Sunday Links

  • Er ist wieder da (Look Who’s Back) is available on Netflix. It’s based off a popular book in Germany by the same name. Adolf Hitler is plopped into a modern Berlin and becomes a comedy star as he reproduces his tirades on television shows. The country receives him as a talented impressionist who sometimes says things that sound sort of accurate.

    It’s supposed to be a comedy. It’s funny, sure, but it’s also a very timely reminder in the current political climates of Europe and of the US. I’ll translate two scenes below. These are translated from the subtitles; the actual spoken dialogue is much better.

    • Two colleagues (C) from a TV station bring home the Hitler “impostor,” and they run into their German grandmother (G). The grandmother launches into a tirade:

      GSie haben alle vergast!You gassed everyone!
      COma, das ist Satire.Grandma, it's just satire.
      GEr sieht aus wie früher.He looks just like he used to.
      Er sagt die gleichen Sachen wie früher.He's saying the same things he used to.
      Damals lachten die Leute anfangs auch.Back then, people laughed at first, too.

    • The protagonist (P) has realized that the impostor Hitler is the real Hitler, and holds a pistol at Hitler’s face.

      HHaben Sie sich nie gefragt, warum die Leute mir folgen?Have you never asked yourself why people follow me?
      Weil sie im Kern genauso sind wie ich.Because they're at the core just like me.
      Sie teilen die gleichen Werte.We have the same values.
      Darum schießen Sie auch nicht.That's why you won't shoot me.
      P shoots. Hitler collapses and vanishes, reappearing behind P.
      HSie können mich nicht loswerden.You can't get rid of me.
      Ich bin ein Teil von Ihnen.I am a part of you.
      Von euch allen.Of all of you.

    Worth a watch.

  • Tom Vanderbilt tells his story of discovering cycling in The Long and Winding Road. He recounts his humble road-biker beginnings, and accurately describes the pain and glory on the way to a life of serious pedaling. It’s a nice tribute to the crazy, maybe-masochistic sport I’ve come to love. The long article ends with a brief tour from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.
  • An introduction to the work of composer Dmitri Shostakovich.