Dear Readers: Brian Wright passed away in early 2023; he now lives forever in our hearts. A lifelong defender of liberty and nonviolence, Brian wanted his websites kept active so readers may enjoy his prolific columns, book & movie reviews, tributes, and evolving thoughts over the past decades. ~Rose Wright
Battling the guardians of the forbidden fruit (9/10)
A fascinating exploration of moral choices: the comforts of social conformity vs. the wild ride of personal liberation. Pleasantville is a movie I hadn’t seen in a while, then loading it into the DVD player I realize it’s been almost 10 years (1998) since it came to the screen. Seems like yesterday. For some reason—perhaps seven years of a full-frontal, faith-based political regime—the film deeply moves me now.
The theme is as timeless as the central issue posed by those hysterical autocrats who pontificate(d) the Old Testament: do I accept or defy God? And if I decide to leave my warm family home on Superstition Mountain, am I prepared to accept the consequences? Continue reading →
Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement
This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places. Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”
Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson. The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading →