Here’s some of what I’ve run across on the Web in the past couple of weeks:
– Jay Rosen, journalism professor and mediablogger extraordinaire, holds forth on the subject of things he used to teach that he no longer believes. Among them:
I used to teach it implicitly: journalism is a profession. Now I think it’s a practice, in which pros and amateurs both participate. There were good things about the professional model, and we should retain them. But it’s the strength of the social practice that counts, not the health of any so-called profession. That is what J-schools should teach and stand for, I believe. I don’t care if they’re called professional schools. They should equip the American people to practice journalism by teaching the students who show up, and others out there who may want help….
Yes. Totally. And if you’re a blogger, you soooo know what he’s talking about.
– Online theater columnist Peter Filichia points out that the list of the ten longest-running plays on Broadway “is the same today as it was on June 13, 1982, the day Deathtrap finally called it quits”:
1. Life with Father (3,224 performances)
2. Tobacco Road (3,182)
3. Abie’s Irish Rose (2,327)
4. Gemini (1,819)
5. Deathtrap (1,793)
6. Harvey (1,775)
7. Born Yesterday (1,642)
8. Mary, Mary (1,572)
9. The Voice of the Turtle (1,557)
10. Barefoot in the Park (1,530)
He also explains why.
(Incidentally, how many of you recognize all ten of these plays? The only one of which I’d never heard was Gemini.)
– Found object: I saw a new one-woman play about Edna St. Vincent Millay the other night, and came away wondering what her actual speaking voice sounded like. The answer is here.
– Department of Posthumous Praise: The divine Ms. Althouse, who guested on Instapundit last week, used that space to pay a nice little tribute to the late Barbara Bel Geddes, and got a funny and revealing piece of e-mail in return.
I, too, thought Bel Geddes was a babe, especially in Blood on the Moon, one of my all-time favorite Westerns (not yet out on DVD, and why the hell not?).
– We don’t do politics here, but Mr. Alicublog was so funny the other day on the subject of conservatives who hate Hollywood that I just had to steer you his way:
I actually think rightwing cinephile Jason Apuzzo has a great idea–that conservatives who are forever bitching about ee-vil Hollywood should cease “verbally ‘rebutting’ these movies like dour lawyers in a courtroom” and start making movies themselves. I should certainly like to see Halliburton Films’ epic production, The Joe McCarthy Nobody Knew, starring John Goodman as a hard-drinking Wisconsin Senator up against International Communism and the Democrat Party, played by James Woods. I would also enjoy a new version of The Grapes of Wrath in which the Joads toss flowers to the men who have come to bulldoze their home, and cheerfully take jobs at roadside hamburger stands built by a dreamy-eyed young Ray Kroc (played by Stephen Baldwin)….
While Mr. A and I rarely see eye to eye on matters of state, nobody, and I mean nobody, does the funky reductio ad absurdum the way he does.
– Here‘s why litbloggers should post more often about out-of-print books…
– …and here‘s why they shouldn’t get so big for their britches that they forget the whole point of book reviewing (or any other kind of criticism, if I do say so myself).
– Mark Swed takes a long look at which American symphony orchestras are up and which down, and comes up with some interesting conclusions:
The orchestral landscape in America is not what it used to be. Once, American ensembles were lorded over by the “Big Five”–the main orchestras of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Cleveland. East Coast critics, while conceding the orchestral energy emanating from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, continue to use that proprietary term, but it means nothing. The real scene has no center.
The hot conductors are in Los Angeles (Esa-Pekka Salonen), Boston (James Levine), San Francisco (Michael Tilson Thomas), Atlanta (Robert Spano) and Minneapolis (Osmo Vanska). This fall, David Robertson is expected to put St. Louis on the A-list. In 2006, when [Marin] Alsop begins in Baltimore, it too should join the party….
I don’t buy every name on that list, but it’s a good starting point for discussion.
– My favorite blogger (who says I can’t make a commitment?) goes to an exhibition of art by Richard Tuttle, and compares what she sees there to the recipes of Paul Bertolli:
The presentation of simple principles tends to leave meaning wide open, but Tuttle and Bertolli only flirt with abstraction. Tomato? Plywood? Wire shadow? Summer squash? One cannot help but reference a very personal relationship to these familiar materials, and this bit of “personal referencing” is what provokes comments of the sort I heard wandering through the Tuttle show: “Why, I could do this!” or “My son made a picture just like that in his second grade art class.” Sure, and your son could smash a whole tomato in a bowl and call it gazpacho, too. Viewing the simple as “art” is often a challenge and why Restaurant or Museum become almost necessary. Bertolli and Tuttle are virtuosos who turn our focus to something quite primary and basic; while not revolutionary, their work causes one to pay attention and realize that being simple is not so simple at all….
You can cook for me any time, ma’am.
– I love this map, at which I look several times each day. (Have you seen it yet, OGIC?)
– This is the best list I’ve seen on a blog in, like, ever. Be prepared to spend at least ten minutes relishing it.
There are no stars in the Brooklyn sky at night. And when I say none, I mean zero.
After six years in these parts, their absence begins to seem normal. You actually forget that it’s not natural to look to the spire at the top of the Chrysler Building, and to the rest of the Manhattan skyline, for illumination after dark. You notice the moon maybe once a month, when it’s red and hanging low in the sky….
That puts me in mind of something I once wrote about small-town life: “A small town needs lots of explaining. It has no tall buildings, and the landmarks are all in your mind. When you look up, you see the sky; when you show somebody the sights, you see yourself.”
See you later.