Story Sunday: The War On Computers
The International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines […] was founded by Harvey Matusow in the late 1960s. Its aim was “to conduct guerrilla warfare against the computer by such means as sending a penny too much or too little when paying a utility bill.”
Matusow also authored The Beast of Business, which was supposed to serve as a manual for the guerrilla warfare against the computer. I wonder if any of the techniques he detailed would still work today?
However, Matusow is best known for giving evidence in court against individuals during the McCarthy era. Later, he claimed that the FBI had paid him to give false testimony and he detailed these allegations in his book False Witness.
He seems to have had a rather eccentric life and career. Some other highlights of it, from the University of Sussex’s page about him:
♦ Founded a band called the Harvey Matusow’s Jew’s Harp Band
♦ Married approximately twelve times
♦ Is possibly part of the reason The Beatles broke up – he held the party where John Lennon met Yoko Ono
♦ Worked as a children’s TV clown called Cockyboo in Tucson, Arizona
♦ Converted to Mormonism and spent his last years known as Job Matusow
May 29, 2021
Frustrations: Guerrilla War Against Computers (Time Magazine/09-12-1969)
Sir Thomas Sean Connery
I just found out about the passing of actor Sean Connery. There are certain actors I have a thing for and he is one of them. Our birthdays are five days apart and we both have Scottish (and Irish) ancestry. He enlisted in the Royal Navy at the age of 16, was assigned to the HMS Formidable as an Able Seaman and was medically discharged at 19 for ulcers.
One of his early endeavors was as an artist’s model. He was into bodybuilding and was in a Mr. Universe contest, though the actual year is disputed. He was a footballer, playing for Bonnyrigg Rose and was once offered a contract to play professionally:
“[I] realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30 and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves.”
He was a member of the Scottish National Party and campaigned for Scottish Independence, financially supporting the party until the UK passed legislation to prohibit overseas funding. One of his two tattoos was “Scotland Forever.”
He managed to make it all the way to 90 but, according to his son Jason, he had been unwell for some time. He passed peacefully in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas. I think it altogether fitting and proper that Sir Sean left on Halloween during a full Blue Moon. Godspeed. ~Vic
His acting debut (uncredited) was in the UK film Lilacs in the Spring (titled Let’s Make Up in the US) in 1954, a British musical starring Errol Flynn. On UK TV, he played MacBeth, Alexander the Great and Count Vronsky. His first appearance on US TV was on The Jack Benny Program in 1957. His first credited film roll in the US was a UK/US collaboration in the movie Action of the Tiger, also in 1957. He was the first James Bond (and some say the only one), he played a savage in the distant future, became Robin Hood, was a Marshal in outer space, was King Agamemnon, was a sword-wielding immortal, did a turn as a Franciscan friar, was an Untouchable, a Provost Marshall in San Francisco, was the father of Indiana Jones, a Russian submarine Captain, appeared as King Richard, became a doctor, was a detective, a professor, played King Arthur, played an ex-con & an art thief, was a reclusive author and, was the voice of The Last Dragon. He was only in one Western in 1968. His last time on the big screen was in 2003 playing Allan Quatermain in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and his last time on TV was playing character John Muir in an episode of the documentary Freedom: A History of US, also in 2003. He did voice work up to 2012.
♥ 1987 Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor/The Untouchables)
♥ 1987 BAFTA (Best Actor/The Name of the Rose)
♥ 1998 BAFTA Fellowship
♥ 1972 Golden Globe (Henrietta Award/World Film Favorite-Male)
♥ 1987 Golden Globe (Best Supporting Actor/The Untouchables)
♥ 1995 Golden Globe (Cecil B. DeMille Award)
♦ 1987 BAFTA (Best Supporting Actor/The Untouchables)
♦ 1989 BAFTA (Best Supporting Actor/Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)
♦ 1990 BAFTA (Best Actor/The Hunt for Red October)
♦ 1965 Golden Globe (Henrietta Award/World Film Favorite-Male)
♦ 1968 Golden Globe (Henrietta Award/World Film Favorite-Male)
♦ 1989 Golden Globe (Best Supporting Actor/Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)
www.seanconnery.com (Web Archive)
Additional Reading & Sources:
Belly Buzz (Web Archive of Connery’s Military Service)
List of Work (IMDb)
List of Work (Wikipedia)
Muscle Memory (As Tom Connery)
Scottish Junior Football Association (Web Archive)
Talk-Talk UK (Archive Today Copy of Connery’s Biography)
Song Saturday: Ice (Sarah McLachlan)
“The only comfort is the moving of the river…”
Saturday night’s playlist submission is Ice by Sarah McLachlan. The 8th track from her album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, it was never released as a single so, there is no chart information. Sarah was already a star in her native Canada but, this album was her breakthrough in the US, exploding on the scene when her first track, Possession was released. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1968, she was playing music, early, starting with a ukulele at age four. In high school, she was the singer for the short-lived band The October Game and, after finishing a year in college, signed a recording contract with Nettwerk without having written a single song.
