Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"I Drove All Night" by Cyndi Lauper

I was so determined to find a video to include with this post, I spent more time searching YouTube for one than I did in actually writing the post; between the greedies who refuse to allow embedding (BOO!) and the super-greedies at the record label whose antiquated business models refuse to allow some provision for fair use (double BOO! with raspberries on top!!) some days it's all a poor blogger like me can do to bring enlightertainment to the masses.

And yet, somehow, I persevere... Now you might ask 'Why bother?', which is a comment I've received a few times; come to think of it, it's not usually been an expression of support... A n y w a y, the long and short answer is that Cyndi Lauper - born on this day in 1953 - is one of our favourite people here at the Pop Culture Institute and has been ever since bursting onto the music scene in 1983; this truly great lady of American pop has long been and remains a force for great good, valiantly defying misogyny and homophobia wherever she goes, and I will always back her up to the hilt because of it.

I Drove All Night first appeared on Lauper's 1989 album A Night To Remember; because there's some nudity in the video, it created some controversy You Know Where, where people obviously shower in the dark with their clothes on due to all the shaming and where body dysmorphia could be an Olympic event*. I actually like the song so much a subsequent cover version of it by Quebecois caterwauler Celine Dion remains among the only songs of hers I can listen to without mysteriously acquiring a mouthful of vomit at some point during the process.

*Sorry, but it only hurts because it's true.

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In Memoriam: George Vancouver

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[Statue of Capt. George Vancouver by Charles Marega
located at the north side of Vancouver City Hall.

If you think it's a long way from King's Lynn in England to Vancouver today, you should have seen it a couple of hundred years ago. Yet whatever desire drove men like Vancouver - fame, new vistas, wealth, or sweet brown booty - without their towering ambitions I would likely be a carpenter in a dangerously overcrowded slum in Malmö, Sweden, right now.

So thank you for that Captain Vancouver - born on this day in 1757* - and thank you for the little jewel of a city that bears your name. Thank you also to the Squamish people whose land we stole... Oh, and sorry about all the smallpox and genocide. Our bad.

*Captain Vancouver actually spent his 35th birthday here, at Point Grey, having spent the previous nine days charting Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet.

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POPnews - June 22nd

[Although the largest body known to be orbiting Pluto, Charon is nevertheless half its size; by comparison, the Moon would have to be just slightly smaller than Mars (rather than 20% the size of the Earth) in order to compete. Still, just as scientists can't seem to decide whether or not Pluto is a planet or a dwarf planet, a similar controversy rages over whether Charon is a moon or a dwarf planet, even though the two are gravitationally locked and Charon manages a complete pass around Pluto every 6.3 days.]

217 BCE - At the Battle of Raphia Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy IV defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom.

168 BCE - At the Battle of Pydna Roman forces under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated and captured Perseus, the King of Macedonia, thus ending the Third Macedonian War.

1276 - Pope Innocent V died; he was succeeded by Adrian V on July 11th.

1535 - John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was executed on Tower Hill on orders from Henry VIII for refusing to accept the King as head of the Church of England; the only member of the College of Cardinals in history to be martyred, Fisher was beatified by Leo XIII in December 1886 and canonized by Pius XI in March 1935.

1593 - At the Battle of Sisak, which took place in what is now central Croatia, allied Christian troops led by the Holy Roman Empire (most notably Toma Erdödy) defeated the Turks, likely preventing the invasion of Central Europe by the Ottoman Empire.

1813 - Laura Secord set out to warn British forces of an impending US attack on the Ontario town of Queenston during the War of 1812; Secord's 30 km trek across the Niagara Escarpment meant that during the subsequent Battle of Beaver Dams British commander James FitzGibbon was able to successfully repel the US 14th Infantry under Charles Boerstler.

1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of France for the second time following the ignominious drubbing he took from Britain's Duke of Wellington and Prussia's General Gebhard von Blücher at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18th - whereupon he was exiled to the British holding of Saint Helena.

1825 - Britain's Parliament abolished feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America, a pointed bit of bastardy seemingly designed to make the French residents of Lower Canada hate anyone who speaks English in perpetuity.

1844 - The influential fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon was founded at Yale University.

1893 - The Royal Navy battleship HMS Camperdown accidentally rammed HMS Victoria, the flagship of the British Mediterranean Fleet, while on manoeuvres off the coast of Tripoli; HMS Victoria then sank, taking 358 crew with her - including the fleet's commander, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon.

1918 - A circus train wreck killed 86 and injured 127 members of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus near Hammond, Indiana; five days later the victims - including engineer Alonzo Sargent, whose falling asleep at the throttle had caused the wreck - were interred in the Showmen's Rest section of Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.

1922 - At the Herrin Massacre 19 strikebreakers and 2 union miners - Jordie Henderson and Joe Pitkewicius - were killed in Herrin, Illinois.

1940 - France was forced to sign the Second Compiègne armistice with Nazi Germany.

1941 - Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa, one of the most dramatic turning points of World War II.

1944 - The Soviet Union's Operation Bagration was launched to clear the Eastern Front of Nazi Germany's occupying Army Group Centre.

1969 - Cleveland's Cuyahoga River caught fire, which triggered a nationwide crack-down on water pollution in the US.

1978 - Charon - a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto - was discovered.

1990 - Checkpoint Charlie was formally closed, eliminating the Berlin Wall's most famous border crossing between East Germany and West Germany; it is now the focus of a display at Berlin's Allied Museum.

2009 - Eastman Kodak Company announced that it would discontinue sales of the Kodachrome Color Film, concluding its 74-year run as an iconic brand.
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