Friday, August 10, 2007

Consider His Ways

August 10th, 2007

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The Announcement

Alternate Historian's Bemusement: If you've been reading me for any length of time, you know that I'm a left-wing loony, and love me because/in spite of that. Well, in my perusal of one of those blogs we left-wingers are always going on about, I found this, and I felt that I had to comment upon his disparagement of alternate historians. Go read the article and defend our honor yourself!
We're recovering from or illness slowly but surely, and will hopefully be able to post tomorrow as normal. Till then, Steve will have the page, as usual – thanks, Steve! Oh, and don't forget our Birthday Contest – send in your alternate birthdays for me (August 14, 1965) and Steve (November 22, 1967) so we can have a special post on those days!

John WyndhamIn 1959, the author John Wyndham received experimental antipsychotic medication. This was part of the course of treatments required by voluntary mental health care which followed an episode of schizophrenia at a book signing ceremony in London England.
John Wyndham - Author
This triggered a series of events which Wyndham later described in the auto-biographical account Consider His Ways and others.

Wyndham woke up to discover that he is a father of some description, in a bloated body that he believes is not his own. After some confusing experiences his memory gradually returns and he recalls that he was treated with a drug that has the unpredictable consequence of out-of-body experiences. It seems that the drug has worked far better than anyone could have anticipated: he has been cast into the future. He also realises that he is in a society consisting entirely of men, organised into castes, most of whom have never heard of women.

Wyndham meets a historian. It seems that the narrator is in a society around 100-150 years after his own time (this is not explicitly stated but it can be deduced from one comment in the account). Shortly after his own time a Dr Perrigan carried out scientific experiments that unintentionally created a virus that killed all the women in the world, leaving only men. After a very difficult period of famine and breakdown the small number of educated men, found mainly in the medical profession, took control and embarked on a crash programme of research to enable men to fertilize eggs and then incubate without females. The men also decided to follow the advice of the Bible: "Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider his ways", and created a caste-based society.

The drug wears off. Wyndham returns to his own time and decides to stop Dr Perrigan. However, the next steps suggest that it is Wyndham's own actions that will lead to the catastrophe he hopes to prevent.
~ variant by Co-Historian Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1999, James P Hoffa was elected to the Presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He had been an attorney for the Teamsters from 1968 to 1993. A member of the Teamsters since his 18th birthday (1959), he ran for president in 1996, losing to Ron Carey. He became president of the Teamsters on March 19, 1999, after Carey was barred from running for his role in Teamstergate.
Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa
The news was running in the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The waitress had long since left. Back in 1975 she had discovered a napkin tucked in the leather upholstery of a dining booth with the cryptic message "THEY RULE" written upon it.
She'd died of a stomach ulcer, caused by worry about the note. A baseless fear that had come to nothing. And so it goes.

Still matters had moved forwarded for America in a big way. The White House and their allies had moved way passed Unionised labour. Crushing international terrorism was the order of the day. The stakes in the great game had been raised considerably, and the pot was so much bigger.

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

In 1974, following the tragic death of Bruce Lee, the TV networks presented a surprise proposal to the actor David Carradine. For the forthcoming series of Kung Fu, Carradine could take the lead part which the late Bruce Lee had vacated. Having been turned down before, Carradine seized the opportunity but the series was axed after just four episodes due to appalling viewing figures. American audiences might be more comfortable with the anglophile Carradine, but the show lacked dramatic irony.

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

Glubb Pasha"[British Commander of the Arab Legion, General John Bagot] Glubb (“Glubb Pasha”) should be imprisoned for serving in a foreign army without the King's permission"
~ British MP
Glubb Pasha - British Agent
British Agent
In 1939, Glubb succeeded Frederick G. Peake as the commander of the Arab Legion. During this period, he transformed the legion into the best trained force in the Arab world.

Glubb served his home country all through his years in the Middle East, making him immensely popular in the end. Arab nationalists believed that he had been the force behind pressure that made King Hussein I of Jordan join the Baghdad Pact. Glubb served different high positions in the Arab Legion, the army of Transjordan. During the World War II he led attacks on Arab leaders in Iraq, as well as the Vichy regime which was present in Lebanon and Syria.

