Thanks for the Memories, Bob

Bob HopeYou probably know the quotation, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” It was said by that great lover of liberty Patrick Henry who was born on this day in 1736. I mean, that great lover of white man’s liberty. You see, he was a slave owner all his adult life. He didn’t grow up with slavery; he married into the business. According to Wikipedia, he used the possibility of slave revolts to promote war with Britain. He’s a real charmer. Yet we hear a lot about him in grammar school and almost nothing about the true believer in liberty Thomas Paine. I understand that when Virginian evangelicals wanted to start a college in 2000, they wouldn’t pick Paine who was neither a Virginian nor a Christian. But did they really have to pick someone as offensive as Patrick Henry?

Writer Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust) was born in 1892. The author of The Once and Future King, T. H. White was born in 1906. And John F. Kennedy was born in 1917.

A brave man, Gene Robinson (the “gay bishop”) is 66 today. Annette Bening is 55. And Melissa Etheridge is 52. Here she is doing “I’m The Only One”:

The day, however, belongs to Bob Hope, who was born on this day back in 1903. When I was a kid, I thought he was hilarious. Later, I had no idea what I found so funny. He does have a great arrogant delivery. But the material?! Oh my! I look through a lot of clips of his stand-up routines, but I couldn’t find anything acceptable. I could deal with the vaguely racist and homophobic material. But it was all so dated. I just isn’t fun to watch. But there is no doubt that he was a great comedian. Here is a long 20 second set-up to a 2 second punch line. But it’s pretty funny:

Happy birthday Bob Hope! This one is for you:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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