"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, February 11, 2011

Birthdays Today

An interesting set of birthdays today.   First, Burt Reynolds turns 74.  It's hard to overstate how big Reynolds was in the 1970s, or how badly that reflects on American culture of that era.   Were the late 1970s of Jimmy Carter in the White House, the Bee Gees on the radio, and Burt Reynolds movies like Smokey and the Bandit or The Cannonball Run in the theaters the nadir of Western Civilization?   I'd be willing to make that argument.   But he was great in a great movie, Deliverance:

It's also Jeb Bush's birthday.   Jeb was born in 1953, which makes him 57 now, and 59 in January 2013, when he would be inaugurated (if he were to run for President, that is).   Is that oo old?   No.  But would he be too old in 2016?  At age 63, I'd say that's getting pretty close.   In other words, methinks it's now or never, and my prediction is... never.   He won't run.

Ironically, it's also Sarah Palin's birthday.   Palin, by contrast, is only 47, so she has plenty of time to build a resume before running again, and she may choose not to run this time against an incumbent Obama.   On the other hand, Obama, like Clinton before him, proved that you never want to wait to run, and instead that you should always strike while your iron is hot.   Otherwise, you're yesterday's news.   (Ask Dan Quayle.)

Moving back to the Hollywood portion of the program, it's also Carey Lowell's birthday, who is 49, a fact I find astonishing.  Lowell was the ingenue for a long time on Law and Order for, well, obvious reasons. 

Along the same lines, it's Jennifer Aniston's birthday, who turns 42.   Aniston has always had a soft spot in my heart for somewhat odd reasons.... she reminds me of friends at work who may have missed the window for having children and who seem (at least from a very very remote vantage) to be unhappy about it.   I could be wrong.

Finally, Damian Lewis turns 40 today.  Lewis was the British actor who played the great American hero Dick Winters in the HBO series Band of Brothers.   Here's a clip of Winters/Lewis on D-Day:

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