Thursday, January 20, 2022

We should not grudge our toil

Today is the Feast day of St. Sebastian, patron saint of soldiers, plague-stricken, archers, Christian martyrs, 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. Sebastian 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 also 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”.

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.

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

but then I discovered that when cheese is digested, it breaks down into an opioid.

January 20, 1929 -
The Fox Film Corporation's film, In Old Arizona, directed by Irving Cummings and starring Warner Baxter, Edmund Lowe, and Dorothy Burgess, went into general release on this date in the US.

Director Raoul Walsh, who was to star as The Cisco Kid, lost an eye in an accident shortly before filming. Buddy Roosevelt was then cast in the role, but he broke his leg shortly before the picture was to start again. He was replaced by Warner Baxter, who managed to stay in one piece and won an Academy Award.

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

In addition to Hal B. Wallis, Humphrey Bogart also sent several telegrams to studio head Jack L. Warner, begging to be cast as Roy Earle. After Paul Muni left Warner Bros. in a contract dispute and George Raft turned down the role, Warner called Bogart and told him the part was his . . . on the condition that Bogart stop sending him telegrams.

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.

The identity of Celeste Holm who did the voice-over for Addie Ross, was kept secret when the film was released. The studio held a number of "Who is Addie?" contests around the country where moviegoers could guess the actress' name.

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.

January 20, 1968 -
One Hit Wonders John Fred and the Playboy Band started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with Judy In Disguise, (With Glasses), it made No.3 in the UK. The song was inspired by The Beatles Lucy In The Sky.

John Fred Gourrier was a star baseball and basketball player for Southeastern Louisiana University, where he went on scholarship. While this was his only hit, but he did have some popular, non-parody songs in Louisiana with titles like Up and Down, and She Shot a Hole in My Soul. His song Shirley also did well locally, and was a #6 hit in the UK for Shakin' Stevens in 1982.

January 20, 2006 -
Once upon a time, Kenny Ortega mega-hit teen musical, High School Musical starring Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale premiered on the Disney Channel, on this date. (This was my daughters favorite movie for a time - when they were very young children.)

Zac Efron's singing voice was that of Drew Seeley, who tested for the role of Troy. Seeley sang the entirety of Get'cha Head in the Game and the reprise of What I've Been Looking For. Efron only sings the first four lines of Start of Something New, the first sentence of Breaking Free, and during the scene on the balcony. The reason for this is because Efron's natural voice was too low for that of a tenor and the producers wanted a tenor to match the role. Efron did, however, do all of his own singing in the sequels, as all the music in those films had been tailored specifically for his voice.

January 20, 2008 -
The series that some consider one of the best dramas ever on TV, Breaking Bad, created by Vince Gilligan and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul premieres on AMC on this date.

In 2005, after Showtime, TNT, and HBO rejected the initial pitch for the series, FX stepped in and immediately began development on the pilot. They eventually passed on the project in favor of the Courteney Cox show Dirt, in a bid to draw more female viewers. According to Vince Gilligan, HBO showed no interest even on the pitch. TNT loved the idea, but said that they couldn't air a show with a crystal meth dealer as the central character.

Another moment of edifying culture

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 Basketball (as opposed to Peach Soccer .)

January 20, 1920 -
Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second, and you can hop from one place to another. It's a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.

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.)

Let us opine on one of my favorite occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (whom I mercilessly rib.)
January 20, 1949 -
President Harry S. Truman's took the oath of office for the second time (the first time in which he is elected to the office,) on this date. It is the first to be televised.

Eight years later, when his term as President of the United States ended on this date, private citizen Harry S.Truman took the train home to Independence, Missouri, mingling with other passengers along the way. He had no secret service protection. After Harry Truman returned to his home in Missouri his only income was his old army pension. It was no more than $112.56 per month or about $982 today.

These gentlemen were inaugurated on this date as well:
34th Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953 to 1961
35th John F. Kennedy 1961 to November 22nd 1963 (Assassinated)
37th Richard Nixon 1969 to August 9th 1974 (Resigned)
39th Jimmy Carter 1977 to 1981
40th Ronald Reagan 1981 to 1989 (Reagan became the first President elected in a ‘0’ year (1980) since 1840, to leave office as President while still alive.)
41st George H. W. Bush 1989 to 1993
42nd Bill Clinton 1993 to 2001
43rd George W. Bush 2001 to 2009
44th Barack Obama 2009 to 2017
45th Donald Trump 2017 to 2021

46th Joseph Biden 2021 to present

36th Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office November 22nd 1963 to 1969
38th Gerald Ford took the oath of office August 9th 1974 to 1977

January 20, 1956 -
To me a real patriot is like a real friend. Who's your real friend? It's the person who tells you the truth. That's who my real friends are. So, you know, I think as far as our country goes, we need more people who will do that.

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 to be exact), one of the longest duration 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 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 in 1981.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a tear gas fountain pen indeed