Saturday, November 1, 2014


It's been a day of non-fiction around here. I'm hooked on the podcast by the producers of This American Life called Serial, the story of the murder of a high school student in Baltimore in 1999. Interesting people and a twisty narrative compellingly reported make the series addictive audio.

This afternoon we went to see Citizen Four, the Edward Snowden story, and while the movie didn't add much new information to the well-reported story, it did provide an opportunity to ponder the far reach of data gathering that our government is doing in the name of security, and the difference, as Snowden puts it,  between a country of rulers and the ruled and one of the elected and the electorate.

And now tonight our attention turns to Ken Burn's latest, The Roosevelts. Born of privilege, the three principals in this series were all champions of every day, working class Americans. They recognized a common humanity in us all.

"We love a great many things—" Theodore Roosevelt said, "birds and trees and books, and all things beautiful, and horses and rifles and children and hard work and the joy of life. We have great fireplaces, and in them the logs roar and crackle during the long winter evenings. The big piazza is for the hot, still afternoons of summer."

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