Friday, November 28, 2008

Gods on TV!

Here -- you can't make this stuff up -- is Frank Lloyd Wright appearing on "What's My Line?"

And, in the same vein, here -- I couldn't embed it -- is an audio of Friedrich Hayek on "Meet the Press."

Yea, verily, two of my gods, on network TV. To me, this is something like Nietzsche as a judge on Iron Chef America, or Adam Smith interviewed on CNBC.

One thing that struck me about the Wright performance, making it laugh-out-loud funny, was his almost complete inability to give a yes-or-no answer to anything -- which of course is a necessity if you are going to play this game at all. His brain just doesn't seem to work that way! The MC has to keep answering for him, as if he were a visitor from another planet whose utterances need to be translated.

Another thing I found striking is how famous he was during his own lifetime. It was the audience's audible reaction to him that enabled the panel to guess who he was.

The recent building he refers to at the end, btw, is obviously the Price Tower of Bartlesville OK, a very beautiful building. I think it was FLW's only skyscraper.

What struck me about Hayek was the absolute clear-cutness of his world view. Every question had a very definite answer, even if it is "I don't think there is anything I can do about that." Another thing that I noticed was something that is easily overlooked -- he was obviously as much an expert on political matters as on economic ones. Indeed, he was one of the people who pioneered investigating the interaction between these two realms.

Both men strike me as living in a world that is very much their own.

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