Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daily Bleed Radical Literary History for July 28th

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."

— Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)


Fastidious avant-garde idea man. Gave up art for chess. Pawn e1-e4.


Brussels, Belgium: KERMESSE. A 600-year-old-spectacular parade featuring elaborate floats & enormous balloon creatures & characters.



MAYAN CALENDER: NEW YEARS DAY! Eighteen 20-day months (appended by five 'bad days'); beginning today with the Month of Pop.

1586 -- England: First potatoes arrive in Britain; landed in Plymouth from Colombia. Inspires Couch Potatoes, Potato Heads, & colonists to name a rock in the New World Plymouth.
Source: 'Calendar Riots'

1591 -- New World: Anne Hutchinson banished from Boston because of her independent religious views.

1667 -- Poet Abraham Cowley dies in Chertsey, Surrey, at 48, buried in Westminster Abbey.

1750 -- Fabre d'Eglantine lives, Carcassonne, France. Actor/poet, best known for his song, Il pleut, il pleut, bergère, still sung by French children today.

1750 -- Warrant?: Composer J. S. Bach dies. Beatles release "Get Bach."

1794 -- France: Basket Case? French Reign of Terror architect Robespierre faces the guillotine himself.

"The word is "Thermidor"! & it should be used more often! It's an event of vastly more significance than merely the "arrest" of Robespierre: it's the date the popular radicalism of the French Revolution finally ground to a halt... (& it's hard to overstate the extent to which the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s were paranoid about a "Thermidor" overtaking their revolution, & worried about which of them would play what role.)"

— Bleedster C.B., The Voice of the Turtle

1814 -- Percy Bysshe Shelley, already married to the former Harriet Westbrook, elopes to France with Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin). Harriet's suicide in 1816 frees him to wed Mary.

1844 -- Gerard Manley Hopkins lives. Jesuit poet, wrote "The Wreck of the Deutschland."

1862 -- Emile Maurin (1862-1913) (aka Elie Murmain) lives. French anarchiste militant & photographer.

1866 -- Children's writer/illustrator Beatrix Potter lives, Bolton Gardens, Kensington. Created the characters Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, & others.

1866 -- US: Metric system becomes a legal measurement system. Yup.

1868 -- US: Caste System? 14th Amendment, giving equal rights to all non-Indian men, becomes part of the US Constitution. Back in the days when America had a constitution.

1869 -- US: Last Rites? Women shoemakers in Lynn, Massachusetts demand equal pay.

Emile Masson, French anarchiste; source
1869 -- France: Emile Masson lives (1869-1923), in Brest. Breton militant, professor, writer & libertarian socialist propagandist.

Masson frequented the revolutionary milieu of socialists, anarchists & antimilitarists while a student of philosophy & English at the Sorbonne. A passionate advocate of Breton language, culture & history, publisher of the bilingual monthly, "Brug" (Breton-Français).

spinnning image, animated
1887 -- Dada post-artist Marcel Duchamp lives, Blaineville, France.

"The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves."

1890 --

"Toutes les lois sont oppressives et criminelles. Elles ne protègent que les riches et les heureux." "All laws are oppressive & criminal. They only protect the rich & happy. "

anarchist circle a Octave Mirbeau, 28 juillet 1890.

1892 -- US: Queen Emma placidly reads amidst de Choking Smoke of her Cobwebbed Tool Shed ...

Anarchy's Den.
. . . .
Emma Goldman, Its Queen, Rules with a Nod the Savage Reds.
. . . .
Peukert, the Silent Autonomist, the Power Behind Her.
. . . .
Berkman, the Assassin, the Tool of These Leaders.
. . . .
Their Headquarters in a Cheap Flat on Fifth Street.
. . . .

[. . .] & Here Was Emma Goldman.

In the far right-hand corner of the second room, near a dusty, cobwebbed window, sat a woman. Alone in that gathering of hard-faced, half clad men, enveloped in a dense atmosphere of choking smoke, she reclined placidly in a barroom chair, reading...

— excerpted, interview in the "New York World," July 28, 1892


1894 -- anarchist diamond dingbatFrance: The last of the "lois scélérates" ("villainous laws") is passed, condemning any individual or publication using anarchist propaganda.

