“What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible.”
“We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.”
Umberto Eco on lists.
The University of Texas is hosting a heap of interviews from the late 50’s TV show The Mike Wallace Interview. Philip Morris sponsored the show, which featured a chain-smoking host who interviewed prominent figures from the 1950’s (mainly American) cultural landscape. The archive includes interviews with Hollywood movie stars, military defectors, artists, KKK grand masters and prominent thinkers of the time.
My particular favourites include Aldous Huxley, Erich Fromm, Salvador Dali and oil tycoon Glen McCarthy. Just as interesting as the interviews themselves is the attitude shown towards the audience as consumers of thinly veiled advertorial content. This includes numerous asides, by the interviewer, regarding the subtleties and complexities of taste vs. smoothness in a cigarette. All opinions presented, are of course, the host’s own.
Check ’em out here.