Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reflections on Beginning

Today is my birthday. I write about it not to solicit well wishes (though feel free), but to reflect upon the importance of a single day.

Some stuff about February 9th:

These people were born on February 9th
  • William Henry Harrison
  • Carmen Miranda
  • Alice Walker
  • Mia Farrow
  • John Walker Lindh (!)
I have no particular connection with any of these people, except I do like The Color Purple quite a lot. (And some people might call me an American terrorist.)

Some other events also happened on February 9th:
  • In 1881, Fyodor Dostoyesvsky dies. I have nothing to say about this, except that as an English major and a supposedly educated man, I am ashamed to say I have never read any of his classic novels.
  • In 1942, Daylight Davings Time goes into effect. This means nothing to me.
  • In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy makes his first public accusation of Communism infiltrating our government. Yeah, I'm proud to be associated with this special period in American history.
  • In 1965, the first "official" U.S. troops are sent to Vietnam. This is another lovely day. Apparently Communism and my birthday go hand in hand.
But all of these negative events mean nothing, for they are balanced out by this:
  • In 1964, The Beatles make their first and most famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Now that means something to me.
The Jesus Year
33 is sometimes called one's "Jesus Year" since most historians think that Jesus was 33 when he died. I had forgotten this tidbit until my friend Trevor recently mentioned it in a comment. A simple Google search revealed that the idea of "the Jesus year" is fairly common. I wonder what this means for me. I have no sense that it is a foretelling of any kind. At least I hope not.

Other people besides Jesus have died at the age of 33:
  • Alexander the Great died at 33. I suppose it could be my "Alexander year," though I'm not really about the conquering and pillaging. And I don't want to dye my hair like Colin Farrell.
  • It could mark the beginning of my "John Belushi year" or my "Chris Farley year," since both of these men died at 33. I do share some of their rotundness, but basing my year after a couple of drug addicts who died bloated and drooling does not really fit my life.
So, although I am not a Christian, I am certainly inspired by the works of Jesus, so the "Jesus year" seems the most appealing of all. He spent his life concerned about social justice, which is something that means a great deal to me. (Sadly, the loudest Christians in our country today tend to ignore everything about Jesus. Many people wearing "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets have absolutely no idea what he would actually do.) I only hope that I can do some great works that help others. But I don't want to be crucified, nor do I have any desire to ever be a martyr for anything.

But I don't want to name my year after someone's death. As I am making major changes in my life, my 33rd year will not mark an end. It is the beginning of something big and new. I just don't know what that is yet.

12 Comments:

At 1:47 PM, Blogger matt posited...

happy birthday on a different venue

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Kid C posited...

I liked this post a lot.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Manda posited...

Geeeeez you're getting old.

Heh heh

Happy birthday Wanninger!

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Jill posited...

wait until you're a third of the way through this year and then call it your vinyl year!

"...you say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too yeah. You say it's your birthday, we're gonna have a good time. Yeah it's your birthday, happy birthday to you..."

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Hillstorm posited...

Not like this really means anything to you, but my dad told me if he could go back to any age he would want to be 33 again...

So, Happy Birthday Wanninger and enjoy being another year older!

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

33 - The Year of the Wanninger

Best Birthday Wishes.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

33 is pretty old. I mean, no offense, but you're like almost twice my age.

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger Vinnie-Senza posited...

oh wanninger, i only hope that I can be as wise as you when i am 33... and hopefully be able to have a wooden duck and pinecone of my own.
Feliz CumpleaƱos

 
At 7:24 AM, Anonymous A. posited...

As I mentioned to you at the bar last night, you should check out Threadless. To lure you in: The Communist Party

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Trevor posited...

Happy B-day John, thought you might enjoy this:

"This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fall on the same day. As Air America Radio pointed out, "It
is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in
which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a groundhog."

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Kid C posited...

Good stuff.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

Prognostication is a pretty sweet word. Right up there with "winningest." Or my WV: "jewza."

 

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