Sunday, September 26, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

ISSUES

As Big Tech Gives In To Big Government, Everyone In Russia Is Harmed

Google and Apple opened offices in Russia. Then Putin pressured them to delete his opposition's Smart Voting app - and they caved. "This episode is a powerful reminder that old-fashioned force can decisively tighten a state’s grip on the web." - Wired

Disney Sues Artists Who Would Like Their Marvel Copyrights Back

But did the copyright ever belong to the artists who wrote and drew the characters? - The New York Times

London Arts Orgs And Audiences Are Jeopardizing Their Comeback By Being Lax About COVID

Mark Pullinger finds that, while venues' staff may be masked themselves, they're not requiring patrons to have face coverings or proof of vaccination (to be clear, they're following the lead of Boris Johnson's government), and he looks with envy at safety measures in Europe and New York. - Bachtrack

Was An Exploding Space Rock The Inspiration For The Story Of Sodom And Gomorrah?

Archaeologists report that the destruction, circa 1650 BC, of the city of Tall el-Hammam was caused by a large meteor disintegrating in the atmosphere — a blast, 1,000 times larger than Hiroshima, that would have fit the Biblical description of fire raining on the evil cities. - Smithsonian Magazine

For the Second Time In Two Years, America’s Chinatowns Are In Danger

"(The delta variant surge has) worsened a host of additional issues, like technology and language barriers and pandemic-stoked xenophobia. Community organizations fear that the diminished patronage and insufficient government support will force many longstanding businesses to close, which could accelerate gentrification." - Slate

What Will Happen To Online Performances When We’re Back In Theatres?

‘We’ve had thousands of years to get good at but virtual connection is new, and we need to do some interrogation of the form to see how we get that same catharsis, buzz and deep connection that draws us to theatre.’ - ArtsHub

The Rivals: As The Delta Variant Rages, Sydney Reopens Its Theatres While Melbourne Stays Closed

The difference is not in case numbers; it's in state government policies. New South Wales (Sydney), governed by the conservative Coalition, has relatively laissez-faire rules (and higher COVID caseloads), while Victoria (Melbourne), governed by Labor, has been unusually strict with lockdowns, masking rules, etc. - The Guardian

It’s A Weird Time To Be A Critic

The instinct to abuse critics is justified by the idea that it is “punching up” at elitist gatekeepers. But unlike Siskel and Ebert, modern critics are neither famous nor wealthy nor powerful. - Unherd

Free Artistic Expression In India Is Being Gradually Strangled

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, "censorship (is) no longer about nudity, gore, or promiscuity. It (has) firmly set its sights on whether (a) narrative matched the right-wing Hindu nationalists' narrative." - Slate

Do You Know About #DarkAcademia?

On Instagram, the tag #darkacademia now has over 1 million posts, and Grazia has named the aesthetic as autumn 2021’s biggest trend. The TikTok generation has keenly embraced the tweedy cosiness of scholarly life. - The Conversation

Ethiopian Popular Culture Is Making The Chinese Its Bogeymen

As investment from China flows into Ethiopia, social media and entertainment are voicing worries about inexpensive made-in-China versions of Ethiopian handicrafts, mocking Chinese eating habits, and stoking anger that the country's donkeys are being stolen and shipped to China to make a traditional medicine. - Global Voices

Just How Many People Have Been Working From Home?

Seventy-three percent of survey respondents who had teleworked because of the pandemic guessed that at least half of Americans had done the same. But the actual number was, at its highest point, roughly 35 percent, way back in May 2020. - The Atlantic

Why Were This Year’s Emmys #SoWhite?

"Although performers from the global majority comprised 44 percent of acting nominees heading into Sunday night, white actors ultimately swept all 12 lead and supporting races across the comedy, drama and limited series categories." - The Hollywood Reporter

Marion Cotillard Is One French Actress Who Appreciates The Me Too Movement

Speaking at the San Sebastian Film Festival, she said, "It has allowed women to speak freely, it’s a true revolution, an intense one and I am very happy to live it." - Variety

The Need For Chattanooga’s New Memorial To Lynching Victims

Not everyone in Chattanooga wanted the memorial. "The bridge was refurbished as a pedestrian path in 1993 and today is considered a gem of the growing city, a popular place for wedding proposals and family photos." But artist Jerome Meadows, and funders, persisted. - The New York Times

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