This is another album/CD I have worn out. I can remember when Possession showed up on the radio and I first heard it. I was driving home from work and immediately went looking for her album. Her music has been used in many television shows and I remember her being on Charmed. Notable movies using her songs are City of Angels, Message in a Bottle, The Brave One and Four Christmases.
Sarah McLachlan (Official Website)
Sarah McLachlan Online (Fan Site)
Tune Tuesday: Reunited 1979
Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot R&B chart (and the Hot 100 chart, simultaneously, plus Cash Box) was Reunited by Peaches & Herb (Herb Fame & Linda “Peaches #3” Greene). The song was co-written by Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren, whom also co-wrote Shake Your Groove Thing, a previous Peaches & Herb song and, I Will Survive, the Gloria Gaynor hit. This was a sequel piece to the duo’s (Herb Fame & Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker) previous song (We’ll Be) United released in 1968, a cover of The Intruders hit from 1966.
The song sold over two million copies, was the Billboard #5 song for 1979 and the RPM (Canadian) #9 song for 1979 (Wayback Machine). Artists Louise Mandrell (with husband R. C. Bannon), Faith No More and Lulu (with Cliff Richard) have done cover versions. [This link reflects David Hasselhoff and Raven-Symone as cover artists but, I can’t verify. ~Vic]
American Music Award: Favorite Soul/R&B Song
Grammy: Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus
Throwback Thursday: Losing King 1968
Fifty-one years ago, today, a powerful voice & soul was extinguished. I wasn’t even two years old when he was killed. He was only 39. He wasn’t a perfect person (who is?) but, his message was.
From The History Channel:
Just after 6:00p.m. on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. is fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and, was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital.
As word of the assassination spread, riots broke out in cities all across the United States and, National Guard troops were deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. On April 9, King was laid to rest in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute to King’s casket as it passed by in a wooden farm cart drawn by two mules.
The King family and others believe the assassination was the result of a conspiracy involving the U.S. government, Mafia and Memphis police, as alleged by Loyd Jowers in 1993. They believe that Ray was a scapegoat. In 1999, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jowers for the sum of $10 million. During closing arguments, their attorney asked the jury to award damages of $100, to make the point that “it was not about the money.” During the trial, both sides presented evidence alleging a government conspiracy. The government agencies accused could not defend themselves or respond because they were not named as defendants. Based on the evidence, the jury concluded Jowers, and others, were “part of a conspiracy to kill King” and awarded the family $100. The allegations and the finding of the Memphis jury were later rejected by the United States Department of Justice in 2000 due to lack of evidence.
After the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, King told his wife, Coretta Scott King, “This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society.”
Senator Robert F. Kennedy was the first to tell his audience in Indianapolis that King had died. He stated:
“For those of you who are black, and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed but, he was killed by a white man.
His speech has been credited as preventing riots in Indianapolis when the rest of the country was not so lucky.
On March 10, 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty (on his birthday) and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. He died in prison at the age of 70 on April 23, 1998, twenty-nine years and 19 days after King’s assassination.
Many documents regarding an FBI investigation remain classified and will stay secret until 2027.
I’ve seen the Promised Land.
30-Day Song Challenge: Day 29 & Day 30
A song you remember from your childhood…
As the challenge comes to a close, this is the final post.
I’ve covered everything in the 70s back to 1972, specific to my childhood. Rolling back a little bit more, I remember liking these though I was very young.
No Sugar Tonight
I just barely remember this playing. I was so little but, it is burned into my young memory.
Love Is Blue
Past that, everything I know of music was learned later in life. The above are my earliest true music memories of what I liked, even as a child.
A song that reminds you of yourself…
I’ve never really found a song that reminded me of myself but, there are four songs I really identify with in terms of wandering thru life and the subsequent lessons.
