DECEMBER 31 —JOHN WYCLIFFE
Leader of the dangerous Lollards, 13th century English spiritual revolutionaries.
DECEMBER 31, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
NEW YEAR’S EVE. ANNUAL WORLD PEACE MEDITATION. In Germany, prowling demons & spirits of darkness must be routed this night by mummery & lots of noise. People used to dress in straw clothing with deerskin masks of animals & run through the streets, clanging bells & dragging chains.
Mobile, Alabama: COWBELLION HERD ESCAPADE & REVEL honors Michael Krafft, who founded mystic society, “Cowbellion de Rakin” in 1830 first of all the mystic societies and krewes which stage the Mardi Gras extravaganzas in Mobile and New Orleans.
JAPAN: NAMAHAGE. Men dressed as devils go door-to-door screaming “Any good-for-nothings here about?”
ALSO ON DECEMBER 31 IN HISTORY…
1320 —British religious radical reformer John Wycliffe born, Yorkshire, England.
1384 — Religious radical reformer John Wycliffe Dies, Lutterworth, Leicestershire.
1877 — French radical painter Gustave Courbet dies, Vevey, France.
1996 — Mayan shaman Lacandonista Chan k’in Viejo dies, Chiapas, Mexico.
DECEMBER 18, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS HIJRA, Islamic New Year. Oaxaca, Mexico: FIESTA OF THE VIRGIN OF THE LONELY. Apache dancers, amusement park rides, gambling, plenty of fireworks.
ALSO ON DECEMBER 18 IN HISTORY…
1830 — Trial of Swing Rioters, peasants & workers who fought for minimum wage.
1865 — Chattel slavery abolished in U.S. (Wage slavery continues to thrive.)
1879 — Artist Paul Klee born, Bern, Switzerland.
1917 — Black American actor, civil rights activist Ossie Davis born, Cogdell, Georgia.
1946 — South African black-rights activist Steve Biko born, King Williamstown.
1969 — Great Britain abolishes capital punishment.
DECEMBER 17 — MARTY GLABERMAN
American radical political theorist, proto-autonomist.
DECEMBER 17, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Ancient Roman SATURNALIA (December 17– 23): “Unrestrained and intemperate jollity.” Relaxation of social rules, no business transacted, courts closed, wars suspended, feuds forgotten,slaves take place of masters. LORD OF MISRULE selected.
NOVEMBER 18 — MAN RAY
Surrealist photographer, radical social critic.
NOVEMBER 18, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
NED LUDD MEMORIAL MACHINE-SMASHING FESTIVAL.
ALSO ON NOVEMBER 18 IN HISTORY…
1789 — Photography pioneer Louis Daguerre born, Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France.
1820 — Nathaniel Palmer discovers Antarctica.
1928 —Mickey Mouse born, Walt Disney Studios, Los Angeles, California.
1952 — French writer Paul Eluard dies, Paris, France.
1975 — Eldridge Cleaver, seven years in exile, returns to U.S. to face charges.
1976 — Surrealist photographer Man Ray dies, Paris, France.
1978 — Jonestown, Guyana: 913 party-goers; Kool-Aid shots main attraction.
1983 — Magic realist painter Ivan Albright dies, Woodstock, Vermont.
NOVEMBER 9 — LEO HUBERMAN
Co-founder of radical U.S. Marxist journal Monthly Review.
NOVEMBER 9, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
CHAOS NEVER DIED DAY. FESTIVAL OF CYBERGNOSTICISM.
ALSO ON NOVEMBER 9 IN HISTORY…
1731 — American polymath Benjamin Bannekar born, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland.
1802 — American abolitionist journalist Elijah P. Lovejoy born, Albion, Maine.
1918 — Berlin workers march on Reichstag during revolution.
1953 — Welsh poet Dylan Thomas dies, New York City.
1968 — Monthly Review co-founder Leo Huberman dies.
1979 — U.S. Air Defense Command computers report that Russia is attacking.
1989 — Berlin Wall comes down, signaling end of half-century-long Cold War.