Sunday, November 11, 2012

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow ...

It's Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day for many in Europe (The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month ...).

I'd like to thank our veterans for having fought, and in many cases died, to preserve my liberties -

and I'd like to apologizes for having made such foolish use of them.

November 11, 1943 -
The under-appreciated wartime-drama Sahara, starring Humphrey Bogart premiered on this date.

The movie utilized real soldiers as background artists and extras. They had been situated close by to the production at Camp Young, California where they were in training.

November 11, 1947 -
Elia Kazan's searing expose of anti-Semitism, Gentleman's Agreement, starring Gregory Peck premiered in New York on this date.

The movie mentions three real people well-known for their racism and anti-Semitism at the time: Mississippi Sen. Theodore Bilbo, who advocated sending all African-Americans back to Africa; Mississippi Rep. John Rankin, who called columnist Walter Winchell "the little kike" on the floor of the House of Representatives; and Christian Nationalist Crusade leader Gerald L.K. Smith, who tried legal means to prevent Twentieth Century-Fox from showing the movie in Tulsa. He lost the case, but then sued Fox for $1,000,000. The case was thrown out of court in 1951.

November 11, 1958 -
The (relatively unknown) British-comedy The Horse's Mouth, starring Alec Guinness, opened in the US on this date.

When Nosey offers Bisson a bowl of stew, Michael Gough's voice on the soundtrack says "Buzz off!" but his lips form the words "Drop dead!" Presumably the line was changed when Mike Morgan died suddenly before the film was released.

Do yourself a favor and rent this one.

Today in History:
November 11, 397 -
St. Martin of Tours, another in the series of anorexic visionaires is a patron saint of France, soldiers (he is known as the he man's saint), reformed alcoholics and winemakers. When the armistice fell on the Saint Martin’s Day, November 11, 1918, the French people saw it was a sign of his intercession in the affairs of France.

Martin, after another of his life long practice of fasting, has a dream about Jesus wearing the cloak he had recently given to a naked beggar. Pieces of Martin's actual 'cloak' were revered as holy relics and the derivation of the name of the priest who looked after these relics became 'chaplain'.

And now you know.

November 11, 1215 -
The Fourth Lateran Council met on this date. They adopt the doctrine of transubstantiation, meaning that bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

This means all Catholics are essentially cannibals on a feeding schedule, but who am I to judge a theology of which I am a nominal member.

November 11, 1634 -
Following pressure from Anglican bishop John Atherton, the Irish House of Commons passes "An Act for the Punishment for the Vice of Buggery". Seven years later, the good Bishop Atherton is himself is found well hanged under the Act.

I guess the religious right has always been a little loose on this issue.

November 11, 1821 -
Originality and a feeling of one’s own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, Russian novelist who wrote Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, was born on this date.

November 11, 1925 -
I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

Jonathan Winters, the great improvisational comedian and actor, was born on this date.

November 11, 1969-
The Beatles with Billy Preston released Get Back in the UK on this date.

The Let it Be album was originally going to be called Get Back. The concept was The Beatles "getting back" to their roots and playing new songs for a live audience without any studio tricks. This song came closest to capturing that spirit, but the album became something completely different when they decided to scrap the idea of a live album.

November 11, 1978 -
A perennial favorite suicide location, the renovated Hollywood Sign is unveiled, due in large part to the public campaign to restore the landmark by shock rocker Alice Cooper.

The original sign was built in 1923, and said "Hollywoodland".

And so it goes

No comments: