Current U.S. Copyright Law Doesn’t Just Stifle Creativity, It’s Unconstitutional


“Ensuring that copyright was temporary was expressly written into the Constitution … While the Founders’ copyright was for 14 years, today’s copyright lasts over 100 years. Thus the instrument the founders created to ‘promote the progress of the sciences’ is actually being used to impede the progress of the sciences” and culture.

The Tortured Rise of the All-American Bro


“Where did this strange American Bro come from, this alien, fist-pumping, Jager-bombing avatar of modern sexism, racism, and nihilism? … At what point did all strong homosocial relationships between men become conflated with the most vile and socially abhorrent behavior and egregious sartorial choices?” Jared Keller has a theory.

Is This The World’s First Cyborg Artist?

Neil Harbisson

“‘I can have phone calls to my head,’ says Neil Harbisson, sitting across the table from me. Dangling over his forehead is an antenna that curves up and over from the back of his skull. The device, which he calls an ‘eyeborg’, was recently upgraded, meaning his skull is now Bluetooth-enabled.”

Brain Research Suggests Humiliation Is Our Most Powerful Emotion


Inspired by claims that humiliation is an unusually intense emotion, responsible even for war and strife in the world, the researchers have turned to brain-based evidence. They claim to have provided the “first empirical, neurocognitive evidence for long-standing claims in the humiliation literature that humiliation is a particularly intense emotion.”

Why Being A Psychopath Can Make You More Successful


“I wanted to debunk the myth that all psychopaths are bad. I’d done research with the special forces, with surgeons, with top hedge fund managers and barristers. Almost all of them had psychopathic traits, but they’d harnessed them in ways to make them better at what they do.”

Damascus Opera House Under Mortar Attack


“Mortar attacks have become daily occurrence in the Syrian capital of some two million, often killing more people than this attack. But the strike last month against the opera house resonated much more loudly through the Damascus community. It was a direct hit against the Assad family’s cherished creation.”

Cornelius Gurlitt, Hoarder Of Nazi-Looted Art, Dead At 81


“Until six months ago, almost no one, even in his native Germany, had heard of Cornelius Gurlitt. Shy and reclusive, he lived alone in an apartment in Munich, anonymous even to the local officials. … His only companions appeared to be more than 1,000 artworks that he kept in his darkened apartment. The remarkable collection, with an estimated value of more than $1 billion, came to light only last year, when it was seized by German authorities.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 05.06.14

We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-05-06

Is the Novel Dead?
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-05-06

“Spring Masters” Show Hires Architect To Radically Redesign
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-05-07

The Devil in the Details: More on Sotheby’s-Third Point Agreement
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-05-06

Celebrating Ornette! from Philly, in photos
AJBlog: Jazz Beyond Jazz | Published 2014-05-06


The Roots Of Censorship

colm toibin

Colm Tóibín: “In every society where there is an urge to censor, there is always already in place some rawness, some grievance, a fear of the outside world, a hunger for images that are comforting and comfortable, images that cover the national or social or religious wound, or attempt to heal it. And there is a deep and often visceral resistance to images that expose the wound or throw salt on it. This is what makes the battle against censorship in religious societies or developing societies so difficult to manage.”

Things You Cannot Unsee (And What That Says About Your Brain)


“People report this kind of thing all the time, and they use this same phrase: cannot unsee. Someone points out something and suddenly a secondary interpretation of an image appears. … We have a flash of insight and a new pattern is revealed hiding within the world we thought we knew. It surprises us. Ah! That’s not a vine, that’s a snake! That’s an LG logo. NO – it’s Pac-Man!”

San Diego’s Arts Commission Cuts Opera’s Grant By More Than Half

San Diego Opera logo

“Commissioner John Venekamp … pointed out that the opera is vying for funds against other arts organizations ‘that have worked hard and do strategic planning and are managed well’. … [The vote] came after representatives from the opera presented a 2015 transition plan with a budget slashed by 40 percent” and an assurance from the acting COO that there will be “no more fat cat salaries or company cars”.

BBC Chairman Chris Patten Resigns After Major Heart Surgery

Lord Patten has stepoed down as chairman of the BBC Trust

Best known to the world at large as the last British governor of Hong Kong, the 68-year-old Patten has had a stormy three years at the head of the BBC Trust, and he was already planning to step down at the end of his term next year. On the advice of doctors following a bypass and angioplasty, he is stepping down immediately.

Met Opera’s Union Contract Talks Have Messy Start

Met Opera chandelier

“The [initial] meeting almost did not happen. The union took the extremely unusual step of inviting reporters to the negotiating session, which led the Met to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board arguing that having reporters present ‘would stifle the atmosphere of free and open discussion that is needed for good-faith collective bargaining’.”

Lost Song By Mendelssohn Discovered


“Mendelssohn wrote the privately commissioned piece, titled ‘The Heart of Man is Like a Mine’, in 1842. It was never published but the original manuscript has now emerged in a private collection in the US.” (includes video performance of song)