Our Daily Bleed...
|"I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dryrot.
I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy & permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time
— Jack London (1876-1916)
French Marxist philosopher, AIDS victim, Mai '68 Trotskyite leader.
FESTIVAL OF SARASYATI: Hindu goddess of wisdom, children make offerings of marigolds
ULLR FESTIVAL (mythical god of winter): Ice sculpture, fireworks, torch light skiing.
1493 -- Sicily: Last day for all Jews to leave.
1517 -- Vasco Núñez de Balboa Spanish conquistador/admiral, beheaded at 41.
At the Gulf of San Miguel, in 1513, with water up to his waist, he raises his sword & yells to the four winds.
He splashes about & lets himself be dragged by the waves, dizzy with a joy he won't feel again. The sea opens for him, embraces him, rocks him. Balboa would like to drink it dry.
1628 -- Soggy Bottoms? French writer Charles Perrault lives. In the story of Cinderella, he mistranslated vair, the word for fur, as verre, glass, thus making her wear glass slippers. However it is easier to drink from a glass slipper than a soggy fur one.
1641 -- US: Duck'n'Cover?: James City, Virginia, passes a law that if any Indian commits a crime, the first Indian apprehended must pay the penalty — with her/his life if necessary.
1723 -- Philosopher/statesman Edmund Burke lives, Dublin. A member of parliament for 29 years, opposing most of the policies of the ministers of King George III & supporting Catholic emancipation & American Independence. His Reflections on the French Revolution rejected the chaos & atheism of the new order & praised the stability of the old order.
1751 -- Russian-born German poet / dramatist of the Strum und Drang period, Jokob Michael Reinhold Lenz, lives, Sesswegen. Considered an important forerunner of 19th-century naturalism & of 20th-century Expressionist theater. His best work is Der Hofmeister oder Vortheile der Privaterziehung ("The Tutor, or the Advantages of Private Education," 1774), & Die Soldaten ("The Soldiers," 1776).
1817 -- Alba (christened) Allegra, the daughter that Claire Clairmont bore to Lord Byron, lives. Dies at the age of five in a convent in Bagnacavallo near Ravenna where here father placed her after taking her away from Claire & the Shelley household. Some question lingers as to whether Byron or Shelley was the child's father.
1833 -- US: Bound to Lose?: Act passed making it unlawful for any Indian to remain within the boundaries of the state of Florida.
1836 -- France:
Strange Stuff: Sighting of a luminous body, seemingly two-thirds size of the moon, rotating on an axis, with a central dark cavity, Cherbourg, [Rept. Brit. Assoc., 1860-77]
1848 -- Charlotte Brontë writes to G. H. Lewes that she finds Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice merely "An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a commonplace face."
1856 -- American artist John Singer Sergeant lives. Though he lived much of his life in England & was buried there, he refused knighthood in 1907 because he still considered himself an American.
1863 -- Indian mystic Vivekanada lives.
1864 -- US: Kit Carson's patrol kills 11 Navajo in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona Territory.
1876 Jack London, sailor tramp, gold miner, author (The Call of the Wild) hits the road, lives, Frisco, California.
Daily Bleed Patron Saint 2003-2007
Sailor, oyster pirate, hobo, drunk, socialist, writer, suicide.
A suicide at 40, in Santa Rosa, California. Ford Madox Ford remarked:
"Like Peter Pan, he never grew up, & he lived his own stories with such intensity that he ended by believing them himself."
1879 -- The British-Zulu War begins as British troops under Lieutenant General Frederic Augustus invade Zululand from the southern African republic of Natal.
[Details / context]
1880 -- Anglo-American sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein lives. Created the sculpture for the tomb of Oscar Wilde in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
"I think I am rather more than a Socialist. I am something of an Anarchist, I believe..."
1883 -- France: In Lyon at the trial of the workers' International, begun on January 8 against the anarchists known as "The 66", the 'Anarchist Declaration' is read out to the court. Likely written by Peter Kropotkin, one of those tried & convicted, it is a summary of the ideals of the accused.
