“The vivid world of make-believe people is for children only. (If you’re not convinced of the ubiquity of this assumption, just imagine the water-cooler conversation that would ensue if a co-worker casually let slip, “I spent my lunch break imagining how a young girl I dreamt up might respond to being lost in a foreign country.”) It may be considered acceptable for an adult to play video games or fantasy baseball…but evidently in order to become functional adults each of us must renounce our personal Puff the Magic Dragon.”
“Do traditional marketing methods do justice to and serve the product? As the commercial Broadway musical further diversifies and pushes boundaries in terms of form and content, so should our attitude and behaviour in marketing them.”
“If the argument for globalism is so water-tight and damn-near irreproachable, why in the area of literature does one find so many supposedly progressive voices constantly bashing the very books that come out of the cauldron of heterogeneity? Why, in other words, are those from the intellectual class so quick to assume the mantle of the God of Genesis, impugning works that should be celebrated for either depicting or inhabiting the qualities of our modern world?”
“Dr. Pimple Popper” (a California dermatologist), for instance, has well over 2 million YouTuibe subscribers. “There’s actually a psychological explanation for loving these videos – or at least voluntarily watching more of them.” Katherine Ellen Foley explains this intersection between disgust and curiosity.
“The small coastal city of Mersin … is one of the last places you would expect to find Turkey’s first and only LGBTQ choir, but that choir is on the front lines of the fight for LGBTQ and other minority rights in the country of 80 million.”
As Philip Kennicott argues forcefully that money from the arch-conservative, climate change-denying Koch brothers is by now irredeemably tainted, Lyn Gardner looks at the ongoing arguments over arts sponsorship by BP: “Whenever the cultural sector is benefiting from cash injections, the question must be asked: although it may bring benefits to our theatre and audience, is there a price for this sponsorship that is being paid by someone else, somewhere else?”
“The four-day public dismantling of Sam Durant’s sculpture Scaffold, overseen by Dakota traditional and spiritual leaders, is nearly complete in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, after a week of protests, apologies and mediation … But in an interview on Monday, the Walker’s executive director, Olga Viso, said the Dakota were debating whether the wood fragments would indeed be burned, as previously announced.”
“A report by the Portuguese public broadcaster RTP suggested recent filming for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote left behind chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar, central Portugal.” The director – whose years-long quest to complete the movie has been legendarily troubled – denies all: “People should begin by getting the facts before howling hysterically.”
“Cults, generally speaking, are a lot like pornography: you know them when you see them. … Less easy, though, is identifying why. Knee-jerk reactions make for poor sociology, and … often (just as with pornography), what we choose to see as a cult tells us as much about ourselves as about what we’re looking at.” Tara Isabella Burton looks at numerous examples and considers where it’s appropriate to draw the line.
“For the generation who grew up watching the show, it proved that dance has a place on television. … It’s undeniable that dance today is part of pop culture in a way that it wasn’t a decade and a half ago. This increased exposure hasn’t necessarily translated into more ticket sales for live performances, but it has presented an alternative way of experiencing the art form. … [Yet the show’s] biggest impact was setting the standard for dance on the internet with its ‘snackable, and eminently shareable’ dance clips.”
“Ginstling arrives at a time of significant transition for the NSO. He will start his tenure at the same time as Gianandrea Noseda, who will officially be welcomed as the NSO’s music director at a free concert on the Mall on July 29.”
“The defining trait of the age seems to be arrogance — in particular, the kind of arrogance personified by our tweeter in chief; the arrogance of thinking that you know it all and that you don’t need to improve because you are just so great already. But our culture’s infatuation with this kind of arrogance doesn’t come out of the blue.”
The Alamo Drafthouse chain’s plan to offer no-boys-allowed screenings of the new superheroine hit made news when certain men on the Internet flipped right out about them. Cara Buckley, the Times‘s “Carpetbagger” during awards season, paid a visit to the screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Brooklyn to check out the (excited) vibe.
“There is so much new life and affluence crowding the Brooklyn waterfront that traditionalists like Mark Peskanov, the master violinist who runs the Bargemusic concerts of chamber music aboard a handsomely converted coal barge, hard by the Brooklyn Bridge, might be tempted to move. Which he has no intention of doing.”
Yes, Charles and David Koch “have given hundreds of millions of dollars to institutions such as Lincoln Center and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art,” but they’ve also “used their fortune to sow doubt about climate science and undermine the nation’s faith in basic science. … They have undermined a critical set of our most important human capacities, and some of the same ones that the arts are often thought to enhance. These include things such as critical thinking and deference to reason and evidence, but also empathy and fellow feeling, and a sense that we are connected to other people.”
“[His] cerebral novels about radical politics, most famously The Company You Keep, challenged readers with biblical parables and ethical dilemmas.”
“Natalia Sharina was arrested in 2015 after a search of her Library of Ukrainian Literature found what officials described as anti-Russian propaganda. She denied the charges” and claimed that the books were planted by police. After spending 20 months under house arrest, she was convicted of inciting ethnic hatred and embezzling public funds; she was given a four-year suspended sentence.
Discovery At The National Gallery
While I was in London recently (returning before the latest terror attack, thank God), I stopped in at the National Gallery to see its marvelous exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano, … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-06-05
A Call to Action
At least since 1600 leaders have been most afraid of two things: comedy and the theater. Both have helped America in the recent past. … read more
AJBlog: OperaSleuth Published 2017-06-05
The problem with “no problem”
I was amusing myself on Twitter before turning off the light and going to sleep last Friday night, and had occasion to post this deliberately curmudgeonly sentiment: “For the gazillionth time: ‘No problem’ is NOT the correct reply to ‘Thank you very much.’” … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2017-06-05
Monday Recommendation: Bengt Hallberg
Bengt Hallberg Trio, Dinah (Phillips)
When the Swedish pianist Bengt Hallberg died four years ago at the age of 80, most of his obituaries included a quote from a 1950s Miles Davis … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-06-05
Sublime: Country House Opera in Real Time
Our more or less local country house summer opera season has started with a pair of pieces at Garsington Opera at the gorgeous Getty estate, … read more
AJBlog: Plain English Published 2017-06-05
The trend is likely to alarm humanities professors and many others in academe. Many humanities departments have found themselves struggling to maintain tenure-track faculty lines and, in some cases, to continue departments. Humanities professors are quick to note that their departments play crucial roles in general education for students from a range of majors.
First there was the experimental 87-seat Hell’s Kitchen theatre, then the specially constructed tent in the Meatpacking District, then a 540-seat theatre in Boston, and finally Broadway’s Imperial Theatre – and the designers had to figure out how to replicate, or imitate, or alter, the original design for each venue. Director Rachel Chavkin: “I can say with confidence that we never would have made this if it had started in a Broadway house, or even with that as our intention.”
We won’t have this legendary series of mishaps to kick around anymore: “The former Monty Python member has been working on the project since 1989, persevering through setbacks so numerous that they inspired a documentary about the ill-starred project, 2002’s ‘Lost in La Mancha.'” Instead, we’ll actually have the movie.