Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning; it’s July 13, 2017, also known as National French Fry Day; were this Britain, it would be National Chips Day. But it isn’t. In Mongolia it’s the last day of the three-day holiday of Naadam, featuring the famous “three manly games,” not including manspreading. And I’m having a visit today by The Black Dog:

On this day in 1793, French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a political opponent. You’ll have seen this painting by Jacques-Louis David, “The Death of Marat“. Wikipedia notes this:

Painted in the months after Marat’s murder, it has been described by T. J. Clark as the first modernist painting, for “the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it”.

On this day in 1863, the Draft Riots began in New York City, which lasted three days and killed about 120. They began as poor people’s protests against a law which allowed the wealthy to buy substitute soldiers to avoid being drafted into the Civil War, but the riots later turned against blacks. On July 13, 1923 the famous Hollywood Sign was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. Here’s what it originally looked like:

The last four letters were removed when the sign was renovated in 1949, and now it looks like this:

On this day in 1973,  Alexander Butterfield, deputy assistant to Richard Nixon, revealed the existence of the “Nixon tapes” to a Senate committee investigating the Watergate break-in. It was the beginning of the end for Tricky Dick. Finally, just one year ago today, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and was succeeded by Theresa May. A bad business all around.

Notables born on this day include Patrick Stewart (1940), Harrison Ford (1942), and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds (also 1942). Those who died on July 13 include the actress Alla Nazimova (1945), and, nine years later, Frida Kahlo, one of my favorite painters,. She was only 47. Here’s one of her works (by the way, if you ever get to Mexico City, a visit to the house she shared with Diego Rivera is a must [see my nice post on it here]; and also see Trotsky’s house—where he was murdered—just a few blocks away):

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, if Hili can’t stalk birds, she stalks insects:

Hili: An ant went here.
A: Up or down?
Hili: Up, I think.
In Polish:
Hili: Tu szła mrówka.
Ja: W górę, czy w dół?
Hili: Chyba w górę.
Reader Stephen sent this photo, which was a bit puzzling, but the answer is that atheists think that cats hijacked the American election. Why atheists and cats? Because cats are the Official Animal Master of Atheists™.



  1. Frank Bath
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about The Black Dog. Cats will see it off. Get well soon.

  2. Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Don’t let the Black Dog in. I am now 82 with all those usual attacks on body, soul, and mind. Only few of my blossom dreams came true but at my age you give a damned shit on all this and enjoy the poor rest of your live with people and things you like. Kopf hoch Jerry.

  3. rickflick
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    The black dog calls for more kittens. We’ll expect more kittens.
    Frida Kahlo was an extraordinary woman. Her self portraits are like windows into a distant world.

  4. David Duncan
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1793, French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday…”

    She’s a heroine.

  5. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I still don’t understand the Putin-cat meme.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      @Saul ditto

      • Taz
        Posted July 13, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Is there such a thing as a random meme generator?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted July 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        I don’t get it either. I personally think it’s an(other) example of religious delusions about who and what atheists are.

        One of the things we supposedly are is communists, though I don’t know if that has any relevance to this picture. Perhaps ex-KGB Putin is supposed to be an atheist hero? If so, it exposes, once again, the ignorance of conservative Christians. Putin’s values align much more closely with those of right-wing conservative Christians than your average atheist.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Get well soon Jerry

    No rest for the wicked, nor the guardian of ducks & squirrels 🙂

  7. busterggi
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    If this is the first visit by the Black Dog you’ll be okay, even if its the second you’ll survive. Its that third visit that spells doom.

  8. somer
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    You have tens of thousands of real followers not just twitter or Facebook and people who admire you. No black dogs : its summer in North America/Northern hemisphere and it should be sunshine

  9. George
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Trotsky’s great granddaughters grew up in that house – including Nora Volkow who has become a leading researcher in addiction.

    The Byrds may have done some of the best Dylan covers. Their best work was Sweetheart of the Rodeo – although some attribute that more to Gram Parsons than to Roger McGuinn. McGuinn was born and raised in Chicago and got his start at the venerable Old Town School of Folk Music – which is no longer in the Old Town neighborhood.

    One of my favorite Byrd songs – a Dylan cover from Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

    • Taz
      Posted July 13, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      This live performance from the 30th anniversary concert for Dylan (what Neil Young dubbed “BobFest”) is my favorite version of that song:

      You Aint Goin Nowhere

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 13, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Hate to say it, but I must confess that my favorite song on this album is “The Christian Life,” but I love all the songs on that album.

  10. grasshopper
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    There was a time when Leonard Cohen was my solace while the black dog was baying at my door. His wry digs at his own misery shone a little light into my own shadows.

    Take Me To The Matador by Garland Jeffreys is always uplifting for me. I used to listen to it at that time in my life when I was regularly bolted to the table at the radiotherapy clinic. Who the “Matador” is in the song, though, remains a mystery to me.

    Some lyrics.

    See one thousands violins
    Golden trumpets soar on high
    Waves and waves of joyful hymns
    Silver sonnets reach the sky
    Fight the battles and the blues
    Wars of love and wars of art
    Tonight the cape is what I choose
    Goya’s in my Spanish heart

    It is a joyous song.

  11. Mary L
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Just pet the dog; that what they usually want.

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