BACK to Blog Posts

Nov. 30, 2022
November 30th, 2022

Question: What is a catamite?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What is a dilettante?
History for 11/30/2022
Birthdays: Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, William Enos Berkeley aka Busby Berkeley, Winston Churchill, Jonathan Swift, Shirley Chisholm, Gordon Parks, G. Gordon Liddy, Alan Sherman, Abbie Hoffman, Virginia Mayo, Ephram Zimbalist Jr, Richard Crenna, Robert Guilliame, Rex Reason, Mandy Patinkin, David Mamet, Shuggie Otis, Billy Idol, Joan Ganz Cooney the creator of Sesame Street, Dick Clark, Ridley Scott is 86, Ben Stiller is 57, Kaley Cuoco is 37, Henry Selick is 70

1731-An huge earthquake killed 100,000 in Peking (Beijing).

1750- Marshal Saxe died. Maurice de Saxe was born an illegitimate son of Polish King Augustus the Strong, but grew to become one of the top generals of French King Louis XV. Louis gave him the magnificent palace of Chambord for his retirement. The old soldier spent the summer nights camping out Cossack style and letting wild steppe ponies gallop the grounds. Like his dad a notorious ladie’s man, this night he was found dead after an all-night tryst with eight actresses at once. The king's physician wrote as the cause of death: "Une surfeit des femmes - an overdose of women.”

1776- As George Washington’s minuteman army retreated across New Jersey to escape the pursuing British Army, a third of his troop’s enlistment’s were up. In a cold rain 2,000 New Jersey and Maryland militiamen, one third the army, left and went home. Writer Thomas Paine was serving Gen. Nathaniel Greene as a secretary. He was moved by this pitiful sight to write the pamphlet: “The Crisis”: ”These are times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will shrink in this crisis from the service of his country. But he that stands now deserves the love and thanks of both man and woman. “Washington called his downcast soldiers together and had the pamphlet read aloud to them.

1782- On a dark, snowy day in an upstairs room on the Rue Bonaparte on Paris’ Left Bank, The United States and Britain signed the first of several protocols leading up to the treaty ending the American Revolution. John Adams, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin and Richard Lawrence signed for America, a parliamentary delegation led by Lord Oswald signed for the Crown. One British diplomat there said:” The Americans are the greatest quibblers I have ever dealt with, and I pray never to again in the future!”

1809- Napoleon told Josephine he wanted a divorce. She was the love of his life, but at 46 she could no longer bear children and he desperately wanted to establish a dynasty. Even though she long suspected something like this might happen, eyewitnesses said when she heard the news she swooned. The French Army called Josephine Our Lady of Victories and marked the end of their good fortune from this moment. Although his second wife Marie Louise gave him a son, Napoleon never forgot her. In exile he once admitted,” I loved her, but I did not respect her.” On his deathbed in 1821, one of his last words was “Josephine.”

1864- THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN. Confederate General John Bell Hood had lost Atlanta to Sherman, then failed to lure him out of Georgia. Now his subordinate officers missed an opportunity to entrap a different Yankee army outside of Nashville. That army now was facing them in an impregnable defensive position across open ground. Cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest urged a maneuver around the enemy, but Hood had had enough of his insubordinate officers. He ordered a full-frontal attack. The attack was a disaster.
General Patrick Cleburne, the blue-eyed Irish immigrant, called the Stonewall of the West, thought the order stupid, but couldn't send his men out without leading them.” Oh well lads, if we are to die today, let us do it like men.” After the battle he was found on the Yankee breastworks with 49 bullets in his body. Writer Ambrose Bierce was serving on the Union army staff. He was amazed at such a ‘ghastly carnival of death’ was being enacted on such a beautiful Autumn day.

1869- Paris’ famed naughty nightclub the Follies Bergere opened. The home of the Can-Can, Toulouse Lautrec, Josephine Baker, Bricktop, and Maurice Chevalier.

1900- Oscar Wilde died of meningitis in a hotel in Paris. He was 46. His last words; "This wallpaper is appalling! Either it goes or I do.”

1918- Three weeks after the Kaiser was toppled, the new government granted German women the right to vote.

1922- The great actress Sarah Bernhardt made her last performance in Turin Italy. She was still considered sexy despite advanced age and a wooden leg.

1923- Max Fleischer moved his animation studio to big new offices in 1600 Broadway.

