Sunday, March 24, 2013

Today -100: March 24, 1913: Of duels, converts, ambassadors, and Jewish tragedians

It’s probably wrong to think of this as incredibly cool, but a performance of Carmen in Spain ended with a real sword duel on stage between the singers playing Escamillo and Don José, due to a love rivalry, with the former killing the latter. Now that’s entertainment!

Austria escalates its request to Montenegro to let the residents of Scutari evacuate before continuing military operations into a threat to go to war against Montenegro if it refuses. Oh, and all Catholics and Muslims in the Jakova region (i.e., Kosovo) who have been “converted” to Eastern Orthodox Christianity must be allowed to revert to their former faiths. Montenegro replies that it will set up a commission, with a representative from Austria and one from maybe Italy to investigate the conversions.

Wilson complains that only rich people can afford to be ambassadors and he’d prefer to be able to choose ambassadors based on, you know, ability (his choice to be ambassador to France just turned him down). They get paid $17,500 a year (members of Congress got $7,500, the president $75,000, which in real terms was WAY more than Obama gets), but have no official residences. The problem, really, is that all the rich ambassadors spend a fortune throwing banquets and balls, making the ones who can’t afford to do so look bad.

Col. Hugh L. Scott is about to be promoted, and the NYT thinks this will be seen as good news by the Indians and Moros who “have been helped by Gen. Scott [who] regard him with an affection that amounts almost to worship.” At least the ones he didn’t kill.

The story below that is about the son of an actor being arrested for stealing an automobile tire. The actor is described as a “Jewish tragedian,” which is redundant, surely?

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