Saturday, October 31, 2009
The dreamy fellow above is one John Keats, born this day 1795, in London Town, Merry Olde England. Keats has a rather rough childhood, his father died in an accident when Keats was nine year old, and his mother died when Keats was fifteen. An orphan packed off to live with a grandmother by the age of 15, what a lovely beginning to life. That grandmother appointed Keats a guardian who decided to make Keats an apprentice to an apothecary. He eventually got a job at a hospital in London, but was really more interested in the study of literature. Little did he know at the time that he would soon be the object of studies in literature by precious school boys like myself long after his death. He managed to get his first poem published in May, 1816, and a career as a poet was launched. It was sadly to be an all too brief career. Keats became the guardian of his younger brother Tom after the death of their grandmother. Tom soon became ill with tuberculosis, and died in 1818. Even before his brother's death, Keats himself had also shown signs of the same illness. By 1820, he was showing serious signs of tuberculosis, and moved to Rome on the advice of his physician. The "care" of this physician was quite possibly one of the causes of Keats' early demise. Keats was put on a starvation diet of one piece of bread and an anchovy a day because his doctor thought he had a disease of the stomach. By the time it was sorted out that Keats had consumption the writing was on the wall. The end came early in 1821, and Keats was buried in Rome under a tombstone that contains the words he wanted on his tombstone "here lies one whose name was writ in water." Shelly was convinced that Keats' death was hastened by a scathing review of Keats' poem Endymion, but I am pretty sure that his "doctor" had much more to do with the sad demise of a truly great poet. But, for all those romantic poems that helped a clown like me (who just happens to have a great memory) recite to all those doe eyed girls, and making me look like the true romantic I am, and for showing us that a "A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever." John Keats (October 31st 1795- February 23rd, 1821, at the age of 25 from tuberculosis), you are my hero of the day.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
The squared jawed fellow above is one Georges Danton, born this day 1759 in Arcis-sur-Aube, France. He was born in to a respectable, but not well to do family, and received a good education, he moved to Paris to begin his career advocate. However, history sometimes has a way of changing one's destiny. Danton just happened to be living in Paris when the world was about to turn upside down. He managed to be involved in the storming of the Bastille, was selected as a local commander of the National Guard, and got himself elected as an administrator of Paris. The various rises and falls of revolutionary France swept Danton along as well. He voted for the death of King Louis XVI, and was quoted as saying after the execution had been carried out, "The kings of Europe would dare challenge us? We throw them the head of a king." Strong rabble rousting there, and he soon became a hero to various parts of the Paris mob. He rose to the heights of the various "governments" that rose and fall during the early years of the revolution, and became famous for his oratory. He was arrested on March 30th, 1794, given a "show" trial, and executed on April 5th. Thus, the fate of a lot of rabble rousters, swept up into a maelstrom of violence that he eventually became unable to control, and eventually became a victim of, his last words were to his executioner saying "Don't forget to show my head to the people. It's well worth seeing." At least he when to his doom with a sense of panache. So, for making some speeches that would move even the most staid of men, and to arouse the passions of the most numb members of society, Georges Danton (October 26th, 1759- April 5th, 1794, at the age of 34), you are my hero of the day.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
The stately lady above is one Hedvig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp born this day 1636, and with a name like that you have to be heroic. Hedvig was married off to Charles X of Sweden for political reasons in 1654 at the age of 18, so her name became even longer. By all accounts she was a very strong willed and determined woman, whose temper was one to be feared. Her husband was absent for most of their marriage, off warring against the Poles, and the Danes. so Hedvig became the symbol of the monarchy at home in Sweden. After her husband's death in 1660 she became regent during the reign of her son, and later regent again during the reign of her grandson. She was never overly interested in politics, and it was not as a political force that she was to make her mark in Swedish history. She was the symbol of power, much like the Queen of England today is a symbol, and this was in the 1680's! And she was quite a symbol, in spite of her numerous lovers, and gambling addiction she managed to keep a reputation for great virtue among her people. I guess the tabloid press was a little slow on the uptake in 17th century Sweden. She had such a strong personality that when her son Charles XI married, he still referred to Hedvig as "The Queen," and the real queen as "his wife." Foreign ambassadors would always pay respects to Hedvig first then to the actual queen later. She stayed as the Dowager Queen of the Realm until her death in 1715. Lording over the court, building lovely palaces, and playing cards late into the night. But, for being a symbol of virtue, and keeping the fractious court together in trying times (i.e. the Great Northern War), Hedvig-Eleonora (October 23rd, 1636- November 15th, 1715, at the age of 79), you are my hero of the day.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
P.S. I have not done this before but I feel that today I need to. There were a couple of "honourable mentions" that I would like to "give a shout out to."