1898 -- Start of Sherlock Holmes' "The Adventure of The Retired Colourman" (Thur, Jul 28 to Sat, Jul 30; "Liberty" December, 1926 "Strand Magazine" January, 1927).

1900 -- US: Got Meat? The Hamburger is created by Louis Lassing in Connecticut.

1902 -- Kenneth Fearing lives (1902-1961) Oak Park, Illinois. American journalist, poet, & radical novelist.

In his fictional works, Fearing satirized the middle class, often using savage dialogue.

The Big Clock, (1946) is Fearing's best known book. Other Works: Angel Arms, 1929 ,Poems, 1935, Dead Reckoning: A Book of Poetry, 1938, Collected Poems of Kenneth Fearing, 1940, The Dagger of the Mind, 1941, Sherlock Spends a Day in the Country, 1944, The Generous Heart: A Novel, 1954, Stranger at Coney Island & Other Poems, The Complete Poems, 1997.

The Big Clock was filmed as The Big Clock (1948) & No Way Out (1987) & dramatized on radio as Desperate Witness, an episode of Mutual's The Zero Hour, hosted by Rod Serling.

Fearing was Contributing editor of "New Masses" (until 1933), cofounder of the "Partisan Review". Member of John Reed Club & later member of executive committee of New York chapter (till about 1935). Last contribution to the "New Masses" was in 1938.

Albert Halper's novel Union Square (1933), includes a character modeled on Fearing. Leslie River's protagonist in Death of a Young Man (1922), is modeled on Fearing (Rivers was a high school friend).

1907 -- Emma Goldman, anarchist feministUS: Labor honcho & IWW activist Big Bill Haywood acquitted; Emma Goldman & associates send telegram to Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Teddy Roosevelt to express their joy.

"The worst foe of the poor man is the labor leader...who tries to teach him he is a victim of conspiracy & injustice."

— Teddy Roosevelt

1907 -- France: In Raon-l'Etape during a peaceful demonstration by strikers, the forces of "order" open fire on the procession, killing two workers. Barricades now appear high in the streets & the black flag is raised. Francis Boudoux (Jules Sellenet), anarchiste & secretary of the l'union des syndicats de Meurthe-et-Moselle, delivers a speech at the funeral services for the two workmen.

1909 -- Novelist & poet Malcolm Lowry lives, Birkenhead, Chesire, England.

Lived & wrote in a squatter's shack near Vancouver. Chronic alcoholism & mental disorders were finally treated with lobotomy. Of his death, the coroner reported "death by misadventure." Gus Hellthaler & his ol' sidekick pre-BleedMeister Dave visited the location in the early 1970s. The shack was gone, we passed on the lobotomy, prefering to pass the bottle of Old OverCoat.

Under the Volcano is often called one of the great novels of the 20th century.

Further reading: Lowry: The Man & His Work by critic/anarchist George Woodcock; Lowry, a Biography by D. Day; Malcolm Lowry: a Preface to His Fiction by R.K. Cross.

War Against War
1914 -- Austria-Hungary attacks Serbia — WWI is off to a fine start, with most so-described "civilized" western nations joining in the festivities. This is the last war of the 20th century.

US Factoid
1915 -- Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Wilson sends Marines to Haiti, where Haitians are in revolt against the US-backed regime. Marines take benevolent control of the benevolent government & massive benevolent repression of grass roots organizations follows. Haiti thereafter became a virtual protectorate of the benevolent US under a benevolent treaty signed in September.

1918 -- US: National Mooney Day; Governor Stephens grants labor activist Tom Mooney a reprieve until December. Framed, along with Warren Billings, by the government for the "Preparedness Day" bombing in San Francisco, July 22, 1916.

1919 --
Amsterdam, Netherlands

July 28-August 2, 1919

celebra la conferència de reconstitució de la FIS (Federació Sindical Internacional). Francisco Largo Caballero i Julián Besteiro, represent la UGT.

[Source: Congressos Obrers]

1920 -- Argentina & Uruguay: Congress of the Operários Chapeleiros Sul-Americano (South American hat-makers), held this month.

