September 6, 1966
The Architect of Apartheid, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, is stabbed to death during a parliamentary meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. How ironic that the man who thought that dividing people based on race would be a “fun, silly idea” (not a real quote) would himself become divided, based on a knife.
One of these days somebody is really going to have to explain to me what “ironic” means.
11:40 pm • 6 September 2011
September 1, 1969
A revolution in Libya brings Muammar al-Gaddafi into power. I don’t read “the news” much because I’m too busy writing this blog, so I don’t know anything about this Gaddafi character, but just from that one sentence he sounds like a swell guy. He led a revolution, probably liberating Libya from something. Maybe that’s even why they call it Libya. Who knows? Probably no one. So, happy 42nd anniversary, Muammar al-Gaddafi. May you rule for another 42 glorious years!
3:47 pm • 1 September 2011
August 29, 1942
The Treaty of Nanking signing ends the First Opium War, which had lasted three years. I imagine it would have been much shorter if everyone involved had actually smoked some opium. “In the name of the British Empire, I order you to…withdraw from…Canton…I’m just…going to lay down…for a while…on this mat.”
6:05 pm • 29 August 2011
August 28, 1986
U.S. Navy officer Jerry Whitworth is sentenced to 365 years imprisonment for espionage for the Soviet Union. I’ve always wondered why it is that when people commit really bad crimes they get sentenced to more years than they are going to live. It’s basically a symbolic punishment and I really doubt there are any murderers out there going, “Oh man! Three life sentences back to back?! I won’t get out of here until I’m 80-dead!” Also, it’s just a lie. When people die in jail, they get out of jail. And into the ground. But still. If they were serious about the consecutive life sentences, they would just leave the prisoners in their cells after they died. THAT’LL SHOW ‘EM.
In this case in particular, the 365-year sentence is
interesting dumb. 365, if you didn’t already know, is the number of days in the year (this is a very educational blog.) But in years, it has no significance that I can think of. “For your treason, I sentence you to A YEAR OF YEARS. ONE SUPERYEAR. USA! USA!”
1:01 pm • 28 August 2011
I’m up in the Adirondacks right now at my family reunion. FAMILY REUNION 2011!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I would devote about 700 words to making fun of my family but apparently they all read this blog. The only one I could make fun of safely is my grandma, who is 92 and doesn’t like computers. Fair enough! I’m certainly not making fun of her about that. 92 is very old—probably way too old to like computers, although my other grandma is also very old and she likes computers a lot. She has a facebook and spends a lot of time wishing people happy birthdays and downloading viruses. It’s very cute, but enough about her. What is this, Today In Grandmas? To the history!
1990: Stevie Ray Vaughn dies in a helicopter crash. I had a friend in college (I still have a friend but I’m not in college any more) who loved to talk about Stevie Ray Vaughn, specifically about how he used to mix a gram of cocaine into a Tumblr of whiskey and chug that shit JUST TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING. Apparently that is very cool? This friend, let’s call him “Devin,” liked to talk about it while he himself was drinking whiskey, which was usually. He would also claim that Stevie Ray Vaughn visited a doctor and the doctor told him he was going to die, so he stopped doing the cocaine in the whiskey thing, and then two weeks later he died in a helicopter crash, ironically, depending on what you think ironically means. I was always a little suspicious of that part of the story, though. Stevie Ray Vaughn didn’t know that mixing cocaine and whiskey and drinking it EVERY MORNING was going to make him die? Really? So, “Devin,” if that’s even your real name, now you know that I was on to you the whole time.
1:45 pm • 27 August 2011
August 22, 1989
Nolan Ryan strikes out Rickey Henderson to become the first MLB pitcher to record 5,000 strikeouts. Now, the same sentence as if it were written by Rickey Henderson:
Nolan Ryan strikes out Rickey Henderson to become the first Rickey Henderson to Rickey Henderson Rickey Henderson.
Get it? It’s funny if you know about Rickey Henderson.
8:33 pm • 22 August 2011
August 15, 1954
Alfredo Stroessner begins his dictatorship in Paraguay. The first day of a dictatorship is hard. It’s like, “What should I wear? Should I dress up kind of fancy because I want to look my best and make a good impression? Or should I dress more casual so people know that I’m a down-to-earth guy that they can talk to? But if I dress casual will they think that I’m not taking this dictatorship seriously? Or if I dress fancy will they think I’m a huge dork? I should probably just wear a nice pair of khakis, but my only pair of khakis is way too short and I definitely do not have time to go out and buy a new pair because this is the first day of my dictatorship! Also how many people should I behead?”
6:05 pm • 15 August 2011
Happy Birthday To:
Asher Roth turns 26 years old today. Oh no! The window is closing, Asher Roth! 26 is way too old for college! What is your next hit single going to be called? I Love Jobs? “I love jobs / And I love taxes / I have a girlfriend / She moved into my apartment / We might get a cat.” –sample 26-year-old Asher Roth lyrics that he can use if he wants to.
Seriously though, Asher Roth’s 15 minutes were over about 26,000 minutes ago, and good fucking riddance. He was basically a Lonely Island song that wasn’t in on the joke. Side note: On Asher Roth’s Wikipedia, there is a section titled “Political Views” which is just one paragraph about how Asher Roth thinks that marijuana should be legalized. Cool! Cool political views, Asher Roth. Asher Roth seems like a very well rounded person. Today, let’s all be the worst in honor of Asher Roth.
(Bonus me-making-fun-of-Asher-Roth material: here’s a thing I wrote once making fun of Asher Roth.)
8:48 pm • 11 August 2011
August 10, 1948
Candid Camera makes its television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone. Candid Microphone had been preceded by Candid Print Journalism, which had, in turn, been preceded by Candid Word of Mouth, which was just a guy named Sheldon who would go around being a dick to everyone.
4:01 pm • 10 August 2011
August 9, 1930
Betty Boop makes her cartoon debut. Does anyone think it’s kind of weird that Betty Boop still has any type of cultural relevance? Do I think that? Maybe. Maybe not, though. Does she even have cultural relevance? If you say “Betty Boop” everybody knows what you’re talking about. That’s cultural relevance, right? I’ve never thought very much about Betty Boop until this moment. I’ve always been aware of her existence and known a few things about her, such as the fact that she is a weird cartoon that was a sort of sex symbol in the 1930s, which is also weird when you think about it because a) cartoon sex symbols are weird, and b) Betty Boop is not very attractive, even as a cartoon? I mean, I know that things were different back in the ‘30s, but Betty Boop does not even really look that much like a person. Her head is basically a square and her eyes are perfect circles and her nose and mouth are dots. Did they not realize in the 1930s that things didn’t have to be basic shapes? She does have nice legs, but, frankly, the face really throws you off. All I’m saying is that one could make a cartoon that is a realistic representation of an attractive woman NOT THAT I HAVE EVER BEEN ATTRACTED TO A CARTOON, NO CARTOONO, but, you know, if I were attracted to cartoons WHICH I’M NOT BECAUSE I’M NORMAL then Jessica Rabbit or most Japanese anime would be good examples of ones that work NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW.
That might have gotten off track a little bit. Sorry I flipped out. But, lest you think that I’m the weird one, from 1930 to 1933 Betty Boop had a boyfriend named Bimbo who was a dog. So there’s that.
4:08 pm • 9 August 2011