Travesties – Tom Stoppard (1974)

1960s: Days of Rage

Travesties is a 1974 play by Tom Stoppard. The play centres on the figure of Henry Carr, an elderly man who reminisces about Zürich in 1917 during the First World War, and his interactions with James Joyce when he was writing Ulysses, Tristan Tzara during the rise of Dada, and Lenin leading up to the Russian Revolution, all of whom were living in Zürich at that time. The play is primarily set in Zürich, Switzerland during the First World War. At that time, three important personalities were living in Zürich: the modernist author James Joyce, the communist revolutionary Lenin, and Dada founder Tristan Tzara. The play centres on the less notable Henry Carr, a British consular official (also mentioned in Joyce’s novel Ulysses), as he recalls his perceptions and experiences with these influential figures. As he…

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Vladimir the Vicious

Flowers For Socrates

by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor

Upon being informed that her famished and desperate peasant compatriots could not afford their staple diet of bread, the Queen of France Marie-Antoinette (1755-1799) allegedly retorted – “let them eat cake.” The dire situation of looming mass-starvation was due to harsh, inclement weather and concomitant poor harvests from 1877-1899.

In essence, her callous and cruel message to her fellow citizens, who were being deprived of their daily sustenance through no fault of their own, is on par with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cynical, heartless, response to Africa’s Russia-driven food shortages. In true megalomaniac fashion, he nonchalantly swatted away alarming concerns, by falsely blaming sanctions imposed on Russia for the portentous catastrophe. Thereby, Putin, made a mockery of the debacle and the continent of circa 1.4 billion people.

Putin’s illegal and unprovoked brutal war on Ukraine, now in its fifth dark month, is notable for the level of…

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Voting Rights Act of 1965

1960s: Days of Rage

In this Aug. 6, 1965, photo, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a ceremony in the President’s Room near the Senate Chambers on Capitol Hill in Washington.

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federallegislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by PresidentLyndon B. Johnson during the height of the civil rights movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act sought to secure the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal

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A Poem for Hiroshima Day

Flowers For Socrates

August 6, 1945, World War II – The U.S. B-29 Enola Gay dropped the “Little Boy” atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. 70,000 people died instantly, thousands died from burns, and more died over the following years from radiation. The date is commemorated by the Hiroshima Peace Ceremony & Peace Message Lantern Floating in Japan, and as Hiroshima Day in the U.S. and UK.

SankichiTōge (1917 – 1953) was a Japanese poet, activist, and survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. His collection “Poems of the Atomic Bomb” was published in 1951. Karen Thornber is a recipient of the 2011 Sibley Prize from the University of Chicago for her translation of his collection.

To read the poem “August 6” by Sankichi Tōge click:

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Hollywood Babylon – Kenneth Anger

1960s: Days of Rage

Hollywood Babylon is a book by avant-gardefilmmakerKenneth Anger which details the purported scandals of famous Hollywood denizens from the 1900s to the 1950s. The book was banned shortly after it was first published in the U.S. in 1965, and remained unavailable until reprinted ten years later. Upon its second release in 1975, The New York Times said of it, ‘If a book such as this can be said to have charm, it lies in the fact that here is a book without one single redeeming merit.’ The Daily Beast described Anger’s book as ‘essentially a work of fiction. There is no doubt that many—if not all—of the stories Anger shares in his slim bible have no merit.’ Film historian Kevin Brownlow repeatedly criticized the book, citing Anger as saying his research method was ‘mental telepathy, mostly’. … The book details alleged scandals of Hollywood stars from the

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Mario Vargas Llosa: Fiction and hyper-reality

1960s: Days of Rage

“When Mario Vargas Llosa, the precocious star of the 1960s ‘boom’ in Latin American fiction, ran for president in 1990 in his native Peru, many of his most avid readers prayed he would lose. As his friend, the Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante, observed: ‘Peru’s uncertain gain would be literature’s loss. Literature is eternity, politics mere history.’  That may have been scant consolation to the vanquished Vargas Llosa when the dark-horse victor, Alberto Fujimori, seized dictatorial powers in 1992 and fell only in 2000 in one of the most bizarre corruption scandals in Latin American history. But for the nearly man, who maintains that he lost the election largely for telling the truth, his candidacy was a ‘terrible mistake’ which he does not regret. ‘It was a very instructive experience, though not pleasant,’ he smiles stiffly. ‘I learned a lot about Peru, about politics and about myself: I learned…

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Jean-Luc Godard: His Life to Live

1960s: Days of Rage

“In the October 1950 Issue of La Gazette du cinema, a young Jean-Luc Godard, writing pseudonymously, penned a sentence that serves, for biographer Richard Brody, as a skeleton key to the legendary director’s often-inscrutable inner workings: ‘At the cinema, we do not think, we are thought.’ Brody, a film critic and editor at the New Yorker, uses this key throughout his rigorous yet readable biographical study, as dauntingly massive as it is helpfully clarifying, to unlock the intensely personal and political influences that shaped the work of an artist as pivotal to the evolution of his chosen medium as Picasso and Bob Dylan were to theirs. Like Picasso, Godard is an artist of many phases, each with enough revolutionary singularity to have sustained the reputation of any other director; like Dylan, he was a meteoric phenomenon of the 1960s who suffered a motorcycle accident and retreated to domestic…

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Fiona Hill Assesses Putin’s Plans in Ukraine

Diane Ravitch's blog

Fiona Hill has studied the words and actions of Vladimir Putin for years as a Russia expert on the National Security Council. Since Trump fired her, she has been at the Brookings Institurion and is free to speak in public.

I think you will find this interview in Foreign Policy interesting.

She thinks Putin is playing mind games with the West.

What a liar he is. He just signed a “historic” deal with Ukraine to allow Ukrainian wheat to reach global markets and ease world hunger. One day later, Russian missiles struck the port of Odessa, where the grain was supposed to be shipped out.

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Meet ‘The Afronauts’: An Introduction to Zambia’s Forgotten 1960s Space Program

1960s: Days of Rage

“Broadly speaking, the ‘Space Race’ of the 1950s and 60s involved two major players, the United States and the Soviet Union. But there were also minor players: take, for instance, the Zambian Space Program, founded and administered by just one man. A Time magazine article published in November 1964 — when the Republic of Zambia was one week old — described Edward Mukuka Nkoloso as a ‘grade-school science teacher and the director of Zambia’s National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy.’ Nkoloso had a plan ‘to beat the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the moon. Already Nkoloso is training twelve Zambian astronauts, including a 16-year-old girl, by spinning them around a tree in an oil drum and teaching them to walk on their hands, the only way humans can walk on the moon.’ Nkoloso and his Quixotic space program seem to have drawn as much attention as…

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Husbands – John Cassavetes (1970)

Great film! Great acting! Great directing!

1960s: Days of Rage

“In John Cassavetes’s Husbands, the director, Ben Gazzara, and Peter Falk play Gus, Harry, and Archie, three middle-aged, middle-class suburbanites who come together at the funeral of their close mutual friend Stuart, and, united in grief, commence drinking together. And then . . . they keep drinking. When the sun has risen, they careen around New York avoiding their families and careers, and when responsibilities threaten to catch up to them, they hop a flight to London so that their full focus can remain on the only thing that matters: one another. The longer the movie goes on—and it seems to be composed of small eternities—the more it hurts. And like all the best of Cassavetes’s work, it feels as if every frame hums with astonishing life. No image or sound is ever employed just to convey information. Always, overwhelmingly, feeling. Posthumously canonized as the patron saint of American independent…

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