LIFE AIN'T KIND - Chapter Highlights

     My story begins at the big kindergarten of adolescency, college, because that is where malleable minds are molded, mine being no exception. LAK, Chaper 1

–----------------------------

     To many students, but me especially, Dr. Bloom was a sage from whom we sought advice on matters requiring acroatic knowledge. He was a rotund man, about six feet tall, with a face that resembled Alexander Woollcott’s, the Town Crier who discovered the Marx Brothers. I always think of people in terms of music, and Dr. Bloom reminded me of the 2nd movement of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, where the instruments pair off, with the bassoons leading the way. He was the epitome of an owl wearing a pair of round spectacles, and as you would expect from an owl, he always spoke with a steady flow of stilted, didactic words that tended to form vignettes. LAK, Chaper 1

–----------------------------

     I’ve always been inspired by dynamic composers with a shroud of mystique surrounding them. Paganini was the ultimate in violin playing, and I struggled for years learning to play his murderous etudes, better known as The Caprices. To me, he was the Machiavelli of the violin – a complete phenomenon with profound and everlasting influence. And both Paganini and Machiavelli had the same first name Niccolo. LAK, Chapter 4

–----------------------------

     People often think of genius and talent as gifts of nature, but it ain’t necessarily so. They are heavy burdens. Not only does everybody expect more out of you, but you expect even more out of yourself – as if the bar isn’t high enough already. When you find a genius employed at some menial job, you are likely to wonder, “Why is he working here?” or “Couldn’t he find a better job?” LAK Chapter 4

–----------------------------

     “I’ll tell you something, Nat – that’s a tougher question for evolutionists to answer than for priests. If survival of the fittest is the rule of life, how can nature keep on producing such destroyers of life? If you believe in God, good and evil is a moral choice. If you’re an atheist, good and evil can’t exist. They've got to be invented by man, but who invented man? You're giving me a damn headache. Look, Nat, I’ve got to go. I’m not feeling all that well. I think my heart’s about ready to give out any day now.” LAK, Chapter 8

–----------------------------

     She liked being photographed in the nude. She hoped to get on with a high-class nudie magazine such as Playboy, but the competition is really fierce. Her raunchy stepfather, for all his decadence, didn’t want her to work in massage parlors. To him, Playboy wasn’t pornography and was like an E ticket to fame and fortune.Thanks to Jerry's unexpected largesse, the cheap little Spinet piano I had in my apartment was replaced with a much better baby grand Steinway, a major step up. I was so eager to practice on it because it was a real instrument worthy of any small apartment. LAK, Chapter 9

-----------------------------

     Phil’s sneakiness reminded me of Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but overall, he was probably more like Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. He used clichés like daggers, but he also used them to illustrate a point of common sense. One of his favorite sayings was When given lemons, what do you do? You make lemonade. He was a tall, thin man with a grizzled beard who usually wore three-piece suits made of 100% wool because “they wear like iron,” except on Saturday mornings when everybody dressed casually. He was a provocateur who always sought to have the last laugh and was never one to accept teasing except by a pretty woman. Bespectacled, he had the appearance of a chemist and spoke with a Brooklyn accent. He spoke like he was well educated but lacked the refinement of a scholar because he had never finished college. Instead of minor, he always said mina, and Boris sounded more like Baris. He had a cynical nature, yet his sarcasm was always subtle. Although Jewish, he never went to a synagogue except to get free food at a bar mitzvah or wedding. About the only things he took truly seriously were the music of Beethoven and the writings of Goethe. He worshiped them both and could identify anything Beethoven ever composed, not only by key, but by opus number. I once told him that he ought to change his name to Feinhoven. He liked that and said, “I'll consider it.” Of course, he was only joking. When it came to Goethe, he was able to come up with quotes in both English and German. I picked up on his mannerisms as though he were my big brother. His sense of humor could be jocular, sardonic, or downright mean, without any sense of contrition whatsoever. LAK, Chapter 11

------------------------------

     Phil could be quite a stultifying character and often had me in stitches from laughing so hard at some of his classic routines. He loved putting people on and making fools of them, taking advantage of their naivety. If he didn’t like or respect someone, he’d find a way of getting under his skin, pushing the poor schmuck’s patience to the limit. Then, with a big smile, he’d speciously apologize and say, “You’re not mad at me, are ya?” That, of course, manifested a string of reassurances. “No. of course not. Why would I be mad? I was just...” Then, Phil would graciously say, “That's good. Just as long as you're not mad.” Of course, he couldn't have cared less. He thrived on subtle sarcasm and was a master at it. LAK, Chapter 11

