TED Talks Show True Colors

Ted TalksThere’s been much controversy about Nick Hanauer’s talk for TED. He made an argument that shouldn’t even have to be made: high levels of inequality are not only morally wrong but bad for the rich as well as the poor and middle class. At first, the head of TED, Chris Anderson, would not post the video because he claimed it was too partisan. This didn’t shock me, because I think TED talks have a distinct bias. They are often very good, but they definitely push a particular socially liberal, economically conservative line. You’ll never hear anything noticeably outside the Overton Window.

This afternoon, TED finally posted the video, saying that they would let viewers decide for themselves. There’s a thought!

Ezra Klein, hardly a radical, noted that the speech was not partisan. “To my ears, Hanauer framed the issue in a way that was explicitly nonpartisan. The only mention of either party comes at the beginning” when he mentioned both parties disapprovingly.

Here is the whole six minute video. The only thing controversial about it is that it might not be welcome by some wealthy people. We live in a seriously screwed up country.

Shockingly, this video has only received 300 views thus far.

Update (20 May 2012 8:02 pm)

Now the video has over 400,000 views. It must be all the traffic I sent to it.

The Agony and Ecstasy of Mathilde

Scott Walker is a fine musician, with interesting ideas and a great voice. And yet, when I listen to this great Jacques Brel song, I can’t help but think of it as I do Pat Boone performing Blueberry Hill:

As opposed to Fats Domino.

Here is Jacques Brel, debuting the original song, Mathilde:

Can it be that Walker doesn’t understand the song? The agony and the ecstasy? It certainly seems that he doesn’t. There is no doubt that Brel understands it—probably far better than we do.