Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Quatorze Juillet!

Today is 14 July 2006, or Quatorze Juillet.

On this day in 1789, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and freed seven prisoners, the proximate cause of the French Revolution.

Many disparage the French Revolution as a misguided (if not wicked) carnival of blood, the unjustified rebellion of the ignorant and unwashed masses against their wise and judicious betters. These many, however, almost always embrace shedding blood for their own causes, so blood carnivals are for them not a matter of principle, but only a question of whose ends justify a common means.

Only the most reactionary, however, could decry the value of one of the most fundamental documents of the French Revolution, La Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen, or The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

[For the full text in English, see this.]

By any standards, a milestone in the continuing struggle for human rights, peace, and justice.

The Museum of the Bourgeois and its Executive Director wish you and yours "Happy Quatorze Juillet!"

Don’t forget to epater les bourgeois.

1798 – Sedition Act becomes law, making it “a criminal offense to utter or publish any false, scandalous, and malicious writings against the federal government with intent to defame it, or bring it into contempt or disrepute or to excite hatred of people or stir up sedition against it” (Black’s Law Dictionary)

1912 - Woody Guthrie born in Okemah, Oklahoma (d. 1967)

1958 – In Iraq, a military faction led by Abdul Karim Qassim overthrows the British-imposed monarchy; Qassim becomes Prime Minister and Defense Minister; the regime is overthrown by the Ba’ath Party in 1963


Anonymous La_Libertine said...

And Liberte Egalite Fraternite - soon, I hope to all of us - may we not fall into the horrible aftermath of the French Revolution though - but do you ever wonder if today we're just the same damn factions fighting the same damn battles, over and over again, same as we have for who knows how many lifetimes?
Ah well. J'epate les bourgois a l'envi! At least I try to, anyway...

11:58 PM  
Anonymous earthboundmisfit said...

Happy (Belated) Birthday for Woody -
Goddamn I love this song, A Boy from Oklahoma by Willis Alan Ramsey

Travelin’ cross the country playin’ on my circuit line
Sometimes I think about a man who was here before my time.
Named for the 28th president with a Guthrie tacked to the end.
Born in Okemah shoes with the Dust Bowl blues,
Friend of the workin’ man.

Now he wasn’t partial to New York buildings that tried to touch the sky
Or West Virginia coal mines that took so many lives
Or the way they drove the migrant workers back over into Mexico way.
And the scabs they run when they heard he’d come
And the bosses started to pray.

Just a boy from Oklahoma on an endless one-night stand
Wanderin’ and a-ramblin’ and driftin’ with the midnight sand.
He played the blues and the ballads and all that came between
His heart was in the union, and his soul was reachin’ out for the servant’s dream.

Now I was talking to a man that met him in a bar near Clovis town.
He said the whole place was a-shakin’ as they was passing his songs around.
In between a tune my friend asked him where he’d be when the morrow came
And he said through his grin, “I put my thumb in the wind
And I’m off down the road again.”

“I’m just a boy from Oklahoma on an endless one-night stand
I wander, and I ramble, and I drift with the midnight sand.
I play the blues and the ballads and all that comes between
My heart is in the union, and my soul is reachin’ out for the servant’s dream.”

Now you know that Woody Guthrie is dead and buried in the ground
But sometimes I sing his songs, and I get to thinkin’ that he’s still around.
’Cause I’ll hold that his fire is everlastin’, I’ll testify that his course was run true

And the ramblin’ man’s ris’, and the kingdom’s his
But his songs are for me and you.

Here's to ya Woody...

12:05 AM  

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