The Time Warp Of Pompeii’s Dead


“Pompeii is not a fragment of lost time. It is lost time thrust into the present, wholesale. This is disconcerting, to say the least. There is no buffer in Pompeii, no visible signal of decay as there is in the normal ruin.”

Why The Priests In Movies Are Good


“Given the scale of the revelations of the occurrence and covering-up of sexual abuse by priests, you might assume that the same would be true of sincere and celibate Roman Catholic clergy. Yet, in these bad times for the Vatican, good priests are surprisingly in evidence on-screen.”

Humanists And The Meaning Of Stories


“Humanists have paid a heavy price for their shrinking act. We are more or less ignored now by both the general public and our colleagues in the natural sciences, whose disciplines, of course, make no sense at all outside of universal observations, and who often work from bold cosmic visions, wildly counterintuitive models (think ghostlike multiverses and teleporting particles), and evolutionary spans of time that make our “histories” look insignificant and boring by comparison.”

Ted Hughes Estate Cuts Off His Biographer

Ted Hughes

“The Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, who began working on a biography of the former poet laureate in 2010, said he was surprised that the estate has barred him from private archives, asked that he return photocopies of privately held documents, and withdrawn his right to quote extensively from the poet’s work.”

Intellectual Property and Jokes

Photo of a gun by Tanjala Gica/Thinkstock, photo illustration by

No, this isn’t about a sub-genre of lawyer jokes. Comedians and civilians alike steal each other’s laugh lines. “Does anyone actually own a joke, after all? What legal recourse, if any, does that owner have when some hack swipes his best material?”

A Guy Who Only Buys Art For Its IPO Value (Ugh)


Jerry Saltz: “There’s a saying in the poker world that, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, it’s you. Any gallerist or editor who thinks that Stefan Simchowitz puts art first — or is anything more than an opportunistic speculator — is handing him money.”

Hollywood Is Buying New Scripts On Spec Again


In the 1990s, as studios stockpiled scripts “they were buying so much material that they didn’t make that they began to think, why are we doing this?” By the mid-2000s, the spec market was in decline — with studios rolling the dice less often on screenplay purchases, relying instead on relatively safer projects.

Spike Lee Goes After A.O. Scott For Piece About Brooklyn

Spike Lee

“Since you are a New York Times Film Critic this should be very easy for you. According to your logic I should not have Written and Directed JUNGLE FEVER because I have never lived in HARLEM and BENSONHURST. I should not have Directed CLOCKERS because I have never lived in Boerum Hill and the Gowanus Projects. I should have not Written and Directed HE GOT GAME because I have never lived in CONEY ISLAND.”

Humans Have 20 Different Ways to Make Faces

20 ways to make faces

“For years, scientists studying facial expressions have focused their research on six primary emotions: happiness, surprise, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust.” But Ohio State University researchers “suspected that there’s more to the human condition than these six simplest states of being.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.31.14

Music funding announced for fellow-primates
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-03-31

Want to hear some achingly beautiful ringtones?
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-03-31

Definitions: Two Experts Opine On What Museums/Directors Should Do
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-03-31

‘Women conductors? It’s not getting any better, only worse’
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-03-31

Help, I’m Breaking Up!
AJBlog: Dancebeat | Published 2014-03-30


Music As Unique Object: Band Will Release Only One Copy Of Its New Album


The band is Wu-Tang Clan. “Like the work of a master Impressionist, it will truly be one-of-a-kind—in lieu of a traditional major label or independent launch, the iconic hip-hop collective will make and sell just one copy of the album. And similar to a Monet or a Degas, the price tag will be a multimillion-dollar figure.”

The Perplexing Events That Led To Shutting Down San Diego Opera


“The vote took some board members by surprise. In past meetings, plenty of discussions about fundraising troubles and shrinking audiences occurred, but no talk of an immediate shutdown. Just two weeks before the vote, Ian Campbell attended a regular board meeting to talk up the 50th anniversary season in 2015.”

Why Hire One Music Director When You Can Hire Two?


The Westchester Philharmonic: “While the leadership arrangement is unusual, its contours have become clearer in recent weeks as next season’s programming takes shape. Mr. Laredo and Mr. Sperling will each conduct two concerts — a fifth conducting slot will be filled by a guest — and both will have substantial sway over the choice of material and soloists.”