Opera Australia’s Gleefully Controversial Chief

Lyndon Terracini

Since becoming the national company’s artistic director in 2009, Lyndon Terracini “has honed his talent for generating headlines, Twitter storms and Facebook furores. He has made contentious declarations about everything from obese opera singers doing love scenes (‘It’s obscene’); to ‘the sense of patrician entitlement’ of some opera insiders; to the ‘prehistoric’ union quota that limits the number of overseas singers who can perform with OA.”

Shirley Temple As Dancer

Shirley Temple dancing

Joan Acocella: “Since Shirley Temple died, a month ago, I’ve read tributes to her adorableness and her courage and her success. … But I haven’t seen much about Temple as a dancer. She was a pretty good one, and a pioneer.”

Why People Are Gullible And Fall For Fake News Stories

Why people are gullible

“Most of us – though unfortunately not all of us – are now aware that Onion articles aren’t real, but the proliferation of online parody and fake news has created an environment where many people are simply accepting fake news as fact. … So why do people believe this crap?” One new study suggests an explanation.

Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.18.14

The Death of Music Journalism, and SXSW
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-03-18

Futurisms: Can Italian Futurism Be Saved?
AJBlog: Artopia | Published 2014-03-18

The New Stolen-Art Tracker Opens Its Doors
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-03-18

Taylor’s Treasure Trove
AJBlog: Dancebeat | Published 2014-03-18

Supportin’ Skorton: Cornell’s Sad Loss is Smithsonian’s Big Gain (with video)
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-03-18



Here’s What’s Really Wrong At The Metropolitan Opera


“In a single season, the company requires more in donations towards annual operating expenses than the New York Philharmonic, BAM, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The New York City Ballet, and Lincoln Center Theater combined! Or, to put it another other way, the Met’s fundraising obligation of $161 million is more money than the National Endowment for the Arts disperses in a single year.”

Website Aims To Become “I-Tunes Of Art”

vogue henry clarke

“The online store has licences to sell prints of more than 60,000 images by 1,500 artists including Andy Warhol and Picasso as well as an eclectic array of images including vintage Vogue shoots, classic Hammer film posters and Penguin bookcovers.”

Sydney Biennale In Disarray


“The month-long exhibition of contemporary art, set to open on Friday, has been marred by a controversy that led to the dumping of a major sponsor, Transfield, and the resignation of the chairman of the Biennale board.”

America’s TV Networks Are Busy Reinventing How They Do Business


“People are consuming content much differently, and that requires the networks to think about how they’re getting audiences to these shows. When you see the leading broadcaster in the business, CBS, doing things outside of their normal wheelhouse, you know that all rules are up for grabs right now.”

Martin Amis: Money Has Defeated England’s Class Structure


“Money has won. It had always won in America but now it’s won in England too. So if you put your son’s name down for Eton it’s because you can afford to do that, it’s not because it’s any class-granted right. I have no nostalgia for the class society but I have no very great enthusiasm about the money society.”

Are Readers Of E-Book Better Than Those Who Read Paper?


“According to the survey, 48 percent of UK adults who use e-readers say the technology gets them to read more. In addition to that, 41 percent of respondents reported that being able to look up words they don’t know makes reading easier, and over half say that being able to change the size and appearance of text helps as well.”

America’s Creepy, Surveillance-Endorsing Love of ‘NCIS’


Gregg Easterbrook: “The shows depict a world in which terrorists planning mass slaughter are under every bed, in which viewers root for the good-looking, wisecracking agents to smash down doors without warrants; in which super-advanced electronic surveillance is used exclusively to protect the public. In the NCIS version of reality, we’ll all die unless powerful government agencies treat the United States Constitution like a big joke.

The Limits of Brain-Fitness Programs

brain fitness

“It seems that playing computer games designed to work your powers of perception, memory and attention can lead to significant and lasting improvement in one’s ability to play those very games. But the benefits don’t transfer. You may perform the relevant tasks like a 20-year-old, but you’ll still have the mind of a 60-year-old.”

Dancing About Cardiology? Yup.

dancing about cardiology

Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects’ 4Chambers “is a kind of hybrid of a dance piece and a science project, with videos about the heart – including the choreographer Ismael Houston-Jones describing his own heart attack” – and a sequence depicting cardiac arrest and CPR (which can be quite a violent process). (audio)

Teju Cole Tweets a 4,000-Word Essay

Teju Cole

“On March 13, author Teju Cole published ‘A Piece Of The Wall’ entirely on Twitter, a first-of-its-kind essay on Arizona and immigration comprised of approximately 250 tweets that were tweeted out over the span of seven hours.” In a Q-&-A, Cole explains what he was up to and how he pulled it off.

America’s First Professional Songwriter, Stephen Foster (We’re Still Under His Shadow)

Stephen Foster

“Historians now credit him with having pretty much invented the American pop song in its purest form: the bastard stepchild of the parlor song and the minstrel song, of the European and African strains of American music.” (And that child is very much a bastard – ever heard the second verse of “Oh, Susannah”? Yikes.)

The Archdiocese of New York Gets Into Downtown Theater

Archdiocese of New York logo

This spring in Manhattan’s Noho neighborhood, the Catholic archdiocese will open a two-theater, four-studio complex named after Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Says the Sheen Center’s director, “We had been thinking that we wanted a place to showcase Christian humanism – the true, the good and the beautiful.”