Monthly Archives: September 2010

Museums #1 – Arcimboldo at the National Gallery

The National Gallery is a place for serious art.  Its scale is immense and it houses some great works.  Tourists all seem to agree on the aesthetic most appropriate for consuming Important Art.  Cross your arms.  Or put your hands … Continue reading

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Talking about Writing about Writing

On September 7th, Melbourne’s generally fantastic Wheeler Centre hosted an event for talking about writing about books.  The event in question, Critical Failure, was a mixed bag of a panel discussion about the state of literary criticism in Australia that prompted … Continue reading


The Case for the Performing Arts

Thanks to Ben Cameron, we now know:
– The internet (a) competes with the performing arts for our attention, (b) opens up the creative sphere to professional-level amateurs, (c) supports social causes, and (d) does everything else.
– There is a good business case for the performing arts.
– If you make these points without breathing for 12 minutes, we’re liable to find you persuasive. Continue reading

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Baseball or Ballet?

We’d like to find out what we weren’t taught – why our cultural institutions matter, if in fact they still do? Is ballet a better use of time than a baseball game? Why go see Shakespeare, even Shakespeare in the Park? What separates the Ring Cycle from the Lord of the Rings? Why do performances so packed with universal Truth and Beauty need a four-year degree to appreciate? Continue reading

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Theater #1 – Avenue Q

Washington DC is no stranger to morally depraved puppets, but I for one am mostly a stranger to the theater. I saw Cats on Broadway when I was five. Rather, I attended Cats. As my mother has reminded me many times since, the tickets cost $64 and I was asleep before the curtain opened and awoke, only briefly, during the intermission. Continue reading

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