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Curly Howard (1903-1952)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The fellow above is one Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born this day 1772, in Devon, England. The son of a vicar, and Cambridge educated, sort of, Coleridge suffered throughout his life with bouts of depression, and anxiety that led him to an addiction to opium. Sort of a double edged sword in many ways, because while the opium would ruin his physical, and mental health, it also was alleged the source of at least one of his most famous poems, Kubla Khan. It was in 1798 that Coleridge, and some other no talent bum named Wordworth, published Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth wrote more of the poems contained in the book, but, in my opinion, Coleridge wrote the betters ones. The Rime of the Ancient Marniner being the main one. We all know the poem, or at least some lines from it whether we realize it or not. The idea of an albatross around ones neck come from The Rime, and it is an awesome piece of work, but a poetic genius. I have posted about Coleridge before, and I invite you to go back to that post and reread it (or just read it to begin with). I recommend his The Pains of Sleep, Dejection; An Ode, Kubla Khan, and This Lime Tree Bower; My Prison. All truly great poems written by a fucking master craftsman. Coleridge was an extremely influential poet, but he was also one of the most well thought of literary critics of his day. Not a bad state of affairs. The opium addiction wrecked his unhappy marriage, and alienated his friends and family, and it would eventually led to him living the last 18 years of his life in his personal physician's house. It was in his doctor's house which he died in 1834, as a result of heart failure. But, for making those great verses (like one of my favourites "as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean." which describes most of my life), and for being one hell of a critic, and adding beautiful verses to an otherwise shitty world, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21st, 1772- July 25th, 1834, at the age of 61), you are my hero of the day.
Monday, October 19, 2009
A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I'll tell, one day, your secret origins:
A, black hairy corset of dazzling flies
That buzz around cruel stinks,
Shadow gulfs; E, ingenuousness of steams and tents,
Proud glacier spears, white kings, shivers of umbels;
I, purples, spat blood, laugh of beautiful lips
In anger or penitent exhilarations;
U, cycles, divine vibrations of viridian seas,
Peace of pastures seeded with animals, peace of wrinkles
That alchemy prints on great studious brows;
O, supreme Bugle full of strange shrillnesses,
Silences crossed by Worlds and Angels:
— O the Omega, violet ray of These Eyes!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The elegant fellow on the right in the picture above, is one Varian Fry, born this day 1907 in New York City, New York. Mr. Fry's major claim to fame is as the American Schindler. In 1935, while assigned to Berlin as a journalist, Mr. Fry got to see Nazi brutality against Jews up close and personally. Moving to the south of France after the Nazi occupation of France in 1940, Fry set up the Emergency Rescue Committee. Its purpose was to help people who needed to flee the Nazis. Working out of a villa outside of Marseille, Fry and his co-workers helped nearly 2,200 people flee the terror of Nazism that was spreading like wildfire across Europe. Some of the famous people that Fry helped escape were Hannah Ardent, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, and Marcel Duchamp, amongst others. He was rewarded by the government of France in 1967, when it granted him the Legion of Honor. He was also the first American citizen to be named "Righteous Among the Nations," at the Holocaust Memorial of Israel. I am not sure what that exactly means, but it sounds cool as shit, and pretty exclusive. If you ever done any reading about World War II Europe, and the beginnings of the Nazi reign of terror, you can appreciate what Mr. Fry did, and the risks he took in order to do it. So for saving all those lives that needed saving, at a time when the world was going mad, Varian Fry (October 15, 1907-September 13th-1967, at the age of 59), you are my hero of the day.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The picture of above is of the goal that sends my team Sweden OUT of the running for the World Cup in 2010. It was struck off the boot of Jackob Poulsen, may he burn in ever lasting hell, and is his first goal for his national side Denmark. Now, losing is bad, losing when the goalkeeper above Andres Isaksson should have done better is worse, but losing and by extension giving Portugal a place in the play offs for the finals is more than I can bear. I just came back from the grocery store where I refused to buy any Danish cheese, or Danish beer, they are on an embargo list for some length of time. Also, the Portugal are a nation of diving cunts led by the biggest diving cunt of all Christano Ronaldo. Luckily there are no Portuguese products that I even remotely like. I have been to Portugal, and now I feel ashamed of that trip in more ways than one. Having my team fail again, and again is getting really, really fucking old. I am quiet sure