Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s almost halfway through June already: Monday, June 12, 2017. The students are gone for the summer now, giving my campus a very different feel. It is quiet and unoccupied, but soothing, too. It will also be hot this week, with today’s high of 94° F (34.4° C). It’s National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, a delicacy I will eschew (as a friend of mine once  responded jokingly when I said that about a food, “I’ll chew it, too!”). In the US it’s “Loving Day,” commemorating a Supreme Court decision in 1967, Loving v Virginia, striking down a ban on interracial marriage (read “blacks and whites” in 16 US states. The case was recently made into a good but not a world class movie.

On this day in 1776, the Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted, which influenced the revolutionary government, forming a model for the next month’s Declaration of Independence. On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank got a diary for her 13th birthday present; the recent is history. In 1963, NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was murdered in Jackson, Mississippi by a Klan member. Precisely one year later, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in a South African prison for sabotage. And 30 years ago, in 1987, Ronald Regan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and told Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” And it happened! Remember this? (The famous statement is right at the end.)

Four years later, Boris Yeltsin was elected Russia’s president. On this day in 1994, an “unknown” killer (we know who it was) murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Brown in Los Angeles. Due to a bad prosecution and the jury’s cluelessness about DNA, O. J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder. Finally just one year ago today, Omar Mateen murdered 49 and injured 53 in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida: the worst mass murder (aside from terrorist attacks) in American history.

Notables born on this day include Egon Schiele (1890; only 28 years old and an immense talent), Djuna Barnes (1892), Weegee (1899), George H. W. Bush (1924), Anne Frank (1929; see above), Jim Nabors (1930), and Chick Corea (1941). Those who died on this day include Edmund Wilson (1972; a great literary critic), Gregory Peck (2003), and all those people in Orlando.

Schiele was a very great painter, and had not the laws of physics cut his life short, we’d have many more wonderful works. Here’s a landscape (Krumau, 1916):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Malgorzata tried to make rose-petal jam last year, but it didn’t work. Hili comments on the enterprise (I l love rose-petal jam and rose-petal Turkish delight):

Hili: Can preserves really be made out of rose petals?
A: Yes, they can.
Hili: It can’t be tasty.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy naprawdę robi się konfitury z róż?
Ja: Naprawdę.
Hili: To nie może być smaczne.

Reader Barry found a tw**t that documents a kitten being rescued from a pipe:

And cats (poorly) drawn in a medieval manuscript:


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The death of Medgar Evers is movingly remembered in Bob Dylan’s ‘Only a Pawn in their Game.’ Have a listen.(YouTube.)

  2. Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “Bonzo goes to Bitburg then goes out for a cup of tea
    As I watched it on TV somehow it really bothered me
    Drank in all the bars in town for an extended foreign policy
    Pick up the pieces

    My brain is hanging upside down
    I need something to slow me down

    If there’s one thing that makes me sick
    It’s when someone tries to hide behind politics
    I wish that time could go by fast
    Somehow they manage to make it last”

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank got a diary for her 13th birthday present …

    In Al Franken’s new book, he tells the following anecdote: When he was preparing to run for the senate, he met with Harry Reid to seek the senate majority leader’s endorsement. Reid said he had some reservations about the bad taste of Franken’s humor over the years, and said he’d heard that Franken had once told a Holocaust joke. Franken allowed that he had, and Reid asked him to repeat it:

    “I think a bad Hanukkah gift for Anne Frank would have been a drum set.”

    Franken says Reid could barely sputter out his endorsement through his laughter.

    • ploubere
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Excellent. I’m looking forward to reading his new book.

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 2:30 am | Permalink

        Me too.

  4. Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The BBC used to have a sports oriented TV panel show called “They Think It’s All Over” hosted by Nick Hancock.

    One time they got on to the subject of OJ Simpson, who was, I believe, a high profile sportsman in the USA. Nick Hancock wrapped it up by saying [bear in mind I am just relating what happened on a comedy TV show, I am not judging the guilt or otherwise of any individual]:

    “we have to be careful what we say about OJ Simpson…”

    [everybody thinks: libel cases]

    “… he’s a dangerous man and he killed his wife”

  5. Gnu Atheist
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Just curious… Which law of physics were you referring to, regarding the death of Egon Schiele? (According to Wikipedia, he died of the Spanish Flu.)

    • Taz
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering that myself. My guess is that it’s a general “determinism” statement.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Edmund Wilson was not only a great literary critic; he was also an astute political commentator.
    He was a little clueless on Joyce’s “Ulysses” and Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, neither of which he liked.

  7. barn owl
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Do you not like peanut butter, PCC(E), or is it just a dislike of peanut butter cookies?

    I think the medieval cat drawings are charming. The world needs more doodles, annotations, and sketches.

  8. Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had rose-petal jam, and I’m not inclined to make anything more than a simple fruit compote on the stove, to be eaten fairly quickly. BUT I’ve tried my hand at infusing sugar with pristine rose petals (fragrant roses, pesticide-free, at their peak). I just put the petals into a container with white sugar and seal for a few days or so. The sugar adds a nice delicate flavour to tea.

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