Tag Archives: Lord Chancellor

January 7th

On this day in 1618 Francis Bacon became the Lord Chancellor of England.

Francis contemplates how he's going to pay back all his debts.

Of course you are all more aware of his later fame as an Irish born artist, but before he began painting screaming popes he spent his [far] earlier life as a statesman, scientist, jurist, lawyer and author. As you can see he was quite the Renaissance man.

We might never have been introduced to his painting skills if it hadn’t been for the fact that he got into a bit of bother as Lord Chancellor. Unfortunately in 1621 it was discovered that he was in serious debt which did not look good, so he was fined £40,000 which was about a billion pounds in those days and sent to the Tower of London. Luckily he only spent a couple of days there before the king let him out and realising that a bloke in debt would probably not have forty grand, the king let him off his debt too.

Of course, nowadays people would be suspicious of the Lord Chancellor wasn’t a bad man with debts aplenty, or so it would seem given the type of person who gets that job these days. In 1621 Bacon was declared unfit for office. In 2012 he’d have been given the job as Chancellor of the Exchequer as we seem to be happy to give that job to numeric idiots in the second decade of the 21st century.

Anyway, long story short, due to him being all disgraced and stuff,

Bacon looking all smug after he gave up the other stuff and became a painter

Bacon had to find something else to do. He was fed up with writing and as he couldn’t event a nuclear bomb because he hadn’t heard of nuclear energy, he decided to do some painting which made him very famous and renowned.

Because his paintings did not appear until the 20th century, by which time he was allegedly an artist who had been born in Dublin, most people think that the painting Bacon is different to the earlier Bacon. He is not, he’d just had a rather long kip and not woken up for a couple of centuries. It could happen to anyone.

Today is the birthday of a man who we all know is a few follicles short of a full head of hair and several sandwiches short of a picnic. On this day in 1964 Nicholas Kim Coppola, better known as Nic Cage was born in Long Beach, California.

Nic Cage, mad as a badger on Ketamine

Back in the old days, Nic was a rather wonderful actor, if a bit of a batshit mental human being. The Oscar he won for Leaving Las Vegas was well deserved, even if it was a very difficult film to watch. However, in recent years you can more or less measure the shite content of a film by whether or not Cage is in it. He has been in some hideously shit-shite films in recent years.

But, through it all, there’s been his compellingly ugly but interesting face, the fact that he’s about as sane as a box of manic frogs and the knowledge that under the increasingly awful hammy acting there is a real talent that he’s decided to forego in favour of being the go-to mentalist for shit films.

I can’t help liking him, even when his personal life becomes almost too hard to look at and his talent fades more quickly than his ever receding hairline. So, for a change, I’m going to be nice to today’s birthday celebrator and say to the wonderfully insane Mr Cage that I hope he has a rockin’ good birthday!

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