ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Mary Catherine Bateson, Author Of ‘Composing A Life’ And Daughter Of Margaret Mead, 81

Bateson, an anthropologist like her famous parents Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, had a busy and famously documented life. "Still, it wasn’t her babyhood, her lineage or her scholarship — an expert on classical Arabic poetry, she was as polymathic as her mother — that brought Dr. Bateson renown; it was her 1989 book Composing a Life, an examination of the stop-and-start nature of women’s lives and their adaptive responses — 'life as an improvisatory art,' as she wrote." - The New York Times

The True Events That Inspired The Movie One Night In Miami

The film is based on a one-act play by Kemp Powers (a long one-act play), and the playwright calls it "a work of fiction powered by the truth" - the truth being that Malcolm X, Cassius Clay before he was Muhammed Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown, "four modern legends, really did hang out for one night in Miami, and yes, they really did bond over vanilla ice cream. - Vulture

An Author And Editor Says To Stop Thinking Books Have Meaning For Everyone

Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning: "I grew up middle class and I went to school, and from the school bus you’d see kids washing plates in the gutter, working at these little roadside eateries. We had to get school uniforms made, and the tailor’s apprentice would be a person your age. Books are very meaningful to me; at the same time, I believe books do nothing for a lot of people, and that is a very valuable truth too." - The Guardian (UK)

The Movie Soul Is About A Black Man, But In Some Countries, He’s Voiced By A White Guy

Europe, excuse us, but what are you doing? "Asta Selloane Sekamane, one of the activists who criticized the casting ... said in an interview that no one can claim there wasn’t enough Black talent to fill the main roles, because actors of color were hired to voice some of the minor parts. 'It can’t be the constant excuse, this idea that we can’t find people who live up to our standards,' she added. 'That’s an invisible bar that ties qualification to whiteness.'" - The New York Times

The Stagehands Union Says It’s Time To Let Them Run Mass Vaccine Sites In Now-Empty Performance Spaces

This seems almost too obvious when one considers it. The people who know how to set up almost any kind of venue, run crowd control with various safety protocols, and already showed they can help create field hospitals? "The response to the tweet has been positive with union members chiming in offering their support. 'We REALLY want to help,' wrote one Twitter user, while another suggested using movie studio lots." - Variety

Unlocking The Technology Of Relationships

What does it look like when a small-scale, long-term community effort in Detroit is connected to a small-scale, long-term community effort in Seattle or Dallas? What is there to learn and exchange in that story being shared? In a national or federal approach to storytelling, you lose so much texture, so much detail, because in an effort to make stories accessible to more people, to build power on a bigger scale, stories get reduced. - Howlround

Brexit Deal Visa Requirements Stymie UK Musicians

As it stands, British musicians may be forced to pay for country-specific visas and equipment carnets when touring the continent – a situation that has been decried by the British music industry as prohibitively expensive and laborious, potentially limiting its £5.8bn contribution to the economy. - The Guardian

Lessons From 40 Years Performing Online

"Everything about the experience of using a computer is still flat, everything uses these windows, but then we also have high-speed processes that allow for these windows to actually be functional." - Howlround

Why Conspiracy Theories Are So Attractive To So Many

Experts say that the majority of people do not easily fall for falsehoods. But when misinformation offers simple, casual explanations for otherwise random events, “it helps restore a sense of agency and control for many people,” says Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge. - National Geographic

Why Have Sea Shanties Become A TikTok Sensation?

Why sea shanties, and why now? I do not have any concrete ideas about this; all I can tell you is that it’s happening. Apparently we’re doing sea shanties now. It makes as much and as little sense as anything else. - The Cut

Ten Takeaways From Variety’s Entertainment Summit

"A common misconception is that niche shows geared toward specific audiences will not fare as well as more universal programs, but Lucinda Martinez, executive vice president of HBO and HBO Max brand marketing, says fan marketing is more focused on quality of connection rather than quantity." - Variety

This Old Dutch Master’s Art Is Totally Homoerotic — How Did Everyone Miss This For 400 Years?

Powerfully muscled backs, piston thighs, meaty buttocks you could bounce quarters off for days. "In a flare of lusty creativity, from the late 1580s until the early 1590s, this underappreciated Mannerist produced some of the greatest — and strangest — homoerotic paintings of all time. And ... this glaringly obvious fact been studiously ignored in almost all the art historical commentary on his work." - T — The New York Times Style Magazine

Learning How Not To Read Like A Critic

"One of the first lessons you learn in grad school is to hide your personal taste or risk being shamed for liking the wrong sorts of things. Scholars have been conditioned to respond to talk of likes and dislikes with embarrassment, if not outright contempt. The facade of critical detachment may be on the way out, however." - Public Books

When Yiddish-Speaking Puppets Roamed The World

Puppetry had never been part of the Yiddish theater tradition, but in 1920s America, they were all the rage. So in 1925-26, a pair of writers created a Purim shpiel (the Jewish equivalent of a Christmas panto) with puppets. It was such a smash success that the two men ended up creating a puppet company that put on Yiddish shows nine times a week year-round in New York City and toured the Eastern Seaboard and Midwest, Cuba, Britain, France, Poland, and, ultimately, the Soviet Union. Yet the whole odyssey lasted less than a decade. - Smithsonian Center For Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Will Self: How Should We Be Reading?

"There’s always this quality of endeavor about reading—and at the same time, in cognitive terms it’s hard work. When someone reading complex passages of prose—ones, say, that attempt to convey human lives in all their manifold sensuous and intellectual complexity—is placed in a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner, we can see on the machine’s visual display that almost all of their brain is lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Not only that, but the parts of the brain employed when actually talking, walking or making love are illuminated by the very act of reading about talking, walking or making love." - LitHub

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