Arts Snooze: July 1st 2011

The Presumption of Mary

“God was so brave. God never gave up hope, but Mary just got him in the end.” Mary Valle - Between Grief and Gratitude.


Every week, there are hundreds of great articles written on the arts. And of course, there are the hundreds of great articles written on other subjects. The Arts Snooze section gives me a chance to mention things other than the arts and will highlight good articles on every subject EXCEPT partisan politics.

The work-week round up for July 1st, 2011

‘Transformers 3′: Sour, Sexist, and Salivary
Blockbuster season is upon us. I’ve already lost count of how many movies in the last two months involve people in tights acting out Der Wille zu Macht. Michael Bay’s works, more CGI than celluloid, consistently indulge the basest of the base, but the existence of his latest work is almost justified by this deliciously acerbic response by critic Michael Orr.

What Happens When The Band Stops Playing?
The recent liquidation of the Bellevue Philharmonic is part of a worldwide decline in orchestras, brought to a head by economic austerity. Audience hemorrhage can be blamed on a number of things: improved recordings, the recondite nature of modern compositions, general philistinism. Author Norman Albrecht gives a penetrating look at some of the possibilities…and things look rather bleak.

Between Grief and Gratitude
Author Mary Valle writes on the strangeness of dying in the digital age, on the cold facts of cancer, on the nature of grief, and on kicking God’s butt in this funny, melancholy editorial.  “If my daughter is orphaned, God had better get ready because I will bring the battle to him.”

How Social Pressure Can Affect What We Remember
Here is more evidence of just how malleable and unreliable our memories can be. Social pressures may actually shape our brains to remember things in a particular way. If many of our actions are based on experience, and that experience can be falsified by groups around us, the already tangled issue of individual vs society just got a little more tangled.

The Beer Archaeologist
New analysis of ancient pottery continues to reveal beer recipes from the dawn of civilization. Recipes include all manner of botanic ingredients, and some brewers are doing their best to recreate them. Some enthusiasts even use traditional vessels (animal skins and dung-fired jars) to get the full, primeval flavor. The article is entertaining and informative, but it also leads one to meditate on our alienation from our roots and the ways that we (primarily through consumption) seek to conjure the past. Some prefer Werther’s originals, some prefer fermented fruit juice served from a goat pelt. We are a varied species, indeed.