On Hippies and Dictators

Composite image of Asia and Australia at night from space


Why do hippies make up holidays to celebrate on the birthdays of tyrants?  You probably know from all the hype that today is Earth Day (the above picture was posted today on Bing.com to mark the event).  Well, today also happens to be the birthday of Vladimir Illych Ulyanov, better known to the world as Lenin.  In fact, the first Earth Day, in 1970, happened to fall on Lenin’s 100th birthday.  Coincidence?  I doubt it.  For the rest of the story, here are the lurid details on Earth Day’s founder.

You may have recognized the outline and cities of Asia at night, in the above picture.  I noted, for instance, that there aren’t too many lights marking my wife’s homeland, the Philippines; her neighborhood was a great place for stargazing when I was there, in 1985.  And for Korea, only South Korea is lit up.  North of the 38th parallel, every day is Earth Day!

Last Friday I also learned that every year in Colorado on April 20, a bunch of folks get together to smoke pot; this is the first time they got to do it legally.  I don’t know how many of those potheads know it, but April 20 is Adolf Hitler’s birthday.  Another coincidence?  Now I’m wonder if anyone in the counterculture has a holiday on May 19 (Ho Chi Minh’s birthday) as well.

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