August 15, 2006
August 15th, 2006
I'd like to call to your attention the fellow who did the painting that graces the cover of my book DRAWING THE LINE. Patrick Mate' is a Frenchman who moved to Hollywood and animates for Dreamworks. His credits include films like Balto, Prince of Egypt, Sharktale and Over the Hedge. Once when animator Nancy Beiman was in town, Patrick and his wife Nina invited a bunch of us over for a party. When there I was impressed to see Patricks' other passion was doing paintings of famous people. He enjoys a form of stylized caricature similar to the caricaturist Kruger. I am thrilled to have his work on the cover of my book. His website had examples of his stuff as well as links to a number of other Invincible Gauls or animation. http://www.patrickmate.blogspot.com
History for 8/15/2006
Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte is 237, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott,
T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall,Bill Baird, Julia Child, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie, Linda Ellerbee, Oscar Peterson, Leon Theremin-inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is featured in all those 50s flying saucer movies, Maxine Waters, Nicholas Roeg, Ben Afleck is 35, Debra Messing is 39
778 AD.-Battle of Roncevaux or Roncesvalles. Legendary battle where Frankish Emperor
Charlemagne's top knights -the Palladins: Roland waving his sword Durandel,
Oliver and Ogier the Dane fell fighting the Moors. The battle was probably a small
rearguard skirmish with hostile Basques guerrillas but a poem about the incident
called the Song of Roland expanded it into an epic Christian battle against the
evil Moslem Moors, wizards and devils. The Chanson du Roland became top of the charts
in the Middle Ages. When William the Conquerer's Normans went into battle at
Hastings in 1066 William's minstrel Vailletan sang the Song of Roland at
full gallop while tossing his sword into the air and catching it like a parade drum major.
1057-Scottish king Macbeth is defeated and killed by Malcom III Canmore at the
battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire. But did Burnham Wood move to Dunsinane?
1097- DEUS VOLT ! GOD WILLS IT! The First Crusade was announced at Clermont by
Pope Urban VII. Christian Europe decided that the Holy places in Jerusalem should
not be in Moslem hands. In his sermon the Pope addressed the assembled knights in
their native French:Christian warriors who continually seek pretexts for
war and rape Rejoice! If you must have Blood, then bathe in the Blood of the Infidels,
and Christ will count you among his Warriors! Soldiers of Hell, become Soldiers
of the Living God! They sewed small strips of red cloth in a cross on
their left shoulders and began with a massacre of any Jews they could find. History is at a
loss to find any comparable social phenomenon. It took Islam a generation to understand
that this was a Christian Jihad (Holy war) declared on them. The Moslem Emirs were
just as feudally divided as the European warlords until they united under the brilliant
Kurd Sultan Sa' Allah-al-Dhin or Salladin.
1848 - M Waldo Hanchett patents the dental chair.Cartoonist Al Hirschfield liked to draw while seated in a dentist chair in his study.
1885- Sir Richard Burton completed his translation from medieval Persian of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There had been earlier attempts like a French edition in 1809, but Burton's edition introduced the west to Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the sailor and Sherherazahde.
1911- Proctor & Gamble introduced Crisco shortening.
1958 - Buddy Holly weds Maria Santiago.
1960- The Congo ( Brazzaville) declared independence from France. It had been renamed
Zaire for awhile but is back to the Republic of the Congo today.Remember at the end of Casablanca when Claude Rains says to Humphrey Bogart- "I have a cousin in the Free French garrison down in Brazzaville. I could arrange a passage..?"
1969-WOODSTOCK-Three Days of Peace and Music- The rock concert of the Century opened. The promoters, one of whom was heir to the Polident Denture Cream fortune, were hoping to host
50,000 people and launch a recording studio in the quiet New York farming town.
What they got was 500,000 hippies and the social phenomenon that defined the Age.
At one point the more conservative elements of the community got a court order to
block the land to be used, but farmer Max Yasgur offered his cow farm for the site.
Up till then in the tumultuous 1960s any gathering of young people that
big meant violence and riot, and at one point New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller threatened
to send in the National Guard. But the magic prevailed and there was no violence
outside of 200 bad acid trips and one heroin overdose.
Richie Havens was the first act to play, he did six sets and kept stalling because
the crowd was so immense they had to bring in the other bands by helicopter. When
he ran out of songs to sing Havens started riffing any thing he could think of the
top of his head. This way Havens created his most famous tune "Freedom"
with added in spirituals like "Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child".
Drugs, sex and rock & roll flowed freely. At one point someone put LSD into the drinking water of
the rescue helicopter pilot . He spent two hours flying in circles over the festival,
thinking he was traveling over one huge expanse of people. One hippy had spent the
entire night high on LSD. As he started to come down, the first thing he recognized
in the dawns early light was Sha-Na-Na on stage doing 50s Doo-Wop. He
thought he had been sent to Rock Hell.