Most of you are probably already aware, but a few of you may not remember that June 15th is Jim Varney's birthday. Or would have been, had he not died already.
I think that Jim Varney has made at least as valuable a contribution to the world as all those other famous dead guys whose birthdays we honor, so I'd like to ask you to take a few minutes to remember Jim fondly.
I just realized that I'm a few weeks late for something I was going to do. Better late then never, I guess.
June 15th was Jim Varney's birthday, and I ask that you take 2 minutes and 59 seconds to observe it with me by watching the following clip. (Regular readers may notice that the following YouTube clip is painfully improperly aspected. You know that I think a clip is important when I link to it despite of this.)
[video moved to bottom so that livejournal doesn't choke on it.]
Does anyone know what the process for getting a national holiday recognized involves? I for one feel that Jim has impacted my life far more than any of those stuffy old dead Presidents this country honors by getting the day off work. A quick scan through the YouTube comments on the above-linked video suggests to me that I am not alone in feeling this way. I honestly did not realize that there are that many people who share my love for this man, and seeing all those comments makes me feel just the tiniest bit better about losing him.
So: any objections to June 15th as National (International?) Jim Varney Day?
It occurs to me that you probably never knew just how much you meant to me while you were alive. This saddens me, because, though you may not see why, you really made a difference in my life, ending up as of my most valued role models.
You taught me that it doesn't matter how inept you may seem at times, it's where your heart is that really counts. That people's expectations of what you're capable of shouldn't deter you from your course of action in those areas. That the beliefs and actions of one man can make a world of difference in the lives of others.
When you risked life and limb trying to ensure that kids have a Christmas to look forward to, I didn't take it lightly. You taught me that their joy is worth the hassles and hardships involved in helping to make them happy, and now as an adult I strive to continue your work, helping to ensure that Christmas is there for those that can't have it.
The time you spent when your life and freedom were taken from you by that "evil twin" bad guy doppleganger was pretty educational for me as well. The people who knew you could tell something wasn't right while that crook pretended to be you, but, more importantly, people could tell you weren't the crook either. Those close to him noticed the goodness in your heart, and you made a positive impact on them, bringing out the goodness they never knew could be there inside them. Though I mostly fail, I try pretty hard to make a positive impact on everyone in my life, using you as my example.
Remember when you saved Kamp Kikakee from destruction at the hands of those heartless corporate raiders? You not only helped keep joy in children's hearts, you also taught me valuable lessons about stick-to-it-iveness, the power of having faith in things I may not understand, and that one shouldn't mess with the traditions of Indians. Now, when something arises that I feel is an injustice, I feel the need to try to do something about it, sometimes at great personal risk. This often worries me, but when it does, I just think back to your experiences. Those arrows could not pierce you, and they probably won't pierce me either. But, if they do, I will hopefully have caused some change for the better in the process.
Whether trying to or not, you need to understand that you made a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals, time and time again. To this day, most people still see you as a bumbling buffoon, but those of us that can see a little deeper know how great a man you were, and strive at every turn to be just a little more like you.