–----------------------------

     Phil held proletarian views that I thought to be borderline communistic and hated the Pope for being whom he considered a monarch. After fighting his way through heavy traffic on the Harbor Freeway, he once told me, “Take the pontiff away from his throne and put him behind the wheel of a car and he too will drive like an asshole.” It wasn't that he had anything against the Pope. He admired Pope John Paul II greatly, but only as a man. LAK Chapter 11

–----------------------------

     During our chess games, Ralph would sometimes crack jokes about molesting children. Shock talk has always had an innocuous effect on me, and I merely took it that he was just mocking the McMartin scandal in which preschoolers were alleged to have been molested. Ralph was the sort of guy who would say shocking things just to get a reaction, and he’d often make up stories that bordered on the bizarre. LAK, Chapter 13

–----------------------------

     Last-leggers were the teachers who were completely burnt out and on their last leg. The “dance of the lemons” involves Last-leggers. They are the teachers who get transferred from school to school because they are incompetent and nobody knows what to do with them. It’s a kind of shell game, except that under every shell there’s a nut. For me, substituting was nothing more than a self-inflicted subjugation, but it helped pay my bills. It was also an invaluable learning experience. LAK, Chapter 14

–----------------------------

     The way I see it, the public school system is run by self-aggrandizing administrators who make a posh living in the name of the children. “Before we guzzle it down, let us click our beer steins in a toast – To the children!” That's what went through my mind during the last board meeting I attended. I never met an administrator who wasn't a Democrat, but you'd best leave politics alone if you don't want to be tagged as a troublemaker. Administrators pull the strings of that big Leviathan, and they pull them mightily. Vouchers is considered a cuss word, and you never want to talk about private schools with an administrator within earshot. Lately, the focus has been on something called gender equality, i.e., turning little boys into big pussies. Egalitarianism is supposed to be for the greater good, a proposition I vehemently disagree with. To me, it's just an attempt to pull other people down to the level of mediocrity. Nothing good can ever come out of it. You'll never find affirmative action in the concert hall, that's for sure. It's just a means of keeping the Leviathan strong and healthy. Without such a system, the Last-legger could never exist. LAK, Chapter 14

–----------------------------

     That was only the beginning of my practical jokes on him. Later on, I began flirting with Dap as his anonymous pen pal, a beguiling sex kitten I invented by the name of Lulu Bagley who just so happened to be on the prowl for a Teutonic man of substance – a man like David A. Pennalton. I thought up the name Lulu because my agriculture teacher in ninth grade would always blame bad test scores on spending too much time with “Lulu,” his generic name for anybody’s girlfriend. He always gave a candy bar to those who got A’s and gave hell to those who failed. Being that the class mainly consisted of horny teenage boys who took agriculture because they were basically hillbillies and it was easy for them, he was pretty much on target. As for Bagley, that, of course, was short for bag lady. LAK, Chapter 16

-----------------------------

     My big, strapping German soldier. How art thou tonight, my love? Ooooo, how you give me the willies every time I look at your photos. You are the man I've been dreaming of my entire life. I can’t wait to snuggle with you!  LAK, Chapter 16

–----------------------------

     As for administrators, safe in their sinecure positions, they were nearly untouchable. You could always spot an administrator, as they were usually the ones who walked around dressed like lawyers with their hands in their pockets, trying to look important. LAK, Chapter 19

–----------------------------

     Mary Lou always wanted her friends to call her Lulu, but nobody ever did. Her thighs were bigger than Roy’s waist and instead of calling her Lulu, he always called her Big Lou, which was a name she absolutely hated. Roy was the only one who got away with calling her that. That’s because she forever had a crush on him. Roy once told me that he tried to get her to ride in the back seat of his Land Cruiser with the top down wearing a gorilla suit while he drove down the boulevard, but she wouldn’t do it – not even for him. LAK, Chapter 19