this game will sound the death knell for the national coach Lars Lagerback, and it should. His time has passed, and Sweden need to go in a new direction. It was also probably the swan song for my hero Henrik Larsson, who at 38 not be making the next World Cup in 2014. So I suppose I will have to go eat my English cheese, and drink my Belgian beer, and see if I can find a Dane, or a Portuguese to punch in the mouth. Of course, I would not even have to hit the Portuguese to make them fall on the ground and writhe in pain like they had been poleaxed. It also appears that at least one "loyal" reader seems to think that my blog has "jumped the shark." Probably not the best day to express that view to me, but hey they are entitled to their opinion. It isn't that I can't take criticism, I can take it and dish it out with professional aplomb, it is just that this opinion is ill timed. I am of the opinion that people should at least try to avoid giving just simple "you suck" opinions, after all I am doing my best, and writing a blog post a day is not as effortless as I make it appear. I welcome criticism, advice, and suggestions, but expect a bit of anger when I feel that the criticism is unwarranted. I will offer my own piece of advice with no malice of forethought, it is simple if you don't like what you read here, then I suggest you find the little "x" button in the top right hand corner of your browser, click it, and go read a book written by a real author. bon chance!
Friday, October 09, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Finally we come to the fellow on the right in the above photo spread. He is one Patrick Roy, born this day 1965 in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada. Although the picture above is of him in a Colorado Avalanche jersey, his claim to my hero status is as the last goal keeper to lift the Stanley Cup for the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. You see the downward progression of my train of thought. A writer of undeniable talent, to a guy getting paid to be hit by a hammer in the head, to a fellow paid to keep a 6 ounce piece of frozen vulcanized rubber out of a net. M. Roy has been voted the best goaltender of all time, and his trade to Colorado has been called one of the 25 worst moves in hockey history, and Montreal has not lifted the Cup since he left. It is made worse by the fact that the year Montreal traded him, he lifted the cup with Colorado. He is the only player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe trophy three times, and hold the record for most win (combined regular season and playoffs), with 702, and my team traded him for a bag of chips. Good stuff, and may they burn in hell for such a miserable deal. There we go from highbrow, to low brow, to no brow all in one post. So, for stopping all those nasty pucks, and helping my team lift the Cup for the 24th time, Patrick Roy (October 5th, 1965-present), you are my (third, and final) hero of the day.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
The hook-nosed fellow above is one Zlatan Ibrahimovic, born this day 1981 in Malmo, Sweden. Born to a Bosnian father and a Croat mother, Zlatan was raised in the none too genteel neighborhood of Rosengard. After being convinced to continue his football career instead of quitting and going to work as a dock hand in Malmo, he signed his first professional football contract with local club Malmo FF. He worked his way into the senior side in 1999, and was unsuccessfully recruited by Arsene Wenger (the manager of my football club, Arsenal), he joined Ajax in the Dutch league. Thus, a lovely goal scorer was lost to my team, and sent off to set the Dutch league alight, which he promptly did. Larger clubs came calling and Zlatan was off to Italy first with Juventus, then with Inter Milan. It was at Inter that his talent really became obvious, he showed himself quite capable of scoring outrageous goals. However, he has been known to go missing in action in big games. Not many people can ever remember seeing him set the world on fire in a Champions League game, and his scoring record for his national side, Sweden, is not as impressive as one would hope. He has boatloads of talent, and is the first person who would tell you that. He was stated that he could do with an orange what his teammate at the time, and fairly decent striker in his own right, John Carew, could do with a football. He has claimed there is only one Zlatan, and he is fantastic. Sure he is probably right, but he just takes being a prick to knew heights. He would do well to learn from his national strike partner, and also my hero, Henrik Larsson. His recent record setting transfer to Barcelona set tongues wagging about his being overvalued, with all the money, and players switching back and forth his value has been estimated to be 69 million euros. However, in 5 games with Barca he has scored 5 goals, so maybe he is just as talented as he seems to think. He is the first player in Barca history to start their career with the club with such a goal scoring record, and Barca have had some serious goal scorers in their time. So, for the occasion brilliant strike for his national side, and for having world class talent to go along with his world class ego, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (October 3rd, 1981-present), you are my hero of the day.