Saturday, April 22, 2006

Another lovely Earth Day....

...I think I will fire up the charcoal grill and smoke some ribs. (That's smoke on the grill to all of you trying to decide whether to celebrate Ira Einhorn or Vladimir Lenin today.) First Ira:

"(Einhorn) became a New-Age networker with CEOs…Sold them blueprints of the future," exclaims Maralyn Lois Polak in the WorldNet Daily. "(He) launched (Philadelphia's) Earth Day celebration. Ran for Mayor of Philadelphia as a self-proclaimed Planetary Enzyme, a catalyst for global change." Adds Newsweek, "His unmistakable wild laugh could often be heard at his favorite restaurant, La Terrasse, near his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, as he mesmerized some guy in a suit with ideas from the edge – anything from quantum physics to New Age management theories."

And, between it all, he won a semester-long fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

But, on March 28, 1979, his world changed. Detectives put together the strangely shaped little pieces of the Unicorn's puzzle: a missing girlfriend who wanted out; a trunk with "secret documents" he needed to get rid of; a lackluster team-playing effort with Maddux's private investigators; unexplainable but rancid brown liquid seeping through his floorboards; his refusal to let the janitor examine the source of the smell.

Then there is the selection of the date April 22nd. As of last week Wikipedia still carried the notation that April 22, 1970 was proclaimed Earth Day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth. Interestingly that has been scrubbed from the Earth Day page. This does seem to be like many things that grew out of the 60's, a celebration with many fathers and some dubious original goals. What survived is, on balance, a good thing. Now where is that garlic pepper to complete my rib rub?

**UPDATE** Wiki must be having an interesting day. This has reappeared:

The date chosen for Earth Day is coincident with the historical date of Arbor Day, a national tree-planting holiday started in the late 1800's. Arbor Day is celebrated on the birthday of its founder, Julius Sterling Morton. Another reading of the April 22 date understood by Earth Day organizers notes that the 1970 event took place between college students' Spring Break and final exams, enabling students to participate on campuses across the country. There has been rumors that April 22, 1970 was chosen to coincide with 100th anniversary of the birth of Lenin, signifying a more sinister overtone to Earth Day.

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