Monday, June 15, 2009

everybody's talking

Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.
Erik Erikson (b. 15 june 1902 - 1992) developmental psychologist & psychoanalyst

in addition to it being erik erikson's birthday, today is also the birthday of two others who have made an impact on the social and cultural world of children - at least through their books. first is w.v. awdry (1911-1997), if awdry's name is unfamiliar to you, his creation, thomas the tank engine, most certainly is not. anyone who works, cares for, or plays with children knows thomas. awdry created the thomas tales almost 65 years ago and over the years thomas has acquired a kind of superstar standing in the world of children. not only is thomas a superstar, did you know that in the mid 1980s rockstar ringo starr was the first narrator of the thomas television show? in the united states the voice of starr was later replaced by george carlin and later alec baldwin.

the other bright light in the world of children's books whose birthday it is today is brian jacques (b. 1939). jacques created perhaps one of my favorite children's book series, the redwall series. the series started in 1986, today there are dozens of redwall books and redwall spin-offs (including, of all things, a redwall cookbook, a television series, and an opera). by the way, you don't have to be a child to enjoy the redwall books, but of course, mouse lover that I am would say that!

today is also the birthday of the incredibly talented harry nilsson (1941-1994). like many rock stars of his generation nilsson embraced a 'live hard, die young' lifestyle. I hope I can get my hands on the 2006 documentary who is harry nilsson (and why is everybody talking about him)? unfortunately, at first search it doesn't look like cleveland public library has it in their collection, but maybe one of my buds with netflicks will look and see if they carry it and put it in their queue for me!

photo: an artful bird nest, cleveland june 2009


Meri said...

That bird must have gone to interior design school. What a fancy nest!

Cindy said...

Love all the birthday people. What a day! I have a VHS copy of "The Point"- do you remember it?

Roy said...

Heh, heh! Those birds must have lived near a school dumpster and the teacher had just thrown out all the leftover crepe, tissue, and construction paper after a project. That's a pretty colorful nest.

And it was good to hear Harry Nilsson again. Thanks!

mum said...

That is a seriously beautiful and baroque nest. If ever you get a view of the occupant, please let us know who lives there.

Erik Erikson - amen to his words and thanks for the link. I didn't know the first thing about his childhood; most instructive. I've always liked his approach - the ego as performing the balancing act between the extremes. Which isn't anything like the middle-of-the-road blandness some folks label normalcy.

I must check out that redwall cookbook. The names of some of the dishes inspire.

Harry Nilsson - Squirrel in Nyack had put up this same vid, a few months ago, yes? (The preview to the film looks interesting.)

cheers from a hot and muggy Graulhet, petite souris.

ArtSparker said...

The nest is an inspiration. Particularly timely, one of my guerrilla art pieces was removed, this encourages me to keep on building it (maybe choose a different location).

Steve Reed said...

That IS an amazing nest!

I love "Everybody's Talkin' At Me." One of the best things about "Midnight Cowboy," which is saying a lot!

Steve2.Net said...

What a fine and fancy nest and a pretty work of art, the bird should be recognized and celebrated for his or her artistic integrity :)

Baino said...

Fantastic nest alright! We have a medium sized bird here called a 'Bower bird' because it builds a little ground bower out of twigs and decorates it lavishly with anything blue or shiny!

Megan said...

I haven't read the Redwall series but you've given me an idea!

My brand new nephew shares a birthday with some pretty cool people!

California Girl said...

Great commentary on people who really make a difference. harry Nilsson...I honest to God thought he died much earlier than 1994. I tend to think of him the way I do Jim Croce and Harry Chapin.

The quote is so awesome and true. Kids deserve the best but they sure don't always get it.