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Elsewhere for May 8, 2021

You should read this for 5/08/2021: I’m still on hiatus, but managed to accumulate a short list of links. Art, Music, and Film Master of Catherine of Cleves: Acquisition of a Previously Unknown Illumination Books, Libraries, Writing, and Language The Philip Roth biography is canceled, Mike Pence’s book could be next — and publishing may never be the same It’s tempting to see this as just another isolated incident — like Grand Central’s decision not to publish Woody Allen’s memoir in 2020 or Threshold’s decision to drop Milo Yiannopoulos’s book in 2017. But I think this week marks a sea…

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Elsewhere for April 24, 2021

I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from regular posting to work on other writing. I may very well post a few things here, but I’m not going to be keeping a weekly schedule. Science and Nature Groundbreaking effort launched to decode whale language On a crisp spring morning in 2008, Shane Gero overheard a pair of whales having a chat. Gero, a Canadian biologist, had been tracking sperm whales off the Caribbean island nation of Dominica when two males, babies from the same family, popped up not far from his boat. The animals, nicknamed Drop and Doublebend, nuzzled their…

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Elsewhere for April 17, 2021

You should read this for 4/17/2021: Art, Music, and Film Beeswing by Richard Thompson review – beyond Fairport Convention Joss Whedon’s ‘The Nevers’ is a weak remix of his formerly good ideas With the latest application of his style, call it the Nevers configuration, it’s clear that Whedon has less of a creative signature and more of a single notebook page of ideas he’s been using since the late ’90s. Women take the floor: an exhibition that shifts the male gaze of art history Biden Begins A pair of misleading GOP attacks on Biden’s infrastructure plan In 2018, the Treasury…

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Elsewhere for April 10, 2021

You should read this for 4/10/2021: Art, Music, and Film ‘Some kind of modern day western’: inside the world of concrete cowboys Concrete Cowboy, which premiered last year at the Toronto film festival and is now available on Netflix, is a gritty drama about a father-son relationship set around the Fletcher Street Stables, one of the first stables in inner-city Philadelphia and now among the last. It dates back more than a century to when horse-drawn wagons delivered produce, laundry and milk. That era drew to a close in the late 1950s when cars and trucks took over but the…

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Elsewhere for April 3, 2021

You should read this for 4/3/2021: Art, Music, and Film H/T Anne Leckie: Berlin’s plan to return Benin bronzes piles pressure on UK museums Berlin is negotiating to fully restitute hundreds of the Benin bronzes in a shift of policy that has been welcomed in Nigeria but will put pressure on museums in London and Oxford to also return artefacts looted from Britain’s former west African empire in 1897. More than 500 historical objects including 440 bronzes from the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now southern Nigeria, are held at the Ethnological Museum in the German capital. Half of…

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Elsewhere for March 27, 2021

You should read this for 3/27/2021: Art, Music, and Film Why are historical figures presumed straight? Francis Lee on causing outrage with Ammonite Lee considers himself an outsider. “There just aren’t that many queer working-class people in the film industry,” he says. So he was taken aback to be informed that he shouldn’t tell lesbian stories. “It’s been a real lesson for me in identity politics. I know I can’t talk for Mary because I’m not a 19th-century palaeontologist, but I do think I can talk with her. What I tried to do was to take this working-class woman, who…

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Elsewhere for March 20, 2021

Art, Music, and Film H/T : A 25-Year-Old PhD Student Just Convinced Lego to Mass-Produce Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ as an Official Toy Kit Podcast from December 2020: The Economist Asks: Viggo Mortensen How to talk about dementia—in real life and on screen The actor, best known for playing Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, talks about directing his first feature film on caring for his parents who suffered from dementia. Anne McElvoy asks him why he prefers cinema to home-streaming and whether he believes people will return to the big screen after the pandemic. Mortenson has some…

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Elsewhere for March 13, 2021

You should read this for 3/13/2021: Art, Music, and Film ‘Doctor Who’: 10 Things You May Not Know About ‘City of Death’ This is perhaps my favorite of the Tom Baker series of Doctor Who programs. H/T Ari: Incredible Cave Paintings 8 Miles-Long Discovered Deep in Amazon Forest: The Sistine Chapel of Ancients Tens of thousands of pristine cave paintings were recently found daubed across an eight-mile stretch of rock in a once-in-a-century discovery in Colombia’s Amazon rainforest. . . . Believed to be 12,500 years old, the art is extremely detailed, and includes handprints and depictions of Ice Age…

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Elsewhere for March 6, 2021

You should read this for 3/6/2021: Art, Music, and Film Why “L.A. Story” Is Still a Relevant (and Poignant) Satire of Los Angeles See also: Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker Remember L.A. Story. L.A. Story captures so much of Los Angeles’ and Hollywood and film cultures around L.A. in the late 1980s and early 90s. I love it dearly, still, though I suspect much of the humor and sly wit is lost on those who are not Angelenos. This film, now thirty years old, was also my introduction to the Celtic-infused music of Enya; I think her best tracks…

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Elsewhere for February 27, 2021

You should read this for 2/27/2021: Art, Music, and Film 17,300-year-old Kimberley kangaroo becomes Australia’s oldest rock artwork The Black Gondoliers of Renaissance Venice Biden Begins Justin Trudeau says US leadership has been ‘sorely missed’ during first meeting with Biden Justin Trudeau has praised Joe Biden for rejoining the Paris climate accord during their first bilateral meeting, saying: “US leadership has been sorely missed over the past years.” The Canadian prime minister added: “And I have to say as we were preparing the joint rollout of the communique on this, it’s nice when the Americans are not pulling out all…

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