Well, you probably know why. “With its descriptions of human social life subsumed by technology and images, it is often cited as a prophecy of the dangers of the internet age now upon us. And perhaps more than any other 20th-century philosophical work, it captures the profoundly odd moment we are now living through, under the presidential reign of Donald Trump.”
New York Times Published: 02.20.17
“The world’s most improbable video game plunges you into a virtual Walden Woods, where you can ‘live deliberately,’ as Thoreau famously put it, replacing drudgery in the pursuit of material comfort with a quest for spiritual fulfillment in harmony with nature. ‘It’s an attempt to make a game that has a kind of stillness at its core,’ says its lead developer, Tracy Fullerton.” But is that what players use it for?
Smithsonian Magazine Published: 03.17
“The genre-busting, glitter-dusting performance artist … and his musical director, Matt Ray, have been named winners of the 2017 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, for their 24-hour work, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”
New York Times Published: 02.22.17
After six years of restoration work, the panel painting, Leonardo’s largest of its type, will be back at the Uffizi at the end of March.
The Art Newspaper Published: 02.22.17
“African architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has been selected to design this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, which is set to feature a roof that mimics a tree canopy and a central waterfall.”
Dezeen Published: 02.21.17
New York magazine’s Boris Kachka investigates – and while there’s no definitive answer yet, the situation ain’t pretty.
Vulture Published: 02.22.17
Sarah Kaufman writes about “a new video ad pokes fun at the city’s colorless rep and shows the limbering-up effects of a little retail therapy.”
Washington Post Published: 02.22.17
The message at issue: “NO! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America.”
New York Times Published: 02.22.17
During the 1960s, his job was to churn out B-movies for the Nikkatsu studio; he livened them up with elaborate, sometimes surreal pop-art scenery and costumes (with performances to match). What’s now his most famous movie initially got him fired from the studio.
The Guardian Published: 02.22.17
It’s been a tough few years for the flagship of Philly’s nonprofit theaters: PTC nearly collapsed in 2014 and its new-ish home was foreclosed on the following year. Fortunately, the new producing artistic director, Paige Price, has already turned around Theatre Aspen, where she was performing as an actor in 2007 when suddenly found herself the boss. As David Patrick Stearns reports, “her Philadelphia appointment … means giving up spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery but having a near year-round, locally-based audience and a theater with running water.”
Philadelphia Inquirer Published: 02.22.17
The already-notorious Milo Yiannopoulos lost his book contract and biggest speaking gig this week after video surfaced of him arguing in favor of sex between men and 13-year-old boys. Now Salon has taken down a controversial article in which a man who has an attraction to children explains how he keeps himself from acting on it. Jesse Singal makes a case that Salon‘s decision was wrongheaded.
Science of Us Published: 02.22.17
Rivka Galchen writes about how she, like many, misunderstood Don Quixote when she first read it. Benjamin Moser argues that the answer to the question has to be the Bible. (Too easy?)
New York Times Book Review Published: 02.17.17
“PSSST, which opened on East 3rd Street last year, came under fire from some residents and activists concerned about a new wave of galleries moving into the largely Latino Boyle Heights neighborhood. Boyle Heights has become a battleground over gentrification, although it hasn’t seen anything remotely like the changes that neighborhoods, including Silver Lake and Highland Park, have experienced. Still, many residents have long sensed it’s a neighborhood on the brink of major change.”
Los Angeles Times Published: 02.22.17
“The idea that intelligence could be quantified, like blood pressure or shoe size, was barely a century old when I took the test that would decide my place in the world. But the notion that intelligence could determine one’s station in life was already much older. It runs like a red thread through Western thought, from the philosophy of Plato to the policies of UK prime minister Theresa May. To say that someone is or is not intelligent has never been merely a comment on their mental faculties. It is always also a judgment on what they are permitted to do. Intelligence, in other words, is political.”
Aeon Published: 02.21.17
“For much of the world, the Golden Age brought extraordinary prosperity. But it also brought unrealistic expectations about what governments can do to assure full employment, steady economic growth and rising living standards. These expectations still shape political life today.”
Aeon Published: 02.22.17
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The board is considering a move to require 19 WLRN reporters and editors, now employed by an independent nonprofit, to reapply for their jobs; only this time, those jobs would be under the direct control and supervision of the school district itself.
Radio Television Digital News Association Published:02.21.17
“The daunting auditions of Soviet legend—teachers scrutinizing preadolescents for the slightest physical imperfection—found an ideological parallel in the required inspections by censorship boards at the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky–Kirov theaters.”
Paris Review Published:02.13.17
Many members of the audience may not notice that some of the more fantastic effects in the score are its main themes contorted beyond recognition. But the filmmakers do wink at the audience when they include a more traditional kind of chopped and screwed track: the slowed-down mix of Jidenna’s “Classic Man” that plays in the background in this scene.
The New York Times Published:02.21.17
“Over the past century, Rorschach would have seen his inkblots morph from an obscure therapeutic instrument into a nearly universal cultural meme, at once a familiar touchstone for art, music, film, and fashion, and a controversial test for assessing job applicants and prosecuting criminal defendants. Perhaps he would have wondered why his inkblots, once reserved for the assessment of patients with serious mental illnesses, should have emerged as the preeminent metaphor for the relativity of all acts of perception and the flexibility of all personalities.”
The New Republic Published:02.21.17
The band directors at Spring Lake, outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, have pledged to include at least one piece by a female composer and one by a composer of color in each concert, for each of the school’s bands. “We made a commitment this year to only buy music from composers of color,” says Brian Lukkasson, one of the directors. He says it’s been hard, but not because those composers aren’t writing for band. They are.
“When the Academy expanded the best picture category to more than five nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010, it also made a fascinating tweak to how the votes are counted. It used to be a first-past-the-post system, where all you needed was more votes than everyone else to win. This meant that movies used to be able to win without majority appeal, as all you needed to do was persuade a dedicated minority to pick your movie. But now, instead of picking their choice for best picture, voters rank them. Then they’re counted with instant runoff voting,1 and the impact this has is it’ll award films with broad majority appeal over ones that have strong plurality appeal.”
Following in the footsteps of unlikely writer-in-residence stunts at places like the Ace Hotel, London’s Heathrow Airport, and aboard Amtrak, the Mall of America will give one writer the chance to spend a short residency “deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words” in celebration of the mall’s 25th birthday this year.
“No other piece of stage business has burned itself so deeply into the collective consciousness. All the greats have been there, from Richard Burbage to Thomas Betterton, Sarah Bernhardt to Laurence Olivier. Even Bart Simpson has got in on the act. Given all this, it’s worth reflecting on the fact that, for Hamlet‘s earliest audiences, seeing real human remains on stage would have been a shock.”
The Guardian Published:02.16.17
“What the California Symphony discovered, in short, was that “almost every single piece of negative feedback was about something other than the performance.” Another important discovery was that it’s single-ticket buyers, not veteran subscribers, who are most likely to use the orchestra’s website.”
The Wall Street Journal Published:02.21.17
Simon L. Garfinkel: Calling something interesting is the height of sloppy thinking. Interesting is not descriptive, not objective, and not even meaningful. … Interesting is a kind of linguistic connective tissue. When introducing an idea, it’s easier to say ‘interesting’ than to think of an introduction that’s simultaneously descriptive but not a spoiler. … In practice, interesting is a synonym for entertaining.”