The 231163 Diaries:
Lawrence K. White.

Politics Lawrence K. White., the CIA's Deputy Director for Administration. 

 Here is his report from inside the CIA written on the 23rd November and published through the agencies "reading room" website. White's biography can be found here.  

It's interesting to note how even in the midst of a national crisis, office politics is still at the forefront, even in the CIA.


November 23rd 1963

At about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, 22 November, I was notified that there would be a meeting of the Deputies with the Director in the East Building at 0830 hours on Saturday morning, 23 November.  The meeting was quite brief.

a.  There was a brief discussion of what changes should be made in our procedures to accommodate President Johnson.  The Director decided that we would make no changes unless told to do so, and he left 0900 hours to meet with President Johnson and to brief him personally.

b.  Shortly before the meeting ended, he said that he wanted to see General Carter alone for a minute. (General Carter had been away since Tuesday morning, 19 November.)  The Duties waited for General Carter, who immediately called a special Deputies meeting.  General Carter, who immediately called a special Deputies meeting.  General Carter, Mr. Kirkpatrick, and the four Deputies -- [omitted] Wheelon, and White -- were the only ones in attendance.  General Carter said that the Director had just "wire-brushed" him thoroughly, had expressed himself as being dissatisfied with the way the Agency was being managed, etc.  He went on to say that he, the Director, did not know that was going on, that people were not responsive to his requests, and that he was very dissatisfied with the whole situation.  He mentioned an NRO paper and the communication paper as examples of the kinds of things for which he had been waiting for some time without results.  General Carter admonished us to take and inventory of items which we owed the Director and to furnish him with a list of these items not later than Tuesday, 26 November.  He further put everyone on notice that he expected to be much more demanding in the future and that under no circumstances would he and Mr. Kirkpatrick be bypassed in keeping the Director advised.  As a result of this admonition, I advised General [omitted] and [omitted] that together we would produce the outstanding communications paper so that it could be delivered to the Director on Monday morning, 25 November. (This was done, and I handed the paper to Kirk at about 0900 hours on Monday.  He read it in my presence and in response to my specific question said that he found it entirely satisfactory and responsive and failed to see how the Director could react otherwise.)

The 231163 Diaries:
Noel Coward.

Theatre By 1963, Noel Coward was writing and directing shows for Broadway with The Girl Who Came to Supper running for three months in December.  

His 24th November entry describes events from the day before and also how they've impacted on the creative process, forcing him to drop one of the songs and into writing a replacement.  

When Coward himself later released a recording of songs from the show, he included Long Live the King amongst others.

Sunday 24 November


The most horrible and incredible catastrophe. On Friday President Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, Texas, by a young man of twenty-four called Oswald apparently. Oswald himself was shot this morning while he was being transferred from one prison to another. The whole country is in a state of deep shock. Mrs Kennedy, who was with the President in the car when he died, has behaved throughout with dignity, grace and magnificent self-control. I watched her today on television accompanying the President's body from the White House to the Capitol and was moved to tears. The shooting of the suspected murderer by an exhibitionistic night-club proprietor is too idiotic to be believed. That the Dallas police should have allowed it to happen is so stupid that the brain reels. Now it will never be satisfactorily proved whether Oswald shot the President or not, and there will be a jungle of rumours.

I came back yesterday from Jamaica. Having had an urgent cable from Herman on Friday (before I knew of the assassination), I decided to come on Sunday because Joe is still in hospital and there is no one to command the ship. The moment I heard of the President's death - Friday afternoon - I decided to come yesterday. Coley and I made all arrangements and left Boscobel airstrip at ten o'clock - then Miami - then Newark - then New York. My apartment is still a shambles so I changed clothes, visited Joe, who is better, dined at the Drake Room and drove directly here.

