Our Daily Bleed...
A motley flush passed lightly over the marble man; raising Korotkov's hand delicately, he drew him toward a little table, reiterating, "I'm very glad, too. But here's the rub, imagine it — I don't even have a place where you can sit down. We're being kept in a pen in spite of our significance."
— Mikhail Bulgakov, Diaboliad p30
Salvadoran poet, martyred by former comrades.
UNDERGROUND AMERICA DAY.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: Paraguay.
1080 -- Massacre of Bishop Walcher of Lorraine & his retinue. God moves in mysterious ways...
1265 -- Italian poet Dante Alighieri lives (1265-1321). Best known for the epic poem Commedia. When a splendid edition was published in 1555, the adjective divine was applied to the poem's title, & thus the work became La divina commedia.. Exact date of birth seems to vary, possibly tomorrow or May 29th based on other sources.
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."
1524 -- New Old World: Irons to brand the indigenous slaves arrive in Nueva Espana from Spain.
Source: [Robert Braunwart] [Hereafter attributed with symbol: ]
1686 -- Gabriel Fahrenheit lives. Physicist, developed measure of temperature.
1771 -- Wales: Industrialist utopianist-socialist Robert Owen lives, Wales.
On Robert Owen, see Kenneth Rexroth's chapter in Communalism.
1801 -- Tripoli: Yusuf Karamanli, pasha of Tripoli, opens the US-Tripolitan War by ordering his soldiers to cut down the flagpole at the US consulate (because the US has refused to pay tribute).
1802 -- Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Thomas Jefferson launches Meriwether Lewis & William Clark on an expedition across the Great Plains, over the Rockies & to the Pacific Ocean. Their guide is Sacajawea, an American Indian woman.
[Details / context]
1811 -- Paraguay: Militia deposes the Spanish governor (national day).
1812 -- England: Luddites involved in Loughborough Market riot.
If our world survives, the next great challenge to watch out for will come — you heard it here first — when the curves of research & development in artificial intelligence, molecular biology & robotics all converge. Oboy. It will be amazing & unpredictable, & even the biggest of brass, let us devoutly hope, are going to be caught flat-footed. It is certainly something for all good Luddites to look forward to if, God willing, we should live so long.
Meantime, as Americans, we can take comfort, however minimal & cold, from Lord Byron's mischievously improvised song, in which he, like other observers of the time, saw clear identification between the first Luddites & our own revolutionary origins. It begins:
As the Liberty lads o'er the sea
Bought their freedom, & cheaply, with blood,
So we, boys, we
Will die fighting, or live free,
And down with all kings but King Ludd!
— Thomas Pynchon, Is It O.K. to Be a Luddite?
Sources: [Luddite Chronology]
1849 -- Ireland: Black Rain.
"Black rains & black snows — rains as black as a deluge of ink — jet black snowflakes.
Such a rain as that fell in Ireland, May 14, 1849, described in the Annals of Scientific Discovery, 1850, & the Annual Register, 1849.
It fell upon a district of 400 square miles, & was the color of ink, & of a fetid odor & very disagreeable taste."
Ireland was again deluged with a black rain on April 30, 1887 at Castlecommon. It was "thick, black rain."
1856 -- US: Who's Running Dis Joint? Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Franklin Pierce unofficially "recognizes" the government of American adventurer William Walker, who has set himself up as the pro-slavery dictator of Nicaragua. Walker is later deposed after he interfered with Cornelius Vanderbilt's transportation network.
1856 -- US: Daily Bleed Competitor? The editor of the SF Daily Evening Bulletin assassinated by a rival newspaper owner. A vigilante group seized the assassin from the sheriff, tried, convicted, & executed him.
1856 -- US: Packin' Heat?: Camels first imported in Texass for use as pack animals.
1874 -- US: Academic Goals?: McGill University & Harvard meet at Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the first college football game to charge admission. Making it worthwhile for ticket buyers, this was also the first time that a goal post was used at both ends of the playing field.
1874 -- England: Sotheby's holds an important chess-book auction.
1878 -- Trademarked name "Vaseline" — for a brand of petroleum jelly — is registered this day by Robert A. Chesebrough.
1887 -- US: Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) dies. Utopian, individualist anarchist Massachusetts abolitionist & anti-monopolist.
Spooner set up a private postal service so successful that the federal government decided to outlaw it.
