Sunday, 20 June 2021

hauptstadtbeschluss

Casting their vote on this day in 1991, the Bundestag of reunified Germany made the decision to move the seat of government and departmental headquarters from Bonn to Berlin. As stipulated by the second article of the treaty between East and West—which also established 3 October as der Tag der Deutschen Einheit—Berlin was already declared the capital in 1990. The transition took place over the ensuing decades with field offices of several ministries retained in the western conurbation, near Brussels and Germany’s most densely populated region.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

your experiment today is called pod people. it has nothing to do with pods, it has nothing to do with people. it has everything to do with hurting.

First airing on this day in 1991, the third episode of the third season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (see previously) lampoons the 1983 Franco-Spanish sci-fi movie with the original title Los nuevos extraterrestres, which was originally meant to be a horror film with a murderous alien rampage in the tradition of Beowulf but changed course during shooting to capitalise on the success of E.T. (changed to avoid confusion) with a bond forming between one of the aliens and a human kid. The MST3K cast especially enjoy mishearing the performance of “Burning Rubber Tyres”—singing “hear the engines roar now” as “idiot control now.” 

Monday, 3 May 2021

information as a public good

The annual observance focused on the above theme, World Press Freedom Day was enshrined by the United Nations in 1998 as a time for reflection and remediation for governments to uphold their commitment to freedom of expression and an adversarial press and encourage journalists and media professionals to recount their struggles and pledge to truth and ethics in pursuit of reporting. The day falls on the anniversary of the forerunning Windhoek Declaration of 1991 when a consortium of newspaper reporters from all across Africa met in the Namibian capital resolved to promote an independent and pluralistic press for the continent. The Press Freedom Index is also updated at this time, ranking the ability for journalists to cover candidly government and corporate behaviour.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

near wild heaven

Topping the charts this week in 1991, R.E.M.’s seventh studio album Out of Time including the tracks Losing My Religion with Grammy-winning music video, “Radio Song,” “Texarkana” and “Shiny Happy People” helped raise the band’s profile from a cult following to the international face of alternative rock. The packaging in the form of a CD longbox included a petition in support of the Motor Voter Act (previously) in support of a less onerous registration process for franchisement.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

resolution 678

On this day in 1991 Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and US Secretary of State James Baker held a conference in Geneva lasting some seven hours to try to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the invasion and annexation of Kuwait (August 1990).
Though the dialogue was overshadowed by the respective parties’ messaging, that George HW Bush was willing to continue talks and privileged peace and regional stability over any exercise of power—and that Saddam Hussain would not agree to an unconditional withdrawal, arguing that the region was put in turmoil over Palestine issue well before the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and targeting their advances with the backing of the UN and the US-backed coalition was hypocrisy and an injustice. Both sides lost their leverage and no progress was made in finding a mutually acceptable solution, and the failure of the Geneva Peace Conference precipitated Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Friday, 8 March 2019

stark raving dad

While not supportive of a biblioclasm or revision history in any sense, the production team behind The Simpsons has decided to pull from regular rotation a season three episode (1991) from the programme’s rotation in syndication—claiming their right as creators of the long-running series and as descent and upstanding human beings their right to choose what chapters of their story they share.
Some radio stations are taking Jackson’s songs out of circulation.  In the bottle-episode, Homer Simpson, Bart’s father, was confined to a mental institution on suspicion of being an anarchist and has a roommate named Leon Kompowsky who claims to be the pop star Michael Jackson—whose actual cameo was not disclosed until many years afterwards. A sequel was scripted but went unproduced over creative differences that had the character of Kompowsky reprised—but this time claiming to be Prince.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

at the star wars, star wars cantina or non-canonical

Looking through some old photographs, I found a picture I had taken of the curio-cabinet that housed primarily Star Wars action figures, circa 1991 (I imagine it was a few years later but would be embarrassing to admit, seeing as I had made trousers for the brooding Luke Skywalker from Revenge of the Jedi and set up an infirmary for G.I.*Joe characters in need of repair—the rubber-bands for their twistable torsos having snapped with a waiting area). Besides the meticulously curated cast of the original saga, it is interesting to see who else shared this prime real estate: the villains of Cobra, an out-of-proportion Insectoid and Thundercat, Happy Meal toys, Animaniacs, PEZ dispensers and a few other sundries and ephemera are represented, including a student council campaign sticker advising to “free your mind.” I believe I still have everyone of these people, somewhere, and I think I ought to recreate this Wunderkammer.