[Details / context]
1893 -- Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi race theorist, lives, Estonia. Joins the Nazi Party before Hitler, administers occupied Russia during World War II, & is executed at Nuremberg for war crimes.
1893 -- Nazi leader Hermann Goring lives.
1893 -- Jack London, on his 17th birthday, sails on the seal-hunting ship "Sophie Sutherland", gaining experience he used in his novel The Sea Wolf.
1896 -- H.L. Smith takes the first x-ray photograph. It is a hand with a bullet in it. The hand is attached to a corpse.
1899 -- Oscar Wilde writes to Robert Ross that "Henry James is developing, but he will never arrive at passion, I fear."
1900 -- US: Freeland utopian colony founded at Holmes Harbor, Whidby Island, Island County, north of Seattle, Washington.
1905 -- Cowboy actor & singer Tex Ritter lives. He was a law student at the University of Texass before starting his entertainment career.
1906 -- Woodward Maurice, country singer, lives, Texass.
1906 -- Henny Youngman, the violin-playing comic from vaudeville, lives to give his wife away. Please.
1906 -- England: The Liberals win a landslide in UK; the 1st Labour MPs are returned.
Source: ’Robert Braunwart’
1912 -- US: 9 a.m. in one of the departments of the Everett Mill, a worker lets out the yell, "Goddamn it to hell! Let's strike! Strike!" & the Lawrence textile strike against a recent reduction in wages & increased work rates begins. Over a thousand workers rampage from room to room tearing the weaves & smashing machines then proceed to other factories in the district. Victory will be achieved precisely two months later, winning an increase in wages from 5 to 25%.
Source: [Calendar Riots]
1913 -- US: Emma Goldman delivers six Sunday lectures in New York City (January 12-February 16) on the modern drama.
Emma lectures on the plays of Scandinavian, German, Austrian, French, English, & Russian dramatists including August Strindberg, Gerhart Hauptmann, Arthur Schnitzler, Frank Wedekind, Maurice Maeterlinck, Edmond Rostand, Octave Mirbeau, Eugène Brieux, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Pinero, John Galsworthy, Charles Rann Kennedy, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorki, & Leonid Andreyev.
1915 -- Curtains?: Paul Jarrico (1915-1997) lives. American screenwriter, beginning in the late 30s. From the late 1950s to the late 1960s Jarrico was blacklisted on the both sides of the Iron Curtain, in the US & in the Soviet Union. Joined the National Student League, & then the Young Communist League. Active member of the Communist Party between the years 1937 & 1951.
1915 -- England: Millennialist historian Norman Cohn lives, London. His The Pursuit of the Millennium is ranked as one of the 100 most influential books of the 20th century.
British historian of anarchist millenarianism, old & new.
Patron Saint 2007-2011
1916 -- US:
More Strange Stuff: A "shock" felt, buildings shaken, flashes seen in the sky, Cincinnati, Ohio [New York Herald, Jan 13]
1922 -- China: Three-year strike wave begins.
1926 -- Pedro Augusto Mota (189?-1926) dies. Brazilian graphics worker, journalist & militant anarchist & labor activist.
1928 -- US: Police raid IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) Hall, Walsenburg, Colorado.
1928 -- Police seize 800 copies of the lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall. Now they have some decent books to read.
1928 -- US: Ruth Snyder & lover Harry Gray executed at Sing Sing, ending one of the most notorious adultery-murder scandals in American history. A photographer sneaked into the death chamber & snapped her photo at the moment the chair was activated.
"Headin' For Better Times" Ted Lewis & His Band, 1/12/31
Lewis is so relentlessly upbeat that one might have easily overlooked the desperation behind many smiles seen when "Headin' for Better Times" was recorded in January 1931. It was the winter of street corner apple sellers, of whom Hoover observed: "Many persons left their jobs for the more profitable one of selling apples." America's plight so moved citizens of the Cameroons in Africa that a collection of $3.77 was raised & mailed to New York City with instructions that it be used for "the relief of the starving." For his part, Ted Lewis provided square meals & steady work to first-rate jazzmen on their way up, notably cornetist Mugsy Spanier & clarinetist Benny Goodman, on this performance...
