Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s the day after Xmas, and all through the site, it’s crawling with kitties, but none of them bite. Yes, it’s December 26, 2016, and it’s the second day of Koynezaa. It’s also National Candy Cane Day, when you have to figure out what to do with all those crook-shaped sweets, designed, as you may know, to represent the staffs of the shepherds who visited Baby Jesus. (I’ve also heard that the red symbolizes Jesus’s blood, but I can’t be arsed to look that up). It’s also St. Stephens’s Day and Boxing Day in many places, and Hunt the Wren Day in Ireland and the Isle of Man.

On this day in 1799, George Washington was buried and, in 1825, the Decembrist Revolt was suppressed in Russia. In 1919, Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees by the Boston Red Sox (not a good sale!), and on this day in 1963, according to Wikipedia, “The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There” were released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.” I remember that well, but since I lived in Germany before then, I was already acquainted with the rise of that best of all rock groups. The evolution of the Beatles in only a few short years from songs like that to “Rubber Soul”, “Revolver,” and “Abbey Road” is one of the great stories of music.

Another rock star has been taken from us: George Michael of Wham! died yesterday of heart failure at only 53. Grania has listed for us his most famous songs, adding a few comments:

Wake me up before you go-go
Outside (his screw-you to the media for trying to shame him for being gay and being arrested at a public toilet)
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me (the one that’s a duet with Elton John)
Somebody to Love (the Freddie Mercury Memorial Concert)

It was a bad year for rock and roll; but actor Carrie Fisher still seems to be hanging in there. Notables born on December 26 include Charles Babbage (1791), Henry Miller (1891), Phil Spector (1939), David Sedaris (1956) and Jared Leto (1971). Those who died on this day include Weegee (1968), President Harry Truman (1972), Jack Benny (1974), JonBenét Ramsey (1996, murdered at age 6) and President Gerald Ford (2006).  Weegee (real name: Arthur Fellig) specialized in street and crime photography in New York City, and here’s perhaps his most famous 1943 photo, “The Critic“. It ostensibly shows a homeless woman glaring at two bejeweled socialites entering the opera, but in reality Weegee got his assistant to get a Bowery woman drunk, brought her to the gala, and then propped her up, hoping to capture a photo like this:


Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili patiently explains human nature to Cyrus:

Cyrus: What is hypocrisy?
Hili: When somebody is making monkey out of you while pretending he is not a swine.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Co to jest hipokryzja?
Hili: Jak ktoś cię robi w konia i udaje, że nie jest świnią.


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I thought Hili might refer to American politics particularly now with the recent outcome. Surely what Cyrus was thinking about.

  2. mordacious1
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    George Washington was buried on Dec. 18 (I don’t know why I know that).

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 26, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      You are correct based on my check. Died on the 14th and buried on the 18th. Age 67. Likely killed by the doctors of the day in 1799 and died of something that could be treated with antibiotics today.

    • Posted December 26, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I’m going by Wikipedia (perhaps a mistake), which says this for this date:

      1799: Four thousand people attend George Washington’s funeral where Henry Lee III declares him as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.

      • George
        Posted December 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Washington was actually buried on December 18.

        His state funeral with an empty casket was on Dec 26.
        In Philadelphia, which at the time served as the nation’s capital for ten years while the new federal city was being built, Congress selected Henry Lee III to eulogize Washington. Mock funerals were held all over the United States. Perhaps the most poignant of them all occurred on December 26, 1799. At daybreak, sixteen cannons were fired and volleys were shot on a half-hour basis in Philadelphia. An empty casket was carried in an elaborate funeral procession which consisted of two marines wearing black scarves escorting a riderless horse festooned with black and white feathers, and a bald eagle depicted on the horse’s breast. A religious service was held at the German Lutheran Church officiated by Reverend William White, a bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted December 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      This is the date of Henry Lee’s eulogy for Washington to congress(!!!), a separate event from the funeral!!!

      About to correct Wikipedia entry.

  3. Jonathan Smith
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Not forgetting “careless whisper” one of my all time best songs

  4. rickflick
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    “Last Christmas” is quite a nice song. You can let it play in the background while you unbox candy canes, take down the tree, or just about any holiday task. It won’t tax your capacity.

  5. jeremy pereira
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Can we have a shout out for Rick Parfitt who died on Christmas Eve. Status Quo were always more my thing than Wham or solo George Michael.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Christmas has red as a color because of holly berries.

    However, the Christmas carol “The Holly and the Ivy” includes the verse

    The holly bears a berry,
    As red as any blood,
    And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
    For to do us sinners good.

    so there’s sort of an indirect connection.

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    “It ostensibly shows a homeless woman glaring at two bejeweled socialites entering the opera, but in reality Weegee got his assistant to get a Bowery woman drunk, brought her to the gala, and then propped her up, hoping to capture a photo like this:”

    Jeez, cheating was so hard in those days. These days we have Photoshop…


  8. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I remember Jack Benny from many years ago. He had a marvellously deadpan delivery. He used to play a violin atrociously badly with an absolutely straight face. A great comedian.


  9. Mike
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    George Michael was extremely generous with his money and time.
    Boxing Day, when the rich and powerful went out and boxed the ears of the poor and homeless for being lazy,feckless bastards.

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