“As important as the technology is that powers our lives, businesses also depend on humanities-oriented communicators to articulate why the technology matters. Indeed, every technology company, and certainly every startup trying to make its imprint on the world, needs English majors. Perhaps many.”
“Text is only a very small part of the experience, unlike the stage adaptations of old, which were often merely an attempt to provide a substitute for the novel.”
“Context is everything.” (And we perform different selves in different contexts – but the internet collapses them into one.)
“Victims of state persecution, ambassadors for day-glo knitwear and wank fodder for beardy liberals the world over, the members of Pussy Riot have been filling both prison cells and column inches since 2012. In the process, they’ve also become one of the most famous bands on the planet. But let me ask you this – have you ever actually heard any of their music?”
A group of Korean curators was examining uncatalogued works in the vaults of the Honolulu Museum of Art when they identified two ink-on-silk paintings from the late 16th century, an era from which little Korean art survives.
“Chicago investment executive Mellody Hobson and her husband, Star Wars creator George Lucas, are donating $25 million to the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools to support the construction of an arts building.”
“[John] Bant and his co-producer Gavin Kalin are seeking to raise £200,000 for The Pajama Game‘s West End transfer – about 14% of its total capitalisation costs – through the online crowdfunding platform Seedrs, which allows people to invest as little as £10. They hit £40,000 within 24 hours.”
“Ballet is grace and perfection, but it’s also twisted ankles and stinky flats. We meet two young male ballet dancers whose passion for performance led them all the way to the State Ballet School of Berlin.” (audio)
Today, almost everywhere has more mobile phone penetration than land-lines: The continent of Africa has dismal fixed-line penetration of 1.4 subscriptions per 100 people, but 63.5 cell subscriptions.
“You’re not country only or rap only; people like both. I think that’s been there for some time, but we recognize it now, so collaborations work well, and the reverse is they help grow the interests of artists and music as a crossover.”
“Snacks are a cash cow for theaters, providing some 85 percent in net profits. But no one really goes after the food Americans eat in movie theaters, which is mostly bits of corn syrup, food starch, malic acid, and artificial colors, encapsulated in a sugary ether.”
“A new kind of obesity is now looming with our information, data, and media diet. We have only scratched the surface, but there is already way too much of information available, and it is way too tasty, too cheap, and too rich.”
“Among those who responded to the online survey, Somali piracy thriller “Captain Phillips” was the most-watched film, at 15 percent. But 67 percent said they had yet to see any of the eleven films in the poll.”
“In the 1950s, the finalists and winners of National Book Awards were more than 80 percent male. But notice how that percentage has steadily fallen until we reach the current decade – then women pulled slightly ahead.”
Allan Kozinn: “The theater gods have at long last taken revenge on Andrew Lloyd Webber for the ubiquity of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Evita. His latest musical, Stephen Ward, which opened to mixed reviews in London in December, and has had mediocre ticket sales ever since, will close on March 29.”
Michael Billington observes that this particular topic lacks the one element at which Lloyd Webber is genuinely brilliant. (This was a job for Kander & Ebb.)
“The network of 236 sandstone caves extend over an area of two to three kilometres in the vast, sparsely-populated autonomous Xinjiang region of China, along the ancient Silk Road. The caves were inhabited by Buddhist monks and used as temples between the third and the eighth centuries, and are lined with murals providing a rich picture of early Buddhist culture.”
“The Turkish government plans to reconstruct a demolished madrasa (religious school) next to Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985. But the local branch of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) strongly protests these plans, calling the proposed construction a ‘new fake historic monument’ that would undermine the area’s significance.”
Louise Antony: “I say ‘there is no God’ with the same confidence I say ‘there are no ghosts’ or ‘there is no magic.’ The main issue is supernaturalism – I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law. That’s not to say that I think everything is within the scope of human knowledge.”
“Eva Wagner-Pasquier, 68, great grand-daughter of Richard Wagner, will retire as co-director of the Bayreuth Festival next year. She currently runs the festival in uneasy collaboration with her much younger half-sister, Katharina Wagner, 36.”
“The five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will make an unexpected return to Broadway this spring – in time to qualify for the 2014 Tonys – to play Billie Holiday in the musical play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.”
“Jenifer Ringer, who retired this month from New York City Ballet, has been appointed head of the Colburn Dance Academy. The Colburn School, where music, dance and drama are currently taught, is starting the new, more specialized program in the fall, in partnership with the L.A. Dance Project and its director, Benjamin Millepied.”
“Even as the museum hurtles toward ground-breaking later this year, what remains unresolved is exactly what it will be: an elevated backlot tour designed to celebrate Hollywood and pack in tourists, an important institution devoted to telling the real and not-always-laudatory history of film, or a potentially awkward hybrid?”
Dominic Antonucci, one of ballet’s biggest stars, “was attacked and robbed by a group as he took a walk in a park, just before the company was due to perform on stage.”
“Lord Lloyd-Webber is a pick-yourself-up-and-dust-yourself-down kind of guy. He is also getting used to these kinds of box-office rebuffs – his last triumph, as he himself pointed out, was 20 years ago with Sunset Boulevard.”
What once was a level playing field is now skewed by algorithms that favor the “haves” over the “have nots.” While it makes good business sense for Facebook, making artists, businesses and brands pay to “promote” content has taken some of the sheen off the Facebook experience.
“In the course of the Saturday protest, we were outraged to learn about the inadequate pay of the museum’s security guards. As part of their efforts to keep us and the priceless art on display safe, they are paid a mere ten dollars an hour by one of the wealthiest institutions in New York and indeed globally.”
In 2008 I sold a book-in-progress for $200,000 ($170,000 after commission, to be paid in four installments), which still seems to me like a lot of money. At the time, though, it seemed infinite. The resulting book—a “paperback original,” as they’re called—has sold around 8,000 copies, which is about a fifth of what it needed to sell not to be considered a flop. This essentially guarantees that no one will ever pay me that kind of money to write a book again.
The photographer got word of the Banksy removal via social media. He said that despite being busy with other projects, he grabbed his cameras and headed for what locals call the ‘Umbrella Girl.’ When he arrived, he said he saw that “guys had shown up and were chopping the Banksy out of the wall.”