Friday, October 19, 2007

Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork

Bill Clinton's antics with Monica Lewinsky were a bit strange, but behind the smoke and mirror of the Camelot White House, life was far stranger. Yesterday was Oswald's birthday, so today it's worth mentioning Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House (2004) nattily researched and written by Sally Bedell Smith. I just wish there were photographs of Priscilla Wear (Fiddle) and Jill Cowan (Faddle), JFK's office "helpers." And furthermore, I wonder what happened to them after the assassination?

Another excellent work on the Vietnam War: Novel without a Name (1996) by Duong Thu Huong (Dương Thu Hương). Her unit of forty volunteers lost thirty-seven casualties. She has another six Vietnam-based books to check out, too.

Peter Tosh (b. Winston Hubert McIntosh; 1944-1987) was big in the 1970s and 1980s until he was gunned down on 9/11/1987. I saw him and his mostly reggae band open up for The Rolling Stones twice in 1978. Never as big as Bob Marley, he was still an interesting guy with a lot on his mind.

"Uppity Women Unite!" New Jersey, 1970. I had to blow up the shot to read the smaller sign: "Will I ever have the chance to be president?" Weirdly enough, only now with the 2008 election will a woman (i.e. Hillary Clinton) for the first time have a real chance to become President of the United States. Social change is always slower than it could be.

Happy birthday to Patricia Ireland, National Organization of Women (NOW). After seeing the first season of Mad Men (set in 1960) and skimming through Grace and Power, it's obvious that feminists have helped change a number of things for the better in my lifetime.

Mexican actress-singer Verónica Castro at the start of her career.

Today's Rune: Joy.

Birthdays: Auguste Marie Louis Nicholas Lumière, Miguel Ángel Asturias Rosales, Jack Anderson, John le Carré (David John Moore Cornwell), Simon Ward, Peter Tosh (b. Winston Hubert McIntosh), Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead), Patricia Ireland, John Lithgow, Verónica Castro, Deborah Blum, Tracy Chevalier, Jon Favreau, Yoko Shimomura.


Charles Gramlich said...

There are quite a few parallels between Kennedy and Clinton. I do believe Clinton strongly modeled himself on Kennedy. Mabye Clinton should write a book about Kennedy.

Rebecca said...

I am the baby in the stroller. I was with my mother on the 50th Anniversary of women obtaining the right to vote in the US. I wsa eight month old and I was with my mother, Carol, in Aug. 1970.

Rebecca Eisenberg-Papka