Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When Heavens Part
Washington's perverse refusal to grapple with the energy crisis or to genuinely reform Wall Street:

Behind the Dodd-Frank celebrations and Rose Garden linguistic bouquets, nothing really changed about the financial sector: The same regulators are in charge, the same CEOs are still running bigger, more concentrated financial institutions, and, oh, by the way, the pay czar announced last week that TARP beneficiary institutions overpaid their executives by $ 1.7 billion—yet nothing will or can be done about it. The TARP IG reported last week that the Treasury-department mortgage reformation program has been a disaster: Fewer than 400,000 mortgages have been altered. And while Goldman was paying a fine of two weeks' profits to give the SEC cover, there was no structural reform in the securities industry. A decade has gone by with no net private-sector job growth, initial unemployment claims last week jumped to 464,000, the average duration of unemployment is the longest in modern history, and the deficit for fiscal year 2010 is projected to exceed 2009's 1.41 trillion dollars.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Questions with Maria Dizzia « Culturebot:

I saw a production of Arturo Ui at the Berliner Ensemble that Heiner Muller directed. He had died, but they were using his direction to put it up again the way ballet companies restage a choreographer’s work. Martin Wuttke was playing Ui (I had no idea who he was) and he started the show without a shirt, galloping around stage on all fours and panting. His tongue was painted bright red and he never put it back in his mouth. When his saliva would get out of control, he would just lash his head back and fling it off. I thought, my god that actor’s endurance is amazing, I hope he has a good part in one of the other plays this season. It went on forever and then Mr. Wuttke got up, still panting like a dog–a few other actors entered, dressed him as a man and he became Arturo Ui. I was stunned. I thought he was so powerful–playful as an actor, but sinister as his character. The whole play was genuinely terrifying, but also made me laugh and experience emotions I had not felt in a theater yet–dread and solemnity. I always think about how much he did and how he could be simultaneously so deft and admirable as an actor and so incompetent and repulsive as his character. That duality was exciting to me and made me think, that really is how the world works. It is horrible and funny and we are negligent and virtuosic along the way.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ACTA leaks -- again - Boing Boing:

ACTA is an extreme copyright treaty that threatens to establish a world of border iPod and laptop searches for infringing music and movies; jail sentences for downloading; universal network surveillance; and whole-house Internet disconnection orders served on ISPs against customers who are accused (without proof) of violating copyright law.

It has been negotiated in secret over protests from MPs, Congressmen, MEPs, public interest groups, technology industry associations, archivists, educators, groups representing people with disabilities, poor countries, and anyone who isn't an utter corporate lickspittle.

But it continues to function in secret, and it continues to leak. The current leak shows the negotiating position of all the participating countries. The US does not cover itself in glory here -- but then, it was Obama's White House that intervened to keep the treaty secret, citing "National Security."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reports of blogging's death have been greatly exaggerated | Cory Doctorow | Technology |

When all we had was the stage, every performance was a play. When we got films, a great lot of these stories moved to the screen, where they'd always belonged (they'd been squeezed onto a stage because there was no alternative). When TV came along, those stories that were better suited to the small screen were peeled away from the cinema and relocated to the telly. When YouTube came along, it liberated all those stories that wanted to be 3-8 minutes long, not a 22-minute sitcom or a 48-minute drama. And so on.

What's left behind at each turn isn't less, but more: the stories we tell on the stage today are there not because they must be, but because they're better suited to the stage than they are to any other platform we know about. This is wonderful for all concerned – the audience numbers might be smaller, but the form is much, much better.

Brook Bishop

Monday, July 12, 2010

Apple drops Consumer Reports/iPhone 4 discussion threads down memory hole:

If you were looking for a message thread on Apple's support forums pointing to Consumer Reports' article 'not recommending' the iPhone 4, it's not there any more. Apple's support forum moderators deleted the thread. Bing cached it.

