A 22-year-old bassoonist was in a church parking lot in the town of Springfield, sitting on his trunk and playing scales while waiting for a rehearsal to start, when he was slowly approached by police wearing bulletproof vests. It seems a nearby citizen, worried by mass shootings in the news and unfamiliar with large double-reed instruments, had called 911. Said the young man, “In the right kind of light, it looks like a bazooka, but I don’t think it was the right kind of light.” (Again, one shudders to think how this might have played out in Florida.)
Sales have been on the slide for 11 years; even online sales have fallen. Over the past five years, the company has lost more than $1bn in value. Dozens of stores have closed. A shake-up in February resulted in the loss of 1,800 full-time jobs. If Barnes & Noble closes it will mark the death of the last major book chain in the US, leaving the field open to Amazon, which sells one out of every two books in the country, according to analysts. Closure is also likely to hurt publishers, who will become even more heavily reliant on Amazon. Big swaths of America will be left without a major bookstore.
It’s almost like a dance addiction, he says. “The more opportunities I was given, the more performances I did, the more opera houses I danced around the world, I wanted more of. It was insatiable. I was never satisfied. And, listen, you can’t go on forever. … Reality puts you in check and for the better.”
After the 82 women, including Jane Fonda, Selma Hayek, Ava DuVernay, Cate Blanchett, and Agnes Varda, climbed the steps on the red carpet, Blanchett and Varda read a statement. “The group said that the number of women present was chosen to match the total number of films made by female film-makers that have appeared in competition at the festival in its 71-year history. In that time 1,645 films directed by men have been selected in competition.”
“It’s an intensely personal vision that begins with [artist Trenton Doyle] Hancock’s youth. When you walk into Moundverse Infants, you’re overwhelmed by bright reds, greens and yellows meant to evoke both a toy store and the tile in Hancock’s grandma’s bathroom. ‘I’m obsessed with my own childhood,’ Hancock says. ‘I’ve actually tried to turn that into a superpower.'”
Turns out USians are most afraid, right now, that government officials are corrupt, and afraid for the planet, and afraid of losing health care. Whew, whatever happened to public speaking? Well, we’re complex: “We’re simultaneously too primitive and too evolved for our own good. Our lizard brains are ruthlessly efficient.”
Author Olivia Laing, who’s being painted by artist Chantal Joffe: “How do you catch reality, the actual minute? I wanted to see what would happen if I wrote about her while she was painting me, if we could survey each other at the same time in an act of simultaneous witnessing.”
As 200 million people watched, Israel’s Netta Barzilai overwhelmed the “carnival of camp” competition – “Denmark featured singing Vikings, Ukraine’s contestant rose from a coffin to play on an enormous flame-wreathed piano, and an Estonian opera singer performed in a gown 26 feet in diameter” – with a song that she said was inspired by the #MeToo movement.
Sweden’s war on cash has changed a lot about the country, including how robbers operate. “As Sweden’s supply of banknotes continues to dwindle, criminals have shown new enthusiasm for the endangered-species black market, previously cornered by reptile wranglers and orchid thieves. Crimes involving protected species recently reached their highest level in a decade. A single great gray owl — known as the ‘phantom of the north’ — now goes for 1 million kronor (about $120,000) on the dark web.”