Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

July 4th, 2007

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The Announcement

The Alternate Historian Speaks (again):Happy 4th to all of our US readers – just another day for those of you outside our country, but a special day to us. Being an Englishman in Canada, my esteemed Co-Historian doesn't see the day in quite the same light as I do, so we'll forgive his outcomes for the American Revolution below. My contribution today is a continuation of yesterday's story – enjoy!

Andrea got to sleep in late because of the holiday – what civilized country puts a holiday in the middle of the week? - and so she and Monica had stayed up till the early morning watching the sky. Monica, as she usually did, still got up in time to cook and eat breakfast, and she was watching TV when Andrea finally roused herself. “Anything good on?” Andrea leaned over the couch and kissed her daughter on the head.
“Nah,” Monica said, flipping the channel. “I was just about to go play the Sims.”
“I don't want you spending the whole day on that game,” Andrea said to her.
“I won't, I won't. Just a few hours.”
“Hey, you were on CNN earlier – they had pictures of all the probe meeting people.” Monica looked back at her. “You need a better publicity photo.”
Andrea stuck her tongue out at her daughter. “I think I look great in that picture.”
Monica obviously didn't agree. “Please. You got the Condoleeza Rice flippy-hair thing goin' on.”
A chink showed in Andrea's armor. “You don't think that looks nice?”
“You should just go natural. A tight afro'd look good on you.”
Andrea ran her hand through her hair. She hadn't had an afro since she was 14 and her own mother had let her start using conditioners. She stared at her reflection in the stainless steel door of the refrigerator and thought about it. “I should go to the salon before the meeting.”
“That's what I'm sayin'.”
Andrea pulled a juice box out of the fridge and a power bar out of a cupboard and sat down beside Monica. She felt her daughter's eyes boring into her, and said, “What?”
“Is that your breakfast?”
“I got juice and I got granola. That's all I need.”
Monica groaned. “At least let me make you some eggs.”
“You keep your little butt down on this couch. I need to look good for the meeting, right?”
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
“I'm never letting you watch Saturday cartoons again.” They stared off for a few seconds, and then Andrea gave in. “All right. Just don't use so much butter on them, this time.”
“I'll use margarine,” Monica said, magnanimous in victory. “And, I got some nice veggies that'll make 'em taste great, and be healthy for you.”
“My little chef. I'm surprised you weren't watching the food channel.”
“I was, but then Rachel Ray came on. You know how I feel about her.”
“You have got to get over your jealousy of this woman.”
“Pssh. Jealousy. Like she's got anything for me to be jealous of.”
“Fame, fortune, a dozen TV shows...”
“You just wait till I get out of the Culinary Institute and get in with a good restaurant. I got exotic looks and ethnic flair – Food TV'll go nuts over me.” And, true to her words, the smells coming from the kitchen were delicious.
Andrea's stomach growled, in spite of her attempts to placate it with juice and granola. “Is that going to be done soon?”
“Just gimme a minute.”
Andrea flipped the channel to CNN. It might as well be PNN these days - all probe, all the time. They were showing the latest pictures of the probe from the army of satellites that were now observing it constantly. “You're right, it does look like a hairball.”
Monica tutted. “Do we really need to get involved with aliens who have no fashion sense?”

In 1999, the networks ran installment seven of TSEotTC - in three parts. The fanfare of the return of the Apollo Mission in 1969, the triumphalism of the new President as America paid homage to the ambition of JFK to land a man on the moon this decade...

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1967, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took an unexpected step forward by officially reforming as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. "We were fed up with being Beatles," McCartney has said, referring to the matching suits and screaming girls they left behind after retiring from live concerts, at the end of August 1966.

Sgt Peppers

"We were not boys, we were men. . . artists, not performers."

On Friday, February 10th, 1967, the Beatles had thrown a party at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in northwest London. The occasion: the recording of twenty-four bars of improvised crescendo, played by a forty-piece orchestra, for "A Day in the Life," the climax of the band's then-in-progress masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Special guests included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Donovan and the Monkees' Michael Nesmith. At the Beatles' request, the orchestra members wore formal evening dress with funny hats, clown noses, fake nipples and, in the case of the lead violinist, a gorilla's paw on his bowing hand. Engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Townsend taped the musical chaos on a pair of linked four-track machines, making this the first-ever eight-track recording date in Britain.

Released on June 1st, 1967, in a now-iconic gatefold cover by artist Peter Blake and photographer Michael Cooper, Sgt. Pepper immediately electrified the world. No other LP of rock's first half-century so richly defined its era -- the hope and the mutiny of the 1960s -- and completely redefined the outer limits of the recording experience. "It seemed obvious to us that peace, love and justice ought to happen," McCartney said. At the same time, "we recorded Sgt. Pepper to alter our egos, to free ourselves and have a lot of fun."

Whilst we can only speculate, it seems unlikely that the fab four would have survived into the new decade of the 1970s without such a major rethink.
~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne

In 1999, the networks ran instalment seven of TSEotTC, part two. That greatest of covert operation organisers Richard Nixon had ordered the assassination on JFK. Now he had stolen Kennedy's victory and the glory of his space program...

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson added a single word in the preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence, wherein it was restated that governments "derive their just power from the unanimous consent of the governed." Disturbed by this wording, Albert Gallatin intercedes in the Whiskey Rebellion to the benefit of the farmers, rather than of the fledgling United States government, eventually leading to the death of George Washington in the ensuing civil war, the abrogation of the U.S. Constitution, and the re-establishment of government under the Articles of Confederation. Over the ensuing century, the remnants of central government dissipate, and by the start of the novel in the year 1986, the NAC presidency is a largely honorary role preserved only as a coordinator of actions in national emergencies.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1954, on the Fourth of July, three men got together to rehearse some songs they planned to record the next evening, a Monday. One of them was a nineteen-year-old Memphis truck driver named Elvis Presley. There is no one who doesn't know what happened next (continues tomorrow...)

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1942, on the Irish Isles reports from subversive underground newspapers in Southern England fuel “the Troubles” with the Dublin Government. In tribute to the terrorist squad led by Ian Fleming, the head line “Went the Day Well?” ran on the Sun's front page. The article opened with the powerful poem - '”Went the day ..
.. well? We died and never knew. But, well or ill. Freedom, we died for you. Went the day well?”.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1942, at RAF Northolt, Head of the British Professional Army Sir Alan Brooke briefed the new Head of British Central Command, Bernard Montgomery. “Meet with Dayan in Jerusalem and offer him the keys to the British Mandate in Palestine. We need the Haganah to defend the [Suez] Canal Zone. They will be our Orange men in the Middle East”.Monty

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Ipcress File
Ipcress File
In 1962, Len Deighton published the pseudo-factual novel ”Ipcress File”, later made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine. A number of leading Western scientists on Project Rainbow have been kidnapped only to reappear a few days ..
.. later. Unfortunately, each scientist has been brain washed and is now completely useless. The British send their agent, Harry Palmer, to investigate. Palmer is surprised to be selected for such a mission (considering his past) and believes he has been chosen because he is expendable.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1826, both former American presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died, fifty years to the day after the adoption of the ill-fated United States Declaration of Independence. Declaration of Independence
Declaration of ..

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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