Friday, August 13, 2010


It's Friday the 13th. Look out for those black cats.

August 13, 1947 -
Brooding, moody, suspenseful, masterful use of color - Black Narcissus, premiered in New York City on this date.

All that, and Sabu, too.

August 13, 1967 -
One of the defining movies of the 1960's, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had its US premiere on this date.

Warner Brothers had so little faith in the film that, in an unprecedented move, it offered its first-time producer Warren Beatty 40% of the gross instead of a minimal fee. The movie then went on to gross over $50 million.

August 13, 2004 -
America'a greatest motivational speaker, Julia Child died at 91 on this date.

... Life itself is the proper binge....

Today in History:
August 13, 1521 -
After a seventy-five day siege, Hernando Cortes captured and destroyed the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan (Aztec for "Mexico City"). When the Spaniards fail to discover Montezuma's treasure, they torture Cuauhtemoc (the current Aztec king) by pouring hot oil over his feet. The emperor responds by asking, "Am I on a bed of roses?" (Who knew the Aztecs were such comedians.)

It was important to defeat the Aztecs, because they were an Evil Empire that practiced Human Sacrifice and Difficult Spelling.

August 13, 1926 -
Minor league Evil Bastard (depending on your point of view) Fidel Castro is born on his father's 23,000-acre sugar cane plantation near Biran, Cuba.

Would life as we know it have been much different if Castro had gotten that chance to play ball in the Major Leagues?

August 13, 1942 -
Walt Disney's Bambi premieres in New York City.

Kids dreams, after seeing the movie, are never the same again.

August 13, 1961 -
The city of Berlin split itself right down the middle forty-nine years ago today.

The Cold War was running pretty Hot back then. The Russians were Evil Soviet Bastards. They were so evil they convinced East Germany to shut West Germany out. East Germany locked the Brandenburg gate and threw away the key. Then, just to be absolutely safe, they built the Great Wall of Berlin, and assigned evil socialist soldiers to shoot any West Germans who tried to sneak into East Germany.

Oddly enough, no West Germans tried to sneak in.

The soldiers, being evil socialist bastards with guns and therefore needing desperately to shoot at someone, therefore shot at East Germans.

About a year later, for example, on August 17, 1962, 18-year-old Peter Fechter was shot by evil East German bastards as he tried to cross the Berlin Wall into West Germany. He bled to death in public view.

The guards who shot him were tracked down and convicted of manslaughter thirty-four years later.

Moral: you might think you can get away with shooting people just because you're a heavily-armed socialist bastard living in an evil socialist regime propped up by an evil socialist empire, but you can't.

Not really.

It may seem like you can, but just wait.

Eventually John F. Kennedy announced that he was a jelly-filled donut, Ronald Reagan asked Mr. Gorbachev to tear down this wall, Boris Yeltsin rode on a tank, and there didn't seem to be any real point in having a Wall any more.

So they tore it down.

And so it goes,

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