Just Like Old Times: With Russia’s Political Opposition In Disarray, Kremlin Goes After Cultural Figures

kremlin culture

“Dissenting cultural figures have become the new focus of pro-Kremlin witch hunts, with state media treating them as a political force and accusing them of treachery. The practice has echoes of Soviet times, when cultural figures perceived as a threat to the regime … were subjected to vicious smear campaigns.”

Ancient University In India Reopens After 800 Years


“Around 800 years after it was razed by foreign invaders, Nalanda University reopened its doors on Monday in an attempt to reclaim its ancient glory of an international knowledge destination. The new university, set up on a sprawling 443-acre campus built near the ruins of the ancient seat of learning in Bihar, aims to rebuild the intellectual rigour of the old school initially with a school of environmental studies and a school of historical studies.”

Does A Strong Belief In Evil Make Someone More Intolerant?


“But what does it mean to believe in evil? How do our attitudes about its existence shape our worldviews? While researchers stampeded over one another to understand evil behavior in the wake of the 20th century’s seemingly endless bloodletting … much less research has been done into how the idea of evil itself colors our understanding of the world and its inhabitants.”

Lars Von Trier Breaks His Press Silence While Technically Keeping His Vow Not To Talk To The Press

lars von trier

After he got himself banned from Cannes in 2011 for making a thoroughly unfortunate joke, the Danish filmmaker announced that he would “refrain from all public statements and interviews” so as to keep himself out of trouble. But he really wanted to discuss the uncut 5½-hour version of Nymphomaniac with the press at this year’s Venice Film Festival. So they found an ingenious (and entertaining) solution.

Fabio Luisi To Lead Danish National Symphony Orchestra

fabio luisi

“The music director of the Zurich Opera and principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera has a new gig … Mr. Luisi, 55, signed a three-year contract with the [DNSO] from 2017 through 2020, his representatives said, and plans to step up his appearances with the orchestra even before that.”

Rock Festival In L.A.’s Grand Park Was A Grand Experiment In Several Ways

rock fest grand park

“The decision to close the park for a for-profit event will be redeemed only if the money Live Nation paid the county to rent it out makes it a better place to visit, over the long term, for the public. Luckily, even as concertgoers were tramping across Grand Park’s lawns and through its flower beds, they were also helping demonstrate pretty clearly where its design might be tweaked and improved. They made up a huge and unwitting landscape-architecture focus group.”

Lars Von Trier Returning To TV

lars von trier

“The Danish director Lars von Trier is planning to make his first televisions series in two decades, a producer for the project recently announced. The English-language series will be titled The House That Jack Built.”

Paris Is Forgetting Ernest Hemingway


“American writer Ernest Hemingway had close links with Paris. He first lived there in 1920 and played a marginal, much-mythologised, role in the 1944 liberation of the city. But now, 70 years on, memories of the author are starting to fade.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 09.01.14

Is This A “New” Piero della Franscesca?
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-09-02

How should we rank the employment prospects of cities?
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-09-02

David Lowery: The Internet is a Cargo Cult
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-09-01

New, Improved Tuning Examples
AJBlog: PostClassic | Published 2014-09-01

Arts Democracy Now!
AJBlog: We The Audience | Published 2014-09-01


How A Drag Queen Became A Major Star Of Mexican Wrestling

cassandro b

“Being gay is a gift from God,” says Saúl Armendáriz, though that was hardly his experience as an abused and bullied youngster in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.But he was quick and athletic and hardworking and had a sense of showmanship. Today, he’s Cassandro, one of lucha libre‘s biggest stars, kicking macho ass from Mexico City to L.A. to Tokyo.

Why People Walk


Adam Gopnik looks at walking to be alone, walking to be with others, “contemplative country hikers and argumentative city schleppers” and flâneurs – and looks back to a time when endurance walking was a wildly popular spectator sport.

When Lena Dunham Was Always Afraid

lena dunham

“My parents [were] getting worried. It’s hard enough to have a child, much less a child who demands to inspect our groceries and medicines for evidence that their protective seals have been tampered with.”