clutterjam (clutterjam) wrote,


Several unrelated events all happened on today's date (February21.)

(1) In 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published “The Communist Manifesto.”

(2) In 1857 Congress outlawed foreign currency as legal tender in the U.S.

(3) In 1918 the last Carolina parakeet (or budgie) died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

(4) In 1934 Nicaraguan rebel leader Augusto Cesar Sandino was assassinated by his country's National Guard.

Oddly, all of these events would be indirectly referred to in a song by the Clash called "The Magnificent Seven" or the album it appeared on. To wit:

Karlo Marx and Friedrich Engels (1)
Came to the checkout at the 7-11
Marx was skint – but he had sense
Engels lent him the necessary pence” (2)

Vacuum cleaner sucks up budgie!” (3)

And the song itself is the opening track on an album by the Clash called “Sandinista!” The record was named for the Nicaraguan rebel force that overthrew the country's longtime dictator, Anastasio Somoza (Debayle). Somoza had been the latest Nicaraguan ruler in a family dynasty that had controlled the country for over forty years.

The dynasty had been founded by his father, also named Anastasio Somoza (Garcia). National Guard troops led by the elder Somoza had assassinated the anti-imperialist rebel Sandino (4) and Somoza would subsequently seize power in 1936. In 1979 the rebels who called themselves the “Sandinistas” would overthrow the younger Somoza.

It's worth noting that the Sandinistas were a socialist group that presumably held “The Communist Manifesto” in high regard. Personally, I have no fondness for Communism and only bring all this up because of the strangeness connecting these events. I will say that the Clash apparently found common cause with the Sandinistas from the standpoint that they threw off imperialist oppressors and took their country back. Whether the band would approve of what the Sandinistas subsequently did with their country is, I suppose, up to question. You'd have to ask them.

Finally, I have no reason to think the Clash knew anything about all these coincidences. And of course, none of it really matters. If you're among the few who've read this far, you can file it under the category labeled, “What the hell does any of that mean? But it is kinda weird.”


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