"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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Birthdays Today

The randomness of fame - which in turn suggests the futility of seeking fame -- is perhaps best demonstrated in almost mathematical form by how some days have multiple "famous" births, and others have relatively few or none at all.   In any event, the only birthday that interests me today is Jack Benny, who was born in 1894.  Jack Benny was ubiquitous as a comedian in the 1950s and into the 1960s when I was a kid.   He was always known as a clean comedian who didn't do "blue" material, but I recall that my dad had a bootlegged Friar's Club tape (is Youtube anything more than a way of compiling and searching all of the world's bootlegs?) in which Benny went pretty blue, up to using the "f" word.

Benny was a funny, funny man, and I can't help thinking he was funnier than most of what passes for comedy today:

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