On each of the four Leonard Cohen birthdays Heck Of A Guy has commemorated, the site has enjoyed the statistical ecstasy of a boost in unique viewers1 as shown in the above graph of this year’s Cohen natal day visitors from Google Analytics.
Gonna Party Like It”s 2007
While the management of this site certainly appreciates these visitors, whatever their motivation, musical orientation, gender, religious affiliation, race, sexual preference, height, weight, political beliefs, dietary restrictions, profession, and country of origin, one aberrant behavior of this group is noteworthy – they don’t seem to care which birthday Mr. Cohen happens to be celebrating.
Ongoing readers may recall this phenomenon was noted last year, as described by this excerpt from Leonard Cohen’s Birthday Stats At Heck Of A Guy:
On Sept 21, 2009, the most popular single page on the Heck Of A Guy site was Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen, which seems logical enough – except that particular post commemorated the singer-songwriter’s birthday last year, Sept 21, 2008.
And, two days ago, September 21, 2010 (AKA Leonard Cohen’s 76th birthday), Heck Of A Guy’s unique viewers showed a nice albeit not tremendous boost of about 200 over the previous day, almost all of which could be accounted for by the number of visitors to Everybody Knows – Today Is The Birthday Of Leonard Cohen, a post which I immodestly concede does offer a few bits of pithy prose and the occasional bon mot. For those who missed it, the opening paragraphs pasted below provide a fair sampling of the piece:
Everybody Knows – Today Is The Birthday Of Leonard Cohen
Well, at least every Cohenthusiast knows that Leonard Cohen was born September 21, 1934.
The question, however, is – are you prepared?
Growing up in the Bible belted-and-suspendered Ozarks, I heard the following question repeatedly proposed from the church pulpit and the Sunday School lectern: “What would you do if Jesus came to your house today?”
Well, the truth is I would have been creeped out, especially if he didn’t call first, but I understood the message underlying this query: we should live our lives in such a Christian manner that we would be prepared if Jesus dropped in for a visit to the point that the only change we would need to make would be frying up an extra pork chop for dinner.
I now find it more pleasant and enlightening to ask myself “What would you do if Leonard Cohen came to your house today?”2
The post goes on to describe and offer the Leonard Cohen Heck of a Birthday Bash Kit3 shown in the illustration below.
Not bad, eh?
The clinker is that the post is dated September 21, 2007 and celebrates the 73rd birthday of Leonard Cohen.
Incidentally, when originally published, Everybody Knows – Today Is The Birthday Of Leonard Cohen garnered a modestly above average number of viewers at a time when Heck Of A Guy was not on the radar of most Leonard Cohen fans. It generated one comment – a helpful reader provided a YouTube link to a Fats Domino rendition of “Blueberry Hill,” the song the Leonard Cohen Heck of a Birthday Bash Kit recommended as music for the birthday party.
Oh, there was one other response. Shortly after the post went online, I did receive this email with the attached art:
Thank you for the Birthday Greetings.
- “Unique Visitors” are individual viewers (or, more accurately, individual IP addresses of computers, regardless of how many people use that computer) that landed on this site during a 30 day time period. Each unique visitor is counted only once, regardless of how many visits are made or how many pages are viewed [↩]
- Of course, the even more difficult question would be, “What if Leonard Cohen <em>and</em> Jesus came to your house today?” [↩]
- Note: The Leonard Cohen Heck of a Birthday Bash Kit is also certified for celebrating the songwriter’s birthday in his absence or, if one prefers, ones own birthday, or the birthday of Jesus. [↩]