- Glenn Sonnenberg
Musings from the Bunker 5/3/20
In the spirit of a “best of” compilation every 25 days, here are some of my favorite recommendations from the second 50 days.
They’re all mine; and I agree with them all.
Classical. Ravel’s Bolero, by l’Orchestre National de France. The first 45 seconds are the various musicians introducing themselves from their homes. The balance is sheer magic…a four minute truncated version of Bolero: https://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-french-orchestra-posts-living-room-performance-of-bolero-while-on-virus-lockdown/
Popular. “Blue Monk,” performed by Thelonious Monk alone on a piano in an empty club is amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwgWxcVEJOw.
The Fifties, by David Halberstam. A wonderful book with many small chapters on many things that happened in the Fifties or came from the Fifties (like McDonald’s, Disneyland, cars with fins, Holiday Inns, U-2s, “I like Ike,” etc.).
The Body in Question. A chance encounter of two members of a jury, initially only known by their juror numbers. Yes, they become involved. The story of the crime, the deliberations, their relationship and their worlds outside of the trial. It’s a short, snappy, fun read.
BEST DYSTOPIAN FICTION
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. I reread this book, named for the temperature at which paper burns, after visiting the square near Humboldt University, where books were burned during the rise of the Nazis. What a book—the “firemen” burn the books. It’s about books but so much more—the triumph of technology and banality.
BEST SERIOUS MOVIE
MOST ENTERTAINING MOVIES
Glengarry Glen Ross and Death of Stalin
BEST PLACE TO VISIT FROM YOUR ARMCHAIR
Bebelplatz in Berlin, site of one of the largest Nazi bookburnings, now a tribute to the empty bookshelves.
It is accompanied by this quote of Heinrich Heine, one of Germany’s most celebrated poets, from over a hundred years earlier:
“That was but a prelude;
where they burn books,
they will ultimately burn people as well.”
--Heinrich Heine, 1820
BEST INTERNET VIDEO
Advising one’s past self what the future holds: https://mymodernmet.com/julie-nolke-funny-viral-video/
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ozymandius, by Shelley:
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
There are so many “favorites” for me to choose from (after all, the Musings are comprised entirely of my favorite things!)…
Some have asked how long I’m going to keep doing this. Well, at least until the lockdown ends (May 15? May 30?). And what will happen to the Musings after the lockdown is lifted? Well, I still enjoy doing this and at least some of you say you enjoy reading it. After the lockdown is lifted, I’m thinking of a few times a week. But for now, I intend to “power through…”