Issues

Adulthood Is Not Dying In American Culture – It’s Just Starting To Bloom

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Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Walter White – “Each of these tragic exemplars of ‘adulthood’ is destroyed exactly because of his failure to behave like an adult. … In the main they are frauds who merely assume the trappings of ‘adulthood’ in order to participate in a society that would reject them if it knew the truth. … It’s not to do with having ‘killed off all the grown-ups’ as [A.O.] Scott has it: quite the contrary. It’s adulthood defined for the audience by its very absence on the screen.”

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Look, Here’s The Truth About Jobs For Critics In 2014

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Last week, Mark Shenton wrote in passing “There are plenty of budding actors, writers, directors and even critics (though no jobs for the latter), …” To which journalist Matt Trueman responded, “Mark, saying no jobs for young critics does a disservice to young critics making a living from their writing.” Well, disservice or no, here’s Shenton’s response.

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Another Worry About Scottish Independence: Talent Might Stampede South

scottish independence talent

“Scots who consider themselves to be artists living in the land of their birth are increasingly uneasy about the instrumentalism of all this, how the arts are fine as long as they earn, and as long as it’s seen as definitively Scottish. … That’s okay while when there’s still an enthusiastic cultural traffic between Scotland and the rest of the UK, but the Scot Nats want to end it on Thursday.”

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Budget Cuts For All Arts Orgs In Northern Ireland (Though They Could Be Worse)

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“Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, Grand Opera House and Ulster Orchestra are among the 31 arts organisations that will receive a cut of at least 2.3% this autumn from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the funding body has confirmed today. The ACNI said the decision” – the result of a mid-year budget cut from the provincial government – “would mainly impact on education and outreach programmes.”

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Will Americans Ever Grow Up?

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“It isn’t only that patriarchy in the strict, old-school Don Draper sense has fallen apart. It’s that it may never really have existed in the first place, at least in the way its avatars imagined. Which raises the question: Should we mourn the departed or dance on its grave?”

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The Kennedy Center Honors Go Pop

KenCen Honors

Alex Ross: “As in previous years, the [2014] selection demonstrates the degree to which the awards have diverged from their original mission – to pay tribute to luminaries of theatre, dance, classical music, and show business – and instead become one more temple of celebrity culture, magnifying the fame of already familiar faces. … The logic that has taken hold of the Honors is one of pop triumphalism: it’s not enough for pop culture to dominate the mainstream; it must colonize the spaces occupied by older genres and effectively drive them from the field.”

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Gay Culture Is Dying, Thank Goddess

gay culture is not dying

Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart (who says she’s “dancing on the grave of gay culture”): “As our culture evolves toward a more humane, accepting attitude toward gay people and their relationships, it makes sense to ask: Is there any place for a gay culture in this bright new future? … Should the wider LGBTQ community really be spending time, energy, and emotional bandwidth on pleas to preserve gay spaces?”

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Gay Culture Is Most Certainly Not Dying, Thank Goddess

gay culture is dying

June Thomas: “It’s perfectly possible, normal even, to treat queer culture like a drop-in center: read a gay novel now and then; go out on a jaunt with a lesbian bird-watching group occasionally; take in a drag show once every decade. Those things will continue to exist and thrive if enough people are interested in them. Otherwise, they’ll disappear, only to be memorialized in queer studies monographs; collected in lesbian herstory archives; and remembered with fondness by the folks who enjoyed them in their heyday.”

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If Fashion Has No Copyright, Who Owns It?

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“Consumers don’t lose a wink of sleep over purchasing derivative works — after all, it’s a bargain. But this landscape is quite different for small fashion houses and young designers, who struggle to brand themselves with distinctive designs before they are copied.”

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Making Theatre (And Other Forms Of Art) About #Ferguson

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“This tragedy will bring a wellspring of creativity in spoken word, dance, film, and stage. I hope to see more workshops of this kind come to St. Louis with more frequency. Workshops like this should be done on a regular basis to keep artists in touch with the community at large, our artistic counterparts, and colleagues.”

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Just Like Old Times: With Russia’s Political Opposition In Disarray, Kremlin Goes After Cultural Figures

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“Dissenting cultural figures have become the new focus of pro-Kremlin witch hunts, with state media treating them as a political force and accusing them of treachery. The practice has echoes of Soviet times, when cultural figures perceived as a threat to the regime … were subjected to vicious smear campaigns.”

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Where Will The Arts Be In 20 Years? Michael Kaiser Predicts …

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“We are at the beginning of a major change in the way people receive their arts, and I believe online will become the source and a major competitor to live arts. And it appears to me that we will see a bifurcation of arts organizations, with the large ones, who will make revenue based on selling performances online, and local organizations who service the community. I am very nervous about the midsize regional organization.”

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How Scottish Culture Shook Off The “Kilted Straitjacket”

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“A generation emerged in the 1970s that wondered why it was still, so late in the 20th Century, watching men in kilts dancing around swords … when none of us knew anyone who actually did this kind of thing … Scottish national identity began to wrap itself in the cause of social justice – in the idea of resistance to unaccountable wealth and power imposing its will from outside. … This Scotland was also irreverent, self-mocking, and hilariously funny.”

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Paris’s Nouveau Yiddish Culture

paris nouveau yiddish culture

“In France, which houses the biggest Jewish community in Europe, the Ashkenazi legacy has been sadly shrinking.” (What, the Sephardim are chopped liver?) “In the latter half of the 20th century, what French Jews call their imaginary Yiddishland has been reduced to a small patch. … However, there is reason for hope. In Paris, a new generation of entrepreneurs are launching initiatives to perpetuate the Yiddish way of life.”

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Ancient University In India Reopens After 800 Years

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“Around 800 years after it was razed by foreign invaders, Nalanda University reopened its doors on Monday in an attempt to reclaim its ancient glory of an international knowledge destination. The new university, set up on a sprawling 443-acre campus built near the ruins of the ancient seat of learning in Bihar, aims to rebuild the intellectual rigour of the old school initially with a school of environmental studies and a school of historical studies.”

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