“The diversity of offerings while catering to a diversity of tastes has also produced a splintering of experiences. I’m finding that even people who seem very much like me are watching different shows than I do. This leaves us little to talk about aside from work and politics.”
“From 2007 to 2014, women made up only 30.2% of all speaking or named characters in the 100 top-grossing films distributed in the US, according to research conducted by the University of Southern California for the Geena Davis Institute. A staggeringly low 1.9% of those films were directed by women.”
“The suit was filed Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It seeks a court order allowing PETA to administer all proceeds from the photos for the benefit of the monkey, which it identified as 6-year-old Naruto, and other crested macaques living in a reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.”
“‘The internet is forever’ has long been the refrain of neurotics who wring their hands over privacy. But, back in the earliest days of online interaction, we couldn’t conceptualise what forever meant for digital experiences. They seemed ephemeral, intimate. … But what we thought were whispers that disappeared into the wind were footprints left behind in soil. That soil was fossilising, preserving a partial archive, hidden until it is not.”
“On Monday France’s data-privacy agency ordered Google to delist certain links (that is, remove them from search results) everywhere it operates and in every service it offers” whenever anyone asks for them to be removed under French law. “It’s unlikely that even Louis XIV thought French regulatory authority should stretch so far.”
“A ballot was held earlier this year over whether or not employees should be recognised by BECTU, with 117 of those who took part in favour and 109 against … RAH chief executive Chris Cotton has now written to staff to inform them that the vote did not have ‘the support of the majority of the employees within the hall’.”
“The evidence about the importance of children’s early experiences is pouring out of scientific labs. … If those three years are so fundamental to shaping who we are, then shouldn’t they be filled with experiences which are beautiful, challenging, imaginative, soothing, musical, creative, exciting and calming? We reckon so. And that’s why we’ve been making shows for babies for the last four years.”
The people who can compete and succeed in this culture are an ever-narrower slice of American society: largely young people who are healthy, and wealthy enough not to have to care for family members. An individual company can of course favor these individuals, as health insurers once did, and then pass them off to other businesses when they become parents or need to tend to their own parents. But this model of winning at all costs reinforces a distinctive American pathology of not making room for caregiving. The result: We hemorrhage talent and hollow out our society.
“Unionized workers at the Roman amphitheatre held a 2½ meeting in the morning, keeping the gates locked until they had finished their discussions. They said the stoppage was within their rights, but confusion reigned outside the Colosseum.” In response, the Cabinet put cultural sites alongside hospitals and transit on the list of essential services in which work stoppages are restricted.
“In an open letter to Xi, published just before the Chinese president’s first US state visit this week, more than 40 authors have come together to express their ‘deepest concern about the deteriorating state of free expression in China.’ The letter highlights four cases of writers who are currently imprisoned in China.”
“Protesters are expected to gather outside Eli Broad’s new $140 million museum that houses his 2,000-piece contemporary art collection Sunday, to call on the billionaire to halt plans to back a charter school plan that could enroll half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.”
“With the oldest members of this cohort barely out of high school, these tweens and teens of today are primed to become the dominant youth influencers of tomorrow. Flush with billions in spending power, they promise untold riches to marketers who can find the master key to their psyche.”
“New research drawn from Audience Finder, based mainly on performing arts data, shows that the most highly engaged attenders, those who made six or more bookings per year, account for less than 12% of all bookers in the last three years. This select group is, however, responsible for making more than half (52%) of all the bookings made in the last three years. At the same time, 54% all those who have attended the arts in the last three years have only booked once. At 17.3% these one-time bookers are responsible for making less than a fifth of all bookings made during that time.”
“Officials announced Monday that the historic, 1878 landmark will completely shut down in June for what is now a $129 million construction project. Following an extensive and complex renovation, it will reopen in fall 2017.”
“Sociologist Aaron Reeves of the University of Oxford reports most forms of arts participation are strongly correlated not with class, but rather with education. To his surprise, he found that in a large sample of the English population, those with higher incomes were actually less likely to be active participants in the arts.”
