Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 4th

July 4th -- the Fourth of July -- is Independence Day, the date of the Declaration of Independence and a public holiday in the U.S. But the proper day for this celebration isn't as obvious as you might think. Arguments can be made for June 17, 1775, when the Battle of Bunker Hill took place, or June 4, 1776, when a motion for independence was first laid before the Continental Congress, or July 2 of that year, when the Congress voted unanimously for independence, or even July 8, the date the citizens of Philadelphia first celebrated their announced independence. John Adams thought July 2 was the right day.

July 4th is indisputably the day on which 10-year-old Alice Liddell asked Charles Dodgson to entertain her and her sisters with a story. Says wikipedia: "On July 4, 1862, in a rowing boat travelling on the River Thames from Oxford to Godstow for a picnic outing, 10-year-old Alice asked Charles Dodgson to entertain her and her sisters, Edith (age 8) and Lorina (age 13), with a story. As Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed the boat, Dodgson regaled the girls with fantastic stories of a girl, named Alice, and her adventures after she fell through a rabbit-hole. The story was not unlike those Dodgson had spun for the sisters before, but this time Alice asked Mr. Dodgson to write it down for her. He promised to do so but did not get around to the task for some months. He eventually presented Alice with the manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864."

So, a bit late, I wish you a happy Through-the-Looking-Glass day.

To celebrate, here's a link to the episode guide for Joss Whedon's homage:
Through the Looking Glass, written by: Tim Minear, original Air Date: May 15, 2001. The plot is hilarious and complex beyond belief. Here are some thumbs with brief descriptions:
Cordy as princess in a realm located in another dimension.

Angel primping himself in a mirror; he's fascinated by his reflection and is self-conscious about his hair.

In the background, you can see Numfar doing the "Dance of Joy"

The inevitable library scene, poring over books to find secrets that will solve the dilemma of the moment.

Angel enjoying a brief moment as folk hero in a realm without the moral ambiguities that dog his life back home.

Cordy in obligatory fairytale princess bikini, along with drab Wes.

This is a woman named Fred who befriends Angel. One of them is unreal and she hopes it's not her.

You can see the Looking Glass manuscript on the British Library web site - the one by Lewis Carroll that is. And here's the precursor with linkable images.

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On the combined theme of "Happy 4th" and Dance of Joy:

At the office this morning, I turned over a leaf in my calendar and found this. It commemorates a huge national celebration on June 30, 1878, in Paris and reminds one both of the Independence Day bunting in the US and the impending start of the Tour de France in London.

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