The worry, ostensibly, is that the swastika on the book’s cover might violate the law passed last December that forbids spreading “Nazi propaganda.”
“Before the internet, we all thought of art as a one-way phenomenon: there were creators and there were consumers. True or not, that’s what we thought. Now, though, the means of cultural production have been democratized, and art is becoming, in all genres, a many-to-many phenomenon. Anyone can make it—and everyone does—and we all still engage with it, too.”
Glenn Greenwald has posted “the key documents giving rise to the controversy that has erupted inside PEN America over the award the group is bestowing on Charlie Hebdo” – most notably, correspondence between writer Deborah Eisenberg (who withdrew from the awards gala) and PEN Executive Director Suzanne Nossel.
“Over thirty-five years, from around 1794, when Goya, still in Madrid, was recovering from the devastating illness that left him permanently deaf and forced him to abandon grand court painting, to his death in Bordeaux in 1828, aged 82, he put together a sequence of eight ‘albums’ of brush and ink drawings. Often he added a laconic, ironic caption in black chalk.”
“[Behavioral science] suggests that play is also a crucial part of the full life of the human animal, and yet philosophers have said very little about it. Usually, if we see an appreciation of play, it’s an attempt to show its secret utility value – ‘See, it’s pragmatic after all!’ … All this is true of course, but one also wonders about the uniquely human meaning of play and leisure. Can we consider play and leisure as something with inherent value, independent of their accidental usefulness?”
“Of the four reporters who won the public service Pulitzer for the Oregonian in 2001, two have left journalism – one for a government communications job, one to teach journalism to college students. It’s hard to count how many of the other reporters who were doing high-value work back then at the paper – which gave me my first job out of college, in 2000 – have also left the business.”
“The Seattle public TV station KCTS-9 has laid off most of its production staff, including employees who have spent 30-plus years with the station, as part of a plan to shove locally produced series off the television screen and onto digital media.”
“Venue owners ask musicians to play for free. And many performers, desperate for an opportunity to showcase their skills, agree to do just that. I don’t blame the musicians. In most instances, they struggle to survive and have to grasp at any opportunity, however meager. But the owners are a different matter. Is it ethical for them to ask a musician to play for free? Is it even legal?”
“There’s something wonderful about this dogged insistence on having nothing whatsoever to show for your time in class, especially given the cultural rage for productivity. And the seminar courts a drifting boredom that is seductive in its challenge to the cult of mindfulness.”
“I was actually happy that nobody challenged us on doing Björk – that artists like her, who cross disciplines, have a place in a museum like ours … We just didn’t do the show we should have done. Fair enough. We just need to find a way to do those shows better.”
“The Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Choreographers, to be offered to three candidates over a three-year period, will provide fellows a stipend of $35,000, along with office and studio space, access to housing in New York and close contact with other artists and scholars.”
“America is a big country. Naturally, vast swaths of its often marvelous art history have always been missing in action in New York.”
Some of the country’s most important – and beloved – buildings sustained terrible damage (and a few were relatively lucky under the circumstances). Here are some of the badly-affected sites, with before and after photos.
“There’s something wonderful about this dogged insistence on having nothing whatsoever to show for your time in class, especially given the cultural rage for productivity. … But: With the approval of the UPenn English Department, Goldsmith’s crafted a creative writing course that fails to generate any writing, one that to some extent paints basic college benefits like insight, growth, and learning as passé fantasies of the old guard.”
Ángel Corella, artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet and a former star at American Ballet Theater, talks frankly about the bullying and paternal disapproval he suffered while studying ballet as a boy in Spain, the strength and athleticism ballet requires, and the importance of the boys-only classes he has started in Philadelphia.
Okay, they’re describing it as a “London season” rather than a festival, but they’re calling it “Hofest,” and it “will encompass everything from Shechter’s opera debut to bringing his critically-acclaimed piece Political Mother into the rock concert atmosphere of Brixton Academy.” (And, of course, performances at Sadler’s Wells.)
“A growing number of big cities, including New York, are increasing money for their arts programs as they roll out Common Core.”
Though it used to end the immigration story in 1954, “the museum will leap more than 60 years forward with the opening of two new galleries in what had once been the station’s kitchen and laundry. They pick up the narrative where it was left off.”
Australian novelist Peter Carey: “All this is complicated by PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population.”
“Something happened, somewhere around Love’s Labour’s Lost and the early history plays and going into Romeo and Juliet. Either he fell in love or he just grew up, but something happened to him where he suddenly ‘got it’ about women and there was a profound shift in his writing.”
“One Saturday in 1994, Bennie Lydell Glover, a temporary employee at the PolyGram compact-disk manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, went to a party at the house of a co-worker. He was angling for a permanent position, and the party was a chance to network with his managers. Late in the evening, the host put on music to get people dancing. Glover, a fixture at clubs in Charlotte, an hour away, had never heard any of the songs before, even though many of them were by artists whose work he enjoyed.”
The great neuroscientist and writer recounts his treatment of the late actor and monologuist for the head injury that ultimately led to his suicide.