An Argument Against Our Meritocracy

It is obvious that “not everyone is born with the same academic gifts,” deBoer writes, but among teachers and educational officials there is a “prohibition against talking plainly about differences in academic talent.” The “cult of smart”—deBoer defines his title on page five—is “the notion that academic value is the only value, and intelligence the only true measure of human worth.” What we need, instead of our unjust, so-called meritocracy, is “a society where you can fail at school and still...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Spring 2021

Police Bust Massive Hollywood Ponzi Scheme

Zachary Horwitz collected $690 million from investors for movie deals authorities say were fictitious. The HBO and Netflix contracts he used to convince Russell and others that his business was legitimate were forgeries, the government says. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Hbo, Media, Netflix, Russell, Zachary Horwitz, 04.26.21

How A 1967 Recording By The Who Predicted Where Pop Music Would End Up

The contradictory impulses about pop’s progress and possibilities at its heart make The Who Sell Out sound like a perfect snapshot of music at a moment of flux: poised between pop and the more serious business of rock, between pirate radio and prog. Meanwhile, what it has to say about music and advertising seems eerily prescient and thoroughly modern: a blast from the past that foretells the future. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Music, 04.26.21

Oscars Ratings Plunge 58 Percent From Last Year’s Record Low

Among adults 18 to 49, the demographic that many advertisers pay a premium to reach, the Oscars suffered an even steeper 64 percent decline, according to preliminary data from Nielsen released on Monday. Nielsen’s final numbers are expected on Tuesday and will include out-of-home viewing and some streaming statistics. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, Nielsen, Audience, 04.26.21

Dallas Opera Launches Its Own Streaming Channel

“We view it as a second stage,” said Ian Derrer, the Dallas Opera’s general director and CEO. “And it has accessible on-ramps for many more people globally.” – Dallas Morning News
Tags: Art, Music, Dallas, Dallas Opera, Ian Derrer, 04.26.21

Former English National Ballet Principal On Trial For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Students

“Yat-Sen Chang, 49, has been charged with 12 counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault by penetration against a female aged 16 or over. The alleged offences are said to have taken place at the English National Ballet and Young Dancers Academy in London between December 2009 and March 2016. Chang, who lives in the German port city of Kiel, has denied all the charges.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, London, Dance, Chang, Kiel, 04.26.21, Yat Sen Chang, English National Ballet and Young Dancers Academy

Was The Emperor Nero Really So Wicked? Probably Not

Says the curator of a new exhibit on the Roman monarch at the British Museum, “Nero’s memory was contested after his death, and that really was divided along class divisions. You have a very hostile elite, but we also know that the common people in Rome, the plebs urbana, honored his memory for decades after his death. Already, you have an intriguing story with accounts that don’t quite match up. And this is really what we want to investigate.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, People, Rome, Nero, 04.22.21

Pandemic Writer’s Block is Real, so are These Tips for Overcoming it!

Time indoors can feel like an oasis at times, yet, mind-numbing at others. During this pandemic, many of us are spending more time indoors than ever. No wonder we are experiencing writer’s block! The four walls surrounding us seem to be caving in day-by-day, offering fewer and fewer genius ideas. While there are a lot of formerly helpful options that aren’t available right now (going to the movies, anyone?), we’ve compiled three welcome distractions that can hopefully get you back on track and w...
Tags: Design, Writing, How-to, Writer's Block, Presentation, Content Strategy, Speaking, Presentation Hacks, Presentation Design, Presentation tips, Pandemic, How To Overcome Writer's Block, Overcoming Writer's Block, Pandemic Writer's Block, Presentation Tricks, Writer's Block Overcome

Workers Discover Two Hidden Frescoes In The Uffizi

According to the museum, an unknown person “protected” the Cosimo II artwork before it was plastered over. “Maybe this unknown savior wanted it to be preserved for the future generations,” the spokesperson said. “Obviously our researchers are already trying to figure out the story behind this.” – Artnet
Tags: Art, Visual, 04.26.21

Is This Guy Really At The Center Of The Century’s Greatest Art-Forgery Scandal?

Over the past seven years, “this scandal — now known as ‘the Ruffini affair’ — has engulfed figures ranging from curators at the Louvre to leading auction-house executives. It has also given rise to an endless litany of conflicting and sometimes changing opinions, both technical and connoisseurial. … Now, he has decided to tell his side of the story.” – Artnet
Tags: Art, Louvre, Visual, Ruffini, 04.26.21

Maureen Dowd: Has Hollywood Lost Its Inspiration?

As a Hollywood writer friend of mine said after she watched “Nomadland”: “That was not entertainment. That was Frances McDormand having explosive diarrhea in a plastic bucket on a van.” Not a crop of movies that make you reach for the Junior Mints. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Media, Frances Mcdormand, Audience, Maureen Dowd, 04.25.21

Does ‘The King And I’ Need To Be Decolonized? Yes (And It’s Largely Anna’s Fault). Can It Be? Maybe.