I am now faced with the task of writing a new number - comedy - for Jo Ferrer because 'Long Live the King' had, of course, to be cut immediately as it deals exclusively with assassination. This is a dreadful job. I am genuinely upset over the President's death and the whole atmosphere is quivering. Hardly conducive to writing frivolous lyrics and music. However, I must go on trying. We are giving a performance tonight as there is to be a day of mourning tomorrow and nothing will be open. It is impossible to evade the general feeling of shock. It seems so desolately wasteful that a virile man in the prime of his life, to whom the whole world was looking for leadership and who, incidentally, was doing a gallant job of it, should be wiped out of life by the action of a zany delinquent with Communist tendencies. I feel that I am living through too much history and that my own life is becoming more and more hectic. However, I feel all right so far. Now I have to take charge, write the bloody song, rehearse the company and get on with the job. Still, I had a week in Jamaica and shall get some more over Christmas.

[From: PAYN, Graham (Ed). 2000. The Noel Coward Diaries. Da Capo Press.]

Doctor Who renewed for another five years.

TV ... if this press release published in Toy World Magazine and copied by the Merchandising site is a guide:
"The regeneration of the Doctor in the 2017 Christmas episode, as well as last year’s revelations about the new series, engaged with fans across the globe, as it was unveiled that Jodie Whittaker will play the first female Doctor in the show’s history. 2018 marks a true regeneration for the franchise, with a five year evergreen strategy built around a commitment to a solid content pipeline, delivered through platforms relevant to the BBC’s audiences."
Of course this isn't technically news. When the BBC made a deal in China last May, the company in question was given a first look at series 12-15 which implied the longevity. But this confirms the commitment.

The other nugget. Eleven or more new hours of content for 2018. So that's at least the 10 regular episodes announced (including ads presumably). Does that mean there will be a Christmas special next year? [via]

The 3000.

Life Yesterday I systematically went through and unfollowed three thousand people on Twitter. Since the change in US presidency and Brexit, Twitter had become unusable. Every time the pumpkin in chief tweeted, even having blocked him, my timeline would echo and re-echo every word, comment on it, offer some hot takes, some jokes and although that's fine initially with a chamber that large it became deafening drowning out everything else. Partly it's because of the number of "random"  journalists I followed on various publications for whom its their job (sort of) but at a certain point this tipped over into *everybody*. 

I had a few rules.  No one who was following me back.  If it was someone or something I genuinely liked or connected to, they and that remained.  So everyone Doctor Who.  Most people related to Shakespeare.  I pretty much dumped everyone film related but I expect a lot of those will creep back in, but organically, just the websites and magazines and YouTube channels I read and watch rather than as much as possible just in case I missed anything as was the case.  But all of the athletes went as did the literally hundreds at certain media organisations.  Twitter is a hoarders paradise, collecting feeds just in case there's something interesting.  Just in case.

My timeline is quieter, not updating as often.  But more importantly I don't feel any less informed than I did before.  So far.  I saw all of the Golden Globes news from last night (Go Natalie Portman!) and the few journalists and columnists who remain are the ones which I'd usually pay attention to anyway.  Slowly I'll probably follow back a fair few people, but it'll be organically rather than just opening up a list somewhere and add everybody to the point that there's so many of them in my timeline posting in-jokes I feel like an employee.  More's to the point, I'm less likely to miss what's written by friends.  Which was the original point of Twitter, wasn't it?

More Slings and Arrows.

TV Find embedded about the opening episode of the second series of Slings and Arrows, the Canadian comedy drama about a theatre company starring Paul Gross and as you can see from the in episode screenshot Rachel McAdams. This has been something of a unicorn for me, having bought and enjoyed the first series (which I reviewed here abouts over eleven years ago).  The rest of the series is available and been added to my watching list.

It's been published by Encore+ an effort by various media organisations in Canada to upload their content to YouTube to make it accessible to the country and around the world.  The various Degrassi series are already up there as is the whole of The Littlest Hobo and Due South.  There are also some feature films, although most of them are now blocked due to international rights issues but mercifully that doesn't include the superb Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould.