Tip of the Day: Own Your Own Days, and Name Them

by Eubie on November 18, 2013

Couple of days ago we referenced HUB favorite A Thousand Clowns, with a recommendation to see the film. Well, that’s just not enough referencing for this important UB movie. To wit: below is one of the speeches the film’s protagonist, Murray Burns, played by Jason Robards, Jr., gives to explain his whole philosophy of life, a philosophy in brief for all unrepentant bachelors to consider. The quote comes from a confrontation between Burns and his much more conventional (and successful) brother, Arnold, played by Martin Balsam. Balsam later gives his own speech, a defiant rationalization for being a sell-out that essential won him the 1965 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. We’ll save Marty’s speech for later. Today we want to serve up Murray’s yin to Arny’s yang:

“Five months ago I was on the subway on my way to work, was sitting on the express same as every morning looking out the window watching the local stops go by in the dark with an empty head and my arms folded, not feeling great, not feeling rotten, just not feeling. And for a minute I couldn’t remember, I didn’t know, unless I really concentrated, whether it was a Tuesday or a Thursday or a… for a minute it could have been any day, Arn. I gotta know what day it is. I gotta know what’s the name of the game and what the rules are without anyone else telling me. You gotta own your own days and name ’em, each one of ’em, every one of ’em, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you. And that ain’t just for weekends, kiddo.”

So, as Murray implores us, ‘own’ today and ‘name’ it. Then it will ‘belong’ to you, and not to all those ‘freaks, fakes, phonies, and frauds’ out there trying to take them away from you.

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