Monday, August 22, 2011

Daily Bleed Radical Literary History for August 22nd

The centuries have changed little in this art,
The subjects are still the same.
“For Christ’s sake take off your clothes & get into bed,
We are not going to live forever.”
“Petals fall from the rose,”
We fall from life,
Values fall from history like men from shellfire,
Only a minimum survives,
Only an unknown achievement.
They can put it all on the headstones,
In all the battlefields,
“Poor guy, he never knew what it was all about.”
Spectacled men will come with shovels in a thousand years,
Give lectures in universities on cultural advances, cultural lags. . . .
This year we made four major ascents,
Camped for two weeks at timberline,
Watched Mars swim close to the earth,
Watched the black aurora of war
Spread over the sky of a decayed civilization.
These are the last terrible years of authority.
The disease has reached its crisis,
Ten thousand years of power,
The struggle of two laws,
The rule of iron & spilled blood,
The abiding solidarity of living blood & brain.

Kenneth Rexroth,
“August 22, 1939,”
(The anniversary of Sacco & Vanzetti’s execution tonite in 1927, technically the 23rd)


Black American radical griot, poet, performance artist.

Natural Chimneys, Virginia: "TUNAMINT," where farm boys play knights on horseback, followed by feasting & dancing.

Antwerp, Belgium: KERMESSE, with fabulous floats featuring animals & mythical creatures.

1608 -- England: Basua Makin lives, Sussex. One of the first Western feminists. In 1675, she publishes the book Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen In Religion, Manners, Arts, & Tongues — With an Answer to the Objections Against this Way of Education.
[Insurgent Radio Kiosk]

1692 -- New World: Eight more persons hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, charged with witchcraft.

Dancing Bill Clinton
1779 -- US: General Clinton's troops join with General Sullivan's in "scorched earth" policy against Iroquois. (see 9 August).

If you came upon Bill Clinton struggling in a raging river, & you had a choice between rescuing him or taking a prize-winning photograph, what shutter speed would you use?

1791 -- Haiti: Encouraged by the French & American revolutions, 100,000 slaves revolt. They wage war first on French, then Spanish & English troops to achieve freedom for slaves in 1793. In 1804, Haiti becomes first free black country in the world. Bowing to pressure from Southern slaveholders, the US refuses recognition of Haiti until 1865.

1809 -- US: American utopianist Albert Brisbane lives, Batavia, New York.

Daily Bleed Saint, 2004.

On Fourierism in America, see Guarneri, The Utopian Alternative & Albert Brisbane's Association; Or, A Concise Exposition of the Practical Part of Fourier's Social Science (1843), the official "translation" of Fourier's ideas for the American market (on whom see Michael Fellman, "The substance & boundaries of utopian communitarianism: Albert Brisbane & Josiah Warren," in Fellman, ed., The Unbounded Frame, 3-19); Carl J. Guarneri, "Brook Farm & the Fourierist Phalanxes: Immediatism, Gradualism, & American Utopian Socialism," in Pitzer, ed. America's Communal Utopias (1997).

Carlo Pisacane; source
1818 -- Italy: Carlo Pisacane lives (1818-1857), Naples.

Revolutionary, precursor of libertarian socialist & antiauthoritarian movements in Italy. Influenced by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, & perhaps the first anarchist to advocate 'propaganda by deed' (selective targeting of specific symbolic individuals considered the embodiment of the autocratic, oppressive state). Pisacane died heading a failed armed insurrection (which also involved Giuseppe Fanelli). His daughter Silvia Pisacane was involved with the Matese anarchist insurrection in 1877.
Author of the four volume Saggi storici-politici-militari sull'Italia.

See "La vita di Carlo Pisacane,"

1846 -- US: General Kearney announces annexation of New Mexico. Takes care of that illegal immigrant problem...

1860 -- Gustaf Fröding lives. Swedish poet, who was one of the pioneers liberating Swedish verse from traditional patterns. His collection Splashes & Spray in 1896 caused prosecution for pornography.

1862 -- Claude Debussy lives.

Selections from
1893 -- Dorothy Parker lives, West End, New Jersey. American short story writer, poet, & critic, noted for her acid quips & wry comebacks, a legendary figure in the NY literary scene. Formed, with writers Robert Benchley & Robert Sherwood, the nucleus of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal luncheon club held at New York City's Algonquin Hotel.
Dotty? Parker photo; source

"I was following in the exquisite footsteps of Miss Edna St. Vincent Millay, unhappily in my own horrible sneakers."

In 1963 she turns 70 & notes: "If I had any decency, I'd be dead. Most of my friends are."

1893 -- US: Gompers & other trade unionists meet with NYC mayor Gilroy pressings for a municipal public works program to relieve unemployment.

1897 -- Red Emma Goldman, anarchistUS: In response to criticism from anarchists that she had glorified Cánovas's murder (by Michele Angiolillo), Emma Goldman defends her position at a small meeting in New York.

1904 -- Kate Chopin dies, St. Louis, Missouri. Author of more than 100 short stories.

1908 -- France: Famed photographer & anarchist Henri Cartier-Bresson lives (1908-2004). Member of the photographer-owned outfit (Magnum) founded by Robert Capa & others.

Daily Bleed Saint 2006-2008
Anarchist photographer.

Like Capa he photographed during the Spanish Revolution (1937) , his "Victoire de la vie" documenting the hospitalized. On May 1, 2000, he provided a photo collection, "Vers un autre futur, un regard libertaire" (Towards another future, a libertarian glance) sponsored by the anarcho-syndicalist French CNT.

"L'anarchie c'est une éthique avant tout. Une éthique d'homme libre. Relisez Bakounine."

"Dans un monde qui s'écroule sous le poids de la rentabilité, envahi par les sirènes ravageuses de la Techno-science, la voracité du pouvoir, par la mondialisation -nouvel esclavage- au delà de tout celà, l'Amitié, l'Amour existent."

— Henri Cartier-Bresson

1917 -- Italy: Police open fire on protesters against the war & the lack of food. The majority of the protesters are women. Tomorrow a General Strike is declared, insurrectionist barricades rise high & cops occupy the labor halls. On the 24th a state of siege is proclaimed, but confrontations continue until the 26th. A church is occupied & the great quantity of food stashed in the convent is distributed to the needy. Anarchists (& Anselmo Acutis in particular?) & anarcho-syndicalists are active in the "riots." These events ("fatti di Torino") are characterized by a police repression gone amok, resulting in the deaths of some 60 people, & an anti-anarchist repression follows.

1920 -- Playwright, poet, & SciFi writer Ray Bradbury lives, Waukegan, Illinois. Commenting on individualism, he maintains:

"The power of any country is the sum of the total of its individuals.

Each individual rich with ideas, with concepts, rich with his own revolution."

Ray Bradbury is one of the SF & fantasy greats
of our time. Wrote such classics of the genre as The Martian
(1950) & Farenheit 451 (1953).

"It was a pleasure to burn."

One of the most famous opening lines of any book ever written.

Related Links
Ray Bradbury Online
Bradbury Nantucket Campfire
Ray Bradbury at Wikipedia

1921 -- US: No Butchers Allowed? Hair bobbing gains national attention as State Barber's Commission of Connecticut rule that women that bob hair must have a barber's license.

1936 --
Stalin poster; source


I end as a traitor to my party,

a traitor who must be shot.

— Sergei Mrachkovsky, 22 August, 1936

"IN 1936, TERROR REIGNED in the Soviet Union & Anna Akhmatova wrote:

"I have seen faces consumed, glimpsed horror under lowered eyelids, cheeks etched by pain."

Even André Gide observed after his visit to the Soviet Union in 1936:

"In my opinion, no country today not even in Hitler's Germany is the spirit more suppressed, more timid, more servile than in the Soviet Union."

Or, as brigade commander S.P. Kolosov, whose final fate is unknown, expressed it in an anything but timid letter in 1937:

"I am afraid to open my mouth. Whatever you say, if you say the wrong thing, you're an enemy of the people. Cowardice has become the norm."

Stalin had won the struggle for power & was now dealing death blows to the opposition by organizing uncontrolled terror at every level of society. The purges carried out within the party, the army, among members of the scientific community, artists & prominent cultural figures came to be known as the Great Terror. The term is actually bizarre; terror is hardly a rank great or small but absolute: once it has taken root in a social system it spreads & acquires a life of its own."

— Gudrun Persson

Visit "The Chairman Smiles: Posters from the former Soviet Union, Cuba & China,"
Beat Baldness, before & after (Lenin, then Stalin)

1939 --

Dante was homesick, the Chinese made an art of it / So was Ovid & many others / Pound & Eliot amongst them / Kropotkin dying of hunger / Berkman by his own hand / Fanny Baron biting her executioners / Mahkno in the odor of calumny / Trotsky, too, I suppose, passionately, after his fashion.
Do you remember? / What is it all for, this poetry / This bundle of accomplishment / Put together with so much pain? / Do you remember the corpse in the basement? / What are we doing at the turn of our years / Writers & readers of the liberal weeklies?

Kenneth Rexroth, excerpt from
"August 22, 1939,"
The Collected Shorter Poems

1944 -- France: A group of 32 Spaniards & four Frenchmen tackle a German column (consisting of 1,300 men in 60 lorries, with six tanks & two self-propelled guns), at La Madeiline.

The Maquis blow up the road & rail bridges & position themselves on surrounding hills with machine guns. The battle rages from 3:00pm till noon tomorrow. Three Maquis were wounded, 110 Germans killed, 200 wounded & the rest surrendered. The German commander committed suicide!

1947 -- Canada: Start of two-month strike by United Packing Workers.

1948 -- Black American griot poet, playwright, performer Sekou Sundiata lives, Harlem, New York City.
video icon

1950 -- Canada: National railway workers strike.

1952 -- US: Four major American oil companies are sued by the Justice Department for overcharging on Middle East oil shipped to Europe under the Marshall Plan.

Anton LaVey
1953 -- Last prisoners leave Devil's Island.

1955 -- US: Ten killed, 31 injured when a freight train plows into a bus full of schoolchildren in Spring City, Tennessee.

What Time is it?
1968 -- Czechoslovakia: Photographer Josef Koudelka takes a photo of a demonstration that did not happen in Prague.

On the 20th of August troops from Russia, Poland, East Germany & Bulgaria invaded the country. These occupation forces would have used this demonstration at Wencelas Square to repress the workers & arrest leaders, so it was called off. Protesters were advised instead to occupy the curbs along the streets.

Russian tanks rolling down the streets of Prague

Chicago 8 poster
1968 -- US: Rennie Davis tells Chicago city officials it would be "suicide" not to allow demonstrators (during the Democratic National Convention) to sleep in city parks.

Tomorrow officer friendlies post "11 p.m. curfew" signs in park trees at Lincoln & Grant Parks. The whole world will be watching the Chicago police beating & gassing the crap out of anybody & everybody they can get their hands on over the next week or so, a gentle reminder to everyone of what cops do best.

1969 -- Three-day Wild West Festival at Kezar Stadium with Janis Joplin, Turk Murphy, Jefferson Airplane, the Dead, Country Joe, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, & the Youngbloods.

1971 -- US: FBI arrests 20 anti-Vietnam War activists in Camden, New Jersey, & five in Buffalo, New York, for attempting to steal & destroy draft records.

1972 -- US: Police arrest 891 over two days as thousands of anti-Vietnam War protesters disrupt the Miami Beach convention of Republican Party.

1976 -- US: 179 arrested at anti-nuke rally, Seabrook, New Hampshire.

1978 -- Sandinista's capture of Nicaraguan National Palace starts a revolution. Fasten your seatbelts — according to some of the best thinking among rightwing intellectuals & think-tanks in the US, which has long nurtured & promulgated a Domino Theory, the US will fall to a Commie takeover in a couple more minutes.

The people refer to the National Palace as the "Chancera" — "The Pigsty."

A handful of guerrillas led by Edén Pastora & Dora María Téllez assault the Pigsty & in three minutes capture all of Somoza's legislators.

The dictator Somoza is forced to release imprisoned Sandinistas to effect their release. The Sandinistas are cheered by the people all the way to the airport.

This has been a year of continuous war, set off when Somoza had the journalist Pedro Joaquin Chamorro murdered. In response, good citizens of Nicaragua furiously set fire to several companies owned by the US-supported darling dictator...

The flames devastate the prosperous Plasmaféresis, S. A., which exports Nicaraguan blood to the United States; & the people swear they will not rest until they bury this vampire, in some place darker than the night, with a stake nailed through his heart.

See Eduardo Galeano, Century of the Wind, pp244-45

1978 -- Italy: Ignazio Silone dies. Novelist (Fontamara), founder of the Italian Communist Party, later an anti-Stalinist.

Daily Bleed Alternate Saint, Nov 2, 2005-2008
Anti-fascist Italian novelist
with a passion for social justice.

1979 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Limited edition book by George Harrison, I Me Mine, is published, UK.

1979 -- American novelist James T. Farrell (1904-1979) dies, New York.

A socialist, Farrell wrote 50 books, about half of them novels. Known for his realistic portraits of the working class Irish on the South Side of Chicago. He tried to show how people's destinies are shaped by the era & the environment in which they live. Best-known is his Studs Lonigan trilogy, a masterpiece of American realism which was made into a film (1960) & into a TV miniseries in the 1980s. Farrell has been marginalized in literary history as a proletarian writer of the 1930s.

1989 -- US: Huey P. Newton, activist & Black Panther Party co-founder & honcho, shot dead at 47.

1989 -- US: John Wojtowicz attempts to rob a Brooklyn bank, in order to raise the money for his lover's sex change.
Source: 'Calendar Riots

Hempfest '99 poster by James Koehnline
1999 -- US: Hempfest, Seattle, Washington.

Poster by Bleedster James Koehnline

To Protect & To Serve: 4 Stormtroopers busting an old lady
2002 -- US: Protesters hit with pepper spray & rubber bullets as police clear the streets around an event featuring President Bush, Portland, Oregon.

2007 -- American author Grace Paley dies. Compiled a long & honorable arrest record in the cause of peace; in the history of US resistance, no activist has reaped nearly as many literary honors.

3000 --

O, gentlemen, the time of life is short!...
& if we live, we live to tread on kings.

— Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I

George Dubya Bush: President Evil
4500 --

used anarchist books:

anti-CopyRite 1997-3000, more or less
Subscribe to daily email excerpts/updates (include 'subscribe bleed' in subject field),
or send questions, suggestions, additions, corrections to:
BleedMeister David Brown

Visit the complete Daily Bleed Calendar

The Daily Bleed is freely produced by Recollection Used Books

Over 1.75 million a'mopers & a'gawkers since May 2005

No comments: