Tag Archives: BBC

Almanac – June 16

BLOOMSDAY – in 1904  James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently used the date to set the action of his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called Bloomsday.

 

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1816 – Lord Byron read Fantasmagoriana to his four house guests at the Villa Diodati –  Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori –  and issued his challenge that each guest write a ghost story, which resulted  in Mary Shelley writing the novel Frankenstein, John Polidori  the short story The Vampyre, and Byron the poem Darkness

 

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1829 – Geronimo born. A prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars.


Geronimo” was the name given to him during a battle with Mexican soldiers. His Chiricahua name is often rendered as Goyathlay or Goyahkla  in English.

 

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1881 – Marie Laveau died. Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo, renowned in New Orleans.


Of her magical career there is little that can be substantiated. She was said to have had a snake she named Zombi after an African god. Oral traditions suggested that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs, including saints, with African spirits and religious concepts.


Her daughter Marie Laveau II (1827 — c. 1895) also practiced Voudoun, and historical accounts often confuse the two.  Some believe that the mother was more powerful while the daughter arranged more elaborate public events (including inviting attendees to St. John’s Eve rituals on Bayou St. John), but it is not known which (if not both) had done more to establish the voodoo queen reputation.


Marie Laveau was reportedly buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans in the Glapion family crypt. The tomb continues to attract visitors who draw three “x”s (XXX) on its side, in the hopes that Laveau’s spirit will grant them a wish.

Some  researchers claim that Laveau is buried in other tombs, but they may be confusing the resting places of other voodoo priestesses of New Orleans.

 

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1963 – Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.


During her three-day mission, in Vostok 6,  she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body’s reaction to spaceflight.


After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still revered as a heroine in post-Soviet Russia.

 

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1999 – Screaming Lord Sutch died. Cult English singer and musican, and founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, who he served as its leader from 1983 to 1999, during which time he stood in numerous parliamentary elections.


Sutch was also a pioneer of pirate radio in the UK, and worked with the legendary record producer  Joe Meek.


His album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named – unfairly ! –  in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.


Sutch suffered from depression and committed suicide by hanging.

 

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Almanac – May 02

1551 – William Camden born.  English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and officer of arms.

He wrote the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.

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1929 – Link Wray born.  American rock and roll guitarist, songwriter and vocalist.

Building on the overdriven, distorted electric guitar sound of early electric blues records, his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble”  introduced “the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists,” making possible punk and heavy rock.

Rolling Stone placed Wray at number 45 of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

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1945 – Judge Dread born. English reggae and ska musician.

He was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica, and the BBC has banned more of his songs than any other recording artist due to his frequent use of sexual innuendo and double entendres.

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Thatcher Dead – Her Spawn Live On

Well, I suppose if I can find one good thing to say about Thatcher,  its that she didn’t  encourage the fruit of her loins – the terrible twins Carol and Mark – to follow her into politics.

Carol has followed some kind of career in journalism, as an author (biographies of mummy and daddy) and a “personality”.  A very annoying personality, and one no-one would have entertained on national media had it not been for her parentage.

She did have her moments.

In 2007 she travelled to the Falkland Islands and Argentina for the documentary Mummy’s War...

During her stay in Argentina she met a group of mothers who lost their sons during the conflict and stated, with all the sensitivity of her mother – “We were fighting a war; we won, you lost,” and reminded them that it was their country that invaded the islands, thus initiating the conflict. The interview ended with one of the women claiming that “God will punish her (Margaret Thatcher)”.

And diplomatic as ever, in 2009 she got the heave-ho from the BBC for making racist comments about a black tennis player.

Still, even with the insensitivity and casual racism, she’s like Snow White compared to her slimy sibling Mark.

During the mid- to late 1980s concerns were frequently expressed in relation to his business affairs. In 1984 his mother faced questions in the House of Commons in relation to his involvement in representing a British company Cementation, a subsidiary of Trafalgar House to build a university in Oman at a time when the prime minister was urging Omanis to buy British.

He has denied claims made that in 1985 he received millions of pounds in commission in relation to the £45 billion Al-Yamamah arms deal, a controversial arms sale by BAE to Saudi Arabia which was possibly the largest arms sale ever; he has not disputed that a house in Belgravia , London was purchased for him for £1 million in 1987 by an offshore company controlled by Wafic Said, a middleman in the deal.

In 1986 his mother faced questions in the House of Commons again over her son’s relationship with the Sultan of Brunei. The government’s PR advisers suggested that it would be best if he left the country !

So he was banished to Texas, and later spent time in Switzerland as a tax exile until he was forced to leave when the Swiss authorities started to question his residency qualifications.

Back in the USA in 1996 he was prosecuted for tax evasion, at which point he moved to South Africa.

In 1998 South African authorities investigated a company owned by Thatcher for allegedly running loan shark operations. According to the Star of Johannesburg’, the company had offered unofficial small loans to hundreds of police officers, military personnel and civil servants and then pursued them with debt collectors.

In 2003, following the death of his father he assumed the title of ‘Sir’ due to his Thatcher Baronetcy , a year before he was arrested in South Africa in connection with the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt to which he pleaded guilty of breaking anti-mercenary legislation in January 2005. At this time the Sunday Times suggested that he had personal assets of £60 million, most of which was in offshore accounts.

He moved to Monaco on a temporary residency permit.His Monaco residency was not renewed as he was said to be on a list of ‘undesirables’ who would not be allowed further residency and he was required to leave by mid-2006.

He was refused a entry visa to the USA due to his conviction in South Africa.

He was refused residency in Switzerland and settled in Gibraltar where he married his second wife in 2008. In 2013 he was reported to spend most of his time in Marbella.  Arguably, anyone else with a comparable record would spend most of his time in prison.

I do hope someone at the Tax authorities is checking up to see how much UK tax he has avoided over the years.

My god, what a dysfunctional family !

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Thatcher Dead – Celebrating Death The Last Taboo ?

Margaret Thatcher and the taboo of speaking ill of the dead

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22066540

Interesting article on the BBC site, including advice from an ettiquette advisor –

“Obviously because Margaret Thatcher’s a political figure, and she was an important person, she is going to stir up emotions,” says etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith.

“But if people are politically anti her, I hope they will be kind enough to say they didn’t agree with her, but they respect what she did. Now is not the time to churn up silliness or bring up bad points – it’s good etiquette to let her rest and focus on her good points,” she says.

Hang on – run that bit past me again…

“But if people are politically anti her, I hope they will be kind enough to say they didn’t agree with her, but they respect what she did.”

But many people didn’t respect what she did.

I didn’t respect what she did.

Are we supposed to to pretend everything was OK really, what a nice old lady she was really ? Just because she’s dead ?

She took little notice of criticism while alive, I hardly think its going to bother her much now.

As for the question of respect for the dead… respect has to be earned while you’re alive.

All the vitriol she’s received, she earned…and is at least an honest reaction.

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Thatcher – Ding Dong The Witch Is Censored

The Wizard of Oz song at the centre of an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign will not be played in full on the BBC Official Chart Show.

Instead a five-second clip of the 51-second song will be aired as part of a Newsbeat report, Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said.

Sales of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead have soared since the former Prime Minister’s death on Monday.

Mr Cooper called the decision “a difficult compromise”.

The song is set to take the number three spot in Sunday’s countdown, according to the Official Charts Company.

Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat, Mr Cooper said: “The decision I have made is I am not going to play it in full but that I will play a clip of it in a news environment.

“When I say a news environment, that is a newsreader telling you about the fact that this record has reached a certain place in the chart and here is a clip of that track.”

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Ben Cooper says the decision is a “compromise” but not a “fudge”

I personally doubt that many people over the age of 16 take Radio 1 seriously anyway, and the BBC in general have quite a long record (no pun intended) of banning songs – The Sex PistolsGod Save The Queen” in 1977, The Dead KennedysToo Drunk To Fuck” when it made the charts in the 1980s, Frankie Goes To Holiwood‘s “Relax”, and a whole host more.

Even Noel Coward got banned for “Let’s Dont Be Beastly To The Germans” way back.

Of course, the thing about the particular song in question here is that its not about Thatcher, doesn’t mention her… all the the implied associations are in the minds of the various groups for and against.

Those against it ought to be grateful – it could have been…

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Almanac – March 13

1911 – L. Ron Hubbard born. American pulp fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology.

After establishing a career as a writer, becoming best known for his science fiction and fantasy stories, he developed a self-help system called Dianetics which was first published in May 1950.

He subsequently developed his ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and rituals as part of a new religious movement that he called Scientology.

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1998 – Judge Dread died. English reggae and ska musician. He was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica, and the BBC has banned more of his songs than any other recording artist due to his frequent use of sexual innuendo and double entendres.

After a brief spell as a professional wrestler (performing under the name “The Masked Executioner”), and as a debt collector for Trojan Records, he worked as a DJ on local radio and ran his own sound system.

When Prince Buster had a big underground hit in 1969 with “Big 5”,  Dread capitalized on it with the recording of his own “Big Six”, based on Verne & Son‘s “Little Boy Blue“, which was picked up by Trojan boss Lee Gopthal, and released on Trojan’s ‘Big Shot’ record label under the  name Judge Dread, the name taken from another of Prince Buster’s songs.

“Big Six” reached #11 in the UK Singles Chart in 1972, selling over 300,000 copies and spending six months on the chart, despite getting no radio airplay due to its lyrics.

Further hit singles followed with “Big Seven” (co-written by Rupie Edwards) and “Big Eight” — both following the pattern of lewd versions of nursery rhymes over a reggae backing.

Dread had 11 UK chart hits in the 1970s, which was more than any other reggae artist (including Bob Marley). The Guinness Book of World Records credits Judge Dread for having the highest number of banned songs of all time, 11.

He died from a heart attack as he walked off stage after performing at The Penny Theatre in Canterbury.

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Almanac – September 30

Today is Blasphemy Day.
Blasphemy Rights Day International, on  which individuals and groups are encouraged to openly express their criticism of, or even disdain for, religion. It was founded in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry  in Amherst, New York.

Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said regarding Blasphemy Day, “We think religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs are, but we have a taboo on religion,” in an interview with CNN.  The day was set on September 30, to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of satirical drawings of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, resulting in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.

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Evidently a good day to premiere something…

The Magic Flute [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart] in Vienna in 1791.
The Pearl Fishers [Georges Bizet] in Paris, 1863.
Porgy & Bess [George Gershwin], Boston, 1935
– The first demonstration film of Cinerama – the imaginatively titled This Is Cinerama – in New York, 1952.

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1888 – The deaths of  Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, generally considered the third and fourth victims of Jack the Ripper, though its theorised that Stride may not have been a Ripper victim.

 

 

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1955 – James Dean died. American film actor and  a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955), and as the surly ranch hand, Jett Rink, in Giant (1956). Dean’s enduring fame and popularity rests on his performances in only these three films, all leading roles. His premature death in a car crash cemented his legendary status.

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1967 –  The BBC’s  Light Programme, Third Programme and Home Service were replaced with BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
BBC Radio 1 – the official answer to the outlawed  pirate pop stations –  was also launched with Tony Blackburn (himself an ex-pirate) presenting the first show, and the first record played was…

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