ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Today's Stories

The State Of Today’s Culture

The fastest growing sector of the culture economy is distraction. Or call it scrolling or swiping or wasting time or whatever you want. But it’s not art or entertainment, just ceaseless activity. - Honest Broker

Broadway’s Big Presidents Day Box Office Boost

The Presidents Day Weekend was like a little Christmas gift for Broadway, with grosses for the 23 productions posting a hefty 27% increase over the previous week, topping out at $26,946,864. - Deadline

A Staggering $100M Canadian Art Fraud

A decades-long forgery scheme ensnared Canada’s most famous Indigenous artist, a rock musician turned sleuth and several top museums. - Smithsonian

Bellevue Arts Museum Declares A Crisis, Says It Might Have To Close

“We’re at the place where the straw breaks the camel’s back,” Kate Scher said. She called the crisis a “combined product” of the museum’s lack of long-term funding, the pandemic, and shifts in audience habits and philanthropic priorities. - Seattle Times

How AI Is Changing Music

AI is already changing how musicians compose and play music in ways hard to imagine only a few years ago, opening up new horizons for creative expression and challenging traditional conceptions of musicianship. - San Francisco Chronicle

The Systematic Destruction Of Gaza’s Buildings

Since October 7 2023, the bombardment of Gaza is reported to have damaged more than 100 historic sites and destroyed 69,700 homes. - The Conversation

Pro-Palestine Protestors Take Over MoMA

MoMA had shut down completely. It would not reopen until the following day. Visitors were ferried to the exits. Outside, a soft-spoken museum employee was assisting would-be museumgoers with refunds. “They’re protesting Gaza—our trustees are funding it,” he explained. “We can’t let you see the artwork. There are too many protesters.” - The Nation

At 61, Jodie Foster Is Finally Unclenching And Letting (Some Of) Her Guard Down

"At a certain point, the survival tool, which has kept you safe and kept you warm, which has kept you with your family, it’s allowed you to exist in the world — you gotta cut that fucking thing off," she said. "You gotta cut that thing off, because it’s killing you." - The Atlantic

The Big Hong Kong Arts Complex Designed By Norman Foster’s Firm Is Running Out Of Cash

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, which operates M+ and the Hong Kong Palace Museum as well as a traditional Chinese opera center and a black-box theater, was created by government statute but receives no government subsidies — and the initial endowment established when WKCDA was created will be gone next year. - ARTnews

Ways Of Looking At Art

In a YouGov survey released in 2023, nearly half of Americans said they didn’t consider themselves artistic. At 58 percent, even more respondents said they weren’t familiar with famous artistic movements or styles. - Vox

Trying To Learn To Cry On Cue, The Way Actors Do

Journalist Rachel Handler talks to a somatic psychotherapist, an acting coach to major stars, that coach's son, and several actors and directors, all in a quest to learn how to summon the tears. - Vulture

Debunking Reasons For Looking At Art

Art, I have preached, is for bildung, self-development, especially within the context of an undergraduate education. Art helps you to become a deeper, freer version of yourself, etc., etc., blah blah blah, you’ve heard the song a thousand times. So what’s the difference between that and “art is good for us”? - Salmagundi

Merging American Sign Language Into Choreography Aimed At General Audiences

"(There's) a wider shift in the performing arts, one that is more artistically fulfilling for Deaf and ASL-fluent artists and that also repositions accessibility: Rather than something tacked on to and separate from the performance, (ASL) is something deeply ingrained and integrated." - Dance Magazine

Alonzo King: Attaching Dance To The World

That prospect of dance having a life and an urgency beyond an arrangement of steps has fueled King’s path as a dancer and a choreographer. - The New York Times

This Upstart Has Surpassed Netflix To Become Africa’s Number-One Streamer

"Showmax — (a South African company) spun out of Africa’s largest entertainment (conglomerate), MultiChoice, in 2015 — had 2.1 million subscribers on the continent at the end of November 2023, as compared to 1.8 million for Netflix. … Showmax’s market share rose to nearly 39%, while Netflix dropped to 33.5%." - Rest of World

