Aside from Hillary Clinton’s memoir – which sold well for any kind of book, not just a political book – things are kind of grim, maybe because “leveraging a massive publicity platform is one of the few proven methods of selling a lot of books, but the media has become so balkanized that many best-selling authors are ‘celebrities’ invisible to most of the nation: YouTube stars, radio hosts, reality TV contestants.”
Lyn Gardner: “Just as the window displays of Topshop may deliberately scream that their wares are not for me – a middle-aged woman – many venues unwittingly send out the signal that theatre is not for everyone. … If the public has paid for these buildings then they truly must be places available to the public – and artists – all day long, to do what they want, not what they are directed to do. They shouldn’t feel the need to be invited in, but they should be made to feel welcome whatever their purpose for being there.
For choreographers, the postpartum pangs that follow a big triumph can summon doubts about their ability to duplicate a career’s artistic zenith. Critics sneer, ballet masters and directors stifle skeptical looks, audiences question, producers pressure and choreographers agonize about the label of “one-hit wonder.” Has he backed himself into a corner? Has she burned out on ideas? How do you bring something original to the stage without copying yourself or experimenting with disaster?
The good reader’s cultural elevation always relied on his oppositional relationship to the curiously undifferentiated mass of bad readers, who struck Nabokov—and have struck many teachers and literary scholars since—as a kind of irritating background noise; always already present and unworthy of any serious or systematic consideration.
“All across the media world, organizations continue to grapple with ‘digital disruption.’ … Which is why the Jerome L. Greene Foundation’s $10 million gift this month to New York Public Radio (NYPR), home to WNYC and WQXR, is so interesting.” Mike Scutari looks at how this donation, along with several others from the Greene Foundation over the past decade, has funded NYPR’s “self-disruption” – that is, its transformation into a “multi-platform journalism service.”
“New stats revealed this week by audiobooks.com showed how many (or few) of us get to the end of a range of audiobooks. They make tough reading for Craig Oliver, whose No 10 [Downing St] Brexit memoirs, Unleashing Demons, kept only 20% of readers rapt until the end. The oft-unfinished War and Peace retained about the same proportion through its 60-plus hours of narration (stats were not available for Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time).”
“‘We are going to switch from being building-based to being project-based,’ [Painted Bride] executive director Laurel Raczka said Monday. … The organization is not having any particularly stressful financial problems at this time, Raczka said. Rather, the decision to free itself from the building is driven by a desire to serve the city’s younger artists and audiences in a way that makes sense.”
With many tourists in the city, schools on break and star power lifting the tide, audiences turned out en masse. “Hamilton” grossed a whopping $3.4 million in a regular eight-performance week, breaking its own record set this January. With the show sold out nonstop, the average ticket price hit $321.13, reflecting a premium pricing model that producers have started to employ across the industry.
“Once a conversation or rumor is potentially identified as news, an important consideration is its veracity. To determine this, Tracer looks for the source by identifying the earliest tweet in the conversation that mentions the topic and any sites it points to. It then consults a database listing known producers of fake news, such as the National Report, or satirical news sites such as The Onion. Finally, the system writes a headline and summary and distributes the news throughout the Reuters organization.”
“If you’re on social media, you’re being presented with stimuli all the time, stimuli that are demanding a response from you. If that’s the case, how do you navigate that moment? The thesis of the book is that, in reality, we don’t want to master those impulses. We don’t want to, because by responding to those stimuli in an instinctive way, we can signal our belonging. But we ought to resist those stimuli, because the social and personal costs of not resisting those stimuli are enormous.”
Alexis Soloski: “A boy student assaults a girl student. It’s sad, yes. But to quote Shakespeare again, it’s ‘everyday’s news.’ Who wants to write about a victim? It’s depressing. Better to thrill an audience with some he said, she said, right? … We know that sexual assault on college campuses is both epidemic and underreported, in part because women and men who have experienced assault doubt that they will be believed. So is it too much to ask for a play that confirms the truth of an assault? Or suggests that a victim wasn’t somehow asking for it?”
Dubbed “the world’s sexiest soprano” by People magazine in 1975, “Ms. Neblett was a supremely confident and, to many critics, supremely talented singer and actress, known for her charming, often sensual portrayals of comic characters and dramatic heroines.” She made operatic history in 1973 as the first opera singer to appear in full-frontally nude onstage.
“For a city of its huge size – 10 million people – and economic heft, Jakarta lacked many things one might expect of a thriving Asian metropolis: a metro system, for one, as well as a major international modern and contemporary art museum. The metro system will be operational in 2019, but the contemporary art museum has come even sooner. On Nov. 4, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, known as Museum Macan, opened its doors to the public.”
Women’s wages and employment at the top of the art world
I would venture this: the more a “top” position has multiple, inflexible time demands, the greater the gender differences will be. Does that mean we can look at the gender distribution of orchestral conductor or museum director positions and say “well, that’s just market forces”? No, we don’t have to do that. … read more
AJBlog: For What It’s Worth Published 2017-11-27
False Dichotomy: Boston Globe’s Deaccession-or-Die Editorial on the Berkshire Museum
With surprising disregard for the facts, the Boston Globe‘s editorial writers yesterday flatly (and wrongly) asserted that the Berkshire Museum needs to sell “40 of the museum’s most valuable works” in order to “remain viable.” … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-11-27
Monday Recommendation: Jones, Lewis & The Vanguard
Lisik and Allen, 50 Years At The Village Vanguard (SkyDeck)
Dave Lisik and Eric Allen tell the story of The Vanguard Orchestra and its predecessors. In a huge book illustrated with hundreds … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-11-27
Researchers found “Conservatism is associated with lower appreciation of both irony and exaggeration.” Indeed, among the personality aspects they considered, the only ones that played a role in humor appreciation were one’s sense of humor (obviously) and the aforementioned enjoyment of intellectual pursuits.