Posts Tagged ‘50’s’

William O. Douglas – enigma?

Mon ,26/11/2018

So just finished my second Justice Douglas biography, Independent Journey by James F. Simon (1980), published not too long after Douglas’ passing in 1975. I had read Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas by Bruce Allen Murphy (2003) immediately prior.

I had heard about the later book originally via a New Republic article some years ago, a book review by Judge Richard Posner. But after having read it, and the second book having mentioned the earlier bio in the end credits, I really felt I needed to read the earlier book. You see, while certainly Murphy’s book is an amazing example of dedicated scholarship – it largely focuses on Douglas’ personal shortcomings – and while there are many, many such egregious examples of them, Simon’s earlier book provides a much better balance of the actual SUPREME COURT activity Douglas engaged in and in some cases, led. Murphy spends so much time uncovering all the personal flaws, problems and misdeeds of Douglas that he largely blows off most of the Court stuff (why he wrote the book, hello?). Unlike Simon’s book, which tells a lot of detail behind two huge cases for example (Brown v. Board of Education in the 50’s and Roe v. Wade just before the end of Douglas’ career) – Murphy doesn’t really deal much with either one, if at all.

Ultimately, The Nation sums it up best for me in talking about both books and then about Douglas the man. Because so many of the *results* Douglas wanted to see (or helped bring about as part of the Warren Court or earlier as Chairman of the SEC) – are still RIGHT. So as bad a human being as he was in many, many circumstances, The Nation still makes the best final statement of him to me: “If more present-day Justices and judges embraced William O. Douglas’s ideals, constitutional liberties would be far safer than they are.” (and throw in environmental protection too, because while not part of his jurisprudence, he was d*** right on that one and way ahead of his time.

candybowl

The Face of Winter: Warren Miller – RIP.

Tue ,20/11/2018

So one of the true pioneers and icons of the ski industry, Warren Miller, passed away this past January at 93(!) years old. We went to see the latest film from his company (he hadn’t been filming with them for many years now), The Face of Winter. I’ve been to WM movies off an on over the years but not for some time, but this year wanted to go again in tribute to the man and his amazing career.

The movie was pretty good – while there were a couple tiny #MeToo moments in it (IMHO) and a few too many ‘fake sly’ product placements, it was still good – the usual mix of heli-skiing crazy extreme glaciers and remote mountains (this time mostly in AK, Chile, Iceland, France and Switzerland), with classic clips and WM testimonials throughout. I did not realize he was making movies as far back as the 50’s – crazy stuff.

anyway, here’s the trailer, it’s still touring around the country if you get the chance to see it:

candybowl

Sneaker Wars?!

Sat ,02/12/2017

Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas & Puma & the Family Feud That Forever Changed the Business of Sports

This is quite frankly, one of the craziest (nonfiction) books I’ve ever read. It tells the story of Adi Dassler and his rival, Rudi – as they created and fought for business over the decades since just before WWII with Adidas and Puma, respectively.

But arguably the most crazy (and interesting) part of the story is Adi’s son Horst, who literally built the Adidas brand and worldwide presence we know today, through athlete product endorsements, additional clothing lines and relentless promotion across nearly every sport imaginable. From the way the book portrays him, he’s all but a head of state in many ways, especially given the relationships he creates and cultivates until he passes away at a fairly young age in his early 50s.

Puma is kind of an also-ran in the later years as depicted in this book (Rudi also had a rival son to Horst, but seems to continually come up short on nearly all fronts, save for a few cases) – but it’s also interesting to see along the way how Phil Knight learned the lessons of Horst well and built his own, even bigger shoe and clothing empire starting with one Michael Jordan….the research that went into this book is top-notch and obviously took years to accumulate and review, especially given these are private companies, not governments or public entities.

defnitely one of the best books I’ve read this year.

candybowl

Andrew Wyeth at SAM

Tue ,28/11/2017

Kerewin and I went to see the Andrew Wyeth Retrospective at SAM this past sunday afternoon. Very interesting …. here was an artist I may have heard of in passing but knew nothing about, nor any of his art. Not unlike the Yoyoy Kusama exhibit of a few months ago, a neat surprise (completely different type of art from hers – Wyeth is predominantly tempura and watercolor painting).

What’s also interesting about Wyeth is that he only lived in two places his entire life, and was painting right up until he passed away. And (some might say of course) he seems to have had a hidden obsession with one of his female models for a long period in his later years.

The exhibit has a number of great paintings but I think what I liked best were the watercolors, because they were still very detailed for that type of painting (I don’t think that’s typical) – apparently he used the same types of detail methods to paint despite using a different medium.

Definitely worth seeing, it’s there until Jan 15.

candybowl

Museum of Flight, part deux….

Sat ,01/04/2017

So following on from the previous post regarding touring the Shuttle Trainer at Boeing’s Museum of Flight, here’s the rest of all the ‘plane nerd’ photos from most of the rest of the museum – enjoy!

I have to say, despite no flash, that ridiculous new phone of mine actually takes decent pics…..click on one from the gallery, then click it again to get the high-res version….

candybowl

Good thing…

Sat ,25/02/2017

Ayn Rand never had kids!

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100 Photos…

Fri ,03/02/2017

Amazing stuff, both for good and bad reasons…

Timeline view here

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Christopher Lee – RIP

Sat ,13/06/2015

One of the baddest of the all-time bad guys passed away over the weekend – Christopher Lee, at 93. RIP, Lord Summerisle…..

Christopher Lee dies at the age of 93

Wikipedia bio
IMDB

candybowl

Jim Henson – what a guy.

Sun ,15/02/2015

Came across this video from Jim Henson’s memorial tonight on YT – very hard to believe he’s been gone for 24+ years(?) and yet his star has anything but diminished. Would that the rest of us had such a positive and uplifting effect on the world while doing it with humor and grace, while not being afraid to be zany and weird when the mood suited. This video really captures the essence of Jim Henson – enjoy and be inspired.

candybowl

Speaking of small, troll-like gray haired men…

Wed ,06/08/2014

A friend’s comment regarding HR Giger (see previous post) made me remember good ol’ Brother Theodore from Letterman back in the 80’s (and his brief appearance in The ‘Burbs). As I tend to gravitate towards the weirder, increasingly sociopathic comedians (Emo Phillips and Norm McDonald being among the better known, but I miss Sam Kinison) I miss the true psychos (or at least the expert fake psychos) like BT, who could turn it on and off like a faucet when they wanted too, and if you hadn’t seen them before, you were convinced they were about to kill the interviewer. In revisiting his story in wikipedia, I had no idea he was a longtime entertainer well before the Letterman stuff and had even known Einstein – wild.

This video has terrible video quality but several very funny bits, including Letterman sassing him back in at least 3 places – classic stuff! Both Conan and Letterman were funniest on Late Night, no question about it. There are several more on YT too.

Rant on, Brother!

candybowl