If it happened once, maybe you'd say it was a glitch. But what if it happened twice? Three times? Four times, five, six?


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mark Rylance: Acting is just play. You have to look for the joyful thing - Profiles, People - The Independent:

By this, he means not just his own enjoyment, but the audience's. Here, he goes off on one about theatre architecture. "Imagine the Old Vic with no seats in the stalls," he raves. "Fantastic! All the seats in all stalls should be removed. There should be bars in there instead, and people standing around with food and drink and the ability to slip out easily if the play is boring." Theatre should be direct, wild and fun.

"My objective in a play," he says, "is to get the audience involved. Get them out of their concerns and into the concerns of a fantasy world. So when they then step back into their lives, they've had the effect that a holiday gives you, when for a few fleeting minutes after getting home, you think, 'oh – I see what needs to be done with my life'."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Moms Just Know When There's Something Wrong" - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:

She has now neutralized the main threat to her, Levi. She has already neutralized the terrified press corps, who cannot and will not withstand far right bullying to expose the fraudulence and danger of this populist just-make-shit-up maven. In fact, they're more eager than ever to placate the far right.

When you combine a long, jobless recession, spiraling debt, and a world where all of American military power can no longer defeat even 500 Jihadists ... you can see the appeal of this fantasy. At least I can. The nomination is hers to lose.

Find a play. Squat a building. Steal a van. Now make a show | Mike Bradwell | Stage |

I want to remind theatre-makers that it is possible and even desirable to make their theatre outside the warm embrace of the theatrical establishment. Between 1966 and 1974, over 200 itinerant alternative theatre companies sprang up all over Britain, presenting entertaining, provocative and incendiary new work throughout the country. Perhaps the time has come to go on the road again.

In the early days of punk, the fanzine Sideburns published a drawing of three guitar chords with the caption:

Here's a chord. Here's another. Here's a third. Now form a band.

My version would go:

Find a play. Squat a building. Steal a van. Now make a show.

We may indeed be living in a new golden age of theatre, but even if we are, I would still like to think that, lurking in a dark alleyway round the back of every new £15m glass and steel culturally non-elitist Shopping Mall Playhouse and Corporate Entertainment Facility is a gobby and pretentious 20-year-old with a passion for real theatre, a can of petrol and a match.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Finance columnist explains capitalism to children: take things without paying, then sell them - Boing Boing:

Get that, kids? The correct thing to do with the stuff you appropriate from others is sell it, not give it away! Sounds about right -- companies take over our public aquifers and sell us the water they pump out of them; telcos get our rights of way for their infrastructure, then insist that they be able to tier their pricing without regard to the public interest. Corporatism in a nutshell, really.
Paranapiacaba [Explored]
Being Young and Unemployed Sure Is Trendy:

No! No one should. And no one should feel bad for old Scotty Boo-Berry up there either. The Millennial Job Whine is not something that should elicit pity from any rational person. Not having a job certainly sucks. But turning down a 40k-a-year job or holding out for the dream gig (or at least the beginnings of the dream gig) while wasting away in Manhattan and thinking that's a Big Story sucks more. One difference in the two types of coverage of this boo-hoo phenomenon is that on "The Awl" LiveJournal site they are being a bit winking in their post series, I suspect. (Biddle included — he seems in on it.) But the Times is dreadfully serious. This young white man who lives in a nice house and went to Colgate is having a mild struggle to find a career for himself and that is a some Great Big Indicator of our troubled times. The Times certainly does its share of reporting on the genuine miseries in this country, but why then throw the balance so precariously out of whack with this Updikian rich people fact-fart? It's likely they're just trying to ruffle their readers, who are mainly the perpetually worried upper-middle-classers who crawled out of the '70s and '80s and never want to look back. They do, however, seem to have a strange proclivity (prurient delight?) for watching an entitled generation of unspecial kids flounder and flummox in the muddy river delta that is one's messy post-college years.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010