Our Daily Bleed...
I know that spring again is splendid
As ever, the hidden thrush
As sweetly tongued, the sun as vital —
But these are the forest trails we walked together,
These paths, ten years together.
We thought the years would last forever,
They are all gone now, the days
We thought would not come for us are here.
— Kenneth Rexroth, elegy in memory of his first wife, Andrée
Kenneth Rexroth: Poet, Beat movement critic/promoter,
essayist, American anarchist.
Guatemala: FIESTA OF SANTO TOMAS (Dec 22-25).
Celebrated by the Chichicastenango Indians.
Features the flying-pole ceremony: A pole made from a tall pine is consecrated & erected in the village.
Platforms & ropes are attached, dancers climb to the very top &, attached to ropes coiled around trees, they fly into the air in ever-widening circles.
1440 -- The pirate Bluebeard is executed.
1639 -- Jean-Baptiste Racine, dramatic poet, lives, La Ferte-Milon in northern France.
1731 -- TaxOnAMe?!: Dutch people revolt against meat tax.
1796 -- England: William Smith, father of modern geology, is elected a member of the Bath & West of England Society.
1815 -- México: Jose Maria Morelos dies. Mexican revolutionary priest executed by Spaniards.
1839 -- John Nevil Maskelyne (1839-1917) lives. Maskelyne was one of the great British magicians, particularly stage created through sleight of hand.
1849 -- Fyodor Dostoevsky is led out for execution, then pardoned at the last moment. Dostoyevsky & his comrades in the Petrashevsky Circle were sentenced to death for 10 minutes. Time flies when you be having too much fun.
"We say outright: these are madmen, yet these madmen have their own logic, their teaching, their code, their God even, & it's as deepset as it could be."
1859 -- Poet & prose writer, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera lives, México City. His first article appears in the newspaper La Iberia when he is 13, & he contributes several articles a week until his death in 1895.
1869 -- Poet Edwin Arlington Robinson, lives, Head Tide, Maine.
1872 -- Italy: Ettore Bonometti, anarchist militant, lives (1872-1961), Brescia.
1880 -- British novelist George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) dies.
1882 -- Strung Out?: First string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison.
1883 -- Italy: La Questione Sociale begins publishing (weekly from Dec 22, 1883 to Aug. 3, 1884) in Florence. An anarchist-communist paper created by Errico Malatesta for, inter alia, fighting the parliamentarism now advocated by Andrea Costa. The editor, Pilade Cecchi, is busted in February & sent to prison for 21 months. A complete set of this paper is kept in the British Museum. According to Max Nettlau, La Questione Sociale was a remarkably large & well-made paper, with many contributors from all parts of Italy.
1900 -- US: Valerio Isca lives (d.1996). Italian-American anarchist, cofounder of the Libertarian Book Club. Paul Berman wrote a short piece about his friend, which appeared in Slate magazine in Sept 1996.
1905 -- Poet/essayist/critic/translator/anarchist Kenneth Rexroth lives. Influence on the spread of Beat poetry. Translated many Chinese & Japanese poets into English.
"Rexroth loved jazz & knew the guys who played it, & translated poetry & drama from several languages, including classical Greek, Provençal French, & Japanese.
He prided himself on reading the Encyclopedia Britannica cover to cover each year, & published more than a dozen books in his lifetime, including an autobiographical novel, & books of criticism on subjects ranging from contemporary poetry, to Hasidism, to Anarchism, to Zen.
Rexroth's earliest poems sound remarkably like the work of the '80s "Language Poetry" school, abandoning photographic realism in an attempt to shed cliché & sentimentality.
His mature poems, however, speak in language that is colloquial, sensual without being sentimental, calling forth the High Sierra granitescapes that Rexroth liked to make love in, with a crispness of image, a classical sense of balance, & elegiac gravity.
Rexroth's apartment on Page Street was a library, its shelves lined with the heartwood of the classical literatures of East & West; & Rexroth had a caustic wit, & an ego, to match his erudition."
At the Cellar Bar, Rexroth was crooning "Thou Shalt Not Kill" & "Married Blues," while a band riffed on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be." Jack Spicer hosted "Blabbermouth Nights" at a North Beach hangout called The Place, featuring performances by Richard Brautigan & John Wieners, with few prepared texts — the idea, as in jazz, was to burn — with the poets competing for door prizes & free drinks.
1907 -- England: Artist, book illustrator & anarchist Fermin Rocker lives (1907-2004). Wrote East End: A London Childhood (1992).
1908 -- Giacomo Manzu lives (1908-1991). Sculptor & printmaker.
1910 -- Colombia: Launching of the periodical Ravachol in Bogota.
1921 -- Latvia: Having left Russia disillusioned with the Bolshevik counter-revolution, on the train to Reval, Estonia, Alexander Berkman & Emma Goldman are arrested by the Latvian secret service & accused of being Bolshevik agents. They are detained for several days, preventing them from attending the anarchist congress in Berlin.
— Emma Goldman
1922 -- Germany: International Congress of Revolutionary Syndicalists at Berlin. Founding of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association (AIT/ IWA), on the initiative of Rudolf Rocker.
1934 -- Wallace Thurman dies in New York. Though closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, he is accused by some of becoming a racial traitor with the publication of Infants of the Spring (1932), a satire of what he believed were the overrated creative figures of the movement.
1934 -- Bowl Me Over?: Miss Theo Trowbridge sets female bowling record 702 pins in games.
This past weekend, in 1999, Nummer One Son receives two awards for YABA Greater Seattle City Championships: 2nd place for doubles (1,335; with his pal Jessan) & 3rd place for singles (729) (Division 55).
1937 -- Former hotel clerk/author Nathanael West (Miss Lonelyhearts; Day of the Locust), 37, & wife, Eileen McKenney — (heroine of Ruth McKenney's My Sister Eileen) — killed during honeymoon in a car accident in El Centro, California.
Acousmatics is the use of the "disembodied voice or sound" in the discovery of an alternative order....These sounds occasionally "intersect" the action in an ironic way. For example, when "Miss Lonelihearts," a bachelorette neighbor, unsuccessfully entertains a prospective boyfriend, an organ-grinder somewhere plays "That's Amore."
1937 -- England: Frank Ade jailed 21 days for war tax resistance.
1938 -- Emma Goldman travels to Amsterdam to organize Alexander Berkman's & her papers at the International Institute of Social History.
1942 -- US: Avalanche buries bus full of defense workers at Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. 22 die.
1943 -- US: Four month strike by 23 conscientious objectors (COs) ends dining hall segregation at Danbury Federal Penitentiary, Connecticut. Damn agitators ought to be put in jail....
1943 -- Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, & others, dies, Sawrey, Lancashire.
1949 -- Concluding date in Georges Simenon's mystery novel L'amie de madame Maigret (1952). Many of Maigret's books were filmed by directors as diverse as Jean Renoir, Jean Delannoy, Bertrand Tavernier & Serge Gainsbourg.
1951 -- France: Georges Gillet (1875-1951) dies. Militant syndicaliste & propagandiste anarchiste, antimilitariste.
Architecture for Life
'Architecture for Life' an excerpt from Asger Jorn's book Image & Form, is published in Potlatch #15.
Also during this month Asger Jorn meets Guy Debord in Paris. [Exact day not given —ed.]
http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/chronology/chronology.html | [Situationist Resources]
1956 -- Manuel Devaldès (aka Ernest-Edmond Lohy) dies. Anarchiste, pacifist & neo-Malthusian.
1956 -- Italy: La cosiddetta giustizia di stato condanna il giornalista Manlio Cancogni e il direttore dell'Espresso Arrigo Benedetti a 8 mesi e 270.000 lire di multa per gli articoli (pubblicati nel 1956) che svelavano le connessioni speculative tra la giunta comunale di Roma e la società Immobiliare. Ancora una volta, ingiustizia è fatta ad opera dello stato.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1965 -- Cleaning House?: Henry House becomes first US soldier to be court martialed for protesting against Vietnam War.
1967 -- US: Got Purple Tums? Owsley busted in Orinda (stops production of acid).
1967 -- US: Radio Free Alcatraz broadcast for first time from Berkeley radio station KPFA.
1972 -- Vietnam: US again bombs the Bach Mai Hospital in the center of Hanoi, destroying it & allegedly killing 25 doctors, pharmacists & nurses.
Come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books & pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun...
1974 -- US: Hopi & Navajo Relocation Act passed by Congress to get those inconvenient Indians at Big Mountain, Arizona, away from lucrative coal deposits. Big Mountain families have been resisting this forced racial relocation ever since.
1976 -- High Seas: Worst oil spill off US coast — Liberian tanker off Nantucket.
