The Politics Of Denial

“Many influential figures have a cavalier attitude to free speech, believing that ‘dangerous’ ideas should be repressed. Disbelief in today’s received wisdom is described as ‘Denial’, which is branded by some as a crime that must be punished. It began with Holocaust denial, before moving on to the denial of other genocides. Then came the condemnation of ‘AIDS denial’, followed by accusations of ‘climate change denial’. This targeting of denial has little to do with the specifics of the highly-charged emotional issues involved in discussions of the Holocaust or AIDS or pollution. Rather, it is driven by a wider mood of intolerance towards free thinking.”

Cuts Looming For UK Museums

“The national museums have put forward three options if cuts are imposed on the scale intended. They can reintroduce admission charges; they can stop lending items and exhibits to the rest of the country; or they can shut departments, buildings and entire institutions. The removal of entry charges five years ago resulted in 85 million extra museum visitors and is being trumpeted as one of New Labour’s triumphs. There is no way the government will allow that egalitarian policy to be reversed.”

Can Miami Support Its New Arts Center?

Miami’s new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts has been winning rave reviews in its opening months. But “one wonders how the Center will be filled. With the new opera house the Florida Grand Opera has modestly increased its season from five productions to six. But following the disbanding of the Florida Philharmonic in 2003, Miami has lacked a professional orchestra. Can a city that won’t even support an orchestra supply an audience for the new facility?”

Kimmel Flooded Again

A faulty sprinkler system sent water shooting into a recital hall at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts late Tuesday night, forcing the center to cancel several performances. It was not the first time that the high-volume sprinklers caused trouble – the Philadelphia Orchestra was deluged while rehearsing in the center’s main hall in 2002.

Ravinia Gives Conlon Four More Years

James Conlon’s contract as music director of the Ravinia Festival has been extended through 2011. “Conlon is scheduled to complete his multi-year Mahler symphony cycle with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia in 2011, the centennial of the composer’s death. His other ongoing projects at the festival include a complete Mozart piano concerto cycle and Breaking the Silence, a multi-year series of concerts dedicated to reviving music silenced by the Nazi regime.”