France Has Expanded Eligibility For Its “Talent Visa” To Include Performers and Artists

The "passeport talent," launched in 2017 for certain highly-skilled individuals, now includes entrepreneurs, investors, and staff employees (as well as freelancers) judged likely to make a significant contribution to France's culture or economy. It allows holders to live and work in the country for up to four years. - Euronews

The Oldest Rock Art In South America Is Far Older Than Was Thought

"After more than a decade of work, scientists from Argentina, Chile and the United States have successfully dated the Huenul 1 cave paintings in Argentina’s Patagonia region. … The oldest paintings in the cave date back 8,200 years, several millennia earlier than previously suggested." - El País (Spain) (in English)

Ron DeSantis Is Now Backing Away From All The Book Bans He Helped Start In Florida

"Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday came out in support of a proposal to limit book bans in schools. ... In a press conference, DeSantis tried to claim that accusations that he has enabled book bans in the state of Florida are 'a fraud' and 'a big hoax.'" - The New Republic

Maine’s Portland Museum Of Art Lays Off More Than 10% Of Its Staff

"The 13 layoffs include salaried and hourly employees on (the) roughly 100-person staff. Front-line support staff … will not be impacted by staff reductions." In addition, museum director Mark Bessire is taking a voluntary 20% reduction in his annual salary. - Portland Press Herald

Inside The Rural Alabama Radio Station Whose Entire Transmission Tower Was Stolen

"Many in Jasper, a city of about 14,000 (located) 40 miles northwest of Birmingham, fear the culprits have taken more than a heap of steel. Listeners describe WJLX as a trusted source …, breaking through the noise of a cluttered (media) landscape ... with something that felt distinctly theirs." - The New York Times

By Topic

The State Of Today’s Culture

The fastest growing sector of the culture economy is distraction. Or call it scrolling or swiping or wasting time or whatever you want. But it’s not art or entertainment, just ceaseless activity. - Honest Broker

Ways Of Looking At Art

In a YouGov survey released in 2023, nearly half of Americans said they didn’t consider themselves artistic. At 58 percent, even more respondents said they weren’t familiar with famous artistic movements or styles. - Vox

Debunking Reasons For Looking At Art

Art, I have preached, is for bildung, self-development, especially within the context of an undergraduate education. Art helps you to become a deeper, freer version of yourself, etc., etc., blah blah blah, you’ve heard the song a thousand times. So what’s the difference between that and “art is good for us”? - Salmagundi

The Web As We Know It Is About To Change

Seeking information using a search engine could be almost completely replaced by this new generation of large language model-powered systems. - The Wall Street Journal

It Took Years, Nearly 50 Million Dollars, And Sweat Equity To Turn A 40-Year Vacant Movie Theatre Into A Music Venue

When a couple bought the Bridgeport, Illinois space for $1, they weren’t, perhaps, thinking it would take quite this much. "When asked if the project lives up to the initial idea they had back in 2017, Emily Nevius quickly responds, ‘This is so much bigger.’" - Chicago Sun-Times

What Can Movies Teach About Marriage?

Perhaps it’s not ideal to take Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as marriage advice, but movies, including that one, have a lot to teach, or so says one fan. - NPR

The Systematic Destruction Of Gaza’s Buildings

Since October 7 2023, the bombardment of Gaza is reported to have damaged more than 100 historic sites and destroyed 69,700 homes. - The Conversation

The Big Hong Kong Arts Complex Designed By Norman Foster’s Firm Is Running Out Of Cash

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, which operates M+ and the Hong Kong Palace Museum as well as a traditional Chinese opera center and a black-box theater, was created by government statute but receives no government subsidies — and the initial endowment established when WKCDA was created will be gone next year. - ARTnews

France Has Expanded Eligibility For Its “Talent Visa” To Include Performers and Artists

The "passeport talent," launched in 2017 for certain highly-skilled individuals, now includes entrepreneurs, investors, and staff employees (as well as freelancers) judged likely to make a significant contribution to France's culture or economy. It allows holders to live and work in the country for up to four years. - Euronews

The New York Times Unique Argument In Its Copyright Case Against AI Companies

It argues that as a reputable and trusted source, its articles have additional weight and reliability in training generative AI and are part of a data subset that is given additional weighting in that training. - The Conversation

So Who’s Winning In The Artists-Versus-AI-Companies Copyright Lawsuit?

