Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Rant #237: Happy Birthday To Us All
From today to the remainder of this month, there are a number of birthdays coming up that feature as an eclectic list of personalities as can found on the calendar throughout the year.
It starts off today, April 20. On today's birthday list is none other than Adolph Hitler, probably the most vile creature of the 20th century. Was there anyone who tortured more souls than this lout? He was the uber-Nazi, the person who delivered the most havoc during World War II. He clearly deserved his demise as the walls were tumbling down around him.
Rocker and Hall of Famer Iggy Pop was born on April 21. Some people say the entire punk movement derived from his stage antics, such as cutting himself with glass as he warbled with the Stooges.
On April 22, we celebrate the birthdays of Jack Nicholson and Glen Campbell. Each was a rebel with his own cause. Nicholson started out in Grade Z movies, but worked himself up to the A list with counter culture flicks including Five Easy Pieces. Campbell was the link between pop and rock and country in the 1960s, having hits of his own, a wildly popular TV show, and working as a sideman for acts like the Monkees and the Beach Boys.
April 23 sees the birthdays of William Shakespeare and Roy Orbison. As a playwright, Shakespeare was perhaps unequalled, even to this day. His "Romeo and Juliet" stands as the most poetic, oft-imitated work of all time. And as for Orbison, did anyone else have such a voice? His "Pretty Woman" is only the tip of the iceberg in his musical resume.
April 24 is Barbra Streisand's birthday. Love her or hate her, she is one of the most successful recording artists of all time, and has also conquered film, television, Broadway, and just about everything else she has tried her hand at.
April 25 is the birthday of Ella Fitzgerald and Edward R. Murrow. One set the tone for jazz singers, the other for network news. Both are still influential today in these areas, and they are the cloth that all who pursued these fields after them are cut from.
Carol Burnett was born on April 26. After Lucille Ball, Burnett is probably TV's most famous comedienne. She studied the master and took it to the next level. Her comedy show was on for years, and it is still funny years after it left the air.
Ulysses S. Grant was born on April 27. Although not one of our most well-remembered presidents, he was a war hero, and is the answer to the oft-asked question, "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?"
On April 28, Saddam Hussein and Ann-Margret were born; the former, almost in the same league as Hitler, one of the most vile human beings ever to walk the face of this planet, while the latter is unquestionably one of the most beautiful women to ever walk this planet. How one day can go from one extreme to another is incredible.
April 29 is the birthday of Duke Ellington and Jerry Seinfeld. Again, Ellington set the tone for all of the jazz musicians that followed him, while Seinfeld took the path of many standup comedians and became an icon for his generation.
Willie Nelson was born on April 30. One of country music's most lasting icons, Nelson influenced just about every country musician to follow him, and he also crossed over to mainstream audiences.
Well, there you have it. Those April birthdays are something, aren't they.
Me, I was born on April 28, so I guess I am somewhere between Saddam Hussein and Ann-Margret ... hopefully leaning to the side of the lady, even though I am every bit the man, just not much like Saddam was.
He was an ogre. I'm just OK.
Posted by Larry at 3:47 AM