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In Brief

Barry Blitt, The Politics of Fear, cover of The New Yorker (July 21, 2008)
Barry Blitt, The Politics of Fear
Cover of The New Yorker (July 21, 2008)
Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Alex Ross, as he does so often, has written the best review of the controversial production of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s 1965 opera Die Soldaten at the Lincoln Center Festival. (Get some sounds from the opera in your ear in this video and this photo set.) American Opera Theater may have had angel bondage, but David Pountney trumped that: "Men dressed as Santa Claus held down screaming women." There is a photo, too. [The New Yorker]

  • Oh, yeah -- this week's issue of The New Yorker had a funny picture on the cover, too. Check out the other political covers by the artist, Barry Blitt. Part of being President is that people are going to make fun of you and the political problems you have. Get used to it. [The Politics of Satire]

  • Heh. "Do you know how many people are displaying works mixing bodily fluids and religious symbols this week? I'd have to look on my PDA to give you an accurate count, but it's a lot. Of course, I didn't attend any of them, because the three to six hours I have for viewing art each day must be devoted to only the most sensibility-accosting exhibits. And shitting on things is so 1999." [The Onion]

  • Love my Sirius radio -- srsly. Peter Dobrin reports that a new show on Sirius's Symphony Hall channel, Modern Masters, "will explore the works of living composers" on Saturday nights. Last night's show, the first one, featured works of Jennifer Higdon, Stewart Wallace, John Corigliano, Pierre Boulez, and Aulis Sallinen. [ArtsWatch]

  • Roderick Conway Morris reviews an exhibit that sounds great, Exempla: The Rebirth of the Antique in Italian Art, From Frederick II to Andrea Pisano, at Rimini's Castel Sismondo. Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor who kept his court in Sicily, was fascinated with Roman antiquities, for which his reign, in the 13th century, is often called as the "first Renaissance." He was excommunicated a couple times, partly because he warred with the papal states. Dante, although he admired Frederick as an intellectual patron, placed him with the heretics in the sixth circle of Inferno. [International Herald Tribune]

  • J. M. Barrie and Peter Pan, a tale of childhood innocence or creepy pedophilia? [The Telegraph]

  • Don't look now, but a certain prominent American weekly has published something about classical music. Lang Lang, plugging his new memoir, answers fan questions. Funniest answer goes to his response to the question about what other musical genres he likes: "I love jazz and opera. And also hip-hop. They make impressive music videos. Classical music videos are still pretty traditional. You can probably direct one yourself. Just put a piano out in some landscape." [TIME]


Chester said...

1. How can you find out what playing on the Sirius Symphony Hall channel?

2. re the cover: satire needs overstatement. But the cover doesn't actually overstate the beliefs of the scaremongers. And Michelle Obama is not running for President.

Charles T. Downey said...

1) The Symphony Hall Web site should have more detail than it currently does. The first week was announced at ArtsWatch, and I assume they had it from a press release.

2) If elected President, Obama will burn flags in the fireplace and put up portraits of Bin Laden? Michelle Obama will wear a machine gun and ammunition around the White House? Not overstating?

The best response to this kerfuffle was on The Daily Show. It's a cartoon depicting Obama as a Muslim fundamentalist. The only people who get upset about cartoons are ... Muslim fundamentalists, and Obama is not a Muslim fundamentalist.

Anonymous said...

Lots of rubbish on your list today. I wonder why you bother reporting it? I thought this was a respectable site!

Charles T. Downey said...

I do it it all for you, anonymous commenter!

Chester said...

The Daily Show and Colbert usually hit their mark but this cover doesn't. I get the intent of the picture but it fails. Too many people in the US DO think this of the Obamas. An example (not from the nut-fringe, either); Christopher Hitchens has recently argued that Michelle Obama really is a Stokely Carmichael disciple who pushed Barack into Trinity Church, etc.
After the misogynist treatment of Hillary Clinton in the primary, do we have to start in on Michelle Obama as a scary angry black radical?

Henry Holland said...

do we have to start in on Michelle Obama as a scary angry black radical?

You mean like Angela Davis? Ah, the late 60's/early 70's! :-)

Die Soldaten was indeed amazing, Mr. Ross' review captures the experience really well. I hope when NYCO does Saint Francois di Assisi at the Armory in 12/09, they do a little better job of amplifying the singers, however. How about Birtwistle's The Mask of Orpheus there, Mr. Mortier?