Tuesday, 23 August 2022

black ribbon day (10.081)

Officially the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism and broadly for all who suffered under authoritarian regimes, this day was chosen for its observance as the anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, a treaty of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which contained a secret protocol that partitioned Europe into spheres of influence. To counter historic revisionism and Russia’s categorical denial of the deal which held until 1941 as well as grave crimes, twenty one Western cities, organised chiefly by Central and Eastern European refugees living in Canada, staged the first memorial in 1986, spreading to the Baltics three years later with the Cold War-era protests eventually leading to revolution. In 2019, the European Parliament adopted the resolution to enshrine (reaffirming the formal designation of 2008) the annual observance to broadly condemn the propaganda and disinformation that would deny or glorify totalitarianism and undermines liberal democracies.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

section 28

With echoes of Florida’s current controversial Don’t Say Gay Bill and in effect until 2003 (Scotland dropped the series of laws in 2000 as one of Holyrood’s first items of business as a newly devolved parliament), the government of Margaret Thatcher introduced and enacted legislative measures that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities on this day in 1988, causing many support groups to fold or severely curtail their activities. Named after the amendment to the Local Government Act of 1986, the language stated that municipal authorities shall not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality or promote the teaching in any maintained [public] school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.”

Saturday, 14 May 2022

a show with everything but yul brenner

After previews and the critically-acclaimed release of a concept album, the musical collaboration by ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjรถrn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice had its premiere in London’s West End on this day in 1986, depicting geopolitical tensions of the Cold War through the lens of a tournament between two grandmasters of the game, loosely based on the game careers of Bobby Fischer (Murray Head) and Anatoly Karpov (Tommy Kรถrberg) whose stakes were reflective of the sentiment of the era and the Reagan, Thatcher Doctrine of the mid-80s. Songs include of course “One Night in Bangkok.” Full-length bootleg recording of the original cast below.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

und er lebt in der groรŸen stadt, es war in wien, war vienna wo er alles tat

The lead single from the artist’s third studio album with the eponymous title Falco 3 peaked on the UK charts on this day in 1986, holding top position for several weeks after hitting number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 at the end of March—still holding the sole German language title to have this achievement (99 Luftballons by Nena made it to the number two spot). Inspired by the popularity of the film Amadeus, the Neue Deutsche Welle number was initially released as an eight-minute version called the “Salieri Mix” before being trimmed to the more usual song length.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

stillgelegt

On this day in 1986, the Zeche (Coal Mine Industrial Complex) Zollverein in the city of Essen ceased operations, workers leaving for Christmas break not to return, due to dwindling output that did not justify the high maintenance costs, among the last mining and coking facilities in operation in the Ruhrgebiet. The campus, built in the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) style, is considered an architectural and engineering masterwork and the conserved landmark, Shaft 12, was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage registry in 2001.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

9x9

silent haitch: the voicing of this letter is “still a significant shibboleth”—a look at h based on modern usage and notes on wh by Alfred Leach  

kinship and pedigree: genealogical mapping shows historic spread and retreat of surnames for British Isles and much of Europe 

rural free delivery: a superb, thematic collection of vintage picture postcards—via Things Magazine  

zeta reticulans: a tarot deck from Miguel Romero features the history of UFOlogy  

ั‚ะต ัะฐะผั‹ะต ะบะฐั€ั‚ะธะฝะบะธ: collection of avant-garde children’s book illustrations from the USSR 

retromod: Hyundai brings back its 1986 luxury Grandeur with a fully electric powertrain 

trebuchet: another start-up envisions flinging satellites into space via spinning centrifuge—see previously  

get lost losers: a rock band flotilla entertaining the cargo crews stuck in the seemingly insurmountable backlog waiting to unload containers at the ports of Los Angeles

agent of chaos: agnotology, the study of deliberate spreading of confusion

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

7x7

the dance of the proletariat: a cultural revolutionary ballet 

reefer madness: an excerpt from “Cocaine, the Princess of Perdition” (1939)  

beef and dairy network: a 1986 board game called “Grade Up to Elite Cow” 

music to moog by: Melbourne’s Electronic instrument museum  

old growth: an anthology of the most memorable trees in the literary canon  

ambiguate: a notable lacuna, lexical gap for a word that ought to have been formed 

rhythm is a dancer: a comprehensive dance music archive covering the recent past—via Things Magazine

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

gallery1988

Via The Morning News that finally piqued my curiosity, I am regretting now not having before having checked out the Hood Internet’s on-going series of year-in-song reviews.
These audio-visual remixes and transitions are really quite fantastic and resoundingly nostalgic brief romps and am working through the back-catalogue (1986 is also particularly good) and looking forward to more instalments.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

worms against nuclear killers

Recently declassified documents obtained by the investigative team at Muckrock details how NASA dealt with the one of the early infections by a computer worm and arguably one of the first acts of political hacktivism, though the timing might be coincidental, back in October 1989.
Unidentified hackers from Melbourne, some contend Julian Assange (previously) was also involved but he has never attested to this claim, had infiltrated a computer system shared by the space agency and the US Department of Energy (which also has oversight for America’s nuclear arsenal) just as the shuttle was preparing to ferry up the plutonium-powered Galileo space probe. With the Challenger disaster (28 January 1986) still fresh in people’s minds, there was concern and public protests over the launch, fearing an accident that could spread fall-out over Florida. Instead of the accustomed start-screen, workers were greeted with the pictured message and led to believe that files were being deleted though no actual lasting harm was done. The subheading, “You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war,” is a lyric from a Midnight Oil song, an Australian activist rock band with a strong stance against nuclear proliferation. More to explore at the link up top.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

gavel-to-gavel coverage

On this day, four decades ago, the US cable and satellite television network C-SPAN first televised congressional proceedings from the floor of the House of Representatives.
The first member featured on the debut broadcast was then-Tennessee representative Al Gore. It was not until June of 1986, however, before the Senate permitted a live-feed that remained independent and wholly out of their control. I have fond memories of watching legislating in progress for hours on end and had it gently explained to me that classical music actually was not piped into the chambers during a vote (I thought that was a nice alternative to muzak or the general din) but that it was rather the doing of the programming manager during a call-in.