In 1948, the British Government was humiliated by the actions of British officers employed in the Arab Legion during the Zionist Insurgency that followed the declaration of the State of Palestine two days before. Regular British officers, including a brigade commander, were instructed to leave the Arab Legion and return to Transjordan. This led to the bizarre spectacle of British officers leaving their units to return to Transjordan before sneaking back across the border to rejoin the Arab Legion. A British MP demanded that the British Command of the Arab Legion, General John Bagot Glubb (“Glubb Pasha”) be imprisoned for serving in a foreign army without the King's permission.

'The internecine struggles of the Arabs,' reported Glubb, 'are more in the minds of Arab politicians than the struggle against the Jews. Azzam Pasha, the mufti and the Syrian government would sooner see the Jews get the whole of Palestine than that King Abdullah should benefit.'

Neither was the British government humiliated, nor was he a traitor – his job was to stop the internecine struggles of the Arabs. By suppressing the Zionist Insurgency Glubb Pasha began a new phase of covert operations in the Middle East. Henceforth, British Foreign Policy goals would be achieved by stealth, famously described as neo-colonialism - exerting control over other nations through indirect means. Any means necessary.
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

A well I bless my soul what's wrong with me?
I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree
My friends say I'm actin' wild as a bug
Elvis PresleyI'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

~ Lyrics to “All Shook Up” - Click to Watch Sample
Charged with Rape
In February 1972 an hysterical Priscilla Presley brought rape charges against her husband Elvis Presley at a Las Vegas Police Station. During the investigation, Priscilla admitted that she had two affairs of her own and their up and down marriage was irreparably broken down by 1972. She alleged that the last straw came when Elvis, possibly having learned of the second affair with her karate instructor, forced himself on her in his Las Vegas hotel room, telling her, "This is how a real man makes love to a woman."

Whilst the charges have never been proven, the existence of the allegations have been reported in a number of places including Wikipedia to the great dismay of Elvis fans everywhere. The lyrics are available at at Lyricsdir
~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne with absolutely no offence to Elvis Fans (of whom I am one).

In 1979, the movie Apocalypse Now played out the conflict in south-east Asia which hurtled towards catastrophe and tragedy. Since his father's death in April 1964, the demon General-san had transferred to his son, who continued to run China without any respect for the rule of law or human decency. Yet Captain Willard was to discover a great deal of sympathy for General-san Arthur MacArthur.

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

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. ”make room in your inn for me .. even your ports, recalling report how the mayflower moved ..
.. in to deflower at night
the virgin land of the red indians
jesus christ it seems and judas did not make it america
you are a funny girl…everybody dreams of kissing you.”

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

In 955, on this day the forces of Otto the Great, King of the Germans were defeated at the Battle of Lechfeld. Perhaps the best opportunity for holding off the incursions of the Magyars into Central Europe was lost. Magyars
This defining event in European history was a decisive victory for the Magyar leaders, namely the harka (military leader) Bulcsú and the chieftains Lél (Lehel) and Súr who continued to rage unchecked across the continent.

~ 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. This statement was to have two very unexpected outcomes on the threat and opportunity scale.
In Berlin, the Younger Bismarck as he was known studied the text of the speech in his office at the Chancellery. If the Welsh were not to mobilize, he figured, nothing was stopping a Prussian landing in South Wales. They could be in London inside of a week.

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

In 1995, Richard M. Langworth combined fiction and fact in his publication “If Chamberlain had lost the Battle of Norway”. In this somewhat far fetched scenario, when Germany invaded Norway in April 1940, an expeditionary force was sent to counter .. Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamber..
.. them, but the campaign proved difficult, and the force had to be withdrawn. The naval aspect of the campaign in particular proved controversial and was to have repercussions in Westminster leading to Chamberlain's replacement by Lord Halifax, who immediately sued for a Carthaginian peace.

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

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