Exactly 130 years ago, the Fabian Society was founded. It was originally a socialist organization, but never revolutionary. It called for gradual changes to make society a better place. Today, it is more or less what I call liberalism, but not the kind of liberalism that the Democratic Party supposedly practices. It is also associated with the London School of Economics. It continues to operate as a think tank, linked to the British Labour Party.
As for birthdays, today really sucks. I’ll only talk about two people. And one of them, I hate.
Bob Black is 63 today. He is an anarchist writer. But he would be no more well known than I am had he not been responsible for getting Jim Hogshire arrested. Black was spending the night with Jim and his wife. It turned ugly and Jim forced Black to leave. Stories conflict (and don’t go by the white wash on Black’s Wikipedia page—most of which I suspect Black wrote himself), but I suspect it was mostly due to Black being drunk. I wouldn’t even bring it up, but Black went whining to the police about Jim’s supposed “drug lab.” Now coming from just anyone, whatever. But coming from a man who made his living arguing for anarchism and libertarianism, it is hypocrisy of the highest order. Of course, Jim isn’t the only person who Black has had problems with. In fact, being an asshole is what he is primarily known for. I would have given him the day in the tradition of people like Hitler, but I just couldn’t do it. Even though Black is a vile man, he’s about as significant as a cockroach.
Other birthdays: writer A E Coppard (1878); sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881); DC Comics founder Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890); painter Andre Masson (1896); actor Sterling Holloway (1905); football coach Don Shula (84); boxer Floyd Patterson (1935); guitarist John McLaughlin (72); historian and writer Doris Kearns Goodwin (71); singer Arthur Conley (1946); comedian Dave Foley (51); and musician Cait O’Riordan (49).
The day, however, belongs to General Tom Thumb who was born on this day in 1838. He was known mostly for being very small: less than three and a half feet tall. But he wasn’t a circus freak. He was an entertainer who sang, danced, told jokes, and did impersonations. Through his relationship with P T Barnum, he became an international star. And very wealthy.
Happy birthday General Tom Thumb!