Anarcho-syndicalist participation &/or a marked presence at this congress is evident.
red & black arrowThroughout most of South America in the early 20th century, in addition to their own congresses, anarchists & anarcho-syndicalists are often on the front lines of the various workers' actions, meetings, unions, conferences & congresses.

[I don't have exact dates or details; not clear if two separate gatherings are held, or a joint congress — ed.]
Source: [ Arquivo de História Social ]

1920 -- Italy: Pasquale Binazzi is arrested in Spezio, charged with forming an armed gang during social disturbances in the city last month. Binazzi, as a trade union militant & director of the anarchist magazine "Il Libertario", is often the target of exercised authorities. In response to his arrest workers initiate a General Strike.
Further details / context, click here[Details / context]

1927 -- US: In the Sacco & Vanzetti case, after being interviewed for several hours by Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Governor Fuller, Vanzetti writes a letter to him providing more complete answers to the Governor's questions & asking him to stop the scheduled executions. Fuller announces his refusal to intervene on Aug. 3rd.

See Heroes & Martyrs: Emma Goldman, Sacco & Vanzetti, & the Revolutionary Struggle, an audio CD by Howard Zinn.

1927 -- American poet John Ashbery lives.

1929 -- Jacqueline Onassis, redecorator, lives.

1932 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Herbie Hoover forcibly evicts bonus marchers from their encampment. Two killed when US Army attacks encampment of 20,000 World War I veterans gathered in Washington D.C. to demand their bonus benefit payments.
"I have released in my day more than one community
which had been held in the grip
of a foreign enemy."

— Douglas MacArthur

As the flames destroy the shantytown, people stream into Maryland. Behind them they leave the wounded & little Bernard Myers who dies in a Washington hospital from tear-gas inhalation.

During this month: As Hoover begins traveling the country for his re-election campaign, he is met with unexpected hatred. In St. Paul when he tells the audience,
"Thank God we still have a government
that knows how to deal with the mob,"

angry murmurs begin to roll up from the crowd in front of him. The Secret Service men guarding Hoover become alarmed. The President loses his place in the speech he is giving, nearly collapses, & retreats from the auditorium badly shaken.

Further details / context, click here[Details / context]

1937 -- Joseph Lee, father of the "Playground Movement," cannot come out to play anymore.

1940 -- "The exploitation of the poor can be extinguished not by effecting the destruction of a few millionaires but by removing the ignorance of the poor & teaching them to noncooperate with the exploiters."

— Mohandas K. Gandhi, Haryan, July 28, 1940

1943 -- US: Johnny Come Latte? Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President FDR announces end of coffee rationing, effectively quelling the "Starbucks Riots."

1943 -- Italy: L'ex-fascista Pietro Badoglio emana un decreto per lo scioglimento del partito nazionale fascista.

King Kong
1945 -- US: Going Down? Army twin-engined B-25 light bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, setting it afire, killing 13, & injuring 26.

Pieces of the plane & building fell like hail. A gaping hole was gouged in the building, & one of the plane's engines hurtled through seven walls & came out the opposite side of the building; the other engine shot through an elevator shaft, severing the cables & sending the car plummeting to the basement.

When the plane's fuel tank exploded, six floors were engulfed in flame, & burning gasoline streamed down the sides of the building. Blame for the crash was laid to the pilot, Lt. Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., who disregarded the advice of the LaGuardia Airport to land, & decided instead to continue his flight over fog-shrouded New York City.

1945 -- England: 6,000 at 'Peace & the People' rally, Trafalgar Square, London.

1949 -- Marilyn Quayle, backbone of Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader US Vice President Dan, lives.

1958 -- Billboard reports on a claim from the Esso Research Center:

"...tuning in rock & roll music on a car radio can cost a motorist money," because the rhythm can cause a driver to unconsciously jiggle the gas pedal, thus wasting fuel.

1958 -- US: Saxe Commins (1892-1958) dies, New York.

anarchist diamond

Saxe Commins was an anarchist activist, a speaker, & Emma Goldman's nephew (Stella Ballantine's brother); his activities in his early years included collaborating on & editing Emma Goldman's newspaper, "Mother Earth."

