Friday, September 14, 2012

Today -100: September 14, 1912: Of happy wilsons, claims, seppukus (if that is the correct plural), scandals, and forcible bathing


Headline of the Day -100: “Wilson Boyishly Happy.” A major squabble between him and NY Gov. John Dix, who he denounces as a tool of Tammany, which is fair enough.

Mexico rejects the Manning & Mackintosh claim, but they don’t explain what it’s about either. I suspect no one really knows.

Count Nogi Maresuke, a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and former governor-general of Taiwan, commits seppuku to coincide with the funeral of the emperor. The same emperor had refused him permission to kill himself in atonement for the loss of life during the siege of Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War. Nogi’s wife also kills herself.

Nogi will now pass into history as some sort of super-bushido, the epitome of Japanese military somethingorother. Not sure what this makes his wife.

The US State Department is not quite sure how to respond to a patriotic ritual suicide. Condolences? Congratulations?

Unhelpful Headline of the Day -100: “Scandal Attacks English Statesman.” Specifically, “a prominent and much-hated leader.” The article goes on for some length but fails to name him (Lloyd George?)

Last month, the British Medical Journal had an article by several pro-suffrage doctors which denied the British governments claim that the forcible feeding of hunger-striking suffrage prisoners was not dangerous and painful. Today, the Lancet responds by publishing a parody of that report by a Dr. Charles Mercier. Evidently finding hilarious and unbelievable the idea that forcible feeding fails in its objective of providing adequate nutrition, his article is entitled “Preliminary Report on the Forcible Bathing of Prisoners,” which purports to find that dirt actually adheres more readily to the forcibly bathed etc etc. Hilarious.

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