Saturday, May 14, 2005

Throwing Darts at a History Book

Kevin Drum posts on the topic of a list of 100 Greatest Americans someone collated for the Discovery Channel. Apparently it was a call-in poll thing, which explains why it's such an oddball list. I mean, consider:

1. I looked for Leonard Bernstein, and did not see his name. So I looked for Aaron Copland, and did not see his name. So I looked for Charles Ives, and did not see his name. You can see where this is going: not a single American classical musician on the list.

2. Jazz fans need not apply either: no Louis Armstrong, no Miles Davis, no Duke Ellington.

3. Sports heroes: I agree with Kevin's take on this -- surely Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan belong. But if we're also going to include a football player, should it really be Brett Favre? Yes, he's had a magnificent career, and he will make the Hall of Fame the first time he's eligible. But what about Joe Montana? Terry Bradshaw?

4. Presidents: Each one since FDR is represented, even Carter. Before that, we have Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. That seems odd.

5. Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, and no Humphrey Bogart?

6. Writers: No Walt Whitman. No Henry David Thoreau. No Thomas Pynchon.

7. John Edwards?! A one-term Senator and failed Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee? I like Edwards a lot and think he could have a bright future in politics, but come on!

I know, bitching about stuff like this is counterproductive and dorky. But those are two words that apply well to blogging a lot of the time, right?

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