Friday, May 03, 2019

The Value Of A Compelling Story: “The Death Of The Critic”

Children have no mercy on adults. It does not occur to them that adults may need it.” 
~Louis Auchlncloss, The House of the Prophet ... So true ... [read more]

The Value Of A Compelling Story

We can learn much from the entrepreneurial community about the art of a good story. Great storytellers simplify. Richard Branson once said, “If your pitch can’t fit on the back of an envelope, it’s rubbish.” He is also the master at telling the warts and all story, compelling people to understand both his successes and failures, but most importantly to get his listeners invested in helping him solve his challenges. – Arts Professional

From Clay Tablets to Smartphones: 5,000 Years of Writing - The New York Times – London – “The writing’s on the wall, we’re told. Whether it was Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press in the 15th century, the invention of the typewriter 300 years later, or the emoji of today’s smartphones, the act of writing seems to be forever on the precipice of extinction, without quite falling off. “Writing has never been static,” said Adrian Edwards, a curator at the British Library who put together the exhibition “Writing: Making Your Mark,” which runs through Aug. 27. “The marks we make on the page have always changed and developed in ways in tune with our needs,” he added. “I think writing’s going to be around for quite some time to come,” Mr. Edwards said.

Why Women Writers Love Rebooting Homer

As anyone who’s read The Iliad knows, it’s about men being mad at each other and going to war. That results in some great writing, true, but there’s a lot more left to say about the cost of anger and war. “The novels compel us to look at that cost, not by a poignant glimpse to the side, as in the Iliad, but as their chief subject. As well they might: after all, slavery, massacres and rape remain real-world consequences of conflict and male aggression.” – The Guardian (UK)

Is “The Death Of The Critic” A Tired Trope That Needs Retiring?

“What if the critic doesn’t need more audacity, or more ruthlessness; what if there isn’t one “tone of the time” waiting for their elucidation – indeed, what if nothing but mass popularity is missing? Relinquish the assumption that the mainstream is the critic’s rightful inheritance, and the anxiety might start falling away.” – Times Literary Supplement


May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their [authority]. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny. And May Day is the most fitting day to do so….
Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur.

We should treat communists the same way we treat Nazis.

World Music Is Changing (As A Genre) And So Is Who’s Supporting It

Recently Red Bull announced it would stop funding its music academy that promoted World Music. “These days, experimental art often views corporate largesse as necessary. The closing was a reminder that much of contemporary culture is produced by companies that don’t see themselves as archivists, or as custodians for the future. Art is just content, and it vanishes, too.” – The New Yorker

1 big thing … The new gig: America’s hidden economy Axios. Check out “portable benefits” in section #5. Health care should, of course, be from #MedicareForAll, but no, we have to have an individualized “solution” that’s insanely complicated and infested with rent-seeking middlemen, because markets.
The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White. NYT (JB: “In one future, the small, medium, and large cities in the US will look like Copenhagen with a mix of mass transit, bicycles, walking, etc. The suburbs and rural areas will look like something out of a Mad Max movie.” With extremely cool, petrol-fueled vehicles!)
How we analyzed California’s wildfire evacuation routes AP. With a list of zip codes so you can check if you are in a high-risk zone. This is from a useful AP page, “Destined to Burn,” that aggregates California wildfire stories from a number of newsrooms working in collaboration.
Finders keepers? Police say no way after $30K spills on road AP. No way? Way!

DACHAU LIBERATED:  On this day in 1945, the infamous concentration camp at Dachau was liberated by U.S. forces.
As an interesting footnote to history, it was a Japanese-American unit of the U.S. Army (the 522nd Filed Artillery Battalion) that liberated the camp at Hurlach, one of Dachau’s satellites.