U.S. copyright law is extremely complicated, and the technology bears features that don’t resemble anything seen in earlier technology transitions. Put them together, and the complexities are magnified exponentially. - Los Angeles Times

Two Gaming Champions Say The Gaming Company Is A Monopoly

Before 2019, other companies held Call of Duty tournaments. Then things changed. "The lawsuit claims that at one point, Activision Blizzard required teams to each pay $27.5 million and swear not to participate in or promote any other professional Call of Duty operations." - MSN (Los Angeles Times)

How AI Is Changing Music

AI is already changing how musicians compose and play music in ways hard to imagine only a few years ago, opening up new horizons for creative expression and challenging traditional conceptions of musicianship. - San Francisco Chronicle

Verbier Festival Hires A Second CEO

Hervé Boissière, a former senior executive at Naïve Records who went on to found Medici.TV, where he is CEO, and who's also executive director of the European classical cable TV channel Mezzo, will join Verbier Festival founder Martin Engstroem as the helm of the summer event in the Swiss Alps. - Gramophone

100 Years Later “Rhapsody In Blue” Is Still Riling Up Debate

Rhapsody in Blue opened up a wider set of debates about the relationship between “high art” and popular art, about racism and cultural differences, about black music and black identity, debates that continue to shape contemporary culture. - The Guardian

America’s Prisons See Opera As A Security Threat

Prison authorities see a threat to security in a staggering array of literature, art and music. Connecticut has banned 334 individual books, magazines and pieces of music as security risks. Besides “La bohème,” Puccini’s opera “Manon Lescaut” is also banned. - Operawire

The Sound Duo Behind The Ely Cathedral Scene In Maestro Had Quite A Job

"Normally they would pre-record the music and run playback while musicians and conductor Leonard Bernstein (as played by Bradley Cooper), mime along. But that’s not how Cooper, also the co-writer and director of the film, wanted it." - AOL (Los Angeles Times)

The English National Opera Laid Off Singers And Musicians While They Were In Mid-Performance

“Many of the performers only saw details of their redundancy during the interval, when they opened the notification backstage. Despite this, they went back onstage to finish the performance." - MSN (The Telegraph UK)

A Staggering $100M Canadian Art Fraud

A decades-long forgery scheme ensnared Canada’s most famous Indigenous artist, a rock musician turned sleuth and several top museums. - Smithsonian

Bellevue Arts Museum Declares A Crisis, Says It Might Have To Close

“We’re at the place where the straw breaks the camel’s back,” Kate Scher said. She called the crisis a “combined product” of the museum’s lack of long-term funding, the pandemic, and shifts in audience habits and philanthropic priorities. - Seattle Times

Pro-Palestine Protestors Take Over MoMA

MoMA had shut down completely. It would not reopen until the following day. Visitors were ferried to the exits. Outside, a soft-spoken museum employee was assisting would-be museumgoers with refunds. “They’re protesting Gaza—our trustees are funding it,” he explained. “We can’t let you see the artwork. There are too many protesters.” - The Nation

The Oldest Rock Art In South America Is Far Older Than Was Thought

"After more than a decade of work, scientists from Argentina, Chile and the United States have successfully dated the Huenul 1 cave paintings in Argentina’s Patagonia region. … The oldest paintings in the cave date back 8,200 years, several millennia earlier than previously suggested." - El País (Spain) (in English)

Maine’s Portland Museum Of Art Lays Off More Than 10% Of Its Staff

"The 13 layoffs include salaried and hourly employees on (the) roughly 100-person staff. Front-line support staff … will not be impacted by staff reductions." In addition, museum director Mark Bessire is taking a voluntary 20% reduction in his annual salary. - Portland Press Herald

Will A Show Of Chuck Close’s Final Work Help Restore His Place In Art?

