At the time Chaplin made "The Great Dictator" the full extent of the Nazi horror was years away from public knowledge, and Chaplin said later that, had he known, he would not have made the film. But it stands as a contemplation on dictators, not just the little weasel who stole the mustache look. And the speech at the end, the innocent barber disguised as the Great Dictator, pleading for peace, love, and understanding, is a timeless speech, perhaps as memorable as anything in Henry V, moreso because we have the hindsight to understand the deep horror that he was unintentionally, but poignantly, revealing to his audience. He still does, for those who will listen.
Van Morrison has written new songs about how he does not believe in virology and personally resents being blocked from performing in front of a huge audience in multiple cities because of the coronavirus pandemic. In an announcement on his official website, "Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out, and No More Lockdown are songs of protest which question the measures the Government has put in place. Morrison makes it clear in his new songs how unhappy he is with the way the Government has taken away personal freedoms."
To be fair, Morrison, long the Oscar the Grouch of mellow grating, is referring to the confusing and ineffective policies of the British government, which are a train wreck, but he hints that every nation on earth is in on the conspiracy.
As his statement says, "The singer-songwriter, who is campaigning for performance venues to open at full capacity again, feels strongly that lockdown is in danger of killing live music. Without a date for reopening fully in 2020, many venues will shut down for good." While this is certainly a danger and a serious issue, many physicians, researchers, and humans counter-argue that without a treatment or vaccine for the virus, many humans will shut down for good.
He will be performing his songs live later this month at the London Palladium, proving that he embraces contradictions.
For a brief primer on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chaotic approach to the pandemic, which has resulted in one of the highest infection rates in Europe:
No song captures the mindset of a five-year-old better than this, from the Backyardigans. The concept of being big, powerful; this fades (or shrinks) the closer one gets to actual maximum size. Some are crushed by that, some men over-compensate with Cuban heels and talking louder, but most people like the view from their own face by then. At five, though, when you're the smallest creature in the living room, it fires the imagination and fills the soul to be the biggest creature in the backyard.
May 20, 1954, "Rock Around the Clock" is released. There will always be some dispute as to which was the first real rock'n'roll record, but at this point the discussion is starting to wrap around the question: Which is the last real rock'n'roll song?