What would Kierkegaard say about Warren Beatty?

Apparently a new biography is about to drop on Warren Beatty. (Perhaps I could phrase that better) Apparently, a new biography of Warren Beatty is about to drop which posits that Beatty bedded 12,775 women in 35 years time but has since been monogamous. Obviously, this is ridiculous.

Slate gives 13 reasons why this is likely not the case. I’ll give another: Does the biography mention how many times Beatty was beaten up by thin-skinned cuckolds? If you’re going to bring it with a woman a day for 35 years, you can’t use much discretion. A large portion of those women are going to be otherwise taken and I would suspect that they would get caught more than once in a while. If a few guys find out they have Warren Beatty in common, a pitchfork wielding mob is not hard to imagine. In short, that much ass-tapping would lead to a lot of ass-beating.

Are you telling me if you interrupted this guy’s… coitus with your girl you wouldn’t punch him in the face? If the bio is true, Beatty wouldn’t have lived long enough to get riddled with bullets at the end Bonnie and Clyde.

The reason for the title of this comes from a little essay in Kierkegaard’s Either/Or where one of his pseudonymous authors argues that Mozart’s Don Giovanni is the greatest of all pieces of art because Don Juan is the most sensual of characters and music is the most befitting medium for sensuality. Moliere and Byron have also produced works of art based on Don Juan, but they did not reach the pinnacle of artistic triumph that Mozart did because their media were not entirely apt for the legend. One of the reasons for this is that music allows for the character not to seem comic.

That is, it is important for Don Juan to have seduced 1,003 women. Byron’s Don Juan only beds a handful so he fails. But had Byron’s Don Juan tapped 1,003 asses, the character would become a comic one and the sensuality would be lost.

I’m not sure I totally agree with A (the name of the pseudonym is A), especially since it’s pretty clear that Byron was not attempting what A seems to think he was (also Byron’s Don Juan is pretty comic despite the small number of women he screws). My point, however, is that if 1,003 women by a non-musical, and thus realistic, character is so over the top that it’s comic, what does that make 12,775 by a living breathing person? Especially one who is a lot more reflective than the legendary Don Juan. Beatty is an aesthete, yes. But he is one that is interested in the aesthetic qualities of art, not merely in the immediacy of hedonism.


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