–----------------------------

     The best way to describe her was in terms of beer. Had Katy walked over to Tony Dunkin and me at O’Hara’s wearing a skimpy outfit, we would have scored her between one and two pitchers. She was like Meryl Streep, in that brains and sophistication made her appear more attractive than she actually was. Her marriage to Brother Ted turned out to be a sham. The only reason she married him was because she thought he would become the next Billy Graham, but there was one thing that held him back – cocaine. Thus, Brother Ted ultimately became known as The Reverend Crack and all anyone seemed to say was, “Poor Katy.” LAK, Chapter 20

–----------------------------

     I left Dennis’ frowzy apartment with a dirty feeling all over and felt the need to rationalize what I had gotten myself into. According to the experts, there are basically four reasons why a guy would get involved with drugs. Either he’s bored, curious, troubled, or genetically wired for it. If there’s a fifth reason, it’s because drugs make you feel good – like Superman. As far as inheriting the genes of drug addiction, my father once told me that his Aunt Mag was a morphine addict and to beware, but that was only because she had broken her back from falling off a horse and needed morphine to relieve the unbearable pain. Addiction, to me, was one of those superfluous terms I heard all the time. All I had to do was turn on the radio and there'd be an ad for some new treatment center. There's gold in them thar addicts; a bonanza to be made off the ills of society. Why not get the whole country into therapy? If you don't think you've got a problem, the experts will surely come up with a category you can fit into. Additions, more often than not, are nothing more than behavior flaws. Fat people who eat too damn much blame it on their genes. The same goes for fools who keep betting against the odds when there's no way of ever breaking even. What do you do with a kid who blows twenty dollars at a carnival only to come home with a lousy cupie doll? Off to a therapist before it's too late! The experts contend that a scion from a family of drunks possess a pernicious gene that makes him a boozer even before he takes that forbidden first drink. Does that mean the poor bastard's life will end up at the bottom of a bottle unless he gets professional help? Balderdash! It all depends on a person's will. That was me trying to be philosophical, but it would never pass muster with an intellectual like Dr. Bloom. My rationale for using drugs was pragmatic. It wasn't to get high for fun, but to get ahead for the sake of fame and immortality. I’d never use drugs just for fun. I’d only use them to sharpen my senses, to make me play better. If drugs could make you a better athlete, why not a better musician? I was willing to do anything it took in order to get the edge on the competition. Consumed by that inexorable will to excel at almost any cost, I decided that it was a calculated risk worth taking. LAK, Chapter 21

–----------------------------

     Phil may have been my best friend, but I always had to keep my guard up with him. He was not only thrifty, but calculating. He drove a car with a stick shift not only because it was cheaper, but because Robbie couldn’t drive anything but an automatic, and this dissuaded her from borrowing his car. He also did all of his car repairs himself and never paid full price for anything. Even when he went shopping at the local market, he’d Jew the merchant down to a ridiculously low price. Phil took great pride in his chiseling ability. We’d go to swap meets together and right before walking over to the vendor to make a deal, he’d whisper in my ear, “Hey, Nat, see that sucker over there? Watch me Jew ‘em down.” LAK, Chapter 22

–----------------------------

     “Look, Nat, don’t start glorifying those goddamn Catholics! They set up ratlines so that the Nazis could escape after the war. Forget about Bruckner. Let's get back to Wagner. Give me one good reason why Wagner’s music, or the music of any other Nazi, should be glorified?”

 

     “That’s just it, Phil – it’s the music and NOT the propaganda of the composer that’s glorified, and I'm not sure that glorified is even the proper word. Let me tell you something. Jascha Heifetz–himself a Jew, just like you are–got injured in an attack outside his hotel in Jerusalem. Why? Because he wanted to play the Strauss Sonata at a concert. I could understand a Jew getting pissed off at another Jew for singing the Horst Wessel Song, but the great Strauss Sonata? Come on! You know something, Phil, because of that terrorist, Heifetz didn’t return to Israel for 20 years, but he never stopped playing the sonata. Whenever you play those scratchy LPs you get at the library and I complain about them, you tell me I don't pay any attention to the scratches. I only hear the music. Well, whenever Heifetz played Strauss, he heard the music, not the politics.”

