Wednesday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Morning all!

Anyone remember this couple?

They’re the Atom Spy Couple, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Both were executed in 1953 for  conspiracy to commit espionage. Today is the day they were convicted. Their children were 10 and 13 when their parents were executed.

In 1976 Howard Hughes died. The larger than life businessman, aviator and movie director’s life became the subject of the movie Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004.

Onto happier things (ha!); today is Pharrell Williams’ birthday (1973), he of Happy fame. He’s also the man responsible for the now slightly infamous song “Blurred Lines” performed by Robin Thicke, a song that managed to go to No 1 in the charts and be in the lead for worst songs ever recorded which is kind of a feat all by itself.

Spanish composer Alonso Lobo (1555-1617) died on this day. As is typical of people of this period, not much detail is known of his life. Most of it seems to have been spent in cathedrals, from choirboy to canon to maestro de capilla. 

In Dobrzyń Hili is staging a sit-in to protest her oppression by gravity.

A: Couldn’t you climb any higher?
Hili: Unfortunately, I’m blocked by a glass ceiling.

In Polish:

Ja: Wyżej już nie mogłaś wejść?
Hili: Niestety, ogranicza mnie szklany sufit

Finally, we get a video of Gus who is mercifully unoppressed and enjoying the Spring.


  1. Posted April 5, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I too spent a LOT of time in cathedrals – as a chorister then a stonemason! No great compositions resulted however!

  2. busterggi
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I DID recognise that couple whatever that shows.

  3. Sastra
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I had to look up the Worst Song Ever “Blurred Lines,” since I didn’t think I’d heard it before — and it turns out I’d somehow run across it on the app and taken it for free from AmazonPrime music. I stuck it in my playlist “Favorites.” Alexa can shuffle it on my Echo.

    In my defense, I didn’t know it was a massive hit. I assumed it was a catchy little number by some obscure artist. Never heard of Thicke either. So I’ll suggest that the song isn’t really so bad, just horribly overrated. That’s often the case, I think.

  4. Posted April 5, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I know the Rosenberg case from history books. The linked LA Times piece has a heavy political slant. I believe the consensus of historians is that Julius did indeed convey classified information to the Soviets, but that information simply confirmed what they already knew, and that Ethel did not commit espionage but knew of her husband’s complicity.

    • busterggi
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      They came close to ruining the reputation of pumpkins evrywhere.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        I think you may be confusing the Rosenberg case with that of Alger Hiss, another espionage prosecution during the “Red Scare.”

        • busterggi
          Posted April 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          You may be right but the Rosenbergs certainly didn’t help pumpkins either.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Julius Rosenberg was guilty of espionage, though not necessarily of the specific charge against him. Ethel was not guilty of espionage, though she may have been an accessory-after-the-fact to Julius’s.

      Ethel was charged in an effort to pressure Julius into turning state’s evidence (which he refused to do). The case against the Rosenbergs was built on perjured testimony from Ethel’s brother and marred by unethical ex parte communications between the one of the prosecutors — the infamous Roy Cohn — and the trial judge, Irving Kaufman. Neither Rosenberg deserved the death penalty.

      Were there a hell, Roy Cohn would be moldering away there now.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been thinking Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s inner circle, is a descendant of Roy Cohn. Same morality free eyes.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      According to Wikipedia, recent declassified Soviet files confirms Ethel’s role as accessory, and five American historians have backed this up.

      Alan Dershowitz is on record as saying the Rosenbergs were “guilty – and framed”.

      I hate to see anyone convicted of anything under the hand of the repulsive Roy Cohn.
      I remember seeing him live in the late 1980s on Ted Koppel’s NightLine. He and Alan Dershowitz were being simultaneously interviewed with regard to Vanessa Redgrave’s having been first invited and then disinvited to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the dismissal being due to her strong pro-Palestinian anti-Israel views. I vividly remember Cohn kept trying to change the subject to Jane Fonda, who was simply not the current subject for discussion.

      I plan to see the play “Angels in America” this summer- I missed it first time around. I understand Cohn is deeply haunted by the ghost of the Rosenbergs in the play.

      I have less sympathy for Cohn than for any other victim of AIDS in history.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 5, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        There’s an Angels in America miniseries that Mike Nichols did for HBO, with tour de force performances by Al Pacino as Roy Cohn and Meryl Streep as Ethel Rosenberg. Well worth watching.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    After the Rosenberg’s were executed, their sons were adopted by Abel Meeropol (pen name “Lewis Allan”), the guy who wrote “Strange Fruit” for Billie Holiday. I suppose it was an act of verboten “cultural appropriation” that the nation’s preeminent anti-lynching anthem was written by a Jewish boy from the Bronx.

    • Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Interesting. I did not know of that connection.

  6. jeremy pereira
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    a song that managed to go to No 1 in the charts and be in the lead for worst songs ever recorded which is kind of a feat all by itself.

    The British singles chart is littered with examples of number one songs that could also have a shot at worst song ever.

    This one, for example not only is totally excruciating, not only got to number one but also kept a truly great song (Vienna) off of the number one spot.

    Then there was the Birdie Song which just missed out (got to no. 2) but was voted most annoying song of all time.

    There’s No One Quite Like Grandma.

    Release Me (actually, I might just be bitter about that, it kept Strawberry Fields off number one).

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Howard Hughes (not Hughs) was more recently portrayed by Warren Beatty in “Rules Don’t Apply” and longer ago by Milton Buras in “The Hoax” based on the true story of a fraudulent autobiography of Hughes, by Dean Stockwell in “Tucker: The Man And His Dream” based on the true story of the car inventor Tucker, Victor Holchak in “Hughes and Harlow” and on TV by Tommy Lee Jones in “The Amazing Howard Hughes”.

    Only the recent Beatty movie is primarily a work of fiction which incorporates Hughes as a character, as is the science-fictiony fantasy “The Rocketeer” set in 1939 in which Hughes also has a supporting role.

    The character of Willard Whyte (sic) in the James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever” is very loosely based on Hughes.

    • busterggi
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Canonically in the Rocketeer series the inventor of the rocket pack in Doc Savage.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Jason Robards also did a great turn as Hughes in Jonathan Demme’s cult classic Melvin and Howard.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another “worst songs” list

  9. Fernando Peregrin
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Herbert von Karajan (German pronun­cia­tion: [ˈhɛɐbɛɐt fɔn ˈkaʁaˌjan]; born Heribert, Ritter von Karajan; 5 April 1908 – 16 July 1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, and he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the mid-1950s until his death.[1] Part of the reason for this was the large number of recordings he made and their prominence during his lifetime. By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records

    • Posted April 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      He’s also the reason that CDs hold 90 minutes of music. He insisted that none of Beethoven’s symphonies should have to be split over two discs. IIRC.


  10. Andrea Kenner
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I very much prefer this parody version of Blurred Lines.

  11. willam Siedler
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Wiki has Julius and Ethel convicted on March 29, 1951, and sentenced to death by Judge Kaufman on April 5th.64 years ago today.

%d bloggers like this: