Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Water on the knee, more "The Wire" & finishing "Franklin"

From favoring the "healthy knee" too much, have water on it now, so no good knees. Real bummer that's limited my blogging - knee bone connected to the finger bones...

The Wire (episodes 1-7)

Thoroughly enjoying this 2nd season of The Wire. Would say that it's as good as the first season - amazing how multiple story lines (6) can be advanced in 1 hour. Started to think back of what the first ensemble drama on TV was. Hill Street Blues back in '81 is the oldest that I can recall. Guess they've become fairly common since with Bocho's multiple successes being the trendsetter for so many other shows since.

Famous Franklin Quote

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little
security will deserve neither and lose both

The above quote from Franklin has been making the rounds since at least the build-up to GWII. Believe it is timeless as each generation will experience its build-up of fear because of a Pearl Harbor or Red Scare or now G.W.O.T.

The Book On Tape I listened to was abridged. That seems to be more common - maybe producers realize that folks in cars listening to books want "just the plot" of The Iliad (abridged to 3/16th) or Portrait of a Lady (2/7) and now Benjamin Franklin (4/??). Isaacson's book devotes a great deal of time to Franklin's experiences in France. Had not realized that he spent 8 years there negotiating loans & arms & of course the Treaty of Paris or that he was the only signer of the Treaty and the declaration of independence and our Constitution. View the book as typical of modern history best sellers - breezy, very readable, quick summary of facts, somewhat superficial and forgettable. Would place Founding Brothers in the same category and Titan in the same category.

At the end, Isaacson spends pages discussing how Franklin's reputation rose & fell over the centuries since his death. Had heard that the Civil War generation faulted our founders for not resolving slavery at the time (gaining consensus for our nation was quite an achievement on its own). In my lifetime, our founders have maintained high standing in the pantheon. Fully believe that Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and Hamilton were giants fully deserving of their place on our currency. The criticisms seemed to be against the homilies of Poor Richard's Almanac, but those good life words have largely passed away while his more substantial quotes as above are still with us, so will end with my personal favorite of all Franklin's quotations

We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang

Addendum: Had also meant to say that I view the criticism of Franklin to be the criticisms of America. True we're a Philistine nation, but there are worse things to be.

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