Monday, April 22, 2013

Forsooth! Shirley Temple turns 85 on Tuesday

Photo by Everett, obtained from Fine Art America.
The Good Ship Lollipop is still afloat. Shirley Temple turns 85 on Tuesday (she was born on April 23, 1928). We wish her well. But this is how we remember her.

Valerie Bertinelli turns 53 on April 23 (born April 23, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware). Somehow, that makes us feel older than Shirley Temple turning 85.

Roy Orbison was born on April 23, 1936 (he died in 1988).

Wikipedia's April 23 page says that Bill Shakespeare, one of those Dead White Guys they don't like to talk about in English classes anymore, was born on April 23, 1564 and died on April 23, 1616. Wikipedia's biography of Mr. Shakespeare, however, disagrees: Although the article agrees about the date of Shakespeare's death, it says there is no certainty as to when he was actually born, only that he was baptized on April 26, 1564. Regardless, several of the Usual Suspects honor Shakespeare on April 23 with Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Practice your iambic pentameter Tuesday, boys and girls.

On April 23, 1910, at the Sorbonne in Paris, ex-President Theodore Roosevelt gave his famous 'Citizenship in a Republic' speech. This passage, about the Man in the Arena, has become a classic:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
That passage may even have been offered by some well-meaning someone as a sort of comfort to the idiots who foisted "New Coke" on the world. Yes, "New Coke," perhaps the biggest marketing blunder in history, was introduced on April 23, 1985.

Perhaps coincidentally, Usual Suspects Holiday Insights and say Tuesday will be Take a Chance Day. Whether related or not, the "New Coke" fiasco certainly illustrates the risks involved in taking a chance. We say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

No comments: