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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 11/11/20

Good morning!

This is the first of several comments on the election result and the prospects for the Biden/Harris administration. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE Here are some of the non-specific general “big picture” goals for the next four years:

  • Rhetoric and message. Speak calmly yet forcefully about the need to address some of the most difficult issues we face and to find a way to put this national calamity behind us,

  • Science. Commit to a science and safety driven policy of controlling the pandemic, while being sensitive to the real costs borne by those who have sacrificed their health, their livelihoods and their businesses to this scourge that has been so woefully mismanaged,

  • Move on. Provide a sense calm, collegiality and sensitivity to those in our society who feel aggrieved, including those who voted against him and a pledge not to seek retribution—politically, legally or financially—against them,

  • Revitalize our public servants. Articulate to our valued governmental employees in State, Defense, Energy, Justice, and all other areas that rely upon data and science to protect us and keep us and the earth healthy and safe that they are experts, whose opinions will be listened to—even if sometimes not followed, but always with attention to the facts and the science related to the issue,

  • International messaging. Extend to our friends around the world a humble commitment to honor our obligations and to further democracy and freedom,

  • Hot spots. Warn our adversaries in the world that we will seek their cooperation in creating a safer, healthier, fairer world and will not tolerate incursions on the freedoms of those too weak to defend themselves,

  • Immigration. Offer to those who came here illegally that there will be a means established soon to bring them into the American family, while proposing broader immigration reform that includes less porous borders and eliminating the incarceration and separation of families at the border,

  • Elevate the importance of government. Instill in our children the idea that government is of the people and is here not to overreach, not to restrict or confine, but to work for the common good,

  • Rethink the purpose of the penal system.Take action to reduce incarceration, shorten sentences (particularly for non-violent offenders) and increase rehabilitation on the federal level and reach out to States to encourage the same.

If they can do these things…their administration will have succeeded. MOVIE MAGIC When people talk of movie magic, they usually mean the technical wizardry, cinematography and storytelling that take us somewhere far away in time, location, and human condition. But what of movies about magic? We have all been amazed by magic tricks large and small, up close and on stage. There is nothing quite as breathtaking as seeing something that truly defies explanation unfold right before one’s eyes. There are a number of movies and TV shows with Magic as the theme. Some, like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter are premised upon magic and fantasy. Others, like science fiction, require magical scientific advances (many of which are, for all intents and purposes, impossible). And time travel, one of my favorites, is a single suspension of disbelief. But what about movies that are based upon magic itself? Magic tricks are hard to pull off in film, including because they can be fabricated on film. That said, there are a number of favorite magic movies:

  • The Prestige. This is the best. What an amazing movie with an amazing cast. Christopher Nolan film starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. Twists and turns galore and a great period piece. I think Jake, Brad and I watched this a dozen times…

  • Houdini. The story of the great Houdini, starring Tony Curtis. A great story of immigrant America and one of the first truly worldwide entertainment personalities.

  • The illusionist. John Cusack in a story of magic in medieval times.

  • Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay. Really a documentary. The story of the great illusionist who later appeared as a character in TV’s Deadwood.

  • Doctor Strange. Love Benedict Cumberbatch (by the way, if you haven’t seen any of the four three-episode seasons of Sherlock, set in modern times, you should)

  • Now You See Me. Jesse Eisenberg. Magic. Intrigue. Enough said. Sure it’s a far-fetched plot but it is great entertainment.

Have a great day, Glenn

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