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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 9/14/20


Good morning!

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“There are two ways to be fooled

One to believe what isn’t true

The other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

--Kierkegaard

Thanks to Eric Swenson for contributing this.

 

TOM SEAVER

Speaking of believing what can’t possibly be true, the Miracle Mets fill that bill. The legendary Tom Seaver, who died last week, led the Mets to a National League Pennant and victory in the 1969 World Series. The Mets before that remarkable year had never had a winning season and had never finished higher than ninth place in the ten-team National League. Then magic hit. That year, Seaver won 25 games and won the Cy Young Award (Chip: This is given to the best pitcher in each league), finishing second for MVP.

Tom Terrific (also known as “The Franchise”) won many awards. He was a machine. He is the only player other than Walter “Big Train” Johnson with 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts and an earned run average under 3.00. He was a three time Cy Young Award winner during his career.

Seaver attended USC to pursue a career in dentistry when he was a standout player for them. Then-scout Tommy Lasorda offered him a $2,000 signing bonus to play for the Dodgers. Seaver asked for considerably more and Tommy simply answered, “good luck in your dental career.” Lasorda was not infallible.

 

TIME BENDING MOVIES

It is a misconception that all time-travel movies are science fiction movies. Many allow the chance to experience historic events, become better people, see the future as a warning, have a “second chance,” etc. These sorts of books/movies allow the writer to explore the “what ifs” of various alternative histories. Once one gets past the artifice allowing the protagonist to move through time, whether by a lightning strike, a hot tub malfunction, a lost space ship, or a Pacific storm, the story can begin. Some are fun, some serious, all thought provoking. I hope you like this list:

Back to the Future, I, II and III—There are no better time travel movies and there arguably are no better movies. Everything—time travel with minimal internal inconsistency, humor, great acting, romance.

Hot Tub Time Machine--Hysterical

Looper—Seriously strange and mind-bending

Terminator—There are Terminator lovers and Terminator haters. I’m somewhere in the middle but include this for those who love it.

Midnight in Paris—At one point it got me to tear-up (and that’s no small feat)

The Time Machine—The classic. Who doesn’t feel for the Eloi? Jules Verne…

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure—Excellent and an adventure

Planet of the Apes—Loved the original, liked the remake

Groundhog Day—One of the greatest movies of all time

The Final Countdown—Corny, but with Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen and the great Kirk Douglas facing off with the Japanese fleet before Pearl Harbor with a nuclear powered aircraft carrier? Come on…of course it’s absurd, but but entertaining despite its ridiculous premise. Worth a watch.

Frequency—This really is based first on communication between a father and son across time. Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel do a great job in a tearjerker that messes with time multiple times, with unanticipated results. It’s a sleeper. You’ll thank me.

Galaxy Quest—A great satire of the genre. The Omega 13 device, allowing time to be wound-back by 13 seconds, is an essential aspect of the plot. The movie is a riot, with Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, and Alan Rickman playing the stars of a Star Trek-like TV show. It all starts at a fan convention that is attended by representatives of a race called the “Thermians,” who worship the show and ask the cast’s help, as if they actually are members of Starfleet.

Star Trek and Men in Black—They use time travel too…in several instances.

It’s a Wonderful Life—One of the greatest movies ever. George Bailey learns what the world would be like without him and it isn’t pretty.

A Christmas Carol. Whether the original version or the Leslie Bricusse 1970 musical, Scrooge, a classic Dickens story.

 

YOU NAME THE DICTATOR AND I’LL DEFEND HIM

We have now witnessed any number of high-ranking Republicans tying themselves in pretzels trying to defend each and every statement and action of Mr. Trump. As Lauren suggested to me early on in this disaster of a Presidency, everyone should have been asked to pick the “one line” that would be unacceptable for the President to cross. You pick. Misogyny? Racism? Fomenting civil unrest? Lying about a deadly disease, risking lives and knowingly crowding supporters into non-socially distanced rallies? Verbally abusing people? Mocking people with physical handicaps? Accusing military veterans of being “losers”? Damaging NATO? Cozying up to dictators? Willingly allowing Russia to manipulate elections? All the stuff in the Mueller report or the (jointly Republican and Democrat) Congressional report? You pick it... Her conclusion was that each person’s “line” was crossed years ago.

This sort of pretzel logic has been spoofed by Greg Larsen, who will defend any real or fictional “bad buy” with the same tortured logic. Thank you Glenn Raines for passing on Mr. Larsen’s Twitter Feed. Here is his defense of Pol Pot:

He acted in self defence against big government. Should he be crucified for being a patriot and caring about his country? Is loving your country a crime now?

Or Robert Mugabe:

He brought in an economic golden age for Zimbabwe. He didn't just inflate the economy, he HYPER inflated the economy! Average citizens had literally millions of dollars in banknotes! You'd have to be a crazy leftist doing mental gymnastics to think that was a bad thing.

Or Tzar Nicholas II:

He was born a royal. And they opposed him for it. Hating someone just because of the circumstances of their birth is the essence of racism. He was a victim of racism, bigotry, and oppression from the so-called "tolerant left"

Or Hannibal Lecter:

Hannibal Lecter was a doctor. But climate change doctors are fine? Hannibal ate some meat, so the leftist media gets to decide what meat is ok and what meat is evil? Typical leftists shifting goalposts and spinning facts to suit their agenda

Just too much…! Here’s the link for more: https://twitter.com/gregmlarsen/status/1300337420781539328

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNATHAN!

I have several nieces but only one nephew. And today he celebrates his 32nd birthday. Johnathan and his wife Caitlin have moved to Colorado, where Johnathan is pursing the “family business” (both Gale and Andrew worked as lawyers and later as law professors) at Colorado Law School, while Caitlin pursues her post-graduate education from there, as well.

Stay cool!

Glenn

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