On this day in 2003 the US, the UK, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and so started the Iraq war or the conflict or Operation Iraqi Freedom or “That fucker dissed my dad and he’s got oil,we’re going in!”
The war itself was declared the day before, despite the fact that most of the world said it was wrong and we should all take a chill pill and do a bit more looking for those alleged weapons of mass destruction, despite the fact that UN Resolution 1441 was in no way a permission to go to war and despite the fact that somewhere between six and ten million people in 800 cities across the world had protested against the will to go to war against Iraq. Basically George W Bush and Tony Blair had made their minds up that they would do what they wanted to do and to hell with what anyone else thought. Most of us knew at the time that the reasons for us going in were a lie and if we didn’t know then we know now. Some thought that the lie was fine because Saddam Hussein is no more and that matters more than legality, truth, honest, morality and anything else you’d like to throw into the pot. Others of us think that getting revenge for your dad, lying to the people who elected you and thinking that you have the right to decide which alleged human rights abuses you’ll get all fighty about based on oil is a fucker’s trick. And never the twain shall meet. Probably.
Now, we could explore this in minute detail, but you all know what happened and what’s still happening, so instead we’ll look at another, well it’s not so much a lie as the result of a bunch of academics – albeit olde worlde ones – putting their heads together and coming up with a clusterfuck of stupidity.
This day in 1345 is the day when the Black Death was created. Allegedly. That’s right, learned scholars from the University of Paris came to this conclusion because on March 20th 1345 there was a triple conjunction of the Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius. To be fair to them, I looked this up in my Dummies Guide to Astrology and it does confirm that when Saturn, Jupiter and Mars get all conjuncted up, there will be an outbreak of the sniffles, and if they do it in the 40th degree of Aquarius, then those sniffles will turn into the black death. If they do it in the 42nd degree we all get over it within a couple of days but have to be wary of a rather explosive dose of the trots.
The thing is that along with the planets doing their righteous dance, the black death also required the existence of rats and fleas
aplenty and as luck would have it, there were shitloads of the fuckers around in the fourteenth century. Disease probably spread along the Silk Road and then the rats got on ships to go on their holidays and spread it all around Europe. There was a delightful Schadenfreude in this spread and it went as follows. Italy finds itself all infected with people dropping dead in the streets, throwing up blood and being covered in buboes (swellings, hence bubonic plague) and black spots. The Italians are, as one can imagine, shitting it, and over in Spain they’re laughing at them. “Ooh look at you! If you were good like us God wouldn’t kill you with the Black Death!”. And then what do you know! Oh dear, the Spanish are dying. Now the French are laughing and then, merde! They’re all carking it and the English are … etc.
Basically the Europeans all thought they were too pious and good to get it and enjoyed the suffering of other countries and regions until of course they got it. It was a bastard of a pandemic. We don’t for sure how many people died, but scholars (not the shitehawks who were all “oh when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars”) estimate somewhere between 75 and 200 million. It took Europe 150 years to recover from it in terms of social demographic losses. It was awful in other ways. People in olden times were all about being punished by God, so rather than see the disease for what it was, they saw it as God’s judgement and as such they had to find someone to judge themselves. Enter the beggars, the lepers, the so-called witches and of course the Jews. There were persecutions, murders and torture. What was so nice about this was that even if you escaped the plague you had a really good chance of being different enough to be murdered anyway. Ain’t life grand!
The plague hung around for centuries, popping up every now and then to keep the population on its toes. The last great outbreak in England was in 1665 and we all know that the next year Samuel Pepys got rid of it by getting drunk as a skunk and burning London down.
So there we have it, boys and girls. March 20th is a day for lies and nonsense!
Today is the birthday of Little Miss Firecracker, Holly Hunter. She is probably best known for her role as a mute piano player in The Piano where she plays the piano and has sex with Harvey Keitel, but for me she shines brightest in the aforementioned Miss Firecracker, Raising Arizona, Broadcast News and O Brother Where Art Thou.
She’s tiny, quirky, sweet, funny and every bit of her Georgia upbringing is still present in her voice. I like her because she’s tiny (5’2″ apparently) and feisty and sometimes I’d like to be her. She is also a woman who lives her private life out of the public eye. She has
two children, probably twin boys, but their names and ages and in fact anything about them is not up for public discussion. There are a lot of people in the public eye who could learn a bloody lot from her.
She’s been around as an actress for 30 years and yet manages to still give off a youthful feel, not through the sleight of hand of cosmetic surgery, but through being full of life and spirit. She may actually be some sort of pixie or elf. I am almost certain that she s a minx.
And that is all really. I just like her and I like watching her in films where I don’t have to see Harvey Keitel’s bare arse going up and down. Happy birthday Holly Hunter. I think you’re just lovely!
Oh, I also like her in Crash, but that’s because it’s a films for perverts.