“Modern American culture encourages us to spend beyond our limits – what happens tomorrow when a cash-strapped government requires us to spend beyond our limits? Or, today our culture practically worships celebrities. What happens tomorrow when some of us literally worship celebrities? It’s a fertile field for satire.”
The latest in The Toast’s occasional – and delightful – “Women In Art History” series:
you found us
you found us with your guitar
hey guys he found us and he brought his guitar with him”
It started with a pair of spiritualists in post-Civil-War New York; became a ubiquitous family pastime that was considered good, clean fun (and great for a date); and had its reputation ruined by The Exorcist. (It also told its first manufacturers what it wanted to be called.) (includes podcast)
Haider, an adaptation of the Shakespeare play set amid the bloody 1990s conflict in Kashmir, has won rapturous praise from Indian cinephiles and film critics – and has enraged Hindu nationalists, who accuse the movie of glorifying terrorists and justifying ethnic cleansing. (Hmm, where have we heard that sort of thing before?)
“In protest of their unemployment and its endangerment of the country’s vulnerable cultural resources [and in] reaction to the government’s broken promise to hire 50 workers among the thousands of unemployed cultural heritage professionals, the Association of Culture and Art Workers is taking desperate measures.”
At the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, Andrew Wylie “call[ed] Amazon ‘the equivalent of ISIS,’ 50 Shades of Grey ‘one of the most embarrassing moments in Western culture,’ and self-publishing ‘the aesthetic equivalent of telling everyone who sings in the shower they deserve to be in La Scala’.”
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission rule would “ensure that over-the-top Internet streaming services are given the same treatment as cable companies and satellite television companies. … Broadcasters would be barred from stopping online video providers from carrying their content and that online video providers would be empowered to negotiate fair licensing deals with content providers.”
“[We] gathered data on the 2014-15 seasons that have been programmed by 21 major American orchestras … [and] created a database.” Here are some early stats on how much music by female composers and American composers are being performed and which composers (living and dead) the orchestras are playing most.
“One of the biggest misconceptions people have about mindfulness is that you can train yourself to stay in this mindful state all of the time. … Even if you spent 20 years in a Tibetan monastery, you would not be able to stay in a mindful state. We are not, evolutionarily, designed to stay in this blissful, present-moment awareness state.”
The 91-year-old director is furious that the Milan opera house packed off his gold-covered extravaganza, which opened La Scala’s 2006-07 season, to the opera in Astana, Kazakhstan. (Never mind that Zeffirelli is getting a share of the proceeds, or that La Scala can borrow it back for free whenever it wants.)
“Her character worked for Underwood from the time he was a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina through his recent career upturns.”
“That essay Langston [Hughes] wrote, ‘The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain’ — I’m thinking of both sides of his argument in that. One is that obviously you’re always a black writer, but also you have to work with your gifts first and shut that out when you’re actually composing. What do you guys think? That’s how I approach it, but it might be naïve.”
“It’s hard to say how many people dance on the subway today, but the dancers generally put the number in the low hundreds — a spike that some older performers attribute to the sharp decline of arts and physical education funding since the recession.”
“Peacock alternative TV head Paul Telegdy told Vulture that he’s been looking to get a variety series on the network for a long time, and that Harris has always been at the top of his list of potential hosts.”
“Variety shows are like the soccer of American television. It is the most popular sport in the world but, no matter how hard anyone has tried in recent years, it just won’t catch on here like it does internationally.”
“A quantum theory of smell sounds outlandish, perhaps, but evidence has recently emerged to support it: it was found that fruit flies can distinguish odorants with exactly the same shape but different isotopes of the same elements, something that is hard to explain without quantum mechanics.”
“It is the latest event in a saga marked by legal squabbles, clashing egos, the spiriting away of a working print and, briefly, the disappearance and recovery of the reels last summer after a storage company went bankrupt.”
“‘Eat your heart out, Beyonce,’ she says watching herself do moves that are strikingly similar to the pop diva’s.”
“The museum is claiming that the problems have driven up costs by at least $19.8 million and caused the museum to delay its opening by at least 15 months.”
She still learns new music, too, and she rides the New York subway, and she carries her own luggage. “I walk around with my 60-year-old friends and they tell me to slow down.” Meet Ruth Slenczynska.
“Vulture has collected data (including domestic and foreign box-office numbers, social-media buzz, critical respect, Twitter mentions, Oscar nominations/wins, and E-Score Celebrity rankings by E-Poll) in every important metric that measures modern movie stardom, inputting those numbers into a formula crafted with our guest statistician, FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten.”
Oh yes, it’s real. It was quite a hit at Sundance last winter, and it’s already been nominated for a Gotham Award. (includes trailer)
“Kids love it” – his brother’s kids, specifically, loved the Disney movie – “so I had that affinity. I got stuck with the story, and there was little I could change, but, as the strike happened during the time of the women’s struggle to vote, I began thinking about my own recent turn of the century.”
“Suffice to say the scam includes one racist Southerner, three persuasive actors, a tract of land, and $50,000 in cash.” (video)
The cuts, amounting to about 7% of HBO’s workforce, are part of company-wide layoffs at Time Warner.
Time to join the rest of the world
AJBlog: Sandow Published 2014-10-28
Do you need the matrix?
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2014-10-28
When Music Sounds Like a Cash Register: Taylor Swift
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2014-10-28
Ten moments of pure musical joy
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2014-10-28
“The change, revealed as the curtain is about to rise on Portland Opera’s 50th season, is an attempt to stabilize the company after years of fluctuating finances. And it will affect all aspects of the organization, from audience experience to casting, marketing, production and budgets.”
“Nationalism – the 19th-century invention of nations as an ideal, as romantic unions of blood and patriotism – caused the great war. What does it say about Britain in 2014 that we still narrowly remember our own dead and do not mourn the German or French or Russian victims?”
So how did “the balcony scene” (there is no balcony in the scene) in “Romeo and Juliet” become the most famous Shakespeare scene ever?
“She admits: ‘I’ve no problem in confessing that I’ve not had any time to read for the past two years. I read a lot of notes, a lot of legislative texts, news, AFP stories, but I read very little,’ squirming when it was noted that a culture minister might, well, enjoy partaking of a novel or two here or there.”