Do The Right Thing, 20 Years On

“The film’s fiery conclusion, with the Italian-American Sal’s Famous Pizzeria going up in flames after the police murder of Radio Raheem, was the perfect denouement, a catharsis for every slight at the hands of white people. […] Watching it this time around, I found myself wishing to the very end of the film that the inevitable wouldn’t happen, that Sal’s pizzeria would not go up in flames at the hands of a black mob.”

The Central Myth Of Judy-ism

“Some fanciful souls are convinced that Judy Garland was responsible for the Stonewall Rebellion. Gay grief, they say, occasioned by saturation coverage of her overflowing two-day Madison Avenue funeral (June 26 and 27, 1969) set the stage for the history-making riot at a Greenwich Village bar that very weekend.” Is it true? But then, is it totally untrue?

Critics Fear For Art Market If Govt. Office Leaves London

“Until now, buyers wishing to take art works out of the country have required a licence granted by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, previously headquartered in South Kensington, close to the sale rooms of Sothebys and Christie’s. However, under Government cost-cutting proposals, the office is being moved more than 100 miles away to Birmingham, making Britain the only country in the EU to site its licensing body outside the capital.”

MPs’ Expenses: First The Poem, Now The Opera

“I am working on a comic opera, and who knows the set may have a few duck houses and moats in it,” said Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, a.k.a. Master of the Queen’s Music. “I may even invite a few MPs to the opening night. They will of course want free tickets, but be able to claim them on expenses for some fictitious fee. These people are a public disgrace and deserve to be publicly disgraced on stage.”

FTC Trains Its Sights On Bloggers Who Write About Swag

“Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. … The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.”

National, Royal Winnipeg Ballets To Share Olympic Stage

“The National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet will share a stage in Vancouver next February as part of the cultural Olympiad accompanying the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The Olympic ballet gala, featuring contemporary dance from the two classical ballet companies, is one of 35 new arts projects announced Monday by Vancouver 2010 organizers.”

Chinese Pre-Concert Caveat: Don’t Clap In The Wrong Place

“One thing I expected to find in China but