1924- The first fax message sent. A photo of the Prince of Wales was wired across the Atlantic by radio transmission.

1935- Hitler’s government passed a law that non-belief in Nazi doctrine could be grounds for legal divorce in Germany.

1939- Soviet Russia invaded Finland. The gallant Finns fought back fiercely with skiing hit and run attacks, and gasoline bottle bombs nicknamed for Stalin's Foreign Minister, Vachyeschav Molotov, the "Molotov Cocktail".

1940- Actress Lucille Ball married Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz. Together they pioneered the new art of Television Situation Comedy. They divorced in 1960 but remained lifelong friends.

1941- President Franklin Roosevelt left Warm Springs Georgia and traveled by special train to meet with Japanese ambassadors Hamada and Kurusu at the White House in a last effort to prevent war.
Meanwhile the main Japanese carrier fleet weighed anchor and left Yokohama for the North Pacific. It’s code name was Kido Butai. It was officially scheduled for military exercises, but once out at sea Admiral Nagumo ordered radio silence, and following his instructions from Admiral Yamamoto, turned his ships south-southeast towards Hawaii.

1944- The Red Army invaded Nazi held Austria.

1954- Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga Alabama was hit by a meteorite. It shot through her roof, bounced off her radio and hit her on the hip. It gave her a nasty bruise and one heck of a story to tell. Broke the radio too. Today it is called Hodges Meteorite.

1961- President-elect John F. Kennedy signed a secret memorandum creating Operation Mongoose. It ordered the CIA under the direction of Attorney General Robert Kennedy to eliminate Cuban leader Fidel Castro by any means necessary. The CIA tried everything from Mafia assassins, to poison cigars, to chemicals to make his beard fall out. Nothing worked and Mongoose was discontinued after Kennedy’s assassination.

1966- Barbados got its independence from Britain.

1968- “Love Child” by Diana Ross and the Supremes hit #1 in the pop charts.

1970- First day shooting on William Freidkin’s film The French Connection.

1974- The Missing Link. In a dry gully in Ethiopia Dr Donald Johannsen discovered the perfect skeletal remains of one of the earliest human ancestors, an ape that walked upright. Australiopithicus Afrancenis. He called it Lucy. Johannsen liked the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

1976- After doing such a fine job lowering the journalistic standards of the London press, Australian tabloid king Rupert Murdoch turned his attention to America. Today he bought the New York Post. The Post, a newspaper originally started in 1794 by Alexander Hamilton, quickly gains notoriety as the trashiest newspaper in the U.S. In an interview, Murdoch admitted the only reason he didn’t put in the Post his “Page Three Girls” -nude photos of young women so successful in the London Daily Sun, was because his wife objected. He later replaced his wife. Rupert then bought New York Magazine and the Village Voice, whereupon half their staff immediately quit.

1979- ESPN, the 24 hour sports channel began broadcasting.

1982- Nova Pictures is founded, but due to conflict with a PBS TV show of the same name they change theirs to TriStar Pictures. In 1994 TriStar was merged into Sony Pictures.

1985- Punk band The Dead Kennedys released their album Frankenchrist.

1987- John Lasseter’s Pixar short Red’s Dream released.

1991- Battered wife Mrs. Omeima Nelson killed her abusive husband, dismembered his body and ate him. “I did his ribs just like in a restaurant.” she said.

1993- President Clinton signed the Brady Handgun bill into law. The bill was named for Ronald Reagan press secretary James Brady, who received a debilitating head wound in the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981. In 2001, President George W. Bush let it expire without renewing it.

1999- THE BATTLE OF SEATTLE- protesters trying to disrupt the World Trade Organization battled riot police and turned the downtown area into a battle zone. For the next several years wherever the WTO met they were surrounded by thousands of protestors, although the mainstream media tends to pooh-pooh their message.

2003- Roy Disney Jr, the last serving member of the Disney family, was made to resign from the Walt Disney Company. It was claimed to be the standard retirement policy, but more likely he was forced out by the exec he himself hired to run the company in 1984- Michael Eisner. Roy built a successful grass root stockholders’ campaign In 2005 it was Eisner who was compelled to retire. Roy Disney kept an emeritus board position until his death in 2009.

2010- Don Hahn’s doc Waking Sleeping Beauty was released on DVD.

Question: What does it mean to be dilettante?

Answer: A dilettante is someone who assumes a position while having only a passing interest in learning what the position entails. A willful ignorance.