Thursday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Thursday, August 17, 2017, and it’s National Vanilla Custard Day. Meh.

On this day in 1585, the first group of colonists sent to the New World by Sir Walter Raleigh founded the Roanoke Colony on an island off what is now North Carolina.  When the British returned in 1590, the colony had vanished completely—all 118 settlers. The only clue was the name “Croatan” carved in a tree: the name of a local Indian tribe. On August 16, 1908, the first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie, created by Émile Cohl, was shown in Paris. Here it is at only a bit more than a minute long: it’s very crude, but what did you expect?

And on this day in 1915, a Jewish white man, American Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Georgia after being convicted of raping Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old employee in his pencil factory. He was convicted but sentenced to life imprisonment rather than execution, and that, combined with the anti-Semitism of the South, ensured that Frank would be dragged from jail by a mob and hanged. (See the photo here if you aren’t squeamish.) Most historians now think Frank was innocent and that the janitor who testified against him was the real murderer. Frank was one of the 1297 white people lynched out of a total of 4743 between 1882 and 1968.

On this date in 1947, the Radcliffe Line, the committee-designed border between India and Pakistan, was revealed—after both countries had already declared their independence. The mass migration of Muslims and Hindus toward their respective countries was accompanied by the deaths of 1-2 million people.  On August 16, 1962,  Peter Fechter, 18, was shot by East German guards while trying to cross the newly erected Berlin Wall. It took him an hour to die, bleeding and screaming in full view of both the guards and horrified observers in West Berlin. The guards didn’t try to help him and those on the West side couldn’t, as he’d fallen on the Eastern side of the border. On this day in 1998, President Bill Clinton finally admitted that he’d had an an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky; In a television address later that day, Clinton admitted that he’d “misled people” about the relationship. There’s little doubt that Clinton was a sexual predator for years, but somehow everyone forgets about it.  Finally, on this day in 2008, Michael Phelps, an American swimmer, became the first person to nab eight gold medals in a single Olympic Game.

Notables born on this day include Davy Crockett (1786), Mae West (1893), Mark Felt (the real “Deep Throat”; 1913), V. S. Naipaul (1932), Robert De Niro (1943), Belinda Carlisle (1958) and Sean Penn (1960). Those who died on this day include Frederick the Great (1786), Conrad Aiken (1973), Ira Gershwin (1983), and Rudolf Hess (1987). I wasn’t a huge fan of the Go Gos, but I am of Susanna Hoffs (a nice Jewish girl) and the Bangles, so let’s hear one of their songs instead (the song, apparently performed at Hollywoods House of Blues in 2000; it ends at 3:55 and the band leaves the stage at 4:25):

Today’s Hili dialogue puzzled me, so I asked Malgorzata for clarification. She explained: “Andrzej took the picture through our wicker chair and it looks as if Hili were locked behind the bars. She looked at the picture and remarked that, thankfully, it’s just an illusion because she loves her freedom.” Maybe the dialogue is already clear to everyone else!

Hili: It’s good that it’s only an illusion of limited freedom.
A: What do you mean?
Hili: I can’t imagine life in confinement.
In Polish:
Hili: Dobrze, że to iluzja ograniczenia wolności.
Ja: Co masz na myśli?
Hili: Nie umiem sobie wyobrazić życia w zamknięciu.
We learned yesterday that on a hiking vacation with his staff in southern Poland, Leon became smitten with Mawrula, a local female cat. But he appears to have been stood up! Poor Leon!

Leon: She promised that she would come…


  1. busterggi
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    First cartoon – with an evil clown!

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Leo Frank’s lynch party included a former Georgia governor, the mayor of Marietta GA, the future president of the Georgia senate, and other assorted burghers and captains of industry.

    Think about that when you hear them playing Dixie. Hooray! Hooray!