He married the pianist Dorothy Berliner in 1927, & was senior editor at Random House from 1933-1958, working with many of the major American writers of this century, including William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill (a close friend), Sinclair Lewis, & Theodore Dreiser, among others. He also directed Random House's Modern Library series.

For a fascinating look at the editing of some of the great American books of the 20th century, see What Is an Editor: Saxe Commins at Work by Dorothy Berliner Commins.

1959 -- Author William T. Vollmann lives.

1962 -- Wet Aliens?: Mariner I launched to Mars falls into Atlantic Ocean, injuring I mariner.

bridge in Vietnam
1965 -- US: Double or Nothing? Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Johnson announces that draft calls for the Vietnam conflict will be doubled.

1966 -- US: Riots break out in black sections of Baltimore.

1973 -- One of the largest rock festivals of all time is held at the Watkins Glen raceway. More than 600,000 show up for one day of music with the Grateful Dead, the Band & the Allman Brothers.

1976 -- China: 242,000 die in 8.2 earthquake, Tientsin-Tangshan.

1981 -- England: American astrologist Nancy Reagan — giddy to be in London for the Royal Wedding — announces, "I'm off to see the King & Queen," — though there hasn't been a King of England in 27 years. British press detests her on sight. Writes one paper of the First Lady's propensity for toppling over,Chesire cat grin

"Maybe she'll fall again & break her hair."

1983 -- US: Hatchet Job? Robert Paul Yarrington, who collected $210,000 for the loss of his left foot in a motorcycle accident, is convicted of insurance fraud in San Jose. He had hired two pals to stage the accident & hack off his foot with a hatchet.

missile flyout
1986 -- US: NASA releases transcript from doomed Challenger; pilot Michael Smith's famous last words, as the spacecraft disintegrates:

Nike shoe: Riot! Just Do It
1987 -- Fit To Be Tied?: The Beatles sue Nike to stop the shoe company from using "Revolution" in it's sneaker ads.

1988 -- Jordan: Government cancels $1.3 billion development plan in the West Bank. Don't know how Michael's fellow golfers Charles Barkeley or Dennis Rodman feel about this.

1995 -- A settlement returns the rights to Jimi Hendrix's estate to his father. Includes unmastered tapes, concert recordings, photographs & other personal possessions.

2000 -- Peru: Riot police in Lima fire bullets in the air, use water canons, & fire tear gas canisters into crowds of anti-government demonstrators as pitched street battles mar the inauguration of President Alberto Fujimori to an unprecedented third term.

The protesters eventually bring Fujimori down & send him fleeing to Japan.

2002 -- anarchist diamond dingbatFrance: A No Borders camp organized by Autonomes, in Strasbourg, to protest against anti-immigration policies, closes.

2006 -- US: American anarchist illustrator Richard Mock dies, Brooklyn, New York. Best known for his linocut illustrations on the Op-Ed page of The New York Timesfrom 1980 through 1996. Mock's art frequently appeared on the covers of the magazines Fifth Estate, Alternative Press Review & Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. His work has been cited as an influence by a number of contemporary American printmakers.

Wendo Kolosoy
2008 -- Papa Wendo Kolosoy dies.

Daily Bleed Patron Saint May 25, 2011
Congolese rumba musician, prisoner, cultural activist.

Skeletons arguing
3000 --


n. A by-product of the arts of peace. The most menacing political condition is a period of international amity. The student of history who has not been taught to expect the unexpected may justly boast himself inaccessible to the light. "In time of peace prepare for war" has a deeper meaning than is commonly discerned; it means, not merely that all things earthly have an end — that change is the one immutable & eternal law — but that the soil of peace is thickly sown with the seeds of war & singularly suited to their germination & growth.

It was when Kubla Khan had decreed his "stately pleasure dome" — when, that is to say, there were peace & fat feasting in Xanadu — that he

heard from afar
Ancestral voices prophesying war.

One of the greatest of poets, Coleridge was one of the wisest of men, & it was not for nothing that he read us this parable. Let us have a little less of "hands across the sea," & a little more of that elemental distrust that is the security of nations. War loves to come like a thief in the night; professions of eternal amity provide the night.

— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Skeletons still arguing
3500 --

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