Yesterday I flew American Airlines AA#135 from London Heathrow to Los Angeles on a 777-300ER aircraft. Since I was ticketed in an economy class aisle seat and my last minute SWU upgrade request (less than 24 hours) did not clear for Business Class, I did not plan to sleep on the 11 hour flight. The inflight entertainment system had an extensive selection of some 300 or so films and some 700 musical albums to keep me entertained.
There was a low budget Hungarian film called Son of Saul that kind of blew my mind about Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz at the end of World War II. The film won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. My interest in seeing the film without any prior knowledge of the film, except from the AA description that it was a film about Auschwitz was due to being in Krakow, Poland in July with the intention of going to Auschwitz at my wife’s request. Our visit did not happen due to the Pope being in town and Auschwitz was closed for the week to accommodate group tours associated with the Pope’s visit and the World Youth Day Catholic pilgrimage to Poland in July. My other interest in this film was having seen a memorial plaque on my trip to Slovakia in the city of Kosice, 15 miles from the border of Hungary. Slovakia and Hungary were Nazi allies until late in the war when they tried to extricate themselves from the political alignment. Hungary attempted to negotiate a secret truce with the UK and US. In retaliation, Nazis rounded up over 400,000 Jews and shipped them to Auschwitz, Poland via Kosice between May and July 1944.
Memorial to Hungarian Jews, Kosice, Slovakia
Son of Saul is about the Jews in the work units involved with carrying out the gas chamber executions and clean up. Over 90% of the Hungarian Jews sent to Poland over three months in 1944 were executed.
After that intense film experience I needed to chill on music
There are around 700 albums to choose from in the 777-300ER IFE catalog, but who are the morons who created the organizing system for the music artist listings?
It took me a few pages to realize the ordering system for musical artists was by first name.
Want Tom Petty, then try T and not P. Want to find Ryan Adams? He is listed under R, not A.
That is a pretty stupid ordering system, but works once you know how the artists are listed. One big improvement over my gripe last year on AA flights is the screen showed the names of songs on each album too and the song title when the selection played.
But the alphabetic listing that drove me mad was when I found Jimi Hendrix not under J, and not under H.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? was listed in the T selections.
As well as, The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street listed with the T selections.
That is simply moronic.
I can’t believe some American Airlines executive or team did not red flag that aspect of their IFE system.
Do you go to a bookstore and look for War and Peace under the ‘L’ titles for Leo? Pride and Prejudice under ‘J’ for Jane?
Speaking of War & Peace
I started reading War & Peace this summer. I read it last when I was a teenager.
Great thing about an 11 hour flight is I was able to watch all 8 BBC episodes at 45 minutes each and finish the 6-hour series a few minutes before touchdown in LAX.
Now the large list of characters in the book will be easier to follow with visual faces to attribute to the cast.