Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

Loved the man.

Picking one favorite film? Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. No, no -- The Sting.

In reading one of the online tributes to him, I came across this at Zap2It:

Throughout the '60s, Newman took high-profile stands against the war in Vietnam. In 1968, he campaigned for antiwar candidate Sen. Eugene McCarthy and served as a Connecticut delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The following year, he and Woodward joined an antiwar demonstration in front of the American Embassy in London. Newman knew his actions were not always popular, and told the New York Times Magazine in 1966, "A person without character has no enemies." Friends said he was delighted in 1973 when he was listed as No. 19 on Nixon's enemies list, claiming it elevated him in the eyes of his children. Newman argued politics genially, friends said, and openly admired certain conservatives. In 1994, he helped his brother Arthur, a staunch Republican, wage a successful campaign for a City Council seat in Rancho Mirage.

What touches me, in this political season that is veering towards division and factions and us/them? He "argued politics genially." He "admired certain conservatives." Whatever the reasons behind that -- looking beyond labels for commonalities, or respecting conviction even when the conviction isn't shared -- he was willing to admire that which was different. And finally? He helped his brother. Blood is thicker than water.

I hope that as this campaigning season continues, we argue genially and admire those of a different political persuasion than ourselves.


Sarah Rettger said...

Liz, I love this take!

I live in Connecticut, not far from Westport, so he was always one of our "localish" celebs. And when I visit my grandparents, I always drive past the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is the best marketing Newman's Own could have.

Sarah, who is also not in Portland this weekend

Anonymous said...

Sarah must live right near me. Hi, Sarah!

What a generous man! I am so sad about his death. He gave so much to Westport, to the camp, and many other causes.

Angiegirl said...

Lovely post, Liz. I agree wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

it's hard not to admire Paul Newman for putting his money to work in such productive ways, such as his Newman's Own line--high quality stuff and the proceeds go to good causes... very smart.