Thursday, May 26, 2011

Daily Bleed Radical Literary History for May 26th

"No man is an island entire of itself...any man's death
diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; &
therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee".

— John Donne

Web version:

MAY 26

Compassionate photographer, champion of the poor.

FEAST OF VOODOO ECONOMICS. (See under US federal budget.)


1788 -- A No-Brainer?: Mary Clark of England gives birth to a baby
without a brain: Ayn Rand?

1851 -- US: San Francisco Stevedores & Longshoreman's strike.

1871 -- France: Paris Commune (Bloody Week). Battles at the
Bastille & Villette, the Communards are defeated this evening at
Belleville & Père Lachaise. The Versailles forces assassinate
casualties in their ambulances; a crowd seeks revenge by
executing 50 hostages on rue Haxo, despite the protests of Eugene

I know too the last heavy maggot;
And know the trapped vertigo of impotence.
I have traveled prone and unwilling
In the dense processions through the shaken streets . . .

— Kenneth Rexroth, "From the Paris Commune
to the Kronstadt Rebellion" (1936)

1878 -- American modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan lives, San
Francisco. Daily Bleed Saint.

1894 -- Western Federation of Miners (WFM) strike for eight-hour
day in Cripple Creek, Colorado.

1895 -- Socially-aware photographer Dorothea Lange lives, Hoboken,
New Jersey.

1914 -- US: In Los Angeles, Emma Goldman continues delivering
propaganda & modern drama lectures (May 15-June 11), which
includes discussion of Irish playwright Seamus O'Kelly.
Her propaganda lectures include "Revolution & Reform—
Which?" & "The Place of the Church in the Labor Struggle."

Goldman reports to birth-control advocate Margaret
Sanger that "Not one of my lectures brings out such a
crowd as the one on the birth strike & it is the same
with the W[oman] R[ebel]." (May 26, 1914).

1920 -- US: Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Marine Transport Workers strike, Philadelphia.

1933 -- Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933) dies.

"Tea for Texass, Tea for Thelma,
Tea for Ice-Tea, gonna be the
death of me..."

— Jimmie Rodgers

1937 -- US: Battle of the Overpass in Detroit Michigan, involving
Walter Reuther & the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Henry Ford's opposition to collective bargaining is in
evidence on this day in 1937, when company goons attack
United Auto Workers (UAW) organizers at the "Battle of
the Overpass" outside of the River Rouge plant. Though
General Motors & Chrysler signed collective bargaining
agreements with the UAW in 1937, Ford held out until 1942.

1937 -- US: "Little Steel" strike.

Over 600 workers maintained a mass picket through
the night. By daybreak, the huge mill, which normally
employed 6500 workers, was a ghost town.

1938 -- US Under the Bed Check?: House Un-American
Activities Committee (HUAC) begins its (dirty) work. Over the
next 30 years its "legislative" function & record will be the most
dismal in US history. Kinda strange word that, work.

The HUAC hearings were degradation ceremonies.
Their job was not to legislate or even to discover
subversives ...

A successful status-degradation ceremony must be fueled by
moral indignation. The anti-Communist hysteria of the cold
war provided an ideal environment.

1944 -- France: Insurrectional General Strike against the Nazis
is called in Marseille; A US bombing raid on Marseille kills
6,000 in the workers' districts.

1945 -- Japan: 50 km of Tokyo are ablaze after US B-29
terrorist bombing raids on civilians (WW II).

1946 -- Snake Oil?: Patent filed in US for H-Bomb. Corners the
market in yet another sub-category of "Weapons of Mass Destruction".

1954 -- US: Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend use of atomic weapons
in Indochina.

1958 -- England: Jerry Lee Lewis plays the third & last of what
should have been a 37-date tour. The "London Morning Star"
runs an editorial calling him "an undesirable alien" & demands his
deportation. That night, Lewis is booed from the stage. The next
day, gone.


1963 -- Greece: Voted Down With Tires?: Gregory Lambrakis,
pacifist & member of Greek Parliament, is run down & killed
by military police in Salonika.

1966 -- Bob Dylan & the Hawks rock the Royal Albert Hall in
London. Attendees include the Stones, some Beatles, etc. The
concert, heard on various bootleg albums, substantiate claims
that this is one of the high-water marks of live rock & roll.

1968 -- France 68: The May Days continue. The General
Strike has paralyzed the government, which is on the verge
of collapse.

"Every intelligent person now realizes that there is
something radically wrong with the social system under
which we are living.

...The argument for the General Strike is based on the
persistent & very logical working class conviction that the
ruling class will refuse to permit itself to be dispossessed
by any power weaker than its own & that public opinion,
political action & insurrection therefore will not be
permitted to be developed or used to any appreciable

— Ralph Chaplin, The General Strike (1933)

1972 -- US: 911?: First "Watergate break-in" attempt by
agents of Dick "I am not a Crook" Nixon's Committee to
Re-elect the President (CREEP) fails.

CIA/Keystone Kop operatives E. Howard Hunt &
Virgilio Gonzales spend the night hiding in
a staircase in the Watergate complex.

Dumb, but dedicated, tomorrow night another attempt to
pick the lock fails. They finally succeed on their third
try the following night, but the tap they put on Democratic
Chairman Lawrence O'Brien's phone fails to operate.

1991 -- 20,000 in Arab-Jewish peace rally, Tel Aviv, Israel.

1996 -- US: Seattle songster Jim Page plays the Speakeasy Cafe
(burned out in May 2001 — the cafe, not Page).

Staunch supporter of Real Change & the StreetLife Art Gallery,
Page also led the move to legalize street singing in Seattle when
the city government tried to outlaw busking.

Jim Page is acerbic, powerful, poignant, clever &
very funny — & can improvise a song in a flash.
He reveals the nuances, twists & turns of political &
everyday life in songs that are crafted to be engaging,
one interesting lyric at a time

Two songs can be heard online:
Whose World is This
Stranger In Me

Of Seattle songwriter Jim Page, the Grateful Dead's
Robert Hunter has said,

"If Jim Page ain't the bastard son of Woody Guthrie,
I'm T-Bone Walker!"


"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


— @nti-ClimbingTallBuildings 1997-2011
(Also, the little bitty ones...
ditto climbing...)

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