Wow, what a terrible day for birthdays! But at least I don’t have to lower my standards for today’s winner. But before we get to that, and with a great big yawn, let’s get on to the other birthdays.
On this day in 1863, the co-founder of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Charles Edward Ringling was born. Is that a big deal? Probably not. There were seven of them. But to his credit, he was the Kermit the Frog member of the family. He managed the crazies and everyone really liked him. So let’s give him a great bit, “Yea!”
I don’t normally do politicians, but how can I not note that Harry Reid is 74 today. Look, the man ended the filibuster. He made it happen and I’m very pleased. I’ve had my problems with him over the years. But the truth is that he is an effective majority leader just as Nancy Pelosi was an effective speaker. That’s one thing we Democrats can be proud of: our people are capable.
The British actor Brendan Coyle is 50. He plays John Bates in Downton Abbey, who is the only reason I watch the show. In general, I don’t care about the show. But Bates is the most noble of characters. He plays Lord Grantham’s valet. In general, Grantham is a good guy. But every time something happens that calls Bates’ past into question, Grantham just lets him go. It isn’t that Grantham is a total asshole about it. But who is the noble man? It certainly isn’t that man born into nobility; it is the man who has lived his difficult life with grace and honor. But all is not bad, because he ends up married Joanne Froggatt. Happy days!
The day, however, belongs to the great Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat who was born on this day in 1859. He was the guy who painted with little dots of paint, a technique he pretty much invented called pointillism. But that’s all technique. What matters is the result. And the result is really interesting. It’s hard to know which of his work to highlight. I’m rather fond of his more stylized work like The Circus, but I think Bathers at Asnieres is more indicative of his work:
Happy birthday Georges Seurat!