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Stories

Fiction Isn’t Memoir, And Yet

"The belief that every novel is a self-accounting is timeworn: Some early readers of Lolita suspected that only someone with the mentality of a child predator could have conjured the depraved Humbert Humbert. Publishers, meanwhile, often appear to want readers to see books as thinly veiled autobiography, and their publicity campaigns typically emphasize authors’ personal connections to their work." - The New York Times

Why Woody Allen Defenders Are So Upset By The New Documentary

Perhaps they're not used to the world of 2021. "The truth underlying their emotional, often highly personal defenses of Allen is that he’s become subject to the forces of change that have finally begun to challenge the old world order, when a girl’s place was tantalizing Allen or other actors on screen, no matter how nerdy or neurotic those men might be, or how young the woman." - Los Angeles Times

The Silver Lining Of Netflix’s Password Crackdown Is Your Security

No, really. "Sharing user names and passwords with even your closest relations can have woesome consequences" - and the Netflix crackdown might help save your identity in the future. - Wired

If You’re Watching K-Dramas Or Other Korean TV, You’re Probably Seeing A Lot Of Subway Content

That is, the fast food chain, not underground trains. The reason: "Product placement in TV shows is a reality the world over. But South Korea’s terrestrial stations are prevented from inserting commercial breaks during programming, meaning many Korean companies must be creative about getting their wares in front of viewers." - The New York Times

Will Disney Break Netflix’s Record Numbers For Streaming?

That's what it's poised to do in 2024, or so the predictions say (on the other hand, who could have predicted that every family with children would be stuck at home needing some Disney to stream when Disney+ debuted in 2019?). - The Guardian (UK)

Carmel Quinn, Irish Singer And Storyteller Who Performed For JFK At The White House, 95

But more people would know her as the "blue-eyed, flame-haired Irish singer and storyteller who packed Carnegie Hall on St. Patrick’s Day for a quarter-century and regaled her audiences with tunes and tales from the Old Country." - The New York Times

How Did Disney Get The Bachelor So Wrong This Year?

The Mouse promised change at the protests in the wake of George Floyd's death. But the online chatter over racism on The Bachelor has only grown. "As the furor crests heading into the finale, neither Disney nor ABC has commented publicly on the matter, despite leadership’s less than year-old pledge to be open about racial issues. The subject was not raised during this week’s Disney shareholder meeting. Neither Disney nor ABC responded to requests for comment from The Times." - Los Angeles Times

The Swag Continues, Even For The Virtual Oscars

Good: "Some film insiders are privately asking an uncomfortable question: How do you tastefully campaign for trophies when more than 1,000 Americans a day are still dying from the coronavirus?" Not as good: "Calling off the campaigns is not an option for Hollywood, where jockeying for awards has become an industry unto itself." - The New York Times

Memoirs Tell Us What We Don’t Know About The People We Know

A good memoir "gets into the feelings that are so buried and complex that they rarely come into focus in a conversation, even among good friends." - LitHub

How Exactly Does Voting For The Grammys Work?

Yes, there are secret committees. "And they're just one strange, clandestine part of a voting process that is largely shrouded in mystery." Yikes. - Vice

A Dance Program To Help Unhoused Women Find Home Boosts Itself Online

A formerly in-person series of dance workshops in Portland, whose profits go to aid women and marginalized gender people experiencing homelessness, actually expanded during the pandemic. "In some ways, the need to switch yielded some positive change for the workshops. The team ended up creating an Instagram account and getting a website running, ... two assets that they’d functioned without in the first two years." - Oregon ArtsWatch

Leon Gast, Filmmaker Of ‘When We Were Kings,’ 84

Gast spent 22 years making the documentary about the Rumble in the Jungle, and in the end, it paid off: "In 1996, Mr. Gast and Mr. Sonenberg took it to the Sundance Film Festival, where they received a special jury citation and 17 distribution offers. Critics praised the film, which nearly swept the awards for documentary films that season — including, in early 1997, the Academy Award for best documentary feature." - The New York Times

Angelica, Eliza, And Healthcare Workers Making Pandemic-Related Art

Some healthcare workers created dances to deal with the losses and tragedies - and stresses of people not believing in the virus' toll - and some painted. Some silkscreened; some embroidered on old bedsheets when fabric became less available. But all of the healthcare workers used art to cope. One physician: "The suffering we have seen with COVID-19 is thousand times worse than any other illness, ever in my lifetime." - Los Angeles Times

Musical Brit Awards Exclude Nonbinary Musicians

So do most awards - and that excludes nonbinary, extraordinarily popular singer Sam Smith. The official line: "The Brits are committed to evolving the show and the gendered categories are very much under review. But any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that - if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality. We need to consult more widely before changes are made." Well, corporate-speak aside, perhaps next year. - The Guardian (UK)

We’re Longing For The Communion That Only Theatre Can Provide

We mourn together for our lost months and years. "Every day the theatre is dark, an opportunity for transformation is lost—yes, for the performers, remaking themselves so completely that, on the best of days, they lack any tether to the real world. But just as importantly, for the audiences who find that bearing witness to those performances, has remade them just the same." - American Theatre

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