Author of No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, arguing the Constitution & the basic assumptions of government is binding on no one.
This book has been described as "possibly the most subversive document ever penned in this nation."
Those who attack the rationale of the game, & not the players, are its most formidable adversaries.
— James J. Martin, from the introduction to Lysander Spooner's No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority.
1891 -- France: Saint Etean Bonnefonds, May 14-15. Learning from comrades that Baroness Rochetaillee had been buried with her jewellery, one stormy night François Ravachol scaled the cemetery wall, raised the tombstone, which weighed 120 kilos, tore off the oak lid of the coffin which was held in place by three iron bands, broke the lead casing to find only a wooden cross with the corpse.
Illustration by Flavio Costantini
1900 -- Nature writer Hal Borland lives, Sterling, Colorado.
1905 -- US: The Asiatic Exclusion League is formed in San Francisco, marking the official beginning of the anti-Japanese movement.
Among those attending the first meeting are labor leaders (& European immigrants) Patrick Henry McCarthy & Olaf Tveitmoe of the Building Trades Council of San Francisco & Andrew Fufuseth & Walter McCarthy of the Sailor's Union. Tveitmoe is named the first president of the organization.
1910 --Argentina: In Buenos Aires, the printing plant for the anarquista journal La Protesta is again attacked & destroyed (voir 14 novembre).
Violent repression against the anarchist movement earlier had led to the police attacking La Protesta's offices & destroying its printing equipment. The paper reappeared in January 1910, but today is again ransacked & set on fire, forcing it to go underground for a period.
1911 -- México: Revolutionaries take Chilpancingo from Diaz's soldiers; take Iguala, Gro. from the Porfiristas.
1912 -- August Strindberg dies. Novelist, playwright, poet. Wrote bold & concentrated dramatic works combining naturalism with his own conception of psychology. Interest in occultism & alchemy prompted his 12-year "Inferno" period.
1912 -- Edgar Rice Burroughs completes his novel Tarzan of the Apes.
1915 -- Italy: A Torino il prefetto fa intervenire i militare e fa arrestare numerose persone per impedire dimostrazioni contro la guerra.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1919 -- Lytton Strachey meets T.S. Eliot, finding the poet "rather ill & rather American .... But by no means to be sniffed at."
1920 -- Italy: During this month [I don't have exact date — ed.] in Livorno, Carabinieri & Royal Guards are called in following rioting by anarchists & footballers.
[Details / context]
1925 -- US: Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra records "Kater Street Rag." California Ramblers record "Sweet Georgia Brown."
1928 -- Journalist Dorothy Thompson marries Sinclair Lewis in a civil ceremony in London. You be hitched, might as well be civil.
1930 -- Wladyslaw Orkan, dies in Kraków. Polish writer, describes the exploitation of the poor by wealthy farmers.
1931 -- Italy: Arturo Toscanini è fatto segno di un tentativo di aggressione da parte dei fascisti a Bologna per non aver voluto eseguire Giovinezza e la Marcia Reale durante un concerto. Dopo questo episodio il direttore d'orchestra lascerà l'Italia per farvi ritorno solo nel 1946, ad avvenuto crollo del regime fascista / Toscanini refuses to conduct a fascist song in Bologna & is attacked by a fascist youth.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1932 -- US: "We Want Beer" marches are held in cities all over America, with 15,000 unionized workers demonstrating in Detroit. Prohibition is repealed next year.
Source: [Calendar Riots]
1935 -- El Salvador: The poet Roque Dalton (Clandestine Poems) lives. One of Latin America's most compelling poets. He wrote emotionally strong, sometimes sarcastic, & image-loaded works dealing with life, death, love, & politics. When you know that I have died, don't say my name …
Ah, poetry of today:
with you it is possible to say everything.
1936 -- Paul Robeson movie musical "Show Boat" opens, Radio City Music Hall.
1937 -- US: Duke Ellington & his band records the classic, "Caravan," for Brunswick Records.
1940 -- Canada: Feminist anarchist Emma Goldman (1869-1940) dies in Toronto, age 70, while raising money for anti-Franco forces in Spain. (See also Dec 21).
An outspoken birth control advocate & champion of women's rights.
Tributes & messages of condolence stream in from around the world; her body is taken to the Labor Lyceum in Toronto to allow friends & comrades to pay their last respects; Rev. Salem Bland delivers a eulogy.
