Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Joseph P Kennedy Presents
(Cari Beauchamp, 17:52)
An impressive personality, as well as a very driven Alpha male. The intensity of his drive to make money occasionally caused Joe Kennedy to be horrifically cavalier about the people he swindled. His attack on the film industry was brilliant: he posed as a banker, and he definitely knew accounting and finance better than any studio head. He then used his contacts at Harvard to craft a course in the Business School about the film industry, and used this platform to woo the big names he didn't already know. His accomplishments as a film-maker are not of lasting importance, although the sustained affair he had with Gloria Swanson does make for an eyebrow lifting adventure. From the moment he was appointed ambassador to Britain, and began espousing isolationist slogans, his life quality begins to stink. He definitely did an estimable job raising his first 3 sons, although Joe Jr. died in a war the father opposed, after which JFK took over. RFK is harder to judge, and surely no one can distinguish between Ted Kennedy and all the other weasels that have been in the family line since.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Existentialism Kierkegaard Nietzsche Sartre
(Walter Kaufman, 3 hours)
The lecture on Kierkegaard is delightful. The 2nd, on Nietzsche, is less pungent, more even tempered, even though Kaufman was the superb translator of the entire body of Nietzsche's work. The third, on Sartre, reminds the listener that in the time of the 1960s, everyone really was talking about philosophy. Kaufman rightly points out the failure of authenticity as a basis for all morality, since one could clearly be an authentic racist, psychopath, or murderer. Irrelevantly, I also tacked on one of the lectures on Hegel by Leo Strauss, and his manner struck me as terribly pedantic.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Free to Choose
(Milton Friedman, 12:16)
Written in 1980, this has aged quite well, even though it doesn't have any way of addressing the problems unleashed post-Prop 13. The advocacy for unregulated airways, as well as trucking and railroads, signally demonstrates where dereg can generate wealth. The fastidious attention to freedom, the very sensitive feeling about arbitrary constraints, has a particular poignancy as we decay into being forced to kowtow to ignoramuses in TSA or securitat positions. Very interesting, well worth thinking over with the dead little scrapper.