Arne Glimcher said the controversy surrounding Close is not his concern. “There has been too much about Chuck that isn’t about the art,” he said. “I only want to talk about the art.” - The New York Times

Ron DeSantis Is Now Backing Away From All The Book Bans He Helped Start In Florida

"Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday came out in support of a proposal to limit book bans in schools. ... In a press conference, DeSantis tried to claim that accusations that he has enabled book bans in the state of Florida are 'a fraud' and 'a big hoax.'" - The New Republic

Book Bans Are Bad Enough. Stripping Libraries Of Funding Is A Whole Other Bad

While the nation has been focusing on book bans, school libraries all around us have gone without enough (noncontroversial) books. Or inviting furniture. Or amenities that would help create a sense of community. - Washington Post

Israeli Forces Raid, Destroy Publishing Houses In The West Bank

"IDF raids on Palestinian publishing houses are nothing new. Seven Palestinian publishing houses were raided or destroyed over a six-month period in 2016-2017, and eleven more were targeted in a seven-month period in 2021." - LitHub

New Biographies Of Recently Deceased Celebrities Are Coming From – You Knew It – AI

This is a "macabre new publishing subgenre: hasty, shoddy, A.I.-generated biographies of people who have just died." - The New York Times

We Need To Talk About Goodreads

Goodreads appears to be somewhat innocently letting “the public” tell other members of the public what is worthwhile. "For the well-reviewed author, this is a fine setup. For the author who may not benefit from a wide general readership, it’s a psychological thriller.” - The Guardian (UK)

Queer Literature Is On The Rise Across The Continent Of Africa

One Nigerian author: “I knew I wanted to write characters who are queer. That’s the only way I am going to show up on the page.” - The New York Times

This Upstart Has Surpassed Netflix To Become Africa’s Number-One Streamer

"Showmax — (a South African company) spun out of Africa’s largest entertainment (conglomerate), MultiChoice, in 2015 — had 2.1 million subscribers on the continent at the end of November 2023, as compared to 1.8 million for Netflix. … Showmax’s market share rose to nearly 39%, while Netflix dropped to 33.5%." - Rest of World

Inside The Rural Alabama Radio Station Whose Entire Transmission Tower Was Stolen

"Many in Jasper, a city of about 14,000 (located) 40 miles northwest of Birmingham, fear the culprits have taken more than a heap of steel. Listeners describe WJLX as a trusted source …, breaking through the noise of a cluttered (media) landscape ... with something that felt distinctly theirs." - The New York Times

Comcast And Paramount Talk About Combining Peacock And Paramount+ Into A Package

Along with making access to the two platforms comparatively cheaper than buying separate subscriptions, the partnership would help Comcast and Paramount “produce significant cost savings — from spending on programming to marketing.” - The Verge

Miyazaki Won In London, But At The Annies, It’s All Spidey

The Annies hand out prizes in animation for series and film - and Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse cleaned up, beating The Boy and the Heron to best picture and winning six other awards. - Los Angeles Times

This Year’s New Hollywood A-Lister Is A Real Dog

That star is Messi - not the soccer player, but the border collie who won the Palme Dog at Cannes. - The Guardian (UK)

The BAFTAs, Including Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s British Acting Roots

Randolph started her career in London’s West End. After she won her BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Holdovers, she said backstage, “You guys taught me the classics, and I'm obsessed with Pinter and all that stuff." - BBC

Merging American Sign Language Into Choreography Aimed At General Audiences

"(There's) a wider shift in the performing arts, one that is more artistically fulfilling for Deaf and ASL-fluent artists and that also repositions accessibility: Rather than something tacked on to and separate from the performance, (ASL) is something deeply ingrained and integrated." - Dance Magazine

Alonzo King: Attaching Dance To The World

That prospect of dance having a life and an urgency beyond an arrangement of steps has fueled King’s path as a dancer and a choreographer. - The New York Times

Choreographer Fatima Robinson Says The Dance World Has Changed Dramatically In Her Time

That includes, in recent years, TikTok trends. “I find it so much fun. It’s an inspiring place to go to find out how young people are moving their bodies - young and old,” Robinson says. - NPR

Does Perfection Have To Be The Measure Of Ballet?

