A Brief History of Time

I went off to work and talked about movies like “Moonlight,” “The Handmaiden,” and “The Love Witch.”  I was very tired when I left, and I returned to have my late lunch and fall asleep while watching Family Feud.  I watched the Supergirl episode, and then the Blu-ray disc of “A Brief History of Time.”  The movie was made twenty-five years ago, and Stephen Hawking has changed during that time.  It seems like a miracle that he has lived for more than fifty years longer than expected.  I did go to one of his lectures in 1988.  I wonder if he has thoughts on the physics students of today.  One of the interviewees in this movie is Hawking’s mother.  At least one person said that Stephen was the normal person in the family.  I thought it was interesting that Hawking’s office had Marilyn Monroe posters, and actually the office was really a set made to look like his office.  His wheelchair had a license plate that said Stephen, and it was a California license plate at that.  Stephen fell down some stairs one day and lost his memory for a while.  Watching this movie made me think of what it takes to come up with truly new ideas, and how limited almost everyone in the world is.  You have to go way beyond observations and personal experiences to be a decent theoretical physicist.  I thought about the big crunch.  I found it rather sickening to think that I will end up in the same place as Donald Trump in the end.  I wondered if I could make a good science fiction movie out of this idea.  It was funny to see clips of “The Black Hole” in this movie, since it was supposed to be the most inaccurate science fiction movie ever made.  Anthony Perkins and Ernest Borgnine certainly looked as if they knew absolutely nothing about science.  I felt better after seeing this movie a week after a traumatic election because afterwards I had the feeling of what was important and lasting.  This period of political and social change won’t last forever.  The director of “A Brief History of Time” was Errol Morris, known for “The Thin Blue Line” and “The Fog of War.”  The film starts off with an amusing image of a chicken.  Fortunately, Hawking thought in pictures, giving Morris something other than equations to show to the audience.  I liked seeing this movie, and I thought it was important in this period of apparent regression and a decaying education system here.  It made me think about how few people come close to realize their potential because they’re doing things like smoking weed or watching television or spending time with their phones.  You can see the capabilities of the human mind when you look at Stephen Hawking.  We all waste our time doing stupid tasks at our horrible jobs.  Am I contributing anything to the world by teaching my stupid classes?  We have been lucky to have Stephen Hawking around for all these years.  I’d like to see this film again before this semester comes to an end.  It made me think about myself.  I read through Roger Ebert’s review, and he was lukewarm about the film.  It’s hard to go through this subject matter when even the words you’re using in discussion seem inadequate.  I went outside and saw the big bright moon in the sky.  I bought a cup of banana yogurt.  I felt too sleepy to listen to a Leon Russell album.  I saw Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis on the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.  I didn’t think that Bobby Vinton belonged in that group.  Some of the people who died on November 15 include Johannes Kepler (1630), Tyrone Power (1958), Fritz Reiner (1963), Jean Gabin (1976), and Margaret Mead (1978).  Today is a birthday for Shailene Woodley (25), Frida Lyngstad (71), and Ed Asner (87).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 15, Elvis Presley’s first movie, “Love Me Tender,” had its premiere at the Paramount Theater in New York in 1956.  In 1965, the Rolling Stones made their U.S. television debut on “Hullabaloo” performing “Get Off Of My Cloud.”  In 1980, Kenny Rogers had the Number One single, “Lady.”  In 2000, Michael Abram, the man who broke into George Harrison’s home and stabbed him repeatedly, was found innocent by reason of insanity and was confined to a mental hospital.

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