Saturday, January 20, 2018

Today is Art Action Day

Today is also the Feast day of St. Sebastian, patron saint of soldiers, plague-stricken, archers, Christian matyrs, athletes (and  homosexual icon - the saint is always depicted as a strapping youth, nude, save a haphazardly placed loin cloth, bound to the post, muscles, straining. Pierced by several arrows, still smiling -  but we shan't discuss that today.)

St. Sebastian, likewise, did not die immediately upon being shot with many arrows, but recovered and suffered a second martyrdom – hence, he is sometimes called the saint who was martyred twice. St. Sebastain was left for dead when St. Irene of Rome came to bury the relics of St. Sebastian and found that was not quite dead.  St. Irene nursed him back to health. Sebastian went before the man who ordered him executed, the Emperor Diocletian and told him to repent. Diocletian, didn't take kindly to having the condemned speak to him and had him clubbed to death. He then had St. Sebastian corpse tossed into a sewer.

You can't keep a good man down - Saint Sebastian appeared to a pious woman named Lucina and told her where to find his remains.

Today is National DJ Day, as well.  The first DJ, or Disc Jockey, was sixteen-year-old student Ray Newby, who played the first records over the airwaves at Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless located in San Fernando, California, in 1909.

National Disc Jockey Day is celebrated in remembrance of the death of Albert James "Alan" Freed,  (AKA Moondog,) the man who coined the term “Rock ‘n’ Roll

It wasn't strange enough to discover that today is National Cheese Lovers Day (according to several and sundry websites,)

when cheese is digested, it breaks down into an opioid.

January 20, 1941 -
Raoul Walsh's
crime-drama High Sierra, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino premiered on this date.

This was the last movie Humphrey Bogart made where he did not receive top billing. The studio thought that Ida Lupino should have top billing, given the fact that she had been such a big hit in They Drive by Night, and so her name ended up above Bogart's on the title card. Bogart was reportedly unhappy about receiving second billing but never complained.

January 20, 1949 -
A surprise hit for writer/ director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (which garnered for him his first two Oscars,) A Letter to Three Wives, premiered on this date.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz had a real battle with the American censors at the time who would not permit him to use words like "laxative" and "toilet" in his script. He got his revenge with a famous double-entendre laden exchange which used words like "penetration" and "saturation".

January 20, 1964 -
The second Beatles' album, Meet the Beatles! was released in the United States on this date.

It was the first US Beatles album to be issued by Capitol Records. Two days previously, the Beatles entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time, as 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' appeared on the Hot 100 at No. 45.

Don't forget to tune into The ACME Eagle Hand Soap Radio Hour today.

Today in History -
Jimmy Naismith
was born in Ramsay township in Ontario, Canada in 1861. He grew up and eventually went to McGill University in Montreal. He became their Athletic Director and in 1891 he moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, to take a post at the YMCA Training School. It was there that he was confronted with the problem of developing a game that could be played indoors and in relatively little space.

On January 20, 1892, with only two peach baskets, a soccer ball, and a hand-written list of 13 rules, Dr. Naismith oversaw the world's first full game of a brand new sport, a sport that took its name from the peach baskets and soccer ball used to play it.

He had finally invented Peach Soccer (as opposed to Peachbasket - see January 15.)

January 20, 1920 -
No critic writing about a film could say more than the film itself, although they do their best to make us think the oppposite.

Federico Fellini, director, screenwriter, producer, painter and cartoonist, was born on this date.

January 20, 1936 -
King George V of England was euthanized with injections of cocaine and morphine on this date, after a painful cancer illness. His final words, a mumbled God damn you!, were addressed to his nurse when she gave him a sedative before his final lethal injection. His physician, Bertrand Dawson (later becoming Viscount Dawson of Penn,) was motivated not only to ameliorate the king's suffering, but also to break the story in the morning edition of the newspapers, rather than the less appropriate evening journals.

Remember kids - Promptness is the politeness of kings.

At the procession to George's Lying in State in Westminster Hall, as the cortege turned into New Palace Yard, the Maltese Cross fell from the Imperial Crown and landed in the gutter. The new King, Edward VIII, saw it fall and wondered whether this was a bad omen for his new reign.

He would abdicate before the year was out.

January 20, 1949 -
As a early gift for her 21st birthday, J. Edgar Hoover gives his friend Shirley Temple a tear gas fountain pen.  This is not as odd as it seems: Hoover had known Shirley for much of her professional life - the FBI have investigated several death and extortion threats against the child star for years.

I have scourged the internet but alas cannot find a picture of the pen (or Hoover in his cha-cha heels.)

January 20, 1956 -
We need more people speaking out. This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It's overrun with sheep and conformists.

Bill Maher
, actor, comedian, political analyst, avowed atheist and professional pot smoker, was born on this date.

January 20, 1981-
The hostages being held by Iran had been held for almost 450 days (444 days), one of the longest durations of a hostage situation in modern history, were released on this date.

The way President Carter handled the situation was extremely unpopular, and the hostages were only released minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

January 20, 1982 -
While playing in Iowa to promote the release of his second solo album The Diary of a Madman, a live bat was thrown onstage in front of Ozzy Osbourne and, dazed by the bright spotlights and its hard landing, (the bat) was knocked unconscious.

Ozzy, thinking that the bat was made of rubber, proceeded to put the bat head into its mouth and... well, you know where we're going with this. It was the point where the bats' severed head twitched inside Ozzy's mouth that he realized that it was no Halloween decoration. He was rushed to hospital immediately following the incident and treated for rabies.

January 20, 1993 -

Although Tom Waits was notoriously against selling himself in commercials, he did let his principles slip slightly and provided voiceover work for dog food company Butchers Blend.

After the commercial began to win awards and become recognized Waits regretted the decision; when asked about it years later he said "I was really down on my luck at that time and I've always really loved dogs".

And so it goes.

BTW - Donald Trump took the oath of office one year ago today. My how time flies.


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