Is it possible to imagine the ballet world without a primary teleology of aesthetic perfectionism and a baseline of low self-worth? Is it possible for our culture at large to stop conceiving of art and fame in this way? - Hedgehog Review

The Choreographer Who Came Up With Emma Stone’s Totally Insane Dance In “Poor Things”

Buenos Aires-born, Berlin-based dancemaker Constanza Macras also choreographed the warped courtly dance and the chase/fight in the woods in The Favourite. She says that working in film offers something "that you never get in theater. … The camera is really a choreographic work as well." - The New York Times

BodyTraffic Aims To Be LA’s Dance Company

For most of its existence BODYTRAFFIC has been better known and more appreciated outside of LA than in its hometown, in great part because LA has not built the infrastructure necessary for dance. - Forbes

Broadway’s Big Presidents Day Box Office Boost

The Presidents Day Weekend was like a little Christmas gift for Broadway, with grosses for the 23 productions posting a hefty 27% increase over the previous week, topping out at $26,946,864. - Deadline

Trying To Learn To Cry On Cue, The Way Actors Do

Journalist Rachel Handler talks to a somatic psychotherapist, an acting coach to major stars, that coach's son, and several actors and directors, all in a quest to learn how to summon the tears. - Vulture

Lunchtime Theatre, With A Pint? How Very British

Actually - how very Scottish. A Play, A Pie, and A Pint premiered in Glasgow in 2004 and hasn’t stopped (aside from the early days of COVID-19) producing 48 new plays a year ever since. - BBC

How To Get Broadway Out Of Its Winter Doldrums? Let Audience Members Ride The “Sweeney Todd” Death Slide

In the current staging, Sweeney's barbershop is above the stage; when he slits a customer's throat, he pulls a lever that sends the victim down a slide into Mrs. Lovett's basement. Under the tag "A Bad Idea Worth Considering," Rebecca Alter points out that slide's underutilized revenue potential. Wheeeeee! - Vulture (MSN)

Another San Francisco Theater Has To Do An Emergency Donate-Or-We-Close-Down Campaign

"Cutting Ball Theater, the 25-year-old company known for form-breaking new plays and rejuvenated classics, ... says it needs to raise $45,000 by March 1 and $200,000 by June, out of a $750,000 annual budget, in order to stay open." - San Francisco Chronicle (MSN)

Second City Has Opened Its New York City Branch

"The new site (in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood) is less of a traditional comedy club than it is a sort of small campus for comedy aficionados. The 12,000-square-foot, two-floor complex includes two cabaret-style live theaters, a training center …, and a restaurant bar called The Bentwood." - Time Out New York

At 61, Jodie Foster Is Finally Unclenching And Letting (Some Of) Her Guard Down

"At a certain point, the survival tool, which has kept you safe and kept you warm, which has kept you with your family, it’s allowed you to exist in the world — you gotta cut that fucking thing off," she said. "You gotta cut that thing off, because it’s killing you." - The Atlantic

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson Has Dementia

Following the death of his wife last month, the 81-year-old pop legend has had two co-conservators appointed. He's described in court documents as "unable to properly provide for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter … (He) does not have the capacity to give informed consent." - The Guardian

The Critical Importance Of Thelma Golden In The Art World

"I had known Thelma Golden for a decade before I fully absorbed the critical role she had played, and continues to play, in desegregating the art world." - The New Yorker

Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyers Appeal His Rape Conviction Before New York State’s Highest Court

The basis of the appeal is that the trial judge should not have allowed testimony from three other women whose alleged assaults by Weinstein weren't at issue in this case. The justices appeared divided; Weinstein didn't appear at all, remaining at the state prison instead. - AP

Ex-Husband Sought For Arrest In Murder Of Gallerist Brent Sikkema

"Alejandro Triana Prevez, the man who confessed to the murder of New York art dealer Brent Sikkema, told Brazilian authorities Sikkema’s ex-husband, Daniel Sikkema, offered $200,000 for the killing. … Brazilian authorities … seek to arrest Daniel Sikkema for being the 'intellectual and main author' of the crime." - ARTnews

