Did West Point Make James Whistler the (Ornery) Man He Was?


“If anything betrays Whistler’s military background, it is his conception of the artist’s life as a series of frequent engagements with the enemy – hostile critics, backward-looking institutions, uncomprehending patrons, philistines in general. … Was Whistler just as belligerent toward his art as he was with the wider world into which he sent it? You might think so, judging from reports of how he went about making it.”

A Plan To Find, Recover 20th Century Music Lost Through Repression/Supression


Since the Nazis’ concept of “degenerate music” was driven mainly by racial ideology, the works they suppressed cover a wide range of styles, from atonal modernism to idioms influenced by cabaret and jazz. The Soviet notion of “socialist realism” was sufficiently elastic that almost anyone who didn’t pass muster politically could be targeted as an anti-Soviet composer.

Candy Crush: Addictive Game, Incredible Business, Horrible Investment

Candy Crush

Derek Thompson: “Last year the company took in $1.88 billion with $568 million in profits – half $1 billion in profits! To put this in perspective, a mobile gaming company specializing in colored sugar baubles made more than a quarter of Amazon’s lifetime earnings in a year.” But can that possibly last?

This Company Wants to Print All of Wikipedia As 1,000 Dead-Tree Books

Wikipedia Books Project

The company PrintPedia, whose product is an app to print Wikipedia content on demand, is trying to raise $50,000 on Indiegogo to produce the complete English-language Wikipedia as a 1,193,014-page, 1,000-volume set of books. Isn’t that completely beside the point? Depends on what exactly the point is.

Lisa Gasteen, Back From the Vocal Dead

Lisa Gasteen

Late in the ’00s, the Australian dramatic soprano was going through a vocal crisis so severe that she expected never to sing in public again. Now she’s back at work, thanks to determination, physical therapy and Botox. (She’s lost quite a bit of weight and founded a vocal academy to boot.)

Bedtime Stories by the Dear Leader

bedtime with Dear Leader

“North Korea’s leaders are often thought of as ruthless, secretive autocrats but rarely as popular children’s authors. However, between issuing instructions about prison camps and the development of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un’s father and grandfather apparently found time to write stories for the young.”

At What Point Does Watching a Series Tip Into Binge-Watching?

binge watching

It’s a good question to ask as viewers devour the new season of House of Cards. “Despite its increased prominence, though, there’s never really been a good, single working definition of what binge-watching actually is.” So The Atlantic tries to settle the matter (or at least clarify it).

BBC TV to Air Major Series of Ballet Specials in March


The programming, on BBC2 and BBC4, includes Darcey Bussell honoring her ballet heroines, a documentary on how World War II helped create modern British ballet, a behind-the-scenes visit with Tamara Rojo preparing the lead role in Swan Lake, and rare footage of Margot Fonteyn.

Israel Vs. Palestine, The Drag Show

Ballad of the Burning Star, Nir Paldi far right

“Certain art forms lend themselves to the Israel-Palestine conflict: epic, despondent, near-silent cinema, say, or interminable sagas about intransigent politics. But a camp, twinkle-eyed cabaret fronted by a man in gold lamé evening dress?”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 02.19.14

The Past and Future of Jazz, and “Writing From California”
Source: CultureCrash | Published on 2014-02-19

The components of risk
Source: The Artful Manager | Published on 2014-02-19

The “Pandering” Straw Man
Source: Engaging Matters | Published on 2014-02-19

Shouldn’t the swan be breathing?
Source: Performance Monkey | Published on 2014-02-19

More on Joseph Lewis Antiquities Case: Dealer Got More Than Wrist-Slap
Source: CultureGrrl | Published on 2014-02-19


What The….? Our Rich History Of Swear Words


“Our favourite four-letter words have a fascinating history. Rather than being written in manuscripts by monks, we find them used by normal people and preserved in surprising places like place names, personal names, and animal names and they reveal more about our medieval past than just attitudes towards sex and body parts.”

Hard Choices In Makeover Of DC’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library


“The building on Ninth and G streets NW was never perfect, and it’s long been overdue for renovation. But the choice of Mecanoo suggests there may be complicated and painful process ahead, as concerns about historic preservation clash with the library’s urgent desire for a more functional, welcoming and contemporary building.”

Santa Barbara Classical Music Station Is Sold


“KCRW is acquiring KDB, a longtime Santa Barbara classical music station at 93.7 FM. The bottom line appears to be that KCRW gets a stronger signal along the Santa Barbara coast, using 88.7 FM, while classical music will continue at 93.7 in a partnership between KDB and KUSC.”

Author Mavis Gallant, 91

Mavis Gallant CBC

“Considered one of Canada’s finest writers of short fiction, Gallant is known for collections such as Montreal Stories, Going Ashore and 1981’s Home Truths, which earned her a Governor General’s Literary Award.”

Iain Banks’s Final Book To Come Out in 2015

Iain Banks

“Banks died last June, two months after revealing he had terminal cancer. He would have been 60 on 16 February, and his publisher Little, Brown said it would mark the date next year by publishing a collection of poems by Banks and his friend and fellow science fiction author Ken MacLeod, who will edit it.”

Unseen Derek Jarman Footage Surfaces

Jarman Combo

“Almost exactly 20 years after his death, a previously unseen film by Derek Jarman has come to light, shot inside a gay nightclub in east London, and will be premiered next month” with the title Will You Dance With Me?