— Mark Humphrey, "The Great Depression: American Music in the '30s"
1932 -- US: Ophelia Wyatt Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first woman to be elected to the US Senate.
1932 -- US: 12,000 marchers from Father Cox's Shantytown (another "Hooverville") in Pittsburgh arrive in Washington, DC.
Located near St. Patrick's Catholic Church in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, the shantytown existed from 1929 to 1932, & was the staging base for the Reverend James Cox's unemployed army.
On December 1931, 60,000 unemployed workers had rallied at Pitt Stadium in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
1933 -- Spain: The anarchist uprisings which began on 8 January are brutally suppressed.
1936 -- A. D. Winans lives, Frisco, California. Part of the Beat movement. Friends with poets like Bob Kaufman, Jack Micheline, & Charles Bukowski, founder of Second Coming Press."A. D. Winans is one of the few writers who doesn't act like a writer & maybe that's why he writes better than they do ... I always prefer a poet I can tolerate for more than 10 minutes; that's rare, & so is A. D."
— Charles Bukowski
1940 -- Canada: During this month Emma Goldman's mail is intercepted by pinch-faced censors, their suspicion raised by the many letters containing money pouring into her address for the defense of Arthur Bortolotti, whose case attracts further attention in the US through articles in the Nation & the New Republic by Goldman.
1943 -- Frankfurters replaced by Victory Sausages (mix of meat & soy meal).
1948 -- Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi quickly begins his final fast. Ghandi has hopes of staving off war between Indians & Pakistanis. He is assassinated later in the month (See January 30).
1948 -- England: London's Manor Park Co-operative Society leads the way in consumerist recuperation by opening the first supermarket in Britain.
Source: [Calendar Riots]
1951 -- International Convention on Genocide comes into force. Yup.
1953 -- In Time magazine Thornton Wilder says, "Literature is the orchestration of platitudes."
1954 -- US: Hard Rain Gonna Fall?: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announces US abandonment of Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Truman's doctrine of "containing Communism" for a new policy of "massive retaliation" — deterring "red aggression" by threatening to respond with a rain of nuclear bombs. Still, US troops are strung around the globe like a gaudy necklace...
1954 -- Austria's worst avalanche kills 200; 9 hours later a second one-kills 115. Every year, as many as one million avalanches fall throughout the world...
1960 -- Nevil Shute dies British-born Australian novelist, best-known for the novel On the Beach (1957). A pessimistic tale of the atomic age adapted to the screen in 1959. The film is one of the most celebrated anti-Bomb films.
1962 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Kennedy signs Executive Order 10988, guaranteeing federal workers the right to join unions & bargain collectively.
1963 -- Bob Dylan sings Blowin' In the Wind on the BBC Radio presentation of The Madhouse on Castle Street. The song becomes a classic of the 1960s protest movement.
1964 -- Zanzibar: Black rebels overthrow the predominantly Arab government after heavy fighting.
1965 -- Playwright Lorraine Hansberry dies in New York, her promising career cut short by cancer. Her popular play, A Raisin in the Sun, is the first drama by a black woman produced on Broadway. Superb American playright of great social conscience.
1967 -- US: Beat poets hold a free benefit for the Diggers. Held at Gino & Carlo's Tavern, this is billed as "the first San Francisco Poets 'Thank You' to the Diggers." The Diggers, true to form, refuse to accept cash donations collected at the event.
1968 -- The Supremes appear in an episode of the NBC-TV show, "Tarzan." The ladies, fittingly, play a group of nuns.
Its members have continued to gray: the median age for American nuns is now 67 years old. Lenny Bruce sends his regrets.
