Rifftides readers have asked the staff to again present Jack Brownlow’s Christmas recital that first appeared here in December of 2015. We are delighted to do so. — Doug Ramsey
Turning the past into a morality play, in which grandstanding politicians and academics act as saviours, can have deleterious consequences for the way we understand it. Looking back on earlier times is a privileged and elevated position from which to view it, one that is often distorted by current preoccupations and interests. It’s easy to launch a press conference and condemn colonialism, after all; what’s harder is tackling contemporary social problems, and Macron faces and ignores many of those. It is important to guard against the simplistic and all too easily acquired feelings of superiority that we can have by surveying the past through contemporary mores, centuries later.
In March, Ariel Palitz was appointed as the senior executive director of New York City’s Office of Nightlife, the city’s first. She describes herself as a liaison between the city agencies, nightlife businesses, owners, residents, employees, patrons, and entertainers. Her colleagues call her the night mayor.
Sorkin describes how he approached the challenges of translating one of America’s most beloved novels into a different medium in a different century (the world has changed a lot since Mockingbird was written) and how the production’s team handled the lawsuit from Lee estate executor Tonja Carter.
There are broader cultural reasons for this renewed interest in the inner workings of the mind. This is an age of ego, self-examination and narcissism. “When we say narcissism, that’s really brought on by technology,” says Esmail. “Now everyone has a platform. Everyone can be a publisher. Whole lives are put up for people to react to, to like, to dislike, to comment on, and, yes, that has turned everyone to look inwards, and to curate a personality.”
“‘For us, the opera singers, it is just like Frank Sinatra said: New York, New York, if you made it, you made it everywhere,’ the 77-year-old singer from Spain said Friday night when he was honored on stage for the 50th anniversary of his Met debut.”
Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the 2018 competition, and since then, she’s met Prince William, gotten hundreds of thousands more followers on Instagram – and tried to stay true to being a musician, not a hit pop song writer.
Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches die every year in the United States. “As donations and attendance decrease, the cost of maintaining large physical structures that are only in use a few hours a week by a handful of worshippers becomes prohibitive. None of these trends show signs of slowing, so the United States’s struggling congregations face a choice: start packing or find a creative way to stay afloat.”
A fresco of Leda and the swan is only one of many treasures revealed by an intensive effort to save a stretch along the Via del Vesuvio. “The project involves excavating and securing more than two miles of earth that border an unexcavated area of the ancient city. The archaeological remains along this front have suffered in recent years as a result of collapses and landslides caused by heavy rains.”