About This Blog
An alternative "On This Day", On This Deity aims to bring light to and celebrate Culture Heroes, Outsider Icons, Beloved Immortals and Revolutionary Events in history.
Seventy-four years ago today, months of brown-nosing Hitler’s Nazis by the winners of World War One – Britain, France and America AKA the Western Powers – resulted not in a safer Europe but in the Invasion of Poland, when, at … Continue reading
Fifty-seven years ago today, a group of around twenty obscure radical artists converged on the small Italian town of Alba, just southeast of Turin, for the First World Congress of Liberated Artists. Revolution was the common denominator among these avant-gardists, … Continue reading
Today we recall the heroic escape to freedom of the great Frederick Douglass, America’s first black leader of true national stature, whose struggle from his slave roots in Maryland to successful published author just seven years later captivated the world … Continue reading
When I was twelve years old, I discovered that my best friend Liz’s grandmother had, throughout her adult life, enjoyed a decades-long love affair with Paul Robeson. Singer, scholar, Hollywood actor, Broadway star, even political activist – Paul Robeson was … Continue reading
Today we recall and venerate Crazy Horse – the visionary, legendary, almost mythical Native American warrior leader of the Oglala Lakota Sioux – who was betrayed by friends then assassinated in custody one hundred and thirty-six years ago. Fucked over … Continue reading
“When the history of our civilization is written,” wrote H. G. Wells, “it will be a biological history – and Margaret Sanger will be its heroine.” Hearing her tale for themselves, most modern women would find it difficult to disagree … Continue reading
Though it is almost impossible to imagine, in light of where Stalin and Mao took their respective communist countries, less than a century before their totalitarian regimes took power, anarchism stood side-by-side with communism as a genuine political consideration for … Continue reading
A tribute to the extraordinary self-determining inner- and outer-world explorer Alexandra David-Néel will appear here soon.
Forty-two years ago today, the white authorities of Attica State prison in the so-called liberal state of New York – desperate to restore some semblance of order amongst the concentration camp-like conditions they’d imposed upon their primarily Afro-American inmates – … Continue reading
Three hundred and thirty-seven years ago today, the most Visionary and Prophetic reformer of the entire English Civil War period died at the age of sixty-seven. Thrust into the revolutionary times surrounding Oliver Cromwell’s execution of King Charles I, Gerrard … Continue reading
Twelve years ago today, all of America’s postwar bullying, lying, cheating, deceiving, extorting and specifically self-serving ways resulted in the massive attack that destroyed the Twin Towers in downtown Manhattan.
Today we remember Timothy Leary’s daring and ingenious highwire escape across the highway from his Californian jail. A middle-aged Harvard professor yet symbol of the psychedelic revolution, Leary was assisted to freedom by members of the righteous terrorist organisation, the … Continue reading
At the beginning of the 20th century, the great city of Smyrna on the Anatolian coast was one of the world’s richest, most cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse metropolises – containing large Armenian and Jewish communities, as well as twice as many … Continue reading
Today we celebrate one of the world’s most beloved poets, Dante Alighieri, who died six hundred and ninety-two years ago. Despite the passage of nearly seven centuries, and the seismic political and religious shifts that have occurred since the medieval … Continue reading
In his life, the Chilean folksinger Victor Jara was the voice of his country’s dispossessed. As one of the founders of Nueva Canción – the socially committed movement of ‘new song’ that played such a powerful role throughout Latin America … Continue reading
Ninety-three years ago today, a bedraggled horse-drawn wagon made its way along Wall Street in Lower Manhattan – which had recently eclipsed London as the financial centre of the world – and stopped directly in front of its then-most powerful totem, … Continue reading
On this day in 2011, some 1000 gathered in New York City’s financial district to protest corporate power over democracy, the growing disparity of wealth distribution, and the absence of criminal accountability of the greedy rotters responsible for the 2008 … Continue reading
Twenty-two years ago today, Rob Tyner took leave of this planet at the age of 47 after suffering a heart attack behind the wheel of his parked car in the family driveway. He left behind not only his longtime wife Becky and three … Continue reading
Today we recall the shameful expulsion from America of Charlie Chaplin – the great film-making pioneer and veritable icon – who, with his deft touch of comedy and pathos, brought enduring pleasure to the world and generated millions of dollars for … Continue reading
Parents with daughters: in such times when our reprehensible media will regularly scrutinise a 5-pound weight loss or gain of any (so-called) ‘celebrity’, is it any wonder there is such a paucity of female role models? We must fight back … Continue reading
Seventy-one years ago today saw the maiden flight of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, that huge American warplane whose atomic load would, with the bombing of Hiroshima, bring World War 2 to a sudden and dreadful conclusion. Faster, vaster, and with … Continue reading
The most revolutionary proclamation ever issued by an American president was announced on this day in 1862. A recollection of this momentous occasion will appear here shortly.
Today we commemorate Pablo Neruda – the heroic poet and political activist – who died forty years ago aged 69. As one of the leading voices in his native Chile during its long and turbulent era of instability, Neruda was at … Continue reading
Forty-four years ago today marked the beginning of the infamous and so-called Chicago Conspiracy Trial – the most highly publicised showcase for the opposing political, cultural and generational ideologies that divided America during its explosive Vietnam years. Accused of conspiring to … Continue reading
Today we recall the Irish Republican revolutionary and martyr, Thomas Ashe, who suffered a brutal death at the hands of his British oppressors at the age of thirty-two. As a freedom fighter, Ashe had led his greatly outflanked battalion to … Continue reading
Ninety-two years ago today, the inspirational anarchist leader Nestor Makhno –outrun, outnumbered and outmanoeuvred – led his Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (otherwise known as the Black Army) to the unlikeliest of victories over the anti-revolutionary and vastly superior White … Continue reading
Not with any single, amazing knock-out blow did today’s subject achieve greatness, but instead through umpteen rounds of parries, punches and counter-punches. For Sylvia Pankhurst – who died fifty-three years ago today – earned her historical place as a World … Continue reading
“One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on Sept. 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionise all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess … Continue reading
Today we pay tribute to Herman Melville, who died one hundred and twenty-two years ago on this day. At the time of his death at the age of 72, the author of Moby-Dick had abandoned his professional literary ambitions some … Continue reading
The announcement read: “All Jews living in the city of Kiev and its vicinity must come to the corner of Melnikova and Dokhturovska Street by 8 o’clock on the morning of Monday, September 29th 1941. They are to bring with … Continue reading
Today we honour the great British adventurer, author and hero, T.C. Lethbridge, the Cambridge University academic whose Timothy Leary-style volte-face midway through his illustrious archaeology career saw him newly transformed into a visionary of Blakean proportions. Out went the excellent … Continue reading