Bob Edwards, Longtime NPR Anchor, Is Dead At 76

"(He) stayed at Morning Edition for nearly a quarter-century and became as much a part of the begin-the-day rhythms for NPR listeners as coffee (and) commutes. ... Then, in 2004, a decision by NPR to pull Mr. Edwards from the show touched off an avalanche of complaints." - The Washington Post (MSN)

AJ Premium Classifieds

Alan Harrison’s SCENE CHANGE Now On Sale – A “MUST-READ” for...

In his brilliantly unpretentious, snarky, and hilarious style, Alan Harrison pulls no punches.

Chief Executive Officer – Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

The CEO will provide executive leadership and strategic oversight for KCFAA, including strategic planning, Board governance, financial stability, community engagement, programming, and staff management.

Dayton Live – President & CEO

The next President & CEO of Dayton Live will be given the extraordinary opportunity to build upon the tremendous momentum of the past five years and envision and achieve new levels of growth, impact, and relevance for the organization.

Artistic Director – Unicorn Theatre

Firmly committed to presenting “Bold New Plays,” Unicorn has forged a strong identity as a home for regional and world premieres of new work by some of the country’s leading writers and newest voices.

Artistic Director – Stages

The Artistic Director will serve as a clear and present leader in all actions, thoughts, and deeds.

AJClassifieds

Berkshire Museums seeks Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will provide strategic, financial, and operational leadership across the museum, ensuring proper financial accounting, internal controls, safe and compliant facility operations, and successful customer service in the visitor experience.

Tucson Symphony VP and General Manager

A key member of the senior management team, the General Manager is responsible for implementing the Music Director’s artistic and educational vision for the orchestra.

Director, Oklahoma Contemporary

The Board of Trustees seeks an individual with a strong interest in and enthusiasm for contemporary art and arts education with demonstrated administrative, collaboration, fundraising and management experience to oversee all aspects of the operation of Oklahoma Contemporary.

Director of Finance and Administration

The Director of Finance and Administration leads the management and direction of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s financial and administrative functions.

Hiring: Resident Conductor with Canada’s National Arts Centre

CANADA’S NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE ORCHESTRA Resident Conductor Program Apply by March...

Director of Development – Round House Theatre

Round House Theatre seeks a dynamic strategic thinker, fundraiser, and leader to serve as Director of Development (DoD).

Managing Director

South Coast Repertory (SCR), a League of Resident Theatres (LORT) member located in Orange County, California, seeks a passionate, imaginative, and collaborative individual to serve as Managing Director.

Pacific Symphony Seeks VP of Education & Community Engagement

The Vice President of Education & Community Engagement will be responsible for designing, developing, and evaluating all education and community engagement programs.

Chief Operating Officer – The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for providing strategic leadership on all day-to-day management, safety, and security of The Straz Center’s Operations Division.

Peace Center seeking Major Gifts Officer

This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic and self-motivated fundraising professional with an authentic enthusiasm for the performing arts to build enduring relationships and resources that will sustain the awareness of, participation in, and support for the Peace Center.

Virginia Rep Seeks Managing Director

The Managing Director will be Va Rep’s strategic, financial, and operational leader, balancing the areas of season programming, education, fundraising, ticket sales, and community engagement.

Baltimore Museum of Art seeks Chief of External Affairs

The Chief of External Affairs (CEA) will lead and develop overall contributed and earned income strategies for annual operational and endowment growth.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OPPORTUNITY – LORELEI ENSEMBLE

Heralded for its “full-bodied and radiant sound” (The New York Times), Lorelei Ensemble is recognized across the globe for its bold and inventive programs that champion the extraordinary flexibility and virtuosity of women’s and treble voices.

Executive Director – GALA Choruses

The Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses) is seeking an experienced Executive Director to lead the Association into the future.

Music in the Vineyards is seeking a new Executive Director

MITV seeks a creative, organized and innovative Executive Director to lead all business functions of the organization, to build strong relationships throughout the community and to help the organization increase its impact.