Emma wrote, among much other material, My Disillusionment in Russia; Living My Life; Anarchism & Other Essays; The Place of the Individual in Society. See also Vision on Fire: Emma Goldman edited by David Porter. Left fielder for the 1998 Armageddonia Anarchists baseball team.
"If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution."
After growing up in the US, then deported by the government during the Red Scare years, she has been banned from the country (a.k.a. "land of the free"), since 1931, except for a brief visit in 1934. Anti-anarchist laws are still used to prevent certain people from entering the US with their tainted foreign ideas. Her death finally allowed her a visa back into the US, where she was buried in Waldheim Cemetery, close to the Haymarket Martyrs in Chicago, her casket covered by an SIA-FAI flag & bouquets of flowers sent by friends & organizations across the nation.
See Karl Shapiro's poem, "Death of Emma Goldman" in full at the Stan Iverson Archives.
The poem "Again at Waldheim" by Kenneth Rexroth, also concerns her death:
"Your stakes were on the turn
Of a card whose face you knew you would not see."
In full, see http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/poems/1940s.htm
[Details / context]
1940 -- Karl Shapiro's early poem, "Death of Emma Goldman," describes that passionate anarchist, "dark conscience of the family" (her own & humanity's), with gentle appreciation. At the same time, it reviles the people who, after her death, called her immoral because she never married her lover, Alexander Berkman:
Triumphant at the final breath,
Their senile God, their cops,
All the authorities & friends pro tem
Passing her pillow, keeping her concerned.
But the cowardly obit was already written:
Morning would know she was a common slut.
— Karl Shapiro, excerpt, "Death of Emma Goldman," From Person, Place, & Thing (1942)
(texts: composer) (1985-86) (all from: E.G.: A Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman)
op.78 My Marriage (4 min.) (text: Karen Ruoff Kramer & composer)
Russia - America - ? (2 min.) by Leonard J. Lehrman,
Where Do I Belong? (3 min.); If I Can't Dance (4 min.); Emma (3 min.)
1940 -- US: Richard Kostelanetz, prolific American artist, author, critic & anarchist, lives, New York City. Editor of Liberty magazine.
1941 -- US: First groups of WWII conscientious objectors (COs) ordered to report to camp at Patapsco, Maryland.
1942 -- Bottoms Up?: Famed actor, John Barrymore, rehearses a sketch with Rudy Vallee for a scene that refers to the actor's possible death from excessive drinking. Two weeks later, to the day, he died from complications brought about by — surprise — overdrinking.
1942 -- A Premier Day?: In Cincinnati, Ohio, Aaron Copland's symphonic poem "Lincoln Portrait" premiers, Virgil Thomson's "The Mayor La Guardia Waltzes" premiers, Jerome Kern's "Mark Twain" premiers.
1943 -- Jack Bruce, "Get down to basics," lives, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
1944 -- George Lucas, film producer, director, lives.
1945 -- US: Plutonium is injected intravenously into a human subject in an experiment carried out by the Los Alamos scientific laboratory. In all, 18 people were similarly tested between 1945 & 1946.
1946 -- US: Artist, novelist, filmmaker, anarchist & Conscientious Objector (CO) Lowell Naeve is released from prison.Lowell Naeve, He Couldn't Take It () 16mm, b&w, sound, 11 min. rental price: 20.00 Lowell Naeve Inventor, The () 16mm, b&w, sound, 8 min
The year is 1941. Naeve is sentenced to one year & sent to New York City’s West Street Jail before going to Danbury Prison. To most of the prisoners, you had to have done something really bad to be there.... show details
One day, Louis Lepke, fellow inmate & famous boss of the Murder, Inc. crime syndicate, asks to speak with Naeve.
After conversing for a bit, Lepke says, referring to the fact that he was headed to the electric chair for ordering the killing of hundreds of people, "It don't seem to me to make much sense that they put a man in jail for that" (refusing to kill).
A few people have confused Naeve's encounter, thinking it happened to poet Robert Lowell, who also did time in West Street Jail & Danbury.
After serving his one-year sentence he is re-arrested & sent back to Danbury.
1953 -- Dylan Thomas narrates his "Under Milk Wood," NY; also his book The Doctor & the Devils is published.
1956 -- Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson is published.