Not everything in Anna Leonowens’s memoirs about her time at the Siamese court is a lie, but quite a lot is untrue, especially about Anna’s own mixed-race, plebeian origins. (For instance, she’d never even been to Britain when she went to Bangkok.) Thence come many of the problems in the musical, like the white-savior narrative. David Henry Hwang’s rewrite of the book of Flower Drum Song preserved the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs in a more sensitive context that’s workable for the stage today,...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Britain, Anna, Bangkok, Rodgers, Hammerstein, David Henry Hwang, Anna Leonowens, 04.26.21, Sravya Tadapalli

“Not The Civil Service”: Cameron Mackintosh Defends Cutting “Phantom” Orchestra In Half

“I’ve had a terrible year trying to keep on as many people as I can, but our job is to try to put a show on that can run and be brilliant,” he said. “Am I sorry? I’m sorry they’re upset, but I do find it odd why musicians would want to keep doing the same thing year after year. I believe we should not be holding jobs for actors or musicians ad infinitum. This is not the Civil Service, we’re creating art.” – Broadway World
Tags: Art, Theatre, Civil Service, Cameron Mackintosh, 04.26.21

Actors On One Of Germany’s Most Popular TV Shows Made Sarcastic Videos About The COVID Lockdown. Bad Idea.

“A website called #allesdichtmachen (‘close it all down’) was launched on Thursday night, featuring 53 to-camera clips in which high-profile actors [from the long-running series Tatort] sarcastically boast of the lengths they have gone to restrict their social contacts and appeal to the government to lock down the country even harder.” Mein Gott, did they get dragged. One television host who’s been working as a paramedic summed up the general reaction, tweeting that the stars can “shove their i...
Tags: Art, Media, Germany, Gott, 04.26.21

How Yahoo Went From Being The Web’s Welcoming Atrium To Its Wrecking Ball

Back in the 1990s, before search engines were much good, Yahoo was a popular and useful portal, a directory organizing the great, amorphous mass of websites into something navigable (especially for those who didn’t want to be suck inside AOL’s bubble). Now Yahoo’s seen as a giant, bumbling monster, gobbling up and wiping out beloved hubs of user-generated content — GeoCities, Flickr, Delicious, the old Usenet boards that became Yahoo Groups, and now Yahoo Answers. Kaitlyn Tiffany traces how it ...
Tags: Art, Media, Yahoo, Aol, Geocities, Kaitlyn Tiffany, 04.25.21

In Venice, Building A New System To Protect St. Mark’s From Ever-Increasing Floods

The repeated, record-setting acqua alta events of late 2019 caused an estimated €300 million in damage to the Byzantine-style landmark — and floods are expected to get more frequent and severe as sea level rises. What’s more, the long-delayed MOSE floodgates in the Venice lagoon aren’t enough to protect St. Mark’s, which lies at one of the lowest points in the city and takes on seawater at tide levels well below what triggers the gates to rise. So engineers and architects are working on a €3.5 ...
Tags: Art, Venice, Visual, 04.20.21, Venice Building

Are We Polarized Or Suffering From Propaganda?

“Systemic polarization, as it is usually told, is a basically symmetrical story. Polarization arises from a social dynamic that afflicts almost everybody. The social forces at play—social mobility, online media bubbles, algorithmic filtering—are pervasive, and their effect is nearly universal. Like-minded individuals naturally clump together and end up boosting each others’ confidence unreasonably. Conservatives and progressives are approximately as vulnerable and approximately as blameworthy. ...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 04.22.21

Italy Begins Reopening Theaters And Museums

“After six months of rotating on-again, off-again closures, restaurants, bars, museums and cinemas opened to the public in most of the country under a gradual reopening plan that is seen as too cautious for some, too hasty for others.” – AP
Tags: Art, Italy, Issues, 04.26.21

Baltimore Symphony President To Depart, Ending Turbulent Tenure

“Peter Kjome capped a roller-coaster five years as president and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra” — a period that included a financial near-collapse, a lockout-turned-strike, and, ultimately, a new contract that improved relations between musicians and management — “by announcing Monday that he will leave the organization when his contract expires in January 2022. Combined with the departure of music director Marin Alsop in August, that means the BSO will embark on its first season of l...
Tags: Art, Music, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, BSO, 04.26.21, Peter Kjome

Authors And Publishers Are In No Rush To Restart Book Tours

“Most publishers contacted by PW said they are deferring making any concrete plans about tours until authors feel comfortable going back on the road and booksellers and librarians feel comfortable hosting in-store events.” – Publishers Weekly
Tags: Art, Words, 04.23.21

QOTD: Is the 2021 Rolls-Royce-Based Overdose Actually Overkill?

A Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith is already a limited production vehicle. German tuner Novitec, and its Spofec division, are modifying three of these cars for worldwide distribution. The question of the day is whether the Spofec Overdose Wraiths are overkill, or not? Gran Turismo, or GT, cars have a wide berth when it comes to […] The post QOTD: Is the 2021 Rolls-Royce-Based Overdose Actually Overkill? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.
Tags: Europe, Design, Germany, Sales, Luxury, Autos, Gran Turismo, Export, Rolls-royce, Sales And Marketing, New Cars, Carbon Fiber, Tuner, Enthusiasm, News Blog, Exclusivity

Fired Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts Director Lands New Job In Paris

Last July, after a tenure that had been widely viewed (at least from outside) as a major success, Nathalie Bondil was dismissed from the Montreal museum amid allegations that she created a “toxic” work environment. Now she’s returning to France to become director of exhibitions and collections at the Institut du Monde Arabe. – ARTnews
Tags: Art, France, Paris, Montreal, Visual, Nathalie Bondil, 04.26.21

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