Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sweet bird of youth, you must be laughing

The song. (First version is the one from the album, second from a live performance, sort of eerie.)

The play, which the song is referring to.

The bird.

The bird.

Up at the mountains, we watched the old Studio One production of "The Trial of John Peter Zenger," from this set of movies. We had a pretty good conversation about the importance of the Zenger verdict to American jurisprudence. I think I said, "This was the case that established freedom of the press in America, even before America existed." I thought there should have been a few more minutes to it, to give some attention to the jury's deliberations. The way it was presented made it look like Andrew Hamilton simply won Zenger's case, but the way the jury reached their verdict was just about as important as the verdict itself. The film skipped over that entirely.

But much more conversation resulted from the fact that this old TV show included three Westinghouse commercials, with Betty Furness selling a refrigerator, of course, and a TV, and something else, an air conditioner, it might have been.

So the daughter said, of Betty Furness, "When was it that people stopped wanting to look like that?" Like adults, she went on to explain. Which I thought was a good question, and we went down a winding conversational path having to do with neotenic behavior among baby-boomers.

Now I'm back in the world which includes an Internet, and I see that Morgan Freeberg has done some redecorating at The House of Eratosthenes, and that he has a post there with a clip from the late night Scot, dealing with this very issue. So check it out.

1 comment:

Trooper York said...

Betty Furness was a "consumer" reporter for like a million years but I forget for what channel. It was either Channel 5 which is now the Fox affiliate or Channel 4 in NYC which was the NBC one.

I think she had a thing with Tex Antione though.