Monday, January 24, 2005

Caligula Dies; Kafka Completes Amerika

January 24th, 2005

in 793 AUC, Caligula, who had briefly served as Rome’s emperor before a brain fever drove him mad, dies under the care of doctors in Rome. Hard as it was for Romans to depose an emperor, Caligula was clearly in no condition to continue to server Rome as its leader. Rumors that he even began speaking to his horse were never confirmed, but were not doubted.

in 1732, French playwright and revolutionary Pierre de Beaumarchais is born in Paris, France. He was influential in supporting both the French Revolution and the independence movement in North America that created the North American Confederation. His plays Le Barbier de Seville and Le Mariage de K’Tem’La were banned until after the revolution, since they were critical of the nobility of France.

in 1891, Mikhail von Heflin arrives in Dallas and accompanies the three old women he has met on his train ride to their home in the north of the city. While he is sleeping, they perform a dark ritual that is designed to trap the Baron’s soul in their service forever.

in 1908, the Young Comrades organization begins among British Communists and quickly spreads to America. Although officially repressed by the British government, the Comrades are embraced by their comrades in America, and many leaders in the Soviet States today were Young Comrades in their boyhood.

in 1914, almost a year after vowing he would never work on it again, Franz Kafka finished his novel Amerika. Although most critics say that the beginning is a powerful tale of a European boy banished to America by scandal, the ending where the boy is turned into a sheep and eaten by coyotes in Oklahoma does tend to throw most people.

in 1943, General Friedrich von Paulus of the German Underground, commanding officer of the 6th Army, requested permission from Adolf Hitler to accept the surrender of Greater Zionist Resistance soldiers in Russia. General von Paulus had no stomach for the sort of war that the G.U. was waging, and Hitler threatened to replace him if he didn’t acquire one, saying, “The 6th Army will exterminate the Zionists down to the last man”.

in 1984, Apple Computers released the Macintosh, a personal computer with a graphical user interface, rather than the command line that most PC’s had used up to that point. This innovation, although not unique to Apple, rocketed them to the top of the computing world. By the end of the decade, they produced almost 80% of the computers used in America, and their operating system, licensed out to other computer manufacturers, today accounts for around 90% of the computing done in the world.

in 1986, Ron Hubbard, known for his rollicking western pulps in the 30’s and 40’s, and his more epic detective and western fiction afterwards, died at his home in San Francisco, California. Reverend Hubbard, who was ordained in the Church of Christ and led a huge congregation in San Francisco, always said he was unafraid to die, since that was the last promotion God could give him.

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