1968 -- US & Cambodia announce an agreement designed to insulate Cambodia from the war in Vietnam. Not to fear; Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Dick M. Nixon & Henry Hank will uninsulate'em with a rain of bombs & secret invaders, setting the stage for another sequel in the "killing fields."
1969 -- England: Some 5,000 anti-racism marchers clash with London Bobbies during an immigration protest.
1970 -- The Bleeding Always Stops? Nigerian Civil War / Biafran war ends. Those seeking independence for the eastern province of Biafra in Nigeria surrender.
1971 -- US: Cold Day in Hell?: Reverend Philip Berrigan, founder of the Catholic Peace Fellowship anti-Vietnam War organization, is indicted with five others on charges of conspiring to kidnap Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader national security adviser & future Nobel Peace Prize recipient Henry Hank Kissinger & to bomb the heating systems of federal buildings in Washington, DC.
1971 -- US: "All in the Family" premiers on CBS, featured first toilet flush on TV. Norman Lear's ground-breaking show, originally called "Those Were the Days," was based on the British sitcom Till Death Us Do Part. It lasted until 1983.
1971 -- England: The home of Robert Carr MP is bombed after he introduces the Industrial Relations Bill in a drive to crush trade unionism.
The bombing is attributed to the "Angry Brigade." A 'mysterious young Scot' story is featured, fingering anarchist Stuart Christie as the major suspect for every armed action in resistance to the Government's plans for industrial slavery. Jake Prescott is arrested this month, Ian Purdie in March, as suspects
1976 -- The butler did it?: Agatha Christie, master of the "cozy" detective novel, playwright, & Dame of the British Empire (1971), dies in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Obviously, the Butler did it. Her books sold over 100,000,000 copies, were translated into more than 100 languages, & one play, The Mouse Trap, set a world record for continuous performances at one theater (8,862 over a 21 year period).
1983 -- Spain: 6th CNT-AIT anarchist Congress, Barcelona (January 12-16th).
1984 -- US: Cholesterol is linked to heart disease after 10-year study by the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.
1984 -- Spanish film by José Luis Lopez del Rio, Casas Viejas documents the tragic events of 1933, including interviews with survivors from the village.
Quiet Time?: In Frisco, California, Beat poet Bob Kaufman dies, still & quiet eternally after many years of a vowed silence.
Camus, I want to know, does the sour taste of
promise flee the dying mouth & eyes & lip...
1987 -- Judgment Day?: Twenty West German judges arrested for blockading the US Air Force base at Mutlangen, West Germany.
1989 -- Flintstones?: Six claim to survive in rubble, 35 days after Armenian quake (hoax).
1990 -- Laurence J. Peter, author of Peter Principle, in a stroke of bad luck, peters out at 70.
1992 -- Anti-Dave?: HAL becomes operational (2001: A Space Odyssey).
1998 -- Czech author & essayist Libuše Moníková dies. Went into exile following the Prague Spring, wrote in German. Her literary models were Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges & Arno Schmidt.
1999 -- India: A national conference of peasants & agricultural workers held at village Parmandal in Multai. This was to mark the anniversary of police firing on a peaceful peasant demonstration last year.
The Conference was jointly organized by National Alliance of People’s Movements, Bharat Jan Andolan & Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (Multai). The Multai Manifesto is adopted.
2002 -- England: Anarchist flag appears atop the Argentine Embassy!
Scaling the heights of one of the slag heaps of authority to signal the need of a large dustbin for this debt-ridden sodbag.
2010 -- Haiti: Earthquake devastates the country, killing over 200,000 & leaving over a million still in makeshift camps in 2011.
2010 -- France: Marxist theorist, Trotskyite Daniel Bensaid dies, Paris.
Pure poetry — & the mystical echoes were no accident. Marx’s allusion was to the Spiritualists, who in his time clasped hands around tables in Boston, Paris, Prague, & St. Petersburg, waiting for the spirits of departed loved ones to set their hands knocking on wood, to make the tables dance. The Spiritualists had nothing to do with commodities, but the commodity had everything to do with magic.
— GREIL MARCUS, 1984
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