Mar. 23 - First of all, please don't miss my blog post about American Justice through the eyes of a Danish "criminologist." You won't regret it. Much. (I hope.)

Second of all, I've now gone three full calendar days without a cigarette. I want to thank everyone who's written me with support, advice, taunts, and jokes. I mean that sincerely. No punchline. Just gratitude.

Thirdly, playtime appears to be over. I just got the schedule for my Danish classes and these guys don't fuck around—starting next week, I'm scheduled for three-and-a-half hours of Danish instruction every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday until the middle of May. It looks like my top-secret, undisclosable work for IO Interactive will actually involve contracts on two projects, starting more or less immediately. The family business is also picking up. Plus I'm in the home stretch on the second draft of my next book, and, as you scarcely need be told, we're also dealing with this:

So you will of course forgive me if I cut myself a little slack on the bloggish for the next, say, 18 years.

* * *

On March 23, 1534, Pope Clement declared that the marriage between Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon was still valid, even though they'd been divorced the previous year and Henry had already married Anne Boleyn. This left Henry no choice but to invent his own religion and appoint a more agreeable pope.

It's interesting to reflect how richly improved the spiritual condition of our own age might be if our leaders were still required to invent religions every time they wanted a little nookie—the Clinton Administration alone would have been a theological tsunami.

On March 23, 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his own party in Italy. He had tried all the other parties, but he was an awkward young man and had a hard time getting to know people. His Fasci di Combattimento ("Evil Fascist Bastards Party") was extremely popular, however, and even the cool kids came. It got so crowded that the neighbors started complaining, which ended up starting a big fight, and the rest is history.

On March 23, 1985, Billy Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley in New York. It was unbelievable. It was so exciting. Here was this rich but kind of funny-looking musician marrying this beautiful, wealthy model. No one had ever seen anything like it before. It changed everything. Nothing would ever be the same. It was like "Uptown Girl" had come true. I still can't believe it.

On March 23, 1925, Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution in schools. Teacher John Scopes couldn't think of anywhere else to teach evolution, so he ignored the ban and was later prosecuted in what became known as the "Scopes Monkey Trial," which resulted in an Oscar for Spencer Tracy (no relation).

Today is the birthday of Keri Russell (1976), Chaka Khan (1953), Roger Bannister (1929), Wernher Von Braun (1912), Akira Kurosawa (1910), and Joan Crawford (1908).

It's Pakistan Day in Pakistan.

Happy Tuesday

2004, The Moron's Almanac™

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