–----------------------------

     By the end of the week, Phil told me about some teenage punks who would go on beer runs while he was running the store. Whenever he went after them, they’d start yelling “Hey, old man. Hey, old man. Thanks for the beer. We’ll be back…” Then they would run down the back alley carrying twelve-packs of beer and disappear from sight. These punks completely underestimated Phil, who had prepared himself for their next beer run. In fact, I underestimated him as well, but not as badly. LAK, Chapter 23

–----------------------------

     Miss Gonzalez was there that evening, and she looked like a billion pesos. She was about 5’6” with a figure that may have been 36-26-36. She was wearing a dark flannel mini-skirt with a low-cut blouse. She also wore black leather boots and a red, silk foulard around her elegant neck. Her face was what one would imagine Cleopatra looked like, with large eyes that were dark and piercing, a well-sculptured nose and full, red lips. Without hesitating, she walked right up and shook my hand gently. LAK, Chapter 24

-----------------------------

     The new student, an Italian girl, arrived right on schedule and had already made an impression on practically the entire school. Everything about this girl was alluring. Even her name, Veronica Vacelli, was an attention-getter. Wow! What a sexy name. When I first looked at her, I could have sworn on Mahler’s grave that I had seen her somewhere before, but where? At first, she reminded me of Mary Pickford, who was famous for playing the role of spitfires and ingenues. Then, it dawned on me that she was closer to being the It Girl, Clara Bow; a contemporary flapper. LAK, Chapter 28

–----------------------------

     In all candor, it was becoming harder and harder for me to control myself around Veronica. Like any other healthy, heterosexual male, I was ready to pounce on her bones like a man under the spell of a forest god, but I knew the consequences for doing so: after accomplishing perhaps the greatest orgasm in the history of mankind, I’d be thrown in prison for about ten years. As a felon, my life would be ruined completely. With that in the forefront of my mind, I decided to tell Veronica that I couldn’t continue being her mentor and coach. LAK, Chapter 31

–----------------------------

     After that, she smiled and walked out of my little office and across the stage to the back door. The way she walked reminded me of the famous scene in Some Like It Hot! where Marilyn Monroe walks away from Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, their eyes bugging out while seeing poetry in motion. LAK, Chapter 32

–----------------------------

     I ended up having to drive back home to steal the money out of my own safe, for everything with Dennis was COD and all sales were final. My biggest fear was getting busted with five grams of coke on me. I knew that if I got caught, my life would be over. The newspapers absolutely love going after people whose job is part of the public trust. I could only imagine the headlines: L.A. TEACHER BUSTED ON DRUG CHARGES! I never was one for playing it safe. LAK, Chapter 33

–----------------------------

     Sunday night, prior to going to bed, I sat at my little desk and wrote for nearly an hour in my diary. Some indefinable, entelechial force brewed within me, and I seemed to be even more compelled by Mahler’s music, as it was now getting to become an obsession with me. His funeral marches and Kindertotenlieder fueled my spirits and enabled me to comprehend music in a completely new dimension. Throughout my life I had been in search of myself – my exact place in life, my own sense of being – and on this particular night I knew I had made progress as a musician. I had done well in shaking the drug monkey off my back, at least for the time being. Keeping it off my back forever was a different matter, because temptation, like inclement weather, always has a way of returning to you. LAK, Chapter 34

-----------------------------

     Phil was a survivor and taught me to be the same way. I used to hate clutter and would throw out practically anything I wasn’t using or didn’t think I’d ever use again, but my attitude about junk changed when Phil moved in with me. “Before you ever piss in the water, be sure that you’re never-ever going to want to drink it ever again.” That was one of his favorite sayings. So with that in mind, I stuffed Veronica’s photos into a little velvet bag and put them in my violin case. LAK, Chapter 34

–----------------------------

     When I pulled into the school’s parking lot, W.T., Pison and the rest of that loathsome clique were standing next to the gate chatting to one another. I suspected they were up to something because they weren’t laughing and joking around. I wondered if I was just being paranoid, but my concerns were justified. No sooner than they saw me coming, they scattered like cockroaches once the light is turned on. I didn’t know what they were up to, but I was determined not to let it bother me. Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday of the year and I wasn’t going to let that group of bastards get to me. LAK, Chapter 35

–----------------------------

     I was in a sort of whimsical-yet-philosophical mood that evening. My ego was a bit jaded and depressed after spending a miserable Thanksgiving with three “nutty Jews”, and nutty was certainly the right word to describe them. I guess I could have called them jokers, but being called a nutty Jew was an insult that Phil could accept even if he didn't like being called nutty. He was quite proud of being a Jew. Being called a joker was something he might have punched me in the nose for. LAK, Chapter 36 

–----------------------------

     The difference between playing piano rag and Mahler is like night and day, only in reverse.... The rest of the weekend seemed like some oxymoronic cliché, empty and without purpose... Phil always ate healthy and used to tell me that the body is like a tape recorder – what you do to it always gets recorded and played back to you at a later date. GIGO is what he called it. One of his waste management slogans. GIGO was an acronym for garbage in, garbage out. It’s as simple as that. LAK, Chapter 38

–----------------------------

     The district’s administrators shared a consanguinity a lot like Freemasony. Mary Lou always called them The Good Ol’ Boys, as though they all belonged to a club. They were a bruderschaft consisting of insiders and outsiders. Insiders remained in a clique until the day they retired. They were the ones who either knew a powerful board member or had other political ties, such as being in cahoots with a member of the city council. You could tell who the insiders were by how they looked and acted. Weather permitting, they were the ones you saw walking around the various school campuses wearing the uniform of the bourgeoisie with brightly polished shoes. Their faces always looked concerned and dignified. You rarely, if ever, saw them walking about during a rain storm or in the midst of a heat wave. Their primary duty was to decide what was right for everybody else. They were the drivers of the team. Outsiders, on the other hand, were administrators who were saddled with the grunt work, such as having to write up grant proposals so that the insiders could decide how the money should be spent. Outsiders were the part of the team that pulled the wagon. Insiders were the ones holding the reins and the whip. LAK, Chapter 40

-----------------------------

     I was now waiting for her to ask what is usually asked of me – if I would play the violin at his funeral. I really didn’t want to play at his funeral and was afraid she'd take umbrage if I told her no. I never did like this bitter old man, so why would I want to perform in his honor? He was a sonofabitch if there ever was one. If he were a white man, hardly anyone would show up at his funeral, if he even had one. But Roberto was a Mexican, and Mexicans love parties and celebrations. They especially love celebrating death. All cultures celebrate death to some degree, but some go all out. The Mexican El Día de los Muertos is a good example of that. It's like having three full days of Halloween! Teri once told me that when she was a little girl, her grandfather had died and she was expected to kiss him as he lay in the casket. What a morbid demand to place on a child. That reminded me of a picture I saw of Solzhenitsyn kissing the dissident poet and writer, Alexandr Tvardovsky, on the forehead as he lay in an open casket at his funeral in Moscow. Such macabre traditions border on the grotesque, and I find them hard to get used to. I want to be kissed before I die, not after I'm dead, and I don't want any funeral or memorial services. A simple cremation will do, and I don't care what's done with the ashes. LAK, Chapter 42

–----------------------------

     Philosophers devote their whole lives trying to discover the true meaning of life. We are born to live and suffer, then, we die. But life must have a purpose, including mine. Otherwise, why would Dennis have been there to pull me out of the water just in the nick of time? Yet that devil of temptation continues to remain on my shoulders. My savior turned out to be a lowlife; a drug dealer doing much harm to society just by being alive. However, had he not been alive, I would have surely died. What a great loss to humanity that would have been! How insignificant a single life, even Beethoven’s or Mahler’s, is in the entire spectrum of things. There must be at least a zillion other planets just like Earth out there, somewhere in space and time, so why would my life be any more special than another? Because I have a soul? Because I’m unique? Because I’m one of God’s children? To which God are you referring? There are Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and a thousand others, not to mention devil worshipers. They can’t all be right. LAK, Chapter 45

-----------------------------

     I used to consider the music of minimalist John Cage primarily to be a lot of noise, but the moment I heard the clicking of the handcuffs being tightened around my wrists, Cage’s music suddenly made sense to me. Absent from my mind were the melodies and motifs of traditional music. My heart was pounding violently and nothing seemed to make any sense whatsoever. Everything was like a bad acid trip; a collage of terror. I could hear Cage’s Bacchanale playing in my head while seeing bugged-out eyes from distorted faces beaming at me from all directions. Some of the faces I saw looked sullen and very serious. Some of them held a hand over their mouth. Others just shook their head. The one thing that everyone seemed to have in common was a feeling of amazement and disbelief. LAK, Chapter 48

