Wistful, lovely, haunting, near forgotten, yesteryear.
Wistful, lovely, haunting, near forgotten, yesteryear.
Shakespeare knew betrayal. He wrote about many. Perhaps one of the most chilling was the death of Julius Caesar, who apparently believed himself to be invincible.
On March 15, 44 BC Roman emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death near the Theater of Pompey, where his senate held a meeting. His enemies, who had been conspiring for months, were unbeknownst to him. Total backstabbers! Caesar was loved by many and had apparently done little to provoke the attack.
The assassination, however, did not come without its warning. One month previous, Caesar had been approached by a soothsayer who told him: “Beware the Ides of March”. In ancient Rome, the “Ides” would have been understood to be the middle of the month, or March 15th.
Have a happy March 15th and watch your back!
Here is a re enactment from the 1970 film, Julius Caesar. Hope you like it!
So warned the soothsayer to Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s famous play. Alas poor Julius — he did not heed the advice, went against his own instincts and was stabbed to death in the senate. The bloody, infamous event occurred on March 15, 44 B.C.
Have you ever wondered what the ‘Ides’ of March actually means?
It was a designation for the middle of a month. Apparently, the ancient Romans did not number days of a month sequentially from first through last day. Instead, they divided the month and counted days from three specific points. These points were called the Nones (5th -7th of the month) the Ides (13th to 15th) and the Kalends (1st of the following month).
The divisions were determined by the full moon, which normally occurred between the 13th and 15th of the month. Thus the Roman senate would have actually gone ‘loony’ under the full moon. (We just had our full moon on March 12, so the 2017 measurement is not too far off!)
After the death of Caesar, the 15th of March seemed to carry its own specific dark cloud. Many other tragedies have occurred on this day. For example:
A Raid on Southern England, 1360
A French raiding party began a 48-hour spree of rape, pillage and murder in southern England. King Edward III interrupted his own pillaging spree in France to retaliate.
Czar Nicholas II Abdicated His Throne, 1917 Czar Nicholas II of Russia signed his abdication papers, ending a 304-year-old royal dynasty. Enter the Bolsheviks!
Germany Occupied Czechoslovakia, 1939
Nazi troops seized the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, effectively wiping Czechoslovakia off the map. The beginning of Hitler’s destruction.
A Deadly Blizzard on the Great Plains, 1941
A Saturday-night blizzard struck the northern Great Plains, leaving at least 60 people dead in North Dakota and Minnesota and six more in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
World Record Rainfall, 1952
Rain fell on the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion—and kept falling, hard enough to register the world’s most voluminous 24-hour rainfall: 73.62 inches. Reportedly, no arks were built 🙂
CBS Cancelled the “Ed Sullivan Show,” 1971
CBS-TV cancelled “The Ed Sullivan Show” after 23 years on the network. Ed brought us the Beatles!
But it need not be all doom and gloom.
If you are looking to brush up on Julius Caesar, or just want to view some beautiful cinematography and great acting, I recommend this (somewhat lengthy) but very entertaining film. Shown as a miniseries in 2002, it stars Jeremy Sisto as Caesar, with a supporting cast that includes Christopher Walken, Richard Harris and Christopher Noth. Running time is 3 hours. Hope you get a chance to watch!
Happy Ides of March!
On January 25, 1533, King Henry VIII married his adulterous lover Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony held in London and presided over by very few witnesses. Henry was, by all applicable laws, still married to his first wife Queen Catherine of Aragon. Anne Boleyn was pregnant. She would give birth to her only daughter Elizabeth on September 7 of that same year, approximately seven months after the wedding.
It was the shotgun wedding of a bigamist king and a pregnant lady in waiting. Oh, but what a king, and what a lady! The Pope never approved Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and Henry was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This changed the direction of religion not only in England but much of Europe as well, as Protestant Reformations spread across the land.
Although Anne’s daughter Elizabeth would go on to become one of the most powerful monarchs of England, her status as ‘illegitimate bastard’ would always be in question. This led to great paranoia. Elizabeth was constantly in fear for her life and established a network of spies that would put the CIA, the FBI and the Mata Hari to shame.
Conventional wisdom would have surely suggested that this marriage was ill fated. As you know, it ended badly. Just three years later, Henry charged Anne with adultery and treason. She was beheaded. While imprisoned in the Tower of London, Anne famously joked about her ‘little neck’ which would make the executioner’s task easy.
Yet when they first met sparks flew. Henry and Anne were totally infatuated with each other, evident in Henry’s many love letters to her. This awesome scene from ‘The Tudors’ depicts the passion, fascination and lust they must have felt. (Not sure if the ‘masked ball’ is historically correct, but it is a great Romeo and Juliet steal. I think Shakespeare would have approved!)