1960 -- US: Bally Ache, the winner of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland, sold for $1,250,000. Wonder what he would have gotten with a name change . . .
1960 -- US: Police beat & drag 200 anti-HUAC protesters, San Francisco, California.
1961 -- US: Bus with the first group of Freedom Riders is bombed & burned in Alabama. Segregationists attack & burn the "Freedom Rider" Greyhound bus near Anniston. Bob Dylan writes "Ballad of Emmett Till."
"Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
& they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, & I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin' him & to watch him slowly die. . ."
1962 -- Yugoslavia: Dissident Milovan Djilas is given a further sentence for publishing Conversations With Stalin.
1965 -- US: "Boss of the Bay," KYA presents the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, Beau Brummels, Paul Revere & the Raiders, & the Vejtables, at Civic Auditorium, in Frisco.
1965 -- China: Explosion of China’s second atomic bomb announced.
Source: [K.S. Karol]
1965 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Labor Leader AFL-CIO Pres. George Meany criticizes opponents of the Vietnam War. American labor, like most of the US, has a ring in its nose, allowing it to be happily led from one humiliation to the next.
1966 -- US: The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" on pop charts since '63, enters the Hot 100 for the ninth & last time with a re-released version. Incites controversy over its unintelligible, but assumed obscene lyrics.
"Smash your left hand down about right here three times, then twice up in this area, then three times right about here . . . that's "Louie Louie."
1967 -- US: A be-in is held at Independence Hall, Philadelphia.
1967 -- US: The army unveils mind drug MZ, a spray-on weapon to sow confusion. The army, as we know, remains confused.
1968 -- Paris '68: Sorbonne students occupy & open the University to the population, inviting "the workers to come & discuss with them the problems of the University." All demonstrators who were arrested have been released.
L'Université de la Sorbonne est déclarée "Commune libre." A Nantes, les ouvriers de Sud-Aviation, commencent les premières occupations d'usines.
Between May 13-30 similar events & demonstrations are inspired, bringing daily life in the modern industrial countries & authority itself into question — in Madrid, Rome, Berlin, NY, & Czechoslovakia (during "Prague Spring").
A slogan on the wall of the University of Paris at the Sorbonne expresses the mood:
"Thanks to teachers & examinations, careerism begins at age six."
There is a story told about how at 4 in the morning on the "night of the barricades," several students phoned up George Séguy, head of the General Trade Union Confederation (CGT), led by the PCF, & told him: "We can't hold out. We need the proletarians to come & help us."
Séguy reportedly replied,
"One does not mobilize the working class at this time of night."
1968 -- France '68: Workplace occupations start. A significant aspect of the May Upheaval. By the end of this month over 10,000,000 workers are involved in occupations. In Nantes, the workmen of South-Aviation, begin the first occupations of factories. See the Anarchist Encyclopedia, Paris '68, May 14th.
14 mai 68 Le général de Gaulle part en visite officielle en Roumanie.
The National Assembly discusses the university crises & the battles of the Quartier Latin. Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Charles de Gaulle leaves for Romania. Workers occupy Sud-Aviation in Nantes.
1968 -- US: J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, sends a memorandum to all FBI field offices initiating a counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) to disrupt New Left groups.
[Source: Chicago '68: A Chronology]
1968 -- Italy: Students occupy the University of Milan.
[Background Details / context]
1969 -- US: Last Chevrolet Corvair is produced. This car launched Ralph Nader into the spotlight with his expose, Unsafe at Any Speed.
1969 -- US: Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigns under fire for personal conduct (first in history).
1969 -- US: Police build fence around People's Park tonight in Berkeley, California.
NOT PEOPLE'S PARK
PEOPLE'S PLANET, CAN THEY
FENCE THAT ONE IN, BULLDOZE IT
— Diane di Prima, Revolutionary Letter #38
1970 -- US: Seminole tribes of Florida & Oklahoma are awarded $12.2 million for lands taken "under duress."
1970 -- US: Exterminate Dorm Rats? Mississippi: Jackson State Riot Number Two. Two African-American students killed & 10 others wounded when state police fire into a Jackson State College woman's dorm during anti-war demonstrations.
May 14/15: At about midnight, two African American students are killed, others wounded in a police barrage — with little media coverage. These murders follow the Kent State killings by government troops of just a few days ago.