-----------------------------

     The police car finally came to a halt in the receiving area, which was below ground level and out of view from the public. I was taken from the back of the police car to a windowless concrete building that was cold, dank, austere and gloomy. The color of the building, inside and out, was battleship gray, which was Glenn Gould’s favorite color and used to be mine. It’s funny how going to jail changes your perspective about everything, even your favorite colors. I kept asking questions along the way, but everybody simply ignored me like you do a barking dog. I could have said anything. I could have even threatened to kill the president. They didn’t care. LAK, Chapter 49

-----------------------------

     This entire episode could be epitomized by the 1970s bumper sticker, SHIT HAPPENS! What a calamity. Only I didn’t see much humor in it at the time. Instead of sending in one of those gallant cleanup crews to deal with the sewage that flooded my jail cell, the guards sent in three black trustees with squeegees, rag mops and yellow mop buckets. They were the same kind of buckets that janitors use at school. After cleaning up the outside, one of them handed me a mop to clean up my own cell. LAK, Chapter 50

-----------------------------

     I may have been lucky to have Fazio as my lawyer, but what I needed most of all was the will to take the initiative myself and persevere. I needed to make damn sure that Mr. Fazio didn’t take me for granted. There used to be a grocery store chain called Fazio’s and the slogan was Mr. Fazio refuses to be undersold! Unfortunately, Mr. Fazio went out of business. He was undersold and now hardly anyone even remembers his name. This Fazio came to me in a wheelchair. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a bad omen. LAK, Chapter 51

–----------------------------

     Phil used to often tell me, “Nat, you’ve got to start thinking like a Boy Scout. Always be prepared.” That’s why he carried a purse with him everywhere he went. He carried that purse like Felix the Cat carried his bag of tricks with legerdemain to boot. Chapter 61

-----------------------------

     I went home that night feeling good, but not quite on top of the world. Amazingly, the music of Gustav Mahler didn’t enter my head until later, when I got into bed. Then it wasn’t the lugubrious adagios and funeral marches, but the bucolic theme in the fourth movement of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony that kept playing in my head. I was finally able to see the sun rising on the horizon instead of a vision out of the Hobbesian state of nature. Perhaps I was finally due for one of those biorhythmic upward trends you read about in the tabloids. LAK, Chapter 63

-----------------------------

     The threat of being sent back to jail, or going to prison, was always on my mind. The L.A. County Jail is like Disneyland, but in a barbarous and nefarious way. The entire time you’re there, you’re in disbelief. It’s the devil’s own version of Fantasyland. I had already decided that if worse came to worst, I would bail out rather than to go to jail again. I even had a plan. LAK, Chapter 64

–---------------------------

     He felt the economy of marriage wasn’t in a man’s best interest. Marrying, to him, meant exchanging rights for duties and, of course, he wanted no part of it. Thus, he chose to become an anchorite and lived with his dogs instead of taking his chances on connubiality. His attitude always reminded me of some old chawbacon saying, The more people I meet, the more I like my dogs. LAK, Chapter 79

–---------------------------

     While she slept, I boxed up nearly everything that was left to pack. There wasn't very much. I wasn't able to cook anything for breakfast and had to listen to music on my portable boom box. I had a few tapes in a cassette case and decided to put on Bruckner’s seventh symphony with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. I needed something powerful to take my mind off Rainbow, and I was very particular about what to listen to. The tape began with the 2nd movement. This symphony always reminded me of some of the Wagner operas, because of the sharp contrasts between the bombastic and the ethereal. Bruckner's music is Herculean, grandiose, spacious, and monumental – just the right tonic to help take my mind off the threat. Instead of doing what Phil would have done—he probably would have gone straight to the police—my mind went on one of its typical musical tangents. I began thinking about Karajan instead of Veronica; that is, Rainbow. I always liked Karajan's version of Bruckner and Mahler. To say precisely why I felt that way is hard to explain. Karajan is often criticized for sounding too homogenized, whatever that’s supposed to mean. For the 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, I heard that director Stanley Kubrick decided to go with Karajan’s version of Also sprach Zarathustra as well as Strauss’ Beautiful Blue Danube, because Karajan's style manifests a tone that's reminiscent of the vastness of outer space. I think that is why I’ve always enjoyed his interpretations of the great German composers. At any rate, the Bruckner made me feel a little more at ease, a little more confident. LAK, Chapter 80

----------------------------