Perreault: Time For A Virtual Barnes?

John Perreault visits the Barnes Collection while it’s still in the original. “Yes, the ideal would be to replicate exactly the Barnes art ensembles. But you and I know that only in Artopia are ideals achieved. In real life, time goes by and there are emergencies, fancied and otherwise. Someone might come up with a new way of teaching art that is much more effective than Barnes’ juxtapositions. Or people may just become bored with the same old arrangements. So, not only as an educational creation in itself but also as a fallback, the Barnes should create a virtual tour of the museum to record exactly the way the founder of the foundation intended the art to be shown.”

Book Publishing Sucks!

“Book publishing really lies somewhere between art and commerce – in some aspects it is a barely rational industry. While the big four publishers have half the British market, the rest is fragmented into hundreds of small players. Few who have much to do with books make a good living out of it – and this despite the fact that books published in English represent 27 per cent of the world’s share of titles! Most authors receive pitiful advances which are rarely earned out. Salaries among staff in publishing houses are notoriously low. And owners of imprints must mostly do it for the love, since it is an endemically unprofitable industry.”

Jingle Sell – It’s Over

“The jingle, as anyone with a television knows, is a vanishing art form. It is too quaint, too corny, too oldschool for our ironic times. Naming your product in a commercial for your product is just tacky, say advertising executives. Modern pitchmen prefer pop songs that create a mood or spark an emotional association or conjure up some sort of vague but potent lifestyle-oriented craving that, if all goes as planned, attaches to a product and translates to a sale. Which leaves the jingle writers scrambling to adapt to a world that has suddenly turned its back on their wares.”

Take Your (Book) Medicine

Doctors in one county will be prescribing books for patients. “Those with symptoms of depression, anxiety or eating disorders will be referred to clinics where they will be prescribed books to read alongside support sessions with graduate mental health care workers. The scheme in Devon, which is the first of its kind in the UK, aims to cut waiting lists for more serious cases, reduce over-prescription of drugs and offer some form of treatment for patients who may otherwise receive none.”

Mississippi Libraries Ban Stewart Book

Librarians in two Mississippi counties have banned Jon Stewart’s best-selling “America (The Book)” because of a picture in it depicting the Supreme Court justices naked. “The book by Stewart and the writers of ‘The Daily Show,’ the Comedy Central fake-news program he hosts, was released in September. It has spent 15 weeks on The New York Times best seller list for hardcover nonfiction, and was named Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, the industry trade magazine.”

50,000 Protest Springer On BBC

Some 50,000 complaints have poured into the BBC about the airing of Jerry Springer, The Opera. The complaints make it the most-protested show in BBC history. “Critics say the broadcast has more than 400 swear words, and shows Jesus in a nappy admitting he is ‘a bit gay’. Bishop Michael Reid of the Pentecostal Church in Brentwood, Essex, who is leading the protest by an alliance of Christian groups, described the musical as ‘filth’.”

Between Madness And Art

“I’ve never believed there is anything more than a coincidental relationship between madness and making art. For every self-mutilating van Gogh, there’s a sane, mild-mannered Matisse. Artistic creativity arises from a variety of fluid inner equations; the old image of artists producing masterpieces in some sort of possessed frenzy is far more common in movies than in life. In actuality, making art is a respite from inner demons. Sanity is necessary for the strategy, planning, and trial and error needed to bring a good artistic idea to fruition.”

Rockwell On Dance

Longtime New York Times arts writer John Rockwell is preparing to take on a new position as the Grey Lady’s chief dance critic, and he sees much to recommend a corner of the arts world which seems always to be on the edge of fiscal collapse. “Dancers are paid less than other performing artists. Dance companies, even the big ballet troupes, must furiously run in place, like terpsichorean hamsters, just to sustain themselves. But that means dancers do it for love, not fame or fortune, though some are famous, and a very few earn modest fortunes. Dance critics can still cover any and all forms of dance without feeling that they’re sullying themselves.”

Writing For Hollywood: A Lesson In Art & Politics

John Logan is Hollywood’s hottest scriptwriter of the moment, “a true author who creates from scratch in an era of sequels and adaptations… As with much in Hollywood, however, the honors mask a more complicated reality, [with Logan standing] on the shoulders of others who contributed material and either received no credit or have had to fight for recognition in a dog-eat-dog scramble for a place on the film. And his rise to the top – in which Mr. Logan was caught up in a spat over his contributions to The Last Samurai – appears to illustrate a cardinal rule of contemporary film writing: success depends on the fine art of positioning, as well as a way with words.”