“The fact is that by focusing exclusively on monetary issues, the current conversation prevents us not only from remembering the higher objectives of an undergraduate education, but also from recognizing just how bad a job our institutions have been doing at fulfilling them. Colleges and universities have a lot to answer for; if they want to regain the support of the larger society, they need to prove that they are worthy of it.”
“The rose-colored glow, no matter how unwarranted, helped people to maintain a healthier mental state. Depression bred objectivity. A lack of objectivity led to a healthier, more adaptive, and more resilient mind-set.”
“Multi-Story grew out of experimenting with performing classical music in as many different spaces as possible (bars, clubs, warehouses, and museums). We wanted to get our friends to hear classical music, and felt, instinctively, that escaping the stiffness and formality of concert hall would be the way to do this.”
“On Thursday, the court upheld the notion that an idea alone can’t be patented, deciding unanimously that merely implementing an idea on a computer isn’t enough to transform it into a patentable invention.”
Netflix’s best shows are prestige pieces born fully-formed for our binging pleasure—House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development—not the looser medium of the celebrity gabfest. But if the service is going to tip its toe into the waters of what we typically call “late night TV” (a term that’s nearly meaningless in the on-demand world of streaming television) there’s no one better partner than Chelsea Handler.”
“With their pen, visitors can download all their selected items into a screen, and begin designing: They could decorate a room, or modify a classic piece of furniture.”
“While no sensible person would ever claim that the Hero’s Journey (another name for it) is the only form of narrative on the market, the model has proven indisputably pervasive, undeniably powerful, and irrefutably profitable. But is it inescapable, too?”
“According to Don Thompson, the economist and author, some 45,000 artists in New York and London alone are struggling to make a living; around 75 in New York have superstar status, earning seven figure sums. But this figure can be read the other way as well: probably at no moment in history have there been so many, and so many very rich, artists.”
“It was the kind of story that could bankrupt a writer. I’d now devoted five months to writing and peddling “Boom” and wasn’t even halfway to earning out my $2,000 advance (less than the overrun on my travel). The cruelest joke, though, was that 700 to 800 copies made “Boom” a top-rated seller.”
How could a choreographer and artistic director in his prime walk away from such uncommon success?
“The current contract was set to expire Aug. 31, 2015; the agreement” – which runs through August 2018 – “comes 14 months ahead of schedule. That undoubtedly will smooth the way for new Seattle Opera general director Aidan Lang, who takes the helm of the opera company this fall.”
At the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the booth marketing the new game The Sims was placed in convention Siberia and no one was paying any attention to it, including the company that was putting it out. “But, within hours, an unplanned, illicit kiss between two of the game’s background characters made The Sims the talk of the show.”
“The final blow came last year when Italy’s government decided that only theaters with a balanced budget by the end of 2014 can access public money, exposing some opera houses to the risk of shutting down if they didn’t put their finances in order” – a notoriously difficult task in Italy. Yet one famous old theater has become quite entrepreneurial.
“Art and dance have had a close relationship, from the Modernist flowerings of the Ballet Russes to the downtown scene in 1970s New York. … However, choreographers’ work is increasingly being incorporated into museum and gallery programmes, and as integral works rather than interruptions from a distinct artform.”
“There was a time in my 20s when I would go clubbing without fail every week and it didn’t take much to lure me on to the dancefloor. … Today I am a middle-aged, married, mortgaged, fortysomething father. My opportunities for dancing have diminished, as has my confidence.” How Sarfraz Manzoor got his groove back.
Maria Konnikova recounts how researchers have found, over and over again, that people with depression have a clearer and more accurate picture of how much control they have in life than optimists do – and that optimists’ positive outlook, deluded though it be, wards off depression and tends to lead to better outcomes in life.
As executive director of the Arts for L.A., Danielle Brazell’s job “included regularly prodding City Hall to spend more money and pay more attention to L.A.’s nonprofit arts scene.” Now she’ll be the one getting the prods.
Yes, the Great White North is such an incubator of comic talent that it exports funnymen even to the People’s Republic. Dashan (né Mark Henry Rowswell) has been making the Chinese laugh – yes, in fluent Mandarin – in bars, in theatres and on national television for 25 years. (audio interview plus video clips)
Jon Gnarr ran on a platform promising free trips to Disneyland and more polar bears at the zoo; he even promised to break all his promises if elected. Then he was. (audio interview plus video clip)
Another Nazi Loot Case: Discovered, Resolved
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-06-20
On Horace Silver
AJBlog: RiffTides | Published 2014-06-20
A Dissent on “The Classical Style”
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-06-19
Aaron Sachs & Jimmy Scott, Gone
AJBlog: RiffTides | Published 2014-06-19
“After a high-profile apprenticeship with some of the biggest names in jazz, Mr. Silver began leading his own group in the mid-1950s and quickly became a big name himself, celebrated for his clever compositions and his infectious, bluesy playing.”
“Surprisingly, the biggest challenge had little to do with mastering the machines or exploring the material science of the steel, but rather letting go of old design thinking.”
The statement adds that the “main threats to Iraq’s heritage are the military use and targeting of monuments and sites and the looting and illicit trafficking of cultural property.”
“The newly found poems – most of which were written after 1956 – will be published later this year in Latin America and in 2015 in Spain. They were discovered among sheaves of manuscripts in boxes and have been examined by experts, who authenticated them.”
“I think it is possibly going to end up being much more popular online. But the key thing is that it has to be mediated. I think having the name of a good dictionary maker is going to be just as important.”
“According to Chad Boyd, the symphony’s chief financial officer, the $39 million included some $30 million the symphony owed to the banks on a mortgage with a balance of $85.3 million and another $9 million due to the lenders under a related interest swap agreement, a deal meant to hedge against rate fluctuations.”