The once “very macho” anti-war activist who raged against MIT’s role in nuclear weapons research is the catalyst behind the west’s mushrooming interest in mindfulness meditation, having reimagined Buddhist contemplation practices for a secular age almost 40 years ago.
“The drawers are jammed with jokes typed on 4-by-6-inch cards – 52 drawers, stacked waist-high, like a card catalog of a certain comedian’s life’s work, a library of laughs. … She arranged the 52 drawers alphabetically by subject, from ‘Annoying habits’ to ‘Zoo.’ … A drawer in the G’s begins with ‘growing older’ and ends with ‘guns.’ It takes the next drawer to hold all the cards filed under ‘guys I dated.'”
Aisha Harris: “How are cinemas, TV networks, and classrooms rethinking how they present this historical epic and all-time box office king? And could it go the way of Hollywood’s original historical epic and first megablockbuster, 1915’s The Birth of a Nation, leaving it shown very rarely and almost exclusively in academic settings? To find out, I talked to theater managers, academics, television programmers, and fans. The answers I received were mixed, not least because Gone With the Wind is still big business.”
The country has more than 60,000 churches, and they contain “a treasure trove that includes masterpieces by Titian, Michelangelo and Caravaggio as well as statues and precious artifacts like chalices, candelabra and countless illuminated manuscripts.” Thieves know it, but the faithful, and tourists, want Italian churches to stay open to the public. Now what?
The Newseum opened a beautiful new building in D.C. at the worst possible time, and its one major funder is having to tighten its budget. “News organizations who were generous supporters at the outset found themselves contending with their own financial challenges. Journalists, who do not have the deep pockets of some professions, were not a particularly bountiful source of money.” Can the Newseum survive?
South African artist Nandipha Mntambo “started college studying forensic pathology. (As a 10-year-old, she and her family came home after dinner one evening to find their dogs had been killed by a stalker, and she said she believed that was where her interest in death began.) But she soon realized it was not the career for her.”
The stories are consistent, and consistently horrifying: “He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler. He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.”
How élite does opera get? From the private loo to the movie & the museum – opera’s for all
Watercolour showing Covent Garden Opera House, The Colonnade, Walter Bayes, about 1940, England. Museum no. E.1762-1949. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Who knew? To the right of the Royal Box at the Royal Opera … read more
AJBlog: Plain EnglishPublished 2017-10-21
Berserk in the Berkshires: Lawsuit Filed Against Berkshire Museum Sales
As I previously wrote, the only realistic hope to stop Berkshire Museum’s misguided course would be legal action, either by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (which is reviewing the case but has not yet announced … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrlPublished 2017-10-20
Almanac: Christopher Shinn on theatrical success
“Whether or not your play succeeds is essentially arbitrary.” Christopher Shinn (interviewed by Jessie Thompson in the Evening Standard, August 10, 2017) … read more
AJBlog: About Last NightPublished 2017-10-20
A parishioner can flip off a pastor in church, and that’s protected free speech. What if you’re an employee, though? “In bars and parlors across the country, the issue of the flag and the anthem are being aired—and one massive misconception is that, because the players are private employees performing in a private venue, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to their protest.”
It’s a tangled web that led to vases – which had been in the possession of dealer Gianfranco Becchina, who was convicted in 2015 – being in London. “The lekythoi were on sale in London on behalf of the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt, which is seeking revenue it is owed after the liquidation of the assets of Becchina, a former resident. The canton says it received permission to sell the items from the carabinieri, who had sent back to Basel more than 1,000 pieces from the original seizure, stating they could not make a legal claim to ownership.”
Sondheim was one of the first people I told about my idea for a piece about Alexander Hamilton, back in 2008. It was in this townhouse, on the first floor. I’d been hired to write Spanish translations for a Broadway revival of “West Side Story,” and during our first meeting he asked me what I was working on next. I told him “Alexander Hamilton,” and he threw back his head in laughter and clapped his hands.