Author and journalism professor Ben Yagoda recommends such mainstays of the comedian’s art as the power of surprise and (yes) panic.
Researchers are finding that we – all of us – are way more suggestible than we’d like to think, and influenced by factors even the savviest of us might not expect. (They’ve even fooled a class of oenology students by coloring a white wine red.)
Laughter has been a key marker of what we feel about other cultures, about our own past and our views of the “progress of civilization.”
“Over time, the concept of cultural appropriation has morphed into a parody of the original idea. We are now to get angry simply when whites happily imitate something that minorities do. We now use the word steal in an abstract sense, separated from any kind of material value. It used to be that we said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But now there is new way to see the matter: Imitation is a kind of dismissal.”
Holler If Ya Hear Me “never brought in more than $175,000 a week in gross revenues, becoming one of the worst-selling musicals of recent years.”
Her 2003 short story “My Father’s Head” opens “with the narrator’s attempts to remember what her father’s face looked like as she struggles to cope with his loss, and follows her as she finds the courage to remember.”
“Bruce Kallos, board chairman of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, died suddenly Sunday afternoon at Wilmington Hospital from complications associated with a blood infection. He was 79. … Kallos was elected in April to the symphony’s highest leadership post, after former board chairwoman Tatiana Copeland abruptly resigned.”
“He had an incomparable stick technique (something he pooh-poohed as a technique). A brilliantly accomplished musician (he was a virtuoso violinist and a composer), he boasted what must have been a genius-level IQ. He appeared capable of playing four-dimensional mental chess while carrying on a dinner conversation with lesser mortal beings.”
“Fair trade deals with the ethical treatment of labor in the production and supply chain rather than the ethical sourcing of materials, so it works well for a field like music, where the primary product is good vibrations. The fair trade movement is a project 50-plus years in the making, with a core set of criteria by which to evaluate if products have been produced ethically.”
“It’s as if, through sales figures, profits and other assorted fiscal headlines video games will be able to buy their way to legitimacy. How fitting that a medium which typically encourages its players to exert dominance over the competition would frame its worth as a battle, usually with cinema, as if this were a fight to be won, as if the winner would somehow usurp the loser, as if each venue for human expression didn’t have unique capacity for joy, wonder and meaning.”
“According to Operabase, an opera-statistics website, the world’s 40 most-performed opera composers last season were all dead. The most-performed living composer, Philip Glass, only saw his operas performed 66 times, compared with 2,586 performances for the top-ranked Verdi. Contemporary theatre, in contrast, is not only performed regularly, but attracts large crowds.”
“The benefits of writing by hand, and doing so from a young age, are fundamental: improved and sustained development in social skills, hand-eye coordination, long-term memory. And when one considers “fluency” in its literal sense, it makes sense that cursive especially can energize a more fluid and coherent process of thought.”
The author of Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet “turns to the ‘diabolical treble-strapped textual straitjacket’ of Twitter for the first time to tell a new short story, ‘The Right Sort’. Mitchell will unveil his tale, about a boy tripping on his mother’s Valium pills, in Twitter’s 140-character bursts for the next seven days.”
“[The] superstar Marxist philosopher … [has] been accused of the worst professorial misdeed of them all: plagiarism. And not just any plagiarism – plagiarism of a 1999 article in American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine published by an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a ‘hate group’.”
Only two seasons after the orchestra arose from the ashes of the long-troubled Honolulu Symphony, the Hawaii Symphony’s board is feeling confident enough not only to give its musicians a two-year contract but also to add an additional two weeks to each season.
“The opponents lack standing to intervene in the reorganization pending before the court, they have offered no viable alternative and they are seeking court-ordered relief that is beyond the scope of the law, the [museum’s] lawyers said” in a legal brief that called the lawsuit “obstruction for the sake of obstruction.”
“The Corcoran issued a layoff notice to all of its employees last month, but the Corcoran expects about a third of them will actually be laid off as of Aug. 16, which is the effective date affiliated with the notice.”
The Kempsey-Fagg brothers of Birmingham – Oscar, aged 11; Marlo, 9; and Arlie, 6 – were all recruited by a Birmingham Royal Ballet outreach and education program for particularly promising young people. And they’ve got ready answers for anyone who might tease them about it.
Creative Placemaking: 35,000-Foot View
AJBlog: Field Notes | Published 2014-07-14
The Most Common Expansion Mistake Hits The Perez
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Be the orchestra: thinking far beyond putting concerts online
AJBlog: Speaker | Published 2014-07-14
The cost of owning an art collection
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-07-14
What are the Limits of Stage Direction?
AJBlog: OperaSleuth | Published 2014-07-14
Voyaging to a New Land
AJBlog: Dancebeat | Published 2014-07-14
“We’ve only got a few left,” he comments, adding that a “high percentage” of those who have invested will have done purely because of the proximity to the trumpeter.
“The only thing standing between the show keeping the audience on its side and outright mutiny is often the warm-up (and his reliable sidekick, the DJ), who aims to keep those long gaps between scenes light-hearted and funny, then drop the audience right back into the action when taping resumes.”
“Regarded by many as South Africa’s leading writer, Gordimer was renowned as a rigid moralist whose novels and short stories reflected the drama of human life and emotion in a society warped by decades of white-minority rule.”