Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Trouble With Wyndham

August 9th, 2007

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The Announcement

Alternate Historical Correction: August 7th has been reposted because of a calendrical error – you know how hard it is to keep dates straight when you're switching from one time line to another. Please support Steve as he single-handedly carries this week through – thanks, Steve! You can do that by sending in alternate birthdays for me (August 14, 1965) and Steve (November 22, 1967).

John WyndhamIn 1959, the author John Wyndham accepted the need for voluntary mental health care following an episode of the Outward Urge. At a book signing ceremony in an overcrowed bookshop Wyndham's alter ego Lucas Parkes had emerged as a result of acute anxiety. Fans point to four unmistakeable early warnings to this sad event.
John Wyndham - Author
A troubled childhood - John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris was born in the village of Knowle in Warwickshire, England, but lived in Edgbaston in Birmingham until he was 8-years-old. At this point his parents - George Beynon Harris and Gertrude Parkes - separated. He and his brother, the writer Vivian Beynon Harris, had no settled home after this time. He was unhappy being shuttled through a series of English boarding schools, including Blundell's School in Devon during the First World War. His longest and final stay was at Bedales (1918-1921), which he left at the age of 18, where he blossomed and was happy.

Sibling rivalry -He was threatened by the success of his brother Vivian Beynon Harris, (who had published four novels before Wyndham found fame) and altered his writing style for his book The Day of the Triffids. The book proved to be an enormous success and established Wyndham as an important exponent of science fiction.

Phantom Co-authoring - In his earlier writings, Wyndham used various combinations of his names, such as John Beynon or Lucas Parkes. For one of his books, The Outward Urge, he actually used both the names "John Wyndham" and "Lucas Parkes", pretending to be two collaborating authors.

Inner Conflict / Subject matter - Many of Wyndhams novels such as Web, The Chrysalids, Midwich Cuckoos and Day of the Triffids set mankind against alien “others”, suggesting that co-existence is impossible and a fight to the death is required to survive. The novel contains what is, in a way, Wyndham's starkest statement of his assumption that two intelligences must necessarily fight each other to the death - a reference to his own inner struggle with the alter-ego Lucas Parkes.

Whilst none of the scenarios are the cause of the schizophrenia, it is clear to many fans that duality of being was a key theme of Wyndham's uhappy life up until 1959.
~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 1975, at the two-story house at 17841 Beaverland, former President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa had his own house "painted" when Frank Sheeran fired two shots into his brain. Sheeran then drove the body to the Grand Lawn Cemetery and afterwards dumped the remains in Lake Michigan.
Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa
Sheeran had visited the Cemetery and saw two crematory ovens in a mausoleum building. "It's like being struck by lightning," he said. "This cemetery was chosen because it's near the house." Detroit police officer Jeff Hansen said that Rod Milne, who managed the cemetery in 1975, told him, "We were doing cremations left and right" in 1975.
Actually, the Tralfamadorians had switched the bodies just to be sure. The corpse of the real Jimmy Hoffa was en route to their home world. Actually the home world given to these super-beings by their precursor race who they had extinguished.

A new expression entered American slang. - "I'd sooner find Jimmy Hoffa". They really werent kidding, he was parsecs away on a distant planet. Yet he had a smile on his face - his son would inherit the Presidency of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and with that knowledge, he could rest real easy.

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

In 1945, the "rogue" crew of The Lucky Strike divert to drop Little Boy on top off Mao's Communists in mainland China. The aircraft is mysteriously lost on the return journey. President Truman suspects treachery from USAF General Curtis "Bombs "Away" LeMay and C-in-C Douglas MacArthur yet can prove nothing.

