WEEKEND BRIEFINGUnbanned in Boston
Nov. 21 - You've probably heard of the watershed legal development in Massachusetts earlier this week. Events were a little slow to catch up with me, but now that I'm up to speed I have to say I couldn't be happier for all my friends and family back in the Bay State. It's very exciting news. This was a long overdue change to the commonwealth's puritan-era laws, and I can't wait to get back to my teenage stompin' grounds and take advantage of this liberal new policy.
I'm speaking, of course, of the Massachusetts legislature's passage of a bill legalizing the sale of liquor on Sundays.
Now, the bill was tied to a much larger stimulus package that the governor hasn't yet signed—at least, not that I'm aware of—so it may come to nothing, but that only dampens my enthusiasm, it doesn't extinguish it.
I doubt I'm the only registered voter that feels that way, and am therefore surprised that legislators in other states haven't leaped onto the off-the-wagon bandwagon. You want our votes? Make it easy, convenient, and inexpensive to drink.
You really want our votes? How about happy hours at polling places?
If you don't think the electorate is serious about its drinking, consider this: exactly 82 years ago today (that is, on November 21, 1921), U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Wills Campbell Act, which prohibited the medical prescription of beer and liquor.
He was assassinated two years later.
Because He Said So
Jean Francois Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) was born on this day in 1694. Voltaire is best known for having said things. Here are some of the witty things he said:
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."
"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."
"Anything too stupid to be said is sung."
"God created sex. Priests created marriage."
"It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge."
"He was unhappy only when he thought: and that is true of the majority of mankind."
And most significantly:
"A witty saying proves nothing."
Breach in the Space-Time Continuum
On November 22, 1963, a covert CIA operation privately funded by a plutocratic cabal of multinational industrial interests acting in conjunction with extraterrestrial forces and the Knights Templar succeeded in making it appear that Lee Harvey Oswald had assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
Holidays, Birthdays, and All That Crap
November 21 is World Hello Day everywhere and Flag Day in Zaire. The 22nd is Independence Day in Lebanon. The 23rd is Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan and Flag Day in Niger.
Voltaire shares his November 21 birthday with Ken Griffey, Jr. (1969), Troy Aikman (1966), Goldie Hawn (1945), Harold Ramis (1944), Juliet Mills (1941), Marlo Thomas (1938), Stan Musial (1920), Rene Magritte (1898), Harpo Marx (1880), and William Beaumont (1785).
November 22 is the birthday of Mariel Hemingway (1961), Jamie Lee Curtis (1958), Billie Jean King (1943), Robert Vaughn (1932), Rodney Dangerfield (1921), Benjamin Britten (1913), Hoagy Carmichael (1899), Charles de Gaulle (1890), and George Eliot (1819).
November 23 is the birthday of Shel Silverstein (1932), Boris Karloff (1887), Billy the Kid (1859), and Franklin Pierce (1804).
Enjoy the weekend!
© 2003, The Moron's Almanac