Unseen worth seeing

Last week I finally got around to watching The Unseen Alistair Cooke. Apparently it’s more than a dozen years old, but has become available on the PBS app only recently. (And is disappearing quickly too so I suggesting getting on it like now!)

Originally I’d scoffed at the title, thinking I’m a huge Alistair Cooke fan, I’ve seen everything already. The fatal conceit of those who miss out. There were a few things I hadn’t seen before, and though many of the items I had, the documentary was an enjoyable hour on the life and times of one of the most celebrated journalists of the 20th century.

And one of my heroes.

I’ve mentioned before that Math and Musings is basically a knockoff of Cooke’s Letter from America: 15 minutes of commentary per week so insightful that it’s better than listening to 15 minutes of anyone else. (That’s the goal anyway.)

One thing that has impressed me about Alistair Cooke always is his knowledge on many subjects. Like a great editorial writer, Cooke was well-versed in many areas. One item I appreciated hearing in the documentary—that Cooke had at the ready amusing stories (my words) on dozens of topics—is basically the conversational expertise I’ve been trying to cultivate over the past few decades.

I’m still working on my British accent.

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About moc

My name is Mike O'Connell. I am 38 years old and live in Northern Virginia. I am a teacher, a musician, and an enthusiast of all things American.

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