Friday, August 06, 2004
- John and Washington Roebling - I've always thought bridge building is one of the most amazing things in the world. Not just engineering, but engineering for reliability and durability through the ages. Think about it, the Brooklyn Bridge was literally hand-made, and is still going strong 120+ years later.
- Robert Moses - Love him, hate him or view him analytically, he was one of the few people who could actually Get Things Done in a NIMBY world. Caro's biography was rather stilted against him and made some idiotic points (suggesting heavy rail on the Whitestone Bridge when the traffic matrix wouldn't have justified it), but someone who could manipulate the patronage- and union-laden New York political system for as long as he did would have some fascinating stories to tell. And if you got him going on a transportation or highway problem, the ideas would've come pouring forth.
- William M. Gaines - Since I actually met the man and had a wonderful conversation with him I suppose it's bending the rules a bit, but the man had not only a wacky sense of humor, but could tell astonishing tales about the media (remember he was quite the pioneer in the comics industry and spent many years as a corporate tool in the Warner conglomerate).
- Sir George Martin and Geoff Emerick - I could probably listen to every minor detail on how they recorded the Beatles for hours. I know, it's not the wand, it's the wizard....
- Groucho Marx - A fairly obvious choice, and one that I'm a bit conflicted over since he was quite a nasty person on occasion. However, I would have enjoyed the challenge of the repartee, and I think with a suitably intellectual crowd he would've tempered the fouler instincts.
And speaking of William M. Gaines, I had a brief e-mail exchange with Eugene Volokh on Berlin vs. EC Publications as it related to the "This Land Is Your Land" flap, and Mr. Volokh's opinion was that while Berlin was an interesting case, he wasn't sure whether it would survive the Supreme Court's ruling in Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose, the 2 Live Crew parody of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman". I'll defer to his expertise.