Friday, June 7, 2013

One of those days

Lots of stuff happening today in history.  In 1893 we mark Gandhi's first documented act of civil disobedience.  The short version is he does a Rosa Parks before Rosa Parks & on a train in South Africa no less.  Go Gandhi!  In 1899 Carrie Nation starts vandalizing private property in the name of temperance.  Uhm, Okaaaaaay.  Flash forward to 1965 when the Supreme Court upholds the right of married couples to use birth control in Griswold v. Connecticut.  GO GRISWOLD!  When right-to-privacy advocates talk about the constitutional right to privacy, they are actually referring to the argument made by Griswold's team which claimed that while not explicitly set out in the Constitution, it can be inferred.  This gives us that unusual circus today where people manage to adhere to specifics as doctrine & still claim the right to privacy as Constitutionally protected.  Good Times.

Some interesting birthdays as well:  Georgiana Cavendish better known as the Duchess of Devonshire was born in 1757.  If her name doesn't ring a bell, pick up one of her biographies; the most recent is film starring Keira Knightley.  I understand that it was based on the biography by Amanda Foreman which is just under 500pp & makes the Clintons look like stay-at-home dullards.

1837 gives us Alois Hitler, another parent of a famous political leader (did I mention G. Cavendish's son went on to be Prime  Minister?  Well, he did).  1848 has Paul Gauguin who, if you don't think was important enough in his own right, was pivotal in the emergence of Vincent van Gogh.  1909 brings us to Virginia Apgar of Apgar Test fame, & if you don't know what that is & why it is important, ask a pregnant lady.   In Fladidah history, we have the birth of Harry Crews in 1935.

Little sidebar about Harry Crews: for me all his accomplishments, failings & well everything about him are best summed up by the fact he had a quote from e.e. cummings tattoed on his right arm,  moving me one step closer to getting "Jenny is a mind worm" on my left wrist.

A few more birthdays:  1952 gives us the Nobel prize winning author Orhan Pamuk, a frontline advocate for free speech in Turkey, putting yet another face on the Turkish protests our liberal media is still barely covering (but Michelle Bachman makes a Youtube video that they don't have to pay to play & they cannot play it enough).    Who else....1958 is the artist formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson (apparently Prince is his real name, who knew?  Lots of people, I'm sure, just not me) was born. 

& a few death days:  Betty Neels the queen of early Harlequin Romances died today in 2001.  Anyone who has been unlucky enough to be trapped with me on a long car ride or whatever sooner or later hears my rant about the value of Harlequin Romances in tracking the changing mores of our society.  Yep, I'm a fun drunk, too.  In 1980 we lost Henry Miller -yes Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller. There's a death-day companion for our Betty.  & lets round this one out with Dorothy Parker dies today in 1967; sometimes my mother answers her phone with Ms. Parker's moniker "what fresh hell is this".

It is tempting to wonder "what is up about June 7th?", but the reality is I could cherry pick any day of the year & give you a handful of similar compare&contrasts.  & if this blog hangs around long enough, I probably will. 

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