Editorial Director – Opera Canada Magazine

Opera Canada offers a comprehensive review of opera in Canada and of Canadians working in the opera world at large.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art Seeks Executive Director

The Executive Director (ED) will provide strategy and leadership in developing and implementing exhibitions, public programs, resource development, community engagement, and the daily operations of CMCA.

At 61, Jodie Foster Is Finally Unclenching And Letting (Some Of) Her Guard Down

"At a certain point, the survival tool, which has kept you safe and kept you warm, which has kept you with your family, it’s allowed you to exist in the world — you gotta cut that fucking thing off," she said. "You gotta cut that thing off, because it’s killing you." - The Atlantic

Israeli Forces Raid, Destroy Publishing Houses In The West Bank

"IDF raids on Palestinian publishing houses are nothing new. Seven Palestinian publishing houses were raided or destroyed over a six-month period in 2016-2017, and eleven more were targeted in a seven-month period in 2021." - LitHub

The Life Of A Pro Whistler, Including Her New Album And Her ‘Barbie’ Fame

Molly Lewis: "People often don’t have a reference for whistle music apart from a jingle or a riff in a bad pop song. … I think it’s a beautiful instrument." - Washington Post

New Biographies Of Recently Deceased Celebrities Are Coming From – You Knew It – AI

This is a "macabre new publishing subgenre: hasty, shoddy, A.I.-generated biographies of people who have just died." - The New York Times

Alexei Navalny’s Last Laugh

"I will always remember the words written on a piece of paper that Navalny held at one of his court hearings: 'I am not afraid and you should not be afraid.' Navalny was still smiling and laughing on the eve of his death." - The Atlantic

For These Major Awards, Some Authors Were Unaccountably Declared Ineligible

Then Hugo Awards rumors started; now leaked emails confirm that “one of the Hugo administrators had advised other members to vet the finalists and 'highlight anything of a sensitive political nature' in China. ... Such works, he added, might not be safe to put on the ballot." - The New York Times

How To Get Broadway Out Of Its Winter Doldrums? Let Audience Members Ride The “Sweeney Todd” Death Slide

In the current staging, Sweeney's barbershop is above the stage; when he slits a customer's throat, he pulls a lever that sends the victim down a slide into Mrs. Lovett's basement. Under the tag "A Bad Idea Worth Considering," Rebecca Alter points out that slide's underutilized revenue potential. Wheeeeee! - Vulture (MSN)

Remember When That Microsoft Chat-Bot Told A New York Times Writer It Loved Him And He Should Leave His Wife? One Year On, He...

Kevin Roose: "My column about the experience was probably the most consequential thing I’ll ever write — both in terms of the attention it got … and how the trajectory of A.I. development changed. … It's been a year of growth and excitement in A.I. but a surprisingly tame one." - The New York...

Like A Switch Flipped: Today’s College Students Have A Reading Comprehension Disability

Now students are intimidated by anything over 10 pages and seem to walk away from readings of as little as 20 pages with no real understanding. Even smart and motivated students struggle to do more with written texts than extract decontextualized take-aways. - Slate

A Schubert Jukebox Opera? Yep.

"Jukebox" opera was hardly unknown in centuries past; it was called pasticcio. And while Schubert was a master of vocal music, his operas are rarely revived. (Blame the bad librettos.) So conductor Raphaël Pichon has taken highlights from those operas and put them together with a new story. - The New York Times

Completely Strung Out At The World’s Largest String Quartet Festival

"Imagine a small island where, for an entire week, you’re in the company of some of the world’s finest classical musicians. They play almost continuously from 9.30am until bedtime. You’re one of more than 13,500 audience members." Welcome to the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam. - The Guardian

Notre-Dame’s New Spire Is In Place As Reconstruction Forges Ahead

"Scaffolding surrounding the spire came down this week, revealing the restored structure in a landmark moment for the cathedral, which was ravaged by a fire in April 2019. The soaring spire, crowned with a cross and golden rooster, peeks out of a dense grid of support beams." - The Washington Post (MSN)
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