31 January 12020 is the final day of the month. It is National Backwards Day—celebrating doing whatever it amuses you to do in reverse order. It is the birthday of Franz Schubert, Zane Grey, and Philip Glass. The minimalist Middle East Peace Plan put out under the name of Donald Trump proves to be something of a practical joke played on the Palestinian Arabs—they surrender fertile land in return for desert, can have Jerusalem as their capital by renaming some other location “Jerusalem,” can have a state with no real borders and no way of defending them, and—generally speaking—can go fuck themselves. (No member of the various Palestinian factions had anything to do with drafting this plan nor have any of them signed onto it.)
On this day in history the Boston authorities freaked out over illuminated signs promoting the Adult Swim cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The year was 2007, and similar signs (depicting one of the villains of the cartoon) appeared in Los Angeles and right here in Portland as well, but for some reason Boston officials decided that they were bombs, and then used their own misapprehensions as a basis for shaking down Turner Broadcasting Systems for a large sum of money. Talk about backwards—I don’t know whether Boston ever apologized for their public freak-out, but it was definitely a low point in the city’s history.