The university's second major disturbance in three years.
See May 11, 1967.
[see also: Chicago '68: A Chronology]
1973 -- Skylab orbital space station launched. "What goes up must come down."
1975 -- US: Southwest Airlines flight attendants win first labor contract.
1976 -- England: Former Yardbirds lead singer/co-founder Renaissance Keith Relf, 33, is electrocuted in his West London home. Found alongside a plugged-in electric guitar by his eight year old son.
1980 -- Some 600 Salvadoran refugees are killed attempting to cross the Sumpul River from El Salvador to Honduras by government troops from both countries.
1980 -- US: Baseball's Royals walk 14 Yanks — including five with bases loaded. Yankees win 16-3.
1983 -- US: Police pull "Freeway Killer" Randy Kraft over for drunk driving & find the body of a strangled 25-year old Marine in the passenger seat; Kraft is linked to 45 murders & convicted of 16, Mission Viejo, California.
1984 -- US: Waadah & Tatoosh Islands, off the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, are returned to the Makah Indian Nation.
1987 -- US: Closet Commie? Former Reagan National Security adviser Robert McFarlane is asked why he failed to protest foolhardy administration policy.
"If I'd done that," he explains, "Bill Casey, Jeane Kirkpatrick & Cap Weinberger would have said I was some kind of Commie."
1988 -- First non-pitcher (Jose Oquendo) in 20 years to get a decision in a baseball game; lost 7-5 in 19 innings.
1988 -- José Xena Torrent (1907-1988) dies. Militant Catalan anarcho-syndicalist.
With the brothers Ascaso, Buenaventura Durruti, Oliver etc., Xena formed the "Los Solidarios" group. Member of the C.N.T. & of the F.A.I. A combatant in Barcelona on July 19, 1936, in the street battles to defeat the fascist rebels & a regional secretary of the F.A.I. In France he was involved with Germinal Esgleas, Federica Montseny, Germinal de Sousa, Juan García Oliver & others, in reconstituting the "Consejo general del Movimiento Libertario" in exile. Imprisoned by the fascists until March 1940, he then moved his family & settled in Venezuela. There Xena continued his libertarian militancy, in the Centre Culturel de Caracas, until his death, May 14, 1988.
1989 -- China: Tens of thousands demonstrate for reforms, Beijing.
1990 -- France: 200,000 in Paris protest desecration of Jewish graves.
1994 -- The South Will Rise Again?: Georgia & Abkhazia agree to a cease-fire.
1995 -- England: First London RTS street party — gathered at the Rainbow Centre (a squatted church at Kentish Town) & partied in Camden.
1997 -- US: A chemical storage tank at Hanford Nuclear Reservation explodes, exposing workers to a radioactive plume; eight are hospitalized.
1997 -- US: Explosion occurs at Hanford's Plutonium Reclamation Facility, Washington state.
After playing some just amazing music, KVH+H was joined onstage by Pacific Northwest legend Artis The Spoonman... Artis & Alan Hertz started a percussion duet that was utterly & completely insane! Beyond description...
All my friends are Indians
All my friends are brown & red, Spoonman
All my friends are skeletons
They beat the rhythm with their bones, Spoonman
Feel the rhythm with your hands
Steal the rhythm while you can, Spoonman— Soundgarden
1999 -- Kosovo: NATO jets kill 87 Kosovar refugees, Korisa.
2000 -- Karl Shapiro, American poet, professor & Pulitzer Prize-winner in 1945, dies. He was 86.
"I am an atheist who says his prayers. I am an anarchist, &
a full professor at that. I take the loyalty oath."
— Karl Shapiro, "The Bourgeois Poet"
"Shapiro Is All Right!"
Thus exclaims the title of a review, years ago, of one of Karl Shapiro's books in the "New York Times Book Review". The reviewer was William Carlos Williams...
How Do I Love You? (Sonnetina #3) (4 min.)
(text: Karl Shapiro sonnet parodying
Elizabeth Barrett Browning sonnet;
music parodies Ravel Quartet)
SATB with Piano/String Quartet (1970-72) op.28A
by Leonard J. Lehrman
"LIBERTE. Principe fondamental de l'anarchie, opposé de façon irréductible au principe d'autorité..."
— Les Mots de l'Anarchie
"Fighting against the government is like fanning the flames of a dying fire."
— John Cage
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