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      The only accomplishment in war is the one thing that we should expect in war and that is to destroy the enemies will to fight. To expect more than this will lead to great disappointment. More than 160 years after our civil war we still think more was achieved but that is an illusion.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Yet, in another 160 years, or 300, it will be all but forgotten, I predict. Let’s hope something just a bad doesn’t take it’s place.

    • W.Benson
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      My great-grandfather also possibly took part in the lynching. You can’t chose your ancestors, but you certainly can make excuses for them, or, in my case, repudiate them.
      I looked into the Phagan murder some years back. At least one major New York publication thought the black janitor was the culprit; after all the paper said, and here I am paraphrasing from memory, the janitor “was just two steps out of the jungle”! The lynchings portrayed in “Strange Fruit” happened in Indiana. In 1862 Abe Lincoln proposed “colonizing” [effectively deporting] free and freed blacks to tropical America. I prefer to call out for censure bad examples (lynchers and chief demagogues) and attribute the rest (bad headed military men, racist editorial writers, and street opinion) to the times.

      [In this regard, some of the “best” racist stuff I’ve read came from the pen of New Yorker and journalist L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Here I can quote Wikipedia through cut-and-paste:
      Wrote Baum in 1880, “The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in latter ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroize.
      We cannot honestly regret their extermination, but we at least do justice to the manly characteristics possessed, according to their lights and education, by the early Redskins of America.” Mark Twain wrote similar things about Native Americans.
      And NO!, I am not proposing that the Wizard of Oz be banned.]

      • darrelle
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        I’ve always found the Wizard Of Oz to be creepy. Never liked it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Go see the Wizard; I hear he’s handing out cinematic acumen along with hearts, brains, and courage. 🙂

          • darrelle
            Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

              I kid!

              • darrelle
                Posted August 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink


                I got that. Actually made me laugh.

                Some old classics from my childhood, movies that the whole family watched on their annual airings, that I like(d) are . . .

                Around the World in 80 Days
                Mary Poppins

  3. darrelle
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve always liked Susanna Hoffs too. Here’s a funny story about her I’ve never come across before, until this post prompted me to see what she’s up to these days.

    “The Bangles released their third album Everything in 1988, with their biggest-selling single “Eternal Flame”, which was co-written and sung by Hoffs. In the BBC programme “I’m in a Girl Group” Hoffs revealed she actually sang the studio recording of the song completely naked due to the producer Davitt Sigerson pranking her by telling her Olivia Newton John had done the same thing. He later told Hoffs he had been lying the whole time.

    • David Duncan
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Beat me to it. 😦

    • Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I knew this; what i don’t get is why she’d fall for it. Surely she didn’t think she’d sing better in the raw!

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    There’s little doubt that Clinton was a sexual predator …

    I’m certainly no fan of Bubba. And there’s no doubt he was a dishonorable cad and roué around women. But the only allegation that I’m aware of that would put him in the category “sexual predator” is the one Juanita Broaddrick first made in 1999 about what happened in a Little Rock hotel room in 1978. Of all the allegations against him, many of them eminently credible, that one always struck me as the least provable.

  5. BJ
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the first animation was 1585…

    Sorry my first comment back after my vacation had to be a correction 😛 Looks like a missed quite a bit while I was gone. Oy vey, what a terrible week it has been (I mean for the country generally. I had a very nice vacation).

    • BJ
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      After watching the animation a second time, I noticed the cat he briefly pets at 00:12. Everything great has cats!

    • ploubere
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I was gonna comment that too. Presumably 1885.

  6. David Duncan
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Does Hili have the illusion that she has free will?

    • rickflick
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Her’s is more like a delusion.

  7. Vaal
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, Susanna Hoffs, the crush of many young men when I was growing up (including me).

    She has aged wonderfully as well. Love her voice, writing, the whole ball o’ wax.

  8. Les Faby
    Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    Prof., Susanna Hoffs is literally a landsman.
    Her mother grew up in Hyde Park and she used to visit every year.

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