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

Forest Whitaker"For about three months, I actually thought that there wasn't anybody to play this part [as the Last Governor General of Uganda]. It's too big and difficult. I looked in South Africa, I looked in Kenya, and then I came to Los Angeles. The casting director had set up meetings with some African-American actors, and Forest was on the list. I thought, well, I love his work but he is so wrong. He's so gentle, he's so sweet. And he's very internal as an actor."
~Director, Kevin Macdonald
Forest Whitaker - Actor
Playing Idi Amin
Idi Amin joined the King's African Rifles (KAR) of the British Colonial Army in 1946 as an assistant cook. After serving in the Burma Campaign, he transferred to Kenya for infantry service as a private in 1947 and served in the 21st KAR infantry brigade in Gilgil, Kenya, until 1949. That year, his unit was deployed to Somalia to fight the Somali Shifta rebels who were rustling cattle there. In 1952 his battalion was deployed against the Mau Mau rebels in Kenya. He was promoted to corporal the same year, then to sergeant in 1953.

In 1954 Amin was made effendi (Warrant officer), the highest rank possible for a Black African in the colonial British army. Amin returned to Uganda the same year, and in 1961 he became one of the first two Ugandans to become commissioned officers with the rank of lieutenant. He was then assigned to quell the cattle rustling between Uganda's Karamojong and Kenya's Turkana nomads. In 1962, Amin was promoted to captain and to major in 1963. The following year, he was appointed Deputy Commander of the Army. Amin was an active athlete during his time in the army; the 193 cm (6 ft 4 in) soldier was the Ugandan light heavyweight boxing champion from 1951 to 1960 and a swimmer and rugby player.

Subordinate to the ceremonial ruler Kabaka (King) Edward Mutesa II of Buganda, the British Foreign Office promoted Amin to colonel and army commander in 1967. In 1971, Idi Amin was appointed Governor General of Uganada. "I am not an ambitious man, personally," Amin said after taking power, "I am just a soldier with a concern for my country and its people."

In 1972, determined to make Uganda "a black man's country", Amin expelled the country's white population in the closing months of the year, reportedly after receiving a message from God during a dream. "I am going to ask Britain to take responsibility for all whites in Uganda who are holding British passports, because they are sabotaging the economy of the country," Amin declared at the start of August.

Afterwards, Amin flamboyantly described himself as Defender of the British Empire in Africa (in general), and Uganda (specific).
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 1979, Martin Sheen starred as Benjamin L. Willard in the ground-breaking movie Apocalypse Now. As the conflict in south-east Asia hurtles towards catastrophe and tragedy, the top brass choose Captain Willard for a secret operation behind enemy lines - to terminate the command of 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. ”We have come to the cross-roads and I must either leave or come with you. I lingered over the choice
But in the darkness of my doubts, you lifted the lamp of love
And I saw in your face the road that I should take.”

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

In 1952, on this day 33rd US President Harry S Truman was challenged by Presidential Candidate General Douglas MacArthur to qualify his commitment to unilateral disarmament. Truman said that he had not slept properly for one night since 15 September 1945 when the Fatman bomb had been dropped on Tokyo. If re-elected, he would .. Harry S Truman
Harry S Truman
.. return to Tokyo with Christian leaders, and pray over the site. Pray for the souls of the dead, and pray for disarmament. More than anything, he would speak to the Japanese people themselves, and tell them he was so sorry, so very sorry.

~ 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 Downing Street, the ..
.. Head of the Southern Department Herbert Asquith seethed. The English had been welshed as he referred to the perceived treachery of his neighbour state. This slur is defined to someone that does not pay a lost bet and in this case, the Welsh Wizard was effectively saying that the English were a bad bet.

~ 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 return to the vampire nest that is housing the hostage. Unaware that Alexei is himself one of the undead, they set the den ablaze. However the Tsarevich has determined to stay with vampires. As he leaves the .. Vampire Henri
Vampire Henri
.. building, he is caught in pre-dawn, but is saved by Henri. Later, Henri reveals to Alexei that he had nothing to do with the kidnapping, but did nothing to stop it either. Stolypin returns empty-handed to the Elysees regencia hotel where he must report to an enraged Tsar.

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

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