Today Is Awesome

Brandi & Lily
Originally uploaded by Jacob Clifton

Today Is Awesome

  • The Ludi Apollinares games honoring Apollo start today (and have been since 208 BC)
  • Louis Pasteur tries his rabies vaccine on rabid little Joseph Meister (1885), with hilarious results

Less Awesome

  • ‘Enry the Eighth executes Ex-Lord Chancellor and inventor of utopias Sir Thomas More, who thinks the creation of the Church of England is stupid (1535)
  • Later inventor of utopias, John Lennon, meets Paul McCartney for the first time at a church garden party (1957)
  • Sir Thomas More is like, “Worth it.”

Starts Awesome, Goes South

  • Clement VI issues a Papal Bull protecting Jews during the Black Death (1348), but then it’s smooth sailing, Judaically speaking
  • Well, until 1942: today’s the day Anne Frank’s family go into hiding

In Other White People Are Bad News News

  • The GOP is born in Jackson MI (1854)
  • A Prairie Home Companion debuts (1974)
  • America forces King David Kalakaua to sign Hawaii over with the Bayonet Constitution (1887)
  • Pinkertons kill 10 steelworkers during the Homestead Strike (1892)
  • In 1999, Calpernia’s lover Barry Winchell gets the baseball bat party and dies at Ft. Campbell

Fucked Up People Born Today Quiz: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other!

  1. Merv Griffin (1925), Ned Beatty (1937), Frida Kahlo (1907)
  2. Nancy Reagan (1921), George W. Bush (1946), 50 Cent (1975)
  3. Czar Nicholas I (1796), Della Reese (1931), Janet Leigh (1927)
  4. Heather Nova (1967), Brian Posehn (1966), the girls from Sister, Sister

Dead Guy Says What?

  • Guy de Maupassant (d. 1893)

    “Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship’s captain has to avoid a shipwreck.”

    “Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It’s the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.”

  • Kenneth Grahame (d. 1932)

    “‘It’s gone!’ sighed the Rat, sinking back in his seat again. ‘So beautiful and strange and new. Since it was to end so soon, I almost wish I had never heard it. For it has roused a longing in me that is pain, and nothing seems worth while but just to hear that sound once more and go on listening to it for ever. No! There it is again!’ he cried, alert once more. Entranced, he was silent for a long space, spellbound…

    “‘Now it passes on and I begin to lose it,’ he said presently. ‘O Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear, happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us.’

    “The Mole, greatly wondering, obeyed. ‘I hear nothing myself,’ he said, ‘but the wind playing in the reeds and rushes and osiers.’

    “‘Clearer and nearer still,’ cried the Rat joyously. ‘Now you must surely hear it! Ah — at last — I see you do!’
    “Breathless and transfixed the Mole stopped rowing as the liquid run of that glad piping broke on him like a wave, caught him up, and possessed him utterly. He saw the tears on his comrade’s cheeks, and bowed his head and understood.”

  • William Faulkner (d. 1962)

    “…He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed — love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.”

    “Sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forgot the words…”

    “The salvation of the world is in man’s suffering.”

    “A man’s moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream.”

    “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.


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