Monday OT: June 24 is Bannockburn Day and Midsummer Day
June 24 is the 175th day of the Gregorian Calendar year,
Setting Orange, Confusion 29, 3185 YOLD (discordian),
And let us not forget 126.96.36.199.16 by the Mayan Long Count
This was a day of significant Battles. Hannibal pulled off the first recorded "turning movement" and the largest recorded ambush by the largest recorded ambushing force at Lake Trasimene. He wiped out over half of the opposing Roman army and sent the rest packing in disarray with minimal losses of his own.
The Scots, under their king, Robert the Bruce, decisively whupped the English (under Edward II) at Bannockburn.. Though the war continued for 14 more years, this glorious victory is celebrated in song, verse, art, sculpture and multifarious toasts. Do not bring it up in the vicinity of any gathering of Scots unless you have a tonne of free time on your hands.
Edward III, however, took command of the English fleet in a fleet engagement against the French at the Battle of Sluys, and defeated it in detail, capturing the vast majority of the French ships and killing between 16 and 20 thousand French sailors. The English thereby took command of the English Channel and enabled a troop landing that enabled them to besiege Tournais, but still didn't prevent French raids on English shipping. This was, for perspective, more or less the opening salvo in the 100 years war, so the complete and total destruction of the French fleet can hardly be deemed to have sped things up to any material extent.
Simon Bolivar sewed up Venezuelan Independence, and thereby the creation of the Republic of Gran Colombia. with a decisive defeat of España at The Battle of Carabobo.
* Not mentioned below, among others: 1622 – The Battle of Macau, 1779 – The Great Siege of Gibraltar, 1813 – The Battle of Beaver Dams, 1859 – The Battle of Solferino, 1866 – Battle of Custoza, and so on; I'm sure that you get the picture.
There are in the US, forever and a day, a sufficiency of censorious blue-nosed intellectual refugees from the Victorian era, save for their being assiduous disciples of Thomas Bowdler, that the Supremes were yet again forced to dip their toe into the murky cesspool that is US obscenity law. (I call it that because it is about the only thing that I can think of that is truly obscene.) In today's case, Roth v. United States, the court, much to the displeasure of Justice Earl Warren, held that the First Amendment doesn't protect obscenespeech. The court then went on, as always, to utterly and completely fail to come up with an objective standard as to what the hell obscenity was or meant.
Though not as bad as Justice Potter Stewart's infamous threshhold criteria of "I know it when I see it." (Jocoballis v Ohio, 1964), the "definition" that came out of Roth, were it statute law, would be unconstitutionally vague. (Generally, broadly, a normal person must be able to know with certainty in advance of an act or action whether or not it would violate a particular statute, or else said statute is unconstitutionally vague.) Justice Brennan's holding in Roth gave us the appalingly uninformative "average person, applying contemporary community standards" test. WTF? How average? Height, Weight? IQ? Education? Religion? How the hell is somebody sitting in a dive bar in Vegas writing a pulp paperback on a laptop supposed to know what will fly in Winnemuca on any given day, let alone Macon, Georgia, Peoria, St. Petersburg, or Maine? I live in Alameda County, state of California, USofA. A jury of my "peers" at the county level could, statistically, be selected from a panel composed entirely of Lit. majors from UC Berkeley. It equally well could come from a panel consisting entirely of stereotypic blue-rinsed right wing extreme fundie Christian Reaganites from Livermore who still actively work to get such things as Tarzan and Catcher in The Rye banned at the local high school. I don't need to worry abut Orange County or San Diego, 20 miles east is a whole different cultural universe. But Con. Law need not be internally consistent or coherent, so, censorship based on community standards it is. Like, gag me with a fuckin' spoon, Suzy Creamcheese.
Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift, look out kid, ...
On this day in history:
217 BCE - Hannibal beat the Romans at Lake Trasimene, one of the "Great Battles" of history.
1314 – The Battle of Bannockburn, a decisive victory for Robert the Bruce and the Scots.
1340 – The English destroyed the entire French fleet at the Battle of Sluys, ne of the great naval battles of history
1374 – There was a sudden major outbreak of St. John's Dance, a mass psychogenic illness, in the streets of Aachen
1497 – John Cabot landed in Newfoundland, the first Europeans since the Vikings to do so.
1717 – Sensing a global deficiency in quasi-religious ceremony, some dudes founded The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world, presumably enabling Poe to write A Cask of Amontillado.
1812 – Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman, starting his invasion of Russia and becoming cannon fodder for Tchaikovsky
1821 – Bolivar's decisive victory at the Battle of Carabobo guaranteed Venezuela's independence from Spain.
1950 – The South African Group Areas Act formally segregated the races, creating Apartheid.
1957 – The Supremes decided Roth v. United States, one of a series of essentially inane rulings on "obscenity"
2004 – The New York Court of Appeals decided People v Lavalle, holding that the death penalty violated the state constitution.
Born this day in:
1386 – John of Capistrano, hater, Inquisitor, and Saint. A classic combo, hence the missions in CA & TX.
1842 – Ambrose Bierce, author, journalist and lexicographer
1867 – Ruth Randall Edström, educator, peace activist and women's rights activist
1880 – Oswald Veblen, mathematician
1901 – Marcel Mule, classical saxophonist
1901 – Harry Partch, composer, music theorist and musical instrument inventor
1911 – Juan Manuel Fangio, legend
1911 – Ernesto Sabato, physicist
1912 – Mary Wesley, author
1917 – Ramblin' Tommy Scott, singer and guitarist
1917 – Joan Clarke, cryptanalyst
1929 – Carolyn S. Shoemaker, astronomer and comet hunter
1942 – Arthur Brown, singer, songwriter, pyro
1942 – Mick Fleetwood, drummer
1944 – Jeff Beck, guitarist and songwriter
1944 – Chris Wood, saxophonist
1945 – Colin Blunstone, singer and songwriter
1947 – Buckaroo Banzai, cavalier
1949 – John Illsley, singer, songwriter, bass player, and producer
That's a serious load of british talent born this day, in case you didn't notice.
Died this day in:
994 – Abu Isa al-Warraq, skeptic, scholar, critic of Islam and all revealed religions as B.S.
1519 – Lucrezia Borgia, archetypal Lucretia Borgia.
1969 – Willy Ley, historian and author
2010 – Fred Anderson, tenor saxophonist
2013 – Alan Myers, drummer
2014 – Eli Wallach, Tuco
Holidays, Holy Days, Festivals, Feast Days, Days of Recognition, and such:
Battle of Carabobo Day
Tuco Day (unofficial)
Music goes here, iirc, well,
Juan Manuel Fangio
Ramblin' Tommy Scott
Another side of Jeff Beck
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Image is a statue of Robert The Bruce in Bannockburn
It's an open thread, so do your thing