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation". Funny thing about that speech, not once does he use the word “malaise”.

***

On this day in 1983, a terrorist attack is launched by Armenian militant organization ASALA at the Paris-Orly Airport in Paris, leaving 8 people dead and 55 injured. That’s right, Armenians! Betcha didn’t think they had it in ‘em!

***

Preznit Dubya's "Total Information Awareness" guru John Poindexter – the biggest Big Brother yet – spent this day in 1987 telling lies to the Congress during the Iran-Contra hearings. He would ultimately be convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and destroying evidence in the still poorly-understood guns-for-drugs-for-hostages-for-blood scheme dreamed up in the White House basement during the Glorious Reign of Ronald, the Reagan.

***

On this day in 1997, in Miami, Florida, serial killer Andrew Cunanan guns down world-famous fashion designer Gianni Versace outside his home.

***

On this day in 2002, so-called "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, an anti-terrorism court hands down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of the videotaped beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

***

On this day in 2003, AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape. The Mozilla Foundation is established on the same day.