The aftermath was easy. For me there was no blood, no guts, no cleanup. I merely escorted them to the place they had longed for, the world they had envisioned but yet remained unseen by them. I gave them the utopias they were incapable of achieving within their waking lives.
The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was perhaps my easiest case. Similar to Abraham and John Fitzgerald, he knew beforehand he was to die, having taken on such a gargantuan and dangerous task. Indeed, when I took John Fitzgerald from the convertible car in Dallas Texas, Martin realized his fate already. He immediately said to his wife Coretta: “This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society.”
Martin was right on both counts. The society was sick. My duty was inevitable.
Humankind amazed me. They had such an immense capacity for love. Their enormous striving and goals were honorable, but perplexing. The altruistic visions of many were squashed by the hatred and destruction of a few. Love and fear battled fiercely, and at that time fear won. Evil forces conspired against Martin.
He was a man of peace, one who studied the works of Mahatma Gandhi, one who determined that real change could only come about in the human world through peaceful protest and non violence. Martin was, of course, unarmed when he happened to walk out on his balcony of the Lorraine Motel on that evening of April 4th, 1968.
I arrived long before it happened, my own consciousness informing me of what was to occur.
I watched in silence as Martin breathed in the hot Tennessee air. The evil ones had already gathered around him, their slimy presence palpable to me though invisible to the human eye. Their odor was putrid and their deadly intentions sent a shiver down my spine.
“Why did you not intervene, Azrael?” you may ask me. “Why did you not save him, block the shot, do what was well within your power to do?” This is a question I have encountered many a time. But intervention was not my duty. Aftermath was my duty.
I still remember how the gunshot blasted through the pink Memphis sky, just as the gold sun set upon its horizon. I heard that shot loudly, and I shuddered, for even angels have ears. We too know terror. There was the seeping of blood as the bullet bolted through Martin’s cheek and I hastened to take him from the pain of his physical body. The ambulance arrived, rushing him to Saint Joseph’s Hospital where doctors would pronounce him dead within the hour.
Later the people were brought to their knees in grief. There would be protests and rioting, Martin’s death inciting the very violence he so abhorred. Yet humankind felt justified within this violence, for what more could they do?
The world of 1968 America was not ready of the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King. And so I took him from it.
Most would lay the blame upon a man named James Earl Ray. James Earl would be given a prison sentence of 90 years. But he was not the real shooter. Many knew this. Coretta knew it, wise woman. She is with Martin now, so in case you’re wondering, you can set your mind at ease. Justice is as justice does, though the laws of humankind are often corrupt. Nonetheless, all righting of wrongs is achieved on the karmic wheel. It matters not who pulls a trigger. The shot that struck Martin was delivered by not one, but a vast array of organizations.
The humans are peculiar creatures. Whenever one of them seeks truth, it is a government which ITSELF claims to be truthful that engineers their demise. So it was with Abraham, with John Fitzgerald and his brother Robert. So it was with the one called ‘X’, so it was with the one called Lennon, and so it was with Martin.
In America they kill their best.
The plot to kill Martin was deep and intricate, spreading its grimy tentacles across countries and governments. It involved CIA operatives, FBI leaders, Illumanati and Mafiosa, those so steeped in corruption that their lives were nothing more than power and greed. These are the Reptilians, the dark forces that dwell among you. They are known by many names. Beware them, for their mission is as old as earth itself. In as much as an angel can hate, I have hated them, for they have brought grief upon many a soul.
I cradled Martin gently in the soft April night. He was unused to his body of spirit, although his faith was deep. He was not even surprised to see me. I can still picture his smile, dazzling but expectant, the exquisite light in his eyes. He had always known me.
“Where will you take me, Angel?” he asked.
“To the Promised Land, of course,” I answered. “After all Martin, you had a Dream.”
He still watches you from dimensions exponential. He sees his vision achieved in a world much alien to planet earth. He still hopes that one day this piece of heaven will be brought to his America, that people will measure one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character
Humankind, I am told, have a long way to go.
“Free at last, they took your life, they could not take your pride.”
What was the mystical allure of Wallis Simpson?
It was eighty years ago, on December 10, 1936 that King Edward VIII of England announced his abdication of the throne. He gave up the most powerful position in the world in order to marry the love of his life, Wallis Simpson. Wallis was forbidden fruit, a twice divorced, free-living American socialite who could never be an appropriate wife for a king. Edward gave up a kingdom for her.
Jamaican musician Harry Belafonte wrote the song ‘Love Alone’, which told the story of Edward and Wallis to a Calypso beat. Hope you like it!
The world is flat The natives are savages Sexual preference is a choice War is necessary Hang ’em high The stock market fluctuates Pink is for girls and Blue is for boys He died for your sins Because you are Evil Lobotomy is good Hysterectomy is better and YOU are hysterical The End is near You just need to work harder Authority knows best and Animals do not have a soul
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