Sunday, July 08, 2007


July 8th, 2007

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The Announcement

Andrea was roused from her work by Monica leaning her head into the room and knocking on the wall. “Grandpa says to come on over for the cookout.”
Andrea looked at the clock on her computer. “God, it's that late already?”
“I'm just gonna pack up my pie, and I'll be ready in a couple minutes.”
“Ok, just give me a few minutes here, then I'll be out.”
Monica shook her head. “Don't zone out again. I wanna get to the cookout while there's still somethin' to eat.”
“You can always have your pie.”
“Ha, ha.”
Monica retreated to take of her offering to the cookout, and Andrea tried to wrap up her thoughts enough to where she could come back and pick it up. She was fine with public speaking as long as she had plenty of time to prepare, but the holiday was cutting out part of her prep time, and she felt a little rushed. When Monica returned to tap impatiently at the door again, Andrea saved where she was at and shut down the computer. “Ok, ok, here we go.” She looked down at her night clothes and said, “Maybe I should put on something else.”
“You think?”
Andrea pushed Monica out of the way and ran to her bedroom closet for some shorts and a T-shirt. She threw them on quickly, then hopped into a pair of flip-flops and ran out to the garage, where Monica was already packing her pie carefully in the back seat. “Do you want to put a seat belt on it, too?” Monica stuck her tongue out at her mother and sat down in the front seat. Andrea got behind the wheel, they both fastened their seat belts, and then she opened the garage door. Sunlight streamed in, momentarily blinding them both. “Wow. At least there's no rain.” Andrea started the car up and pulled out onto the driveway.
The news van that had taken up residence across the street fired up its engine as soon as the driver saw them pull out of the garage and prepared to follow. “Look pretty for the paparazzi, mom,” Monica said, flashing a lovely smile at the van and waving.
“Why do I think this all so much more fun for you than it is for me?”
“Because it is.”

In 1987, tension eased considerably between the troubled members of the Prog band Marillion at the Westside Studios in London. The recording of their fourth and best to date album Clutching at Straws had shed some of its predecessor's pop stylings.
Also it had retreated into a darker exploration of excess, alcoholism, and life in hotels, representing the strains of constant touring that threatened to result in the imminent departure of lead singer and lyricist Fish (real name Derek William Dick) to pursue a solo career. However self-exploration produced an unexpectedly carthatic effect upon Fish, enabling him to reconnect with Steve Rother, Pete Trewavas, Mark Kelly and Ian Mosley. Surely this was a great triumph for fans everyone including members of the Web.

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

In 1999, the networks ran instalment nine of TSEotTC. Shortly after appointment, Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten tells British Prime Minister the Raj is finished. Nonsense said Churchill, he had not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. The author Adrienne Gormley was also interviewed on the show, talking about her great work of journalism Children of Tears. She said that Mountbatten was mistaken, he should have known that Churchill meant it when he said he would not preside over the end of the British Empire.

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

In 1965, in Gold Star Studios, New York City the recording of River Deep - Mountain High was cancelled following an argument between Ike Turner and Phil Spector. Feeling threatended by his wife's success, Ike had made a number of unhelpful suggestions to Spector who had retorted "Oh, man, I came here from California to make hits." Ike did not need a translator to realise that he was being told to "Shut up and get out of my face."

~ entry from Steve Payne: the language of the quotation has been moderated.

In 2010, an earthquake struck Alaska and the US military observed the ground rumbling at HARC. Eyes turned to General Ben Crewe, and these were now of suspicion and blame rather than the congratulatory glances that followed the destruction of the small pox virus weapons launched by the rogue North Korean leadership. General Crewe glanced at his watch 22:20:03. A desert of blankness overtook him. His watch read 22:20:10. Three balls were spread out at his feet. He could not recall seeing who had dropped the balls or when they had rolled. Crewe realised he had just lost seven seconds during the the Aftershock.

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

In 1965, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died in Spandau Prison, Germany. Word of his demise reached the Fuerher in Bechtesgarden that evening. Terminally ill himself, Hitler outlived Churchill by five weeks, describing him as a "remarkable adversary" and a "remarkable drain on the Reich Treasury" in reference to the extravagant quantities of alcohol and cigars consumed by the Old Lion in his Prison Cell.

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

In 1977, Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren fired bassist Sid Vicious. Glen Matlock who had left in February was reinstated. Writing thirty years later Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day sympathised with McLaren's dilemma. "It wasn't necessarily a mistake to replace Glen Matlock with Sid Vicious. Matlock was cool, but Sid was everything that's cool about punk rock: a skinny rocker who had a ton of attitude, sort of an Elvis, James Dean kind of guy. That said, there's nothing romantic about being addicted to heroin. He was capable of playing his instrument, but he was too messed up to do it."

~ entry from Co-Historian Steve Payne: language of the original quotation has been moderated.

De Valera
De Valera
In 1942, on the Irish Isles reports from subversive underground newspapers in Southern England fuel the Troubles with the Dublin Government. 32nd US President Winston Churchill was reported to mutter Something must be done . Taoiseach √Čamon de Valera responded with absolute fury. Collecting himself nonetheless, De ..
.. Valera spoke truly when he said The English must now move forward from 1533 and stop arguing about the past. A truthful, but perhaps unhelpful reference to Henry VIII precipitous action to launch the Reformation, the event which triggered the collapse of English power.

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

In 1974, Richard Condon published Winter Kills, a counter-comedy exploring a fictional presidential assassination and the various conspiracy theories that surround the event. Before the plot begins, U.S. President John F. Kennedy is shot in Dealey Plaza, Dallas. The ensuing presidential commission condemns a lone gunman .. Winter Kills
Winter Kills
.. as the killer. The film starts years later, when Kennedy's brother, Teddy, witnesses the death-bed confession of a man claiming to have been part of the 'hit squad'. As the protagonist attempts to find the plotter(s), he encounters numerous groups and persons that could have led or been part of the conspiracy. One person is Judith Campbell Exner, mob a hostess, lobbyist and fixer. She recounts the story of President Kennedy asking her about appointing a member of organized crime to the Court of St. James. The character is Dallas night club owner Jack Ruby. Condon's book describes the numerous intertwined threads of the conspiracy, from the Mafia, Cuba, even possible domestic police connections. Only in the final act, in which Teddy meets with his vicious and perverse Joseph P. Kennedy 'father-figure', is the truth revealed with a twisted ending.

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

The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the ..
In 1932, as the Financial Crises in America deepened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below its lowest level of the Great Depression, 41.22. Teetering on the verge of national bankruptcy, the United States was simply unable to finance effective defences for its overextended continental territories. Philip K Dick examined ..
.. the eventual defeat of the United States, and the partition of the continent by Germany and Japan in his counter-factual novel Man in the High Castle. The novel is set in the former United States, in 1962, fifteen years after the Axis Powers defeated the Allies in World War II and the U.S. surrendered
to Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. Several characters in The Man in the High Castle read a popular novel called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, a novel within a novel. The author, Hawthorne Abendsen, describes an alternate history in which the Axis Powers lost the war. The novel portrays a third scenario which is banned in areas under German occupation, but its publication is legal in the areas under Japanese occupation.

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

In 1975, as Arthur Ashe celebrated the achievement of becoming the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title, a species threatening catastrophe unfolded in America. Twenty fifth century scientists were to discover that AIDS did not after all originate from a monkey bite in Africa. AIDS was manufactured by Japanese .. Monkey Bite
Monkey Bite
.. General Otozoo Yamada's Bacteriological weapons research in Unit 731. Experimental substances were handed to General Douglas MacArthur in 1945 and used for military research, accidentally released in 1975 due to poor security at a US military base.

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

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