Scott Timberg: “From the very beginning – perhaps since before the birth of Homo sapiens, in fact – we have craved the effects that art and music can have on us. Simultaneously, we have both worshipful and deeply suspicious feelings toward people who make art or who dwell in the realm of the aesthetic.”
“While some of the initiatives currently underway may benefit cultural tourism, most of the efforts seem to be based on an understanding of the intrinsic value of the arts in the life of any community and the sense of belonging that anchors people to a place.”
“Recently there’s been, in TV and film and certainly in books, an intense yearning for a specific five-year period in New York City, those years between the blackout in 1977, and 1982, when AIDS was finally named by the Centers for Disease Control. … Collectively, these works express a craving for the city that, while at its worst, was also more democratic: a place and a time in which, rich or poor, you were stuck together in the misery (and the freedom) of the place, where not even money could insulate you.”
The new leader of Britain’s Labour Party puts arts front and center: “Culture and the arts play an essential role on individual and community wellbeing. If we are to achieve our goal in government of supporting people in leading more enjoyable and fulfilling lives, funding for the arts must be central to that offer. “
“The world needs dancers and poets along with the future investment bankers and tech entrepreneurs streaming out of elite schools. The problem is that the dancers and poets are paying the same, ever-rising tuition, even though the necessary cost of running a good poetry program is probably not much more than it was in earlier times when college tuition was much less expensive than it is today.”
“There have been a third fewer applicants per job in performing arts compared with last year, a recruitment website has found. The drop comes despite the number of jobs being posted by arts organisations actually increasing in 2015.”
“Cooper Union would have been better governed by a stinking pile of rotting horseflesh. Horses, dead or alive, don’t happily sign away the very thing they are being charged with protecting.
“A 2010 survey by Hope Consulting found that only 16% of American donors give according to calculations of impact. For most, giving is guided by seemingly irrational ties to the communities in which they live. They give to organizations that are recommended by friends; that reflect their religious beliefs; that have had an impact on them or their loved ones; or that provide visible evidence of change within their local community. Yet according to the effective altruist philosophy, these reasons for giving are intellectually lazy and morally deficient, hopelessly constricted by a parochial viewpoint.”
“New Orleans’s latest working relationship with the Dutch began in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, Dutch ambassador Boudewijn van Eenennaam and senior economist to the Netherlands Dale Morris knocked on Senator Landrieu’s door to offer their services.”
“In 1965, Jeddah was home to Saudi Arabia’s first art show in modern times. Back then, the scene was more vibrant, with cinema, music and live theater. But in the late 1970s, a conservative religious establishment took control of the country’s social life and education and that vibrant scene was shut down. Today, every piece of art that’s shown publicly must first pass the government’s muster.”
For those dedicated to supporting culture, the scariest part of the effective altruist movement is that it seems to resonate strongly with the new generation of young, data-driven donors.
Robin Rinaldi: “As a protagonist, I was far from perfect. As a writer, I struggled as best I could to tell the raw truth about how these issues played out in my life. … But it’s the combination of social media and sexism that filters an entire range of potential feedback down to its surprisingly predictable essence, as I learned from tweets and Facebook messages directed at me after my book was published.”
“They encouraged and facilitated the community’s thoughtful, respectful commitment to their community in its relation to the news and the site, and this engagement of their audience helped to lure advertisers who might have gotten a cheaper and better CPM at some other news venue.”
Zipporah Gene: “Black Twitter is littered with countless examples of the uproar that ensues when White people appropriate Black culture. Words such as fancy dress, mockery and profiteering are thrown around quite freely, but no one seems to realize that this selfsame violation is committed against us Africans – all under the guise of tribal fashion and connecting to The Motherland.”
Alexander Sokurov: “We can blame [Putin] for many things, but in reality it’s because there’s huge support from the people. It’s just like a ring, a circle, and the question for Russian society is how to get out of this vicious circle. But we haven’t been able to get out of this circle since the time of the Romanovs. … There is a way out of a crisis of any kind, but from the moral crisis – you can spend centuries getting out of the moral crisis, and that’s our problem.”