Thursday, August 16, 2007


August 16th, 2007

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The Announcement

Alt-Historical Snippet: I've got a sampling from a larger work for you today that I would appreciate comments on, if you have them – it's from a different kind of alien invasion story. Let me know what you think. Also, we have Steve's birthday to think of – November 22, 1967, and we expect some alternate birthdays from you folk on that!

In 2008, mega-rich playboy Buford Rogerson III received a “first day” model of the BlueberryPie EyeFone Quartz Midnight. Absolutely thrilled to bits, Rogerson told the TV Audience “I've got absolutely no idea how it works, but when I'm hunched over, holding it to my head and zapping myself with X-Rays I feel like a real winner.”

Clearly, any one who could waste expensive per-minute call charges for a hush-hush call that just can't wait must either have someone who loves them, be important to the smooth running of space ship earth or the need to demonstrate one of the two pre-requisites for meaningful social status.

Shortly thereafter, Rogerson returned home where a member of his personal staff spent many hours trying unsuccessfully to initialise the device on the EyeTooneys web site. In a great step forward for America, early adopters echoed the sentiment that when you owned one of these babies, you're street credibility received escape velocity. As Ali G would say, “Hear me now! Respect.”

~ entry by Co-historian Steve Payne

All around me are familiar faces, Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races,
Going nowhere, going nowhere
And their tears are filling up their glasses,
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow,
No tommorow, no tommorow
And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
Tears for FearsThe dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
'Cos I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very Mad World

~ Lyrics to “Mad World” - Click to Watch Sample
Mad World
Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith met as teenagers in their home town of Bath, England. Their first professional stint was a Mod Revival/New Wave act drawing on the major influences of the time, including The Jam and Elvis Costello.

By 1981, Orzabal and Smith were becoming more influenced by artists such as the Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno. They departed from Graduate and formed a band called History of Headaches, a moniker which was then changed to Tears for Fears. The plan was for Orzabal and Smith to form the nucleus of the group and bring in surrounding musicians to help them complete the picture.

The band's name is derived from the Primal therapy treatment of the same name developed by Arthur Janov, which was made famous after John Lennon became Janov's patient. While undergoing primal therapy, a patient is encouraged to "re-experience" his early, dramatic emotional states (even perinatal ones), including screaming like an infant, hence the expression "tears for fears". Orzabal tried primal therapy in the early 1980s, and he has been screaming ever since. The lyrics are available at at Astraweb
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 2002, Chris Bunch's Tarnished Glory placed Custer and Patton as contemporaries in the Allied invasion of France. With Eisenhower and Bradley lost in a plane crash, the pair were appointed to Supreme Allied Command by a reluctant White House.

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

In 2007, sitemeter statistics reported that Mozilla Firefox was the most popular browser for users of the Today in Alternative History web site. This trend followed national patterns in North America which had emerged over the course of twelve months. The "smoking gun" was an article in the Washington Post which reported an exploit code for unpatched critical flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer which had remained open for 284 days of 2006, compared with 9 days for Mozilla Firefox.

~ entry by Steve Payne (without prejudice) sharing a laugh with alternative lifers.

In 1977, singer Elvis Presley was having a short break at Graceland following a June 26 performance in Indianapolis at the Market Square Arena. August 17 was to be the starting date of another tour. However, the day before, Presley was found semi-conscious on the floor of his bathroom by fiancée, Ginger Alden. Presley had stumbled or crawled several feet before he was taken to the Baptist Memorial Hospital.

~ entry from Steve Payne

In 1942, at the old Spanish Prison in Manilla Japanese officers searched the cramped quarters of escaped General Douglas MacArthur. They found a note with the enigmatic message I will return. MacArthur himself hooked up with sympathetic Filipinos and got a ride south aboard a fishing boat. He eventually became a famous guerilla leader - rendering the Japanese occupation of the islands untenable.

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

Elimina Castle
Elimina Castle
In 2082, out of Burkina Faso and out of unspeakable imprisonment was brought the child Kwame, blinking in the bright sunlight. Around him stood the fellows of his six hundred year confinement, praying and wailing over the fallen St. George El Mina Castle. This house had fallen. He recalled the words of the soft voice saying ..
.. “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”. He smiled, a new day was dawning in Ghana.

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

In 1956, delegates of the European Monarchies continued to point #2 of the formal agenda for the Berlin 2 Conference. The definitions for spheres of influence agreed in 1884-5 (Berlin 1) were overlaid on top of African nationalist activity. Problem #1 was the Congo; an area the size of Western Europe, supplying uranium and .. Spheres of Influence
Spheres of Infl..
.. secured by the smallest imperial power, Belgium. And about to explode.

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

In 1923, Amerindian explorers land in Andalusia to find a fallen civilization. Speculation had burned for half a millennia, since the blond-haired monster and his crew had fled the Turtle Island in 1492. After a day's march, they soon discover the dreadful and shocking truth.

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

In 1976/1750, in a dream the author Alex Haley witnesses a Mandinka naming ritual in the village of Juffure in the Gambia, West Africa. Omoro holds his newborn son Kunte to the heavens and tells him “Behold - the only thing greater than yourself.” Omoro Kinte
Omoro Kinte

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

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