Charles Brian Orner
SOSTENUTO - A Novel

Notes

Interested readers will discover additional details here in a wide variety of areas, including the arts, astronomy, business, culture, environment, gaming, geography, language, history, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, politics, religion, and science. Spend a little time with the notes; it'll pique your interest. Then buy the book. Most notes have been taken from public sources such as Wikipedia. The remainder are given attribution.

Chapter 18

1    The Abbie Hoffman Incident happened during The Who’s set right after the song “Pinball Wizard.” Abbie Hoffman was able to get on stage and grab a microphone while Pete Townshend tuned his guitar. He said: “I think this is a pile of shit! While John Sinclair rots in prison…” Hoffman was protesting against the imprisonment of John Sinclair (leader of the White Panther Party and manager of the left-wing hard-rock band MC5) who had been convicted and sentenced to nine years of prison because of marijuana possession. Townshend, angry that someone took the stage, screamed profanities and hit him with his guitar.
2    William Stetson Kennedy (October 5, 1916 – August 27, 2011) was an American author and human rights activist. One of the pioneer folklore collectors during the first half of the twentieth century, he is remembered for having infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s, exposing its secrets to authorities and the outside world. His actions led to the 1947 revocation by the state of Georgia of the Klan’s national corporate charter.
3    Tharsis is a vast volcanic plateau centered near the equator in the western hemisphere of Mars. The region is home to the largest volcanoes in the Solar System, including the three enormous shield volcanoes Arsia Mons, Pavonis Mons, and Ascraeus Mons, which are collectively known as the Tharsis Montes. The tallest volcano on the planet, Olympus Mons, is often associated with the Tharsis region but is actually located off the western edge of the plateau. The name Tharsis is the Greco-Latin transliteration of the biblical Tarshish, the land at the western extremity of the known world.
4    During a 1902 road trip through New England, President Theodore Roosevelt was traveling in a carriage that collided with a trolley car. The crash threw Roosevelt from the carriage and killed Secret Service agent William Craig, the first Secret Service agent to lose his life while protecting the president. One month later, on October 3, Roosevelt gathered and met with presidents of the union and the mine-owning railroads to try to negotiate an end to the 1902 Anthracite Coal Strike. He conducted these meetings seated in a wheelchair.
       The Coal Strike of 1902, also known as the Anthracite Coal Strike, was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania. Miners were on strike asking for higher wages, shorter workdays and the recognition of their union. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities (homes and apartments were heated with anthracite or “hard” coal because it had higher heat value and less smoke than “soft” or bituminous coal). President Theodore Roosevelt became involved and set up a fact-finding commission that suspended the strike. The strike never resumed, as the miners received more pay for fewer hours; the owners got a higher price for coal, and did not recognize the trade union as a bargaining agent. It was the first labor episode in which the federal government intervened as a neutral arbitrator.
5    Kofun (from Sino-Japanese “ancient grave”) are megalithic tombs or tumuli in Japan, constructed between the early third century and the early seventh century AD. They gave their name to the Kofun period (middle third century to early-middle sixth century). Many of the Kofun have distinctive keyhole-shaped mounds which are unique to ancient Japan.
6    On November 18, 1978, 918 Americans died in Peoples Temple-related incidents, including 909 members of the Temple, led by Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana. The dead included 303 children. A tape of the Temple’s final meeting in a Jonestown pavilion contains repeated discussions of the group committing “revolutionary suicide,” including reference to people taking the poison and the vats to be used. The people in Jonestown died of an apparent cyanide poisoning, except for Jones (injury consistent with self-inflicted gunshot wound) and his personal nurse. The Temple had spoken of committing “revolutionary suicide” in prior instances, and members had previously drunk what Jones told them was poison at least once before, but the “Flavor Aid” drink they ingested contained no poison. Concurrently, four other members died in the Temple’s headquarters in Georgetown.
7    The Truman Show is a 1998 American satirical fantasy film directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol. The film chronicles the life of a man who is initially unaware that he is living in a constructed reality television show, broadcast around the clock to billions of people across the globe. Truman becomes suspicious of his perceived reality and embarks on a quest to discover the truth about his life. Ed Harris played the character Christof: The creator of The Truman Show. Christof remains dedicated to the program at all costs, often overseeing and directing its course in person (rather than through aides), but at the climax/resolution, he speaks to Truman over a loudspeaker, revealing the nature of Truman’s situation.

Brian Orner