1976 -- México: Martin Luis Guzmán dies in México City.
1977 -- US: Thomas Helms climbs to the edge of the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City, & attempts to kill himself by leaping from the building to the street over a thousand feet below.
However, the 26-year-old only falls 20 feet before landing on a narrow ledge.
He suffers no major injuries but is knocked unconscious for half-an-hour — adequate time for an emergency crew to bring him safely inside.
1981 -- US: Let Them Eat Cheese? As Christmas approaches, Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Acting President Ronnie Reagan authorizes the distribution of 30 million pounds of surplus cheese to the poor. According to a government official, the cheese is well over a year old & has reached "critical inventory situation." Translation: It's moldy.
1982 -- US: Congress passes first version Boland amendment (411-0) which prohibited covert efforts by the President to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. Will Reagan remember?
1984 -- US: No Tip? Bernhard Goetz, riding on NYC subway, shoots & wounds 4 African American teen-age boys after one of them demands 5 dollars.
1984 -- Koko, the gorilla who speaks sign language, cries at the news her kitten has died.
1988 -- Cease-fire announced by Angola, Cuba & South Africa in preparation for Namibian independence.
1989 -- Rumania: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Caescescu overthrown. Been living high on the hog while most people barely get by.
1989 -- Irish playwright/novelist Samuel Beckett dies, Paris, France. Comic writer, evoking laughter with his perception of humans as pompous, self-important, & preoccupied with illusory ambitions & futile desires.
1990 -- Trust Me?: Iraq announces it will never give up Kuwait.
1993 -- US: "Operation Toys for Guns" begins in New York City.
1993 -- Australia: Native Title Act restores some land & rights lost by aborigines.
1997 -- México: Paramilitaries associated with the ruling PRI party massacre 45 peasants in the village of Acteal, Chiapas. The government uses this event to occupy & suppress the population with over 70,000 troops & expels humanitarian observers stationed in the area. (See 2003 below.)
1998 -- JOSEPHINE HERBST PATRON SAINT 1998
"The real events that influence our lives
don't announce themselves with brass trumpets
but come softly, on the feet of doves."
Radical muckraking American journalist
of revolution, insurrection & upheaval.
2000 -- Ian Heavens dies (1957-2000). Scottish anarchist, co-founder of the punk/samba band Bloco Vomit.
"Dancing at the Revolution" runs through today at the Theatre Cooperative, Somerville, Massachusetts. Michael Bettencourt’s historical drama examines the gritty trials & tribulations of radical activist Emma Goldman, who was tossed into prison, & then deported, for protesting America's entry into World War I.
2003 -- México: New bronze plates mounted on the plinth of The Pillar of Shame in an anniversary ceremony.
This sculpture was erected in 1999 to commemorate those indigenous people murdered by the government on this day in 1997 (see above). The new plates explain about the Pillar — in Tzotzil, the local language.
SLOK´OB´AL MUK´UL UTZ´INTAEL
Thus have Tzotzil Indians named the 8 metres sculpture (a composition of over 50 human bodies twisted into an obelisk like form), in the village of Acteal. Part of a Christmas gift from Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot, in co-operation with the Indigenous National Congress (CNI).
[Details / context]
2003 -- France: Bernard Voyenne (1920-2003) dies. Journalist, professor, Proudhonian & also a militant anarchist-syndicalist & federalist.
2008 -- Iran: Police raid & close Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2003) Shirin Ebadi's Children's Rights Support Association prior to a planned celebration of Human Rights Day. Shirin is the first ever Iranian, & the first Muslim woman to have received the prize. In 2009, her award was allegedly confiscated by Iranian authorities.
2009 -- US: Cold Day in Hell? A police officer in Washington, D.C, draws a gun during a snowball fight. Meanwhile, over in Poland, some 29 people freeze to death.
2009 -- Iran: Anti-government protests & clashes occur during the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri Najafabadi, a prominent scholar, Islamic theologian, Shiite Islamic democracy advocate, writer & human rights activist.
2010 -- Survivors of child sexual abuse carried out by priests react with fury after Pope Benedict XVI's claims that pedophilia wasn't considered an "absolute evil" as recently as the 1970s & that society considers child pornography "normal". A shoo-in for Catholic sainthood....
"The line of least resistance was always the most difficult line in the long run."
— Peter Cheyney, English author (1896-1951)
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