I was thinking last night of two other historical events, both ridiculously non-significant, that I remember clearly.
The first was the assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia
. At the time, for some strange reason, I thought his death would be a major pivotal event in world politics. The second was the assassination of Chilean President Salvador Allende
. For this one, I do remember where I was, which is perhaps the more significant part of it. I was in a lovely open-air restaurant in the village of Bhamdoun
, in the mountains of Lebanon, and my ex-father-in-law was sitting beside me. A radio was on and a newscast, in Arabic of course, reported the assassination and the old man translated it for me. I didn't think it was going to be a particularly pivotal event, but I thought it was cool that here I was, literally half way around the world, enjoying the cool evening breeze in a country which was half-European half-Middle Eastern and the news reached me, through an Arabic translator. The old man was an amazing individual. He had spent most of his life working in the foreign exchange department of Iraq's Rafidain Bank and could speak seven languages. He had witnessed numerous violent coups in his home country and was easily spooked by any loud noise. I can understand why. The Yom Kippur War broke out just a few weeks later, but we were back in Canada by that time. One of the first things I did once we were back at home was treat myself to a real hamburger (the Middle Eastern version sucked, big time) and a pizza, which was virtually non-existent in the Middle East, at least at that time.
Lebanon was a beautiful country, then, Beirut, especially. Its moniker "The Paris of the Middle East" was well deserved. That was all destroyed during the civil war which came sometime later.
One of the sites we visited outside of Beirut was an old Crusader's castle. The world keeps turning round and round. Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose.
..according to Stubble Jumping Redneck.
For some unknown reason I've been thinking of events that have occurred in my lifetime that I consider significant. Here are the top fifteen in roughly chronological order:
I didn't know it then, but this was the event that spurred the race to the moon. I remember dogs in space
, too. That was before pigs in space
2. Assassination of JFK
Even in the remote little Canadian prairie town where I went to high school, they put the TV up in the gym and brought all the students in to watch the funeral. It was literally a shot that went round the world, except this one didn't start a war. A few days earlier the science teacher had stuck his head into our classroom to announce that Kennedy had been assassinated. I remember the stunned hush that fell over the classroom.
3. The assassination of MLK
I remember attending a memorial service in his honour at Campion College
at the U of R. There were only two people there. What a shame!
4. The Beatles phenomenon
Sorry, folks. Freaky Michael Jackson doesn't even come close
"...their countless hit singles have become modern-day folk songs, covered by hundreds of individuals and groups and inspiring countless more, and have sold more copies than those of any other band in history."
When you have six or seven hits on the top 10 charts for several years, not just months, at a time, you are a phenomenon that has yet to be topped.
5. The pill
My mother was one of the first to line up at the doctor's office. Five brats was enough.
6. The Sixties Counter-Culture
Yup. I was part of it. It was exciting. Most of us did grow up, though.
7. Man on the Moon
Sorry you missed it, younguns. It was amazing.
Yup. I was swept up in it
, too. Who else could tell parliamentarians to fuck off
, (or was it fuddle duddle?), and get away with it? Or do a pirouette while walking behind Queen Liz
or slide down a banister in Buckingham Palace? Date famous women
? Invoke the War Measures Act to deal with a group of Quebecois terrorists kidnappers and murderers
or meet with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
? Ya had to be there, but, yes, most of us did grow up, though.
9. The end of apartheid in South Africa
It was a shocka. I never thought it would happen. Just too bad so many lame-brained leftards now use that word to describe situations where it is so not appropriate. Kinda cheapens what it's real victims had to endure.
10. The collapse of the Soviet Union
Which is the real reason the Soviets high-tailed it out of Afghanistan. Someone should tell Osama bin Laden that. It's also the reason the coalition that fought first Gulf War didn't go all the way into Baghdad to finish the job. The USSR was by no means completely dead and George H.W. Bush didn't want to do anything that might have given the old guard Soviets a shot in the arm.
11. The fall of the Berlin Wall
Another shocker, but the real proof that Soviet style communism, a regime that had existed since my dear departed mother was a mere four year old toddler, was actually done for good.
12. The Internet, or more specifically, the World Wide Web
The greatest invention not made by Al Gore. Heck. I even remember when Canada was ahead of the USA on Internet "penetration".
Just like the assassination of JFK, it was one of those moments when you remember where exactly where you were and that you could not believe your eyes.
14. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein
and also the day he was captured
and the day he was hanged
Thank you George W. Bush!
15. Ann Coulter's tour of Canadian universities
Which may prove to be a real turn-around in Canuckistan, if Honourable Doug Finley can get his inquiry
going and something really good comes of it. Freedom of Expression is in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms
fer-criss- sake and in the much older Bill of Rights
. Give it back to us!! It's ours.
Thank you Ann Coulter!
16. I'm leaving this open in case the Conservative Party of Canada actually does something its base wants.