Hitchcock eventually edged over into horror—see the move from Vertigo to Psycho—and introduced the challenge that led to film’s decline: Can you keep your eyes open if I show you this?
Though he degenerated over time into the drug-sodden, chronically obese “fat Elvis” of countless cruel jokes, his sex-charged TV appearances and films of the ’50s made him the No. 1 teen idol of the buttoned-down Eisenhower era, and he set a benchmark for renown that today’s rock stars still strive to surpass. Eliot can’t vanish; his work, like Whitman’s, has entered the culture. We read him even when we don’t.Significantly, three of the top ten influential Americans are three of the four presidents most responsible for expanding the federal government: Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR (LBJ being the fourth, and he's ranked 44). I also find it interesting that Jakes K. Polk ranks in the Top 50 (he grabbed California, Texas, and the Southwest for us). The approach isn't scientific. They polled ten historians and asked them to provide their Top 100 lists, then took the numerical favorites. Such an approach isn't precise, but it's fun reading, and the article is written by Ross Douthat, one of their best writers (and my favorite over there). I'll post more stuff from this issue later, but in the meantime: You wanna kill your kid? Go here and check out the ten most dangerous toys list. I'm pretty paranoid when it comes to my children, but I wouldn't be too worried about giving my children every toy on the list ('cept for fear of spoiling them). I suspect this is a public service that is no longer necessary in this age of the nanny state and aggressive plaintiff lawyers. That's it for now. My daughter has to get medical tests done, so I'm in charge of the other kids this morning. It's time to get hectic.