Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weekend Wise Words

First, I'd like to say that today is the anniversary of Frank Zappa's death (12/04/1993) and it marks the passing of, although weird, a genius.

Some other interesting historical items:

December 4
1696 - died, Empress Meishō, Japan (b. 1624)
1964 - Berkley student boycott
1969 - Fred Hampton, US Black-Panther leader, murdered
1971 - died, Shunryu Suzuki, Zen teacher, founder of SF Zen Center
1976 - died, W. F. McCoy, Northern Irish politician (b. 1886)
1976 - died, Tommy Bolin, rock guitarist (Deep Purple, T Rex), dies of heroin overdose
1981 - Reagan authorizes CIA to spy on citizens
1991 - SLA chairman Charles Keating convicted on 17 counts of securities fraud
1992 - President Bush orders U.S. troops into Somalia
1993 - died, Frank Zappa, US music/composer (Mothers of Invention), dies at 52
December 5
1484 - Pope makes Paganism punishable by death
1791 - died, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, dies in Vienna Austria at 35
1870 - died, Alexandre Dumas, père, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie (b. 24 July 1802)
1895 - died, Chief Gall, Sioux chief (b. 1840)
1933 - Prohibition ends!
1945 - 5 U.S. Navy bombers disappear into Bermuda Triangle 
1983 - died, Robert Aldrich, dir/producer (Last Sunset), dies at 65

Now....for something completely different:

In 1973, near the height of the Sino-Soviet conflict, Solzhenitsyn sent a Letter to the Soviet Leaders to a limited number of upper echelon Soviet officials. This work, which was published for the general public in the Western world a year after it was sent to its intended audience, beseeched the Soviet Union's authorities to:

"Give them their ideology! Let the Chinese leaders glory in it for a while. And for that matter, let them shoulder the whole sackful of unfulfillable international obligations, let them grunt and heave and instruct humanity, and foot all the bills for their absurd economics (a million a day just to Cuba), and let them support terrorists and guerrillas in the Southern Hemisphere too if they like. The main source of the savage feuding between us will then melt away, a great many points of today's contention and conflict all over the world will also melt away, and a military clash will become a much remoter possibility and perhaps won't take place at all [author's emphasis]."

-- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008)

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