Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Anarchy In The UK

August 8th, 2007

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The Announcement

Alternate Historian – Back Again!: Yet another plague has ripped its way through our Academy and gone back to its home dimension, and we are happy to see it go. Tomorrow, we will hopefully feel like picking back up and contributing to the web site. Especially since it's one week till our first birthday and you need to send in your alternate lives for me (August 14, 1965) and Steve (November 22, 1967). Get that research done quickly!

George Orwell
George Orwell
In 1917, Aldous Huxley arrived at Eton College to teach French. The previous year he had graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with First Class Honours at English literature. Eric Blair (later known by the pen name George Orwell) was among his pupils, remembering him as another incompetent and hopeless teacher who couldn’t keep discipline.
By coincidence, both teacher and pupil would following similiar career paths, known for both novels and a wide-ranging output of essays and published short stories.

Huxley wrote Brave New World, whilst Orwell penned Nineteen Eighty Four, an anarchistic vision of the future partly based on the indiscipline of Eton. In the world of 1984, Government has ceased to exist to be replaced by a loose form of autonomous control from the "the Party". Unaware of this connection [to his own failed supervisory methods], this publication prompted Huxley to write to Orwell in 1949 to congratulate him on "fine and how profoundly important the book is".

Returning to his own dystopian vision of "Brave New World", Huxley continued:

"Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience".

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

In 1975, at the two-story house at 17841 Beaverland, former President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa received a presentation from the fourth dimensional aliens who Kurt Vonngeut had likened to Plumber's friends.
Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa
Barred from Union activities since his release from prison in 1971, Hoffa had planned a big comeback. He wanted to extend the national freight agreement to cover all transport workers. The Tralfamadorians showed Hoffa the 1981 Air Traffic Controllers Strike, and how President Reagan fired the striking workers.
In this future, Hoffa was completely discredited by the new strong arm tactics of the Republicans. Worse, Americans seemed to want this action - it was the first time since Vietnam American's felt the White House had got the country moving ahead. Yet the Tralfamadorians moved forward a further twenty years, and Hoffa's son was now the President of the Teamsters, so clearly the father's removal was a setback with a long-term win. Hoffa could rest easy - he accepted his fate.

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

"I rented this little chalet in Switzerland, in the mountains just beyond Lake Geneva. I rented this gear from a little shop in a village, a little music shop, with a Revox tape recorder, an electric piano - I had my guitar there - and just sat there to try and write. For two weeks, I came up with nothing - and I only had four weeks to write this double album!
Jeff LynneI was sort of thinking, 'bloody 'ell, maybe I can't come up with anything'. The weather had been really bad and then one day I got up and it was fantastic, the sun was brilliant and shining, all the mountains were lit up and this mist had gone away. It was gorgeous, so I went out to ski, and well, that was that."
~ Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra
Jeff Lynne - Uninspired Musician
Immediately after ELO's 'A New World Record Tour' ended in April 1977, Lynne left for Switzerland determined to compose enough new material for a double album. The singer-songwriter and producer had elevated ELO to global superstardom with the release of 'A New World Record' during 1976 and expectations of their record company, critics and ELO's millions of fans were higher than ever. In fact, it turned out that expectations for Out Of The Blue were far too high and the double album was never made.
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 1945, mysterious mechanical failures on board the Enola Gay resulted in a late reassignment in both aircraft and the crew. The Lucky Strike is selected instead by USAF General Curtis "Bombs "Away" LeMay and C-in-C Douglas MacArthur.

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

Forest Whitaker"[Idi Amin is] a splendid type and a good football player”
~British Foreign Office.

”You [director, Kevin Macdonald] don't think I've got the anger in me to do this part, do you?”
~ Forest Whitaker.
Forest Whitaker - Actor
Playing Idi Amin
African American actor Forest Whitaker received critical acclaim for the lead role in The Last Governor-General of Uganda. To prepare for his role as the British stooge Idi Amin, Whitaker gained 50 pounds, learned to play the accordion, and immersed himself in research. He read books about Amin, watched news and documentary footage, and spent time in Uganda meeting with Amin's friends, relatives, generals, and victims; he also learned Swahili and mastered Amin's East African accent.

Whitaker's performance earned him the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, making him the fourth African-American actor in history to do so. For that same role, he also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award, and accolades from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 2009, the TV networks presented the final episode (number twenty eight) of So What If?. John F Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Suspicion falls upon a member of the motorcade, Texas president Lyndon Baines Johnson.

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

Elimina Castle
Elimina Castle
In 1482, to pass the long night of six hundred years at St. George El Mina Castle, Kwame’s brother spoke to him of African Poetry. ”The weaver bird built in our house, and laid its eggs on our only tree, we did not want to send it away, we watched the building of the nest
And supervised the egg-laying.
And the weaver returned in the guise of the owner
Preaching salvation to us that owned the house
They say it came from the west
Where the storms at sea had felled the gulls
And the fishers dried their nets by lantern light
Its sermon is the divination of ourselves
And our new horizons limit as its nest.
But we cannot join the prayers and answers of the communicants
We look for new homes every day
For new altars we strive to re-build
The old shrines defiled from the weaver’s excrement.

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

In 1945/3001, (Third Age) a wretched US President Harry S Truman pours himself a bourbon in the Oval Office. He is starting to realise, actually has realised, that the delayed Japanese surrender is in fact nothing other than the slow cogs of decision-making. Perhaps, probably, tomorrow's strike on Nagasaki is unnecessary.Gandalf
Startled by the door opening unannounced, he looks up from the Resolute Desk to see an old man with a long white beard and huge floppy hat. "I am Gandalf the Grey", says the stranger, "and I have returned to Bag End to tell you to give up the Ring of Power". Truman reacts with panic and suspicion when Gandalf tries to persuade him to leave it. The last straw is when Truman refers to the Ring as his "precious" and Gandalf loses his temper, putting some sense into him. Truman then admits he would have liked to be rid of it, and leave it behind. Gandalf departs, the scene changes and the President presses his intercom, "get me the head of the U.S. Army Air Forces and tell him to cancel the strike!".

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

Lloyd George
Lloyd George
In 1914, European diplomacy entered a critical phase as the August Days continued in the build up to War. In Caerdydd (Cardiff) First Minister David Lloyd George confirmed the nation's policy of neutrality. The Welsh Free State had no strategic interest in a European conflict said the Welsh Wizard.
He would be damned if he sent the flower of Tywysogaeth Cymru (Wales) to die in the mud of Flanders. This statement was to have two very unexpected outcomes on the threat and opportunity scale. Put simply, what goes up, must come down.

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

In 1917, in order to release the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarist Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin and the Okhranka burst into the den that is housing the hostage, and his kidnappers. Thereupon the leader of the Paris nest, the Vampire Henri confronts Stolypin with an unexpected explanation for the kidnapping. Stolypin
A condition for the Tsarevich's release requires the Peace Conference to announce a Free Vampire State of Transylvania. The leader said it was a reasonable request, after all, France would not have emerged victorious from the Great War without nosferatu attacks after sundown on the German trenches. After all, what else did the General's mean when they talked of “bleeding the Germans white?”. Hmm. Stolypin and the Okhranka do a rapid about turn, seeking further orders from the Tsar.

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

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