Follow The Centre Cannot Hold



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  1. not happening soon.

1992 — S.I. Hayakawa dies

A noted populariser of the ideas of Alfred Korzybski, especially general semantics, Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa was a Japanese-American academic. He wrote numerous books on semantics and language, some of which remain in use as textbooks even today (notably his “Language in Thought and Action” which is now in its fifth edition).

Hayakawa was the president of San Francisco State College from 1968 to 1973. As president, his most notable action was the creation of an Ethnic Studies department after pressure from Black Panther and student protestors. In 1977, he became a member of the United States Senate (California, R), a role which he held until 1983. He died in 1992 at the age of 85.

Referenced in:
Black Man — Stevie Wonder



  1. comfortable.
  2. comforting.

1984 — Boom Boom Mancini defeats Bobby Chacon

Mancini’s 1984 bout against Chacon was his fourth title defence (he had won the World Boxing Association Lightweight title in May 1982), and he once again triumphed, although this match was decided when the referee stopped it in the third round after a cut above Chacon’s eye began to bleed.

For Mancini, it was a last hurrah in many ways. A few months later, he would lose his next title bout, and after he lost a rematch for the title the following year, he largely stopped boxing, although he remained in the public eye.

Referenced in:
Boom Boom Mancini — Warren Zevon

1977 — “Fantasy Island” premieres

The original run of “Fantasy Island” commenced with a made for tv movie screened on ABC on the night of January 14, 1977. A second such movie was screened more than a year later, on January 20, 1978, with the regular series commencing a week after that. By the time it finished in 1984, there had been 152 weekly episodes across seven seasons, and Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize were celebrities. Even now, shouting “the plane, the plane!” in a bad Spanish accent will bring back memories for many people.

Ironically, “Fantasy Island” was originally pitched as a joke, when Aaron Spelling asked an exec if what they really wanted was a show where tourists visited a tropical island to live out their sexual fantasies. The question was intended to be rhetorical, but the exec took it seriously, and the rest is history (albeit, probably less x-rated than Spelling’s sarcasm implied).

Referenced in:
TV Party — Black Flag

1977 — Marc Bolan dies

After David Bowie (with whom he maintained a mostly friendly rivalry), Marc Bolan is the single biggest name in the history of glam rock. Born Mark Felt, he was two weeks short of his thirtieth birthday when an automobile accident claimed his life.

Bolan’s career had been a great one up to that point. As the lead singer of T.Rex, he wrote and performed such classics as “Get It On”, “Children of the Revolution” and “Telegram Sam”. His influence, and that of T.Rex, on later musicians, especially in Britain, was immense. His grave remains a site of pilgrimage to fans from all over the world.

Referenced in:
Rock And Roll Hall Of Death — Mitch Benn And The Distractions

Update: Week Ending September 15, 2014


Continue reading Update: Week Ending September 15, 2014

1984 – Prince Harry is born

The younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry (in full: Henry Charles Albert David Windsor; formally: Prince Henry of Wales), currently stands fourth in line for the throne (and gets further back each time he gains a nephew or niece). He is perhaps best known for being the only member of the Royal Family to be photographed wearing Nazi regalia, but this has not dented his popularity, which leaves him second only to his brother William and the Queen (his grandmother).

Despite his occasional embarrassments to the family, Harry is held in high esteem for his military service and sporting prowess. That said, it’s probably a relief to everyone – Harry included – that he keeps getting further down the line of succession.

Referenced in:
Heartland — The The

1977 – “CHiPs” premieres

“CHiPs” was a light-hearted action adventure series that followed the adventures of two members of the California Highway Patrol, motorcycle-riding partners Ponch (Erik Estrada) and Jon (Larry Wilcox). The show was very formulaic, with almost every episode ending with a high speed vehicular chase that ended in a spectacular collision. Although the show destroyed cars at a rate that even John Landis would envy, and featured armed police officers in every episode, it was rare for a weapon to be un-holstered, let alone fired.

ChiPs ran for 139 episodes across six seasons from 1977 to 1983, with a reunion movie being released in 1999. In its day, it was one of the top-rating shows on television, and Erik Estrada, in particular, has become strongly associated with the show (to the exclusion of almost everything else in his career).

Referenced in:
TV Party — Black Flag

1962 — “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs reaches #1 on the charts

“Green Onions” is probably the single best known instrumental of the rock era, and routinely appears on lists of the “the greatest songs of all time”. It was originally released as the B-side of “Behave Yourself” in May of 1962, but when its popularity became apparent, the single was re-released with its A and B sides flipped. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, but its influence goes way beyond that.

“Green Onions” was composed by the members of Booker T. and MGs (Booker T. Jones, Steve “The Colonel” Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson, jnr. Originally a group of session musicians at Stax Records, they metamorphosed into a successful recording act in their own right, but never had another single as successful as “Green Onions”.

Referenced in:
Green Onions — The Blues Brothers

1935 — The Nuremberg Laws are passed by the Reichstag

Unanimously passed by the Reichstag on the evening of September 15, 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were the first legal codification of Nazi anti-Semitism. There were two laws: the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which prohibited marriages and extramarital intercourse between “Jews” and “Germans” and also the employment of “German” females under forty-five in Jewish households; and The Reich Citizenship Law, declared those not of German blood to be Staatsangehörige (state subjects) while those classified as “Aryans” were Reichsbürger (citizens of the Reich). In effect, this second law stripped Jews of German citizenship.

In addition, the laws contained a codification of who was considered to be Jewish, defined by how many grandparents one had who were Jewish or German. There were four statuses under the law, of which two were considered Jewish and two German. A later expansion of the law extended its provisions to Gypsies and Negroes. These laws remained in effect until the German surrender, nearly ten years later.

Referenced in:
Mrs. O — The Dreden Dolls

1957 – A fire breaks out at Rocky Flats nuclear plant

Constructed in 1952 near Denver, Colorado, the Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant began production of bomb components, manufacturing plutonium triggers, or “pits” in 1953. By 1957, the plant had expanded to 27 buildings.

On the evening of September 11, 1957, a plutonium fire occurred in one of the gloveboxes used to handle radioactive materials, igniting the combustible rubber gloves and plexiglas windows of the box. Metallic plutonium is a fire hazard and pyrophoric; under the right conditions it may ignite in air at room temperature. The accident resulted in the contamination of Building 771 and caused US $818,600 in damage. It also occasioned the release of plutonium into the atmosphere, part of which blew over Denver. Although this particular event is not believed to have caused contamination, subsequent fires and leaks from the plant did.

Referenced in:
Cesspools in Eden — Dead Kennedys

1973 — Salvador Allende dies

More than 40 years later, it remains a matter of some dispute whether Salvador Allende, President of Chile, committed suicide (as the official version claims), or was assassinated. Given the circumstances of his death – he died on the same day that Augusto Pinochet, the commander in chief of the Chilean army, led a CIA-approved military coup d’etat against him, and the ‘official version’ is that of Pinochet, after all.

He was the President from 1970 to 1973, and although seen in the US as a Soviet puppet, was generally treated poorly by them. A lack of expected Soviet aid spending worsened the economic conditions in Chile, which created the conditions that led to the coup, although Allende’s economic reforms, which threatened the interests of the establishment while promoting those of the indigenous population, were also a factor.

Referenced in:
Mal Sacate — Kris Kristofferson