The opening line to the movie:
“On a Saturday (March 24, 1984), five high school students report for all-day detention.”
This is my generation, though I was never in detention. I graduated in June 1984. Ditto Footloose.
Don’t You Forget About Me
Also released during my senior year…
Going Down To Liverpool
What I have turned into (tongue in cheek)…minus the nail-biting. *wink*
30-Day Song Challenge: Day 15
A song you like that is a cover by another artist…
This will be interesting.
First up, Angel of the Morning. Written by Chip Taylor (uncle to Angelina Jolie), this song has been covered by many. It was originally recorded by Evie Sands in 1967 and it got airplay but, the label went bankrupt and distribution halted. After that, it was a feeding frenzy spanning 45 years, culminating in the very last version by Rita Wilson (Mrs. Tom Hanks).
The two most popular versions, both released in February, 13 years apart, are also mine. I still have both 45s.
Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts 1968
Juice Newton 1981
Next, One Tin Soldier. An anti-war song written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, it was originally recorded by the Canadian group The Original Caste in 1969 and did very well on the Canadian charts. Skeeter Davis’ version in 1972 also did well in Canada.
Though there are other versions of this song, one of which was done by Cher, my favorite is, of course, Jinx Dawson’s version, recorded for the movie Billy Jack.
And, last, Get It On. Originally written & recorded by the British group T. Rex in 1971, it was re-titled Bang A Gong (Get It On) by The Power Station in 1985. Sorry, T. Rex fans. I like this one better.
I found another one that I really, really like. Originally done by Simon & Garfunkel, this version is SO much better. From the soundtrack of Less Than Zero, The Bangles really rock it.
Tune Tuesday: Hey Jude 1968
Fifty years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 song was Hey Jude. Written by Paul McCartney but, credited to Lennon-McCartney, Paul was on the way to see John’s soon-to-be ex-wife Cynthia and their son Julian. Starting out with “Hey Jules”, it evolved to “Hey Jude” as Paul attempted to try and help Julian through his parents’ separation.
Throwback Thursday: Kathy D. Sullivan & Space
October 11, 1984, Kathryn Dwyer “Kathy” Sullivan became the first American woman astronaut during the STS-41-G mission to perform an EVA or an extravehicular activity (3.5 hours worth), which freely translates to a “space walk”. This was NASA‘s thirteenth flight in the Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of the Challenger. She was the Mission Specialist 1 and had just turned 33 years of age eight days prior.
She received a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in 1978, became an Adjunct Professor of Geology at Rice University in 1985 and joined the Navy Reserves in 1988 as an Oceanography Officer, retiring after 18 years at the rank of Captain.
April 24, 1990, she served on board the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Mission Specialist 3 for the STS-31 mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. March 24, 1992, she served as Mission Specialist 1 during the STS-45 mission on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis. She was part of the Group 8 NASA Astronaut selection on January 16, 1978. She left NASA in 1993.
Other October 11 space-related trivia:
1957…..Operation Moonwatch scientists calculate Sputnik 1‘s ‘satisfactory orbit’ with an IBM 704.
1958…..NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1 (Pioneer Program). It falls back to Earth and burns up.
1968…..NASA launches Apollo 7, the first crewed flight.
2000…..NASA launches STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission to the ISS via Discovery.
Flick Friday: Night of the Living Dead 1968
Fifty years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was Night of the Living Dead, starring Judith O’Dea (her best known role), Duane Jones (his best known role), Karl Hardman (one of the producers of the film), Marilyn Eastman (business partner of Karl Hardman and, make-up and prop artist of the film), Judith Ridley (Karl Hardman & Marilyn Eastman’s receptionist and, eventually, producer Russell Streiner‘s wife), Ronald ‘Keith Wayne‘ Hartman (the only role he ever had) and Kyra Schon (the zombie kid and Karl Hardman’s daughter). The Zombie Family that plays together, stays together, I guess.
It was directed, edited and co-written (with John Russo) by George A. Romero, considered to be the ‘Father of the Zombie Film’. He was also known for The Crazies, Monkey Shines, directed Creepshow and, created and executive-produced the television show Tales from the Darkside.
Duane Jones is, now, an actual character in The Walking Dead graphic novel/comic.
The original movie is slated to be re-released this month in certain cinemas on the 24th & 25th in celebration of its 50th anniversary. It’s a shame that George Romero passed away in July of last year: