Feliz Nueve de Octubre

Happy John Lennon’s birthday, all you fans out there! May you be a whole lot happier than he was, in spite of all his advantages.

And no, I’m not the kind of guy who goes around with totally pointless Beatles trivia in his head. Lennon Well, actually, I am the kind of guy who goes around with totally pointless Beatles trivia in his head, but not to the extent of remembering their birthdays. That’s like something chicks would do, man, like remembering their fave foods (John: corn flakes) or something. And as I age, I find I can’t perfectly remember all of the words to all of their songs any more, so there’s a good chance that’s been crowded out by more important stuff. Not a certainty, but a chance.

No, I remember that the ninth of October is John Lennon’s birthday because Nueve de Octubre is also Guayaquil Independence Day. Now, you might not find that credible — who goes around remembering anything beyond the Fourth of July and maybe Bastille Day, right? But I lived in Ecuador back when I was in the fifth and sixth grades, and not only was Nueve de Octubre the name of the main drag in Guayaquil, but we got a whole week off from school for it. We got a Scroogesque day-and-a-half for Christmas, but a week for the day that Guayaquil tried to secede from the rest of the country. Lest you think that means Guayaquil is more nationalistic than Catholic, I should probably point out that since we were south of the equator, the school year was backwards, and Christmas fell just days before summer began. There was little point in taking off a lot of time at the end of December when we were going to be off from early January until April. Besides, the week-long celebration also included the Día de la Raza, which we think of as Columbus Day.

And OK, I also remember that John Lennon was born during the Blitz, as German bombers were attacking Liverpool in 1940. That’s a pretty cool factoid, I always thought. But I don’t know his fave color. Or I didn’t until I looked it up (green).

2 thoughts on “Feliz Nueve de Octubre

  1. Phillip

    Sad that Lennon’s birthday brought fewer comments than minor league baseball in Columbia, so I’m taking it upon myself to pay my belated birthday tribute with a quote from a song that inspires me to the present day…I’ll send this out to all my fellow comment-submitters on this site…of course anybody would probably guess this is my favorite Lennon:
    “Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…
    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one
    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world… ”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Responding 11 years later…

      And I can’t stand those lyrics. They are a negation of meaning for me…

      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too

      There ARE things worth dying for. And “no religion” is an appalling idea.

      The tune is beautiful, but to me the words counsel despair, and a lack of belief in anything but oneself — a sort of Donald Trump approach to Life, the Universe and Everything. It’s the perfect companion to the earlier song “God,” in which Lennon offers a long list of things he does not believe in, being sure to touch on all the beliefs others hold dear, culminating with:

      I just believe in me,
      Yoko and me.

      It’s the Narcissist’s Litany…


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