Sunday, 31. May 2020
Berlin cinemas + 1 thought (this month on Twitter growing up) + 1 remembrance

The lockdown continues, though loosened in Germany. I still miss going to cinemas a lot, so this blog series tides me over a little. I hope you, too!


The most luxurious public cinema in Berlin, the Astor on Ku'damm
This independent cinema is i.a. run by at least one great fan of the glitz of old cinemas - it's probably the most luxurious of Berlin cinemas, next to perhaps one other. It has a long glass-walled foyer with ticket booth, champagne or wine refreshment at small tables, then an interfacing section for tickets to be checked, after which you arrive in a 2nd larger foyer with a proper bar incl. offers of drinks and snacks, and a place to leave your coat etc.. The cinema itself is a wonder of retro design with a large, curtained screen. The seats are perhaps the most luxurious you'll ever experience in a cinema, leather, each with its own arm rests, and a small "night table" every two seats, incl. a light, where you can deposit drinks/snacks. There's even a way to order replenishments during the movie (although few people do that) - the bar is open all through the movie. In addition, the management offers old movies once a month, shown on old reel projectors - as advertised in the photo in the right glass case (the poster with Elisabeth Taylor on it). Heaven!

Twitter, somewhat better

First off: I do partake of this social medium - much more rarely than in the first few years after my registration, because I came to hate its becoming mostly a platform for facile public ridiculing and denigration. Which is of course exactly how the Great Orange Pretender in the U.S. has been using it. Mostly.

But a few days ago, Twitter actually grew a bit more of a spine, and replaced a threatening tweet by that GOP guy by a message box usually reserverd for "lesser" subscribers when they advocate physical hate. Not much earlier, it also added fact-checking links below 2 of his tweets on his most newly "discovered" conspiracy: Mailed-in votes.

Twitter et al benefit from a special law making them - as opposed to, say, newspapers - legally inculpable for things their tweeters etc. post. Of course Mr. GOP & his cronies immediately now threaten to revoke this law - which he has profited mightily from for many years!

I wonder what made Twitter cross this Rubicon? (And whether they'll stay on the fair side for long.) Perhaps it was the impassioned open letter they received earlier, of the widower of the campaign aide of ex-Congress-Rep. Joe Scarborough, who died after fainting & falling badly in one of Scarborough's remote offices years ago?

For the benefit of his don't-believe-what-you-can't-see fandom, the tweeter in the O. Office of course a.s.a.p. removed all tweets that had been post-processed by Twitter. (I checked an hour ago.)

R.I.P., Rolf Hochhuth

This famous German playwright died near mid-May, at age 89. He was well-known for his impassioned assertions on certain ignored or purposely hidden historical facts, which he occasionally made the subject of one or other stage production.

The most well-known of these is probably The Deputy, on the role of Catholic Pope Pius XII on hushing up - and not condemning outright! - what was happening in Nazi concentration camps. In which some Catholic priests were also interned, and later industrially murdered. So Hochhuth was a working minder & reminder of things people tend to forget.

But his range of possible targets was wide. The play that brought him to my attention initially, was Turing - and all the stuff it disclosed (at least to little-informed me!) about how the European part of the World War was to an amazing degree won by the great technical efforts made in Bletchley Park in England, led on the code-breaking side by Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, who i.a. on the side predicted the feasibilty of the virtualisation surge the i.t. world is experiencing for the last decade or so!

I greatly admired the angry old man for that play, and because of that got round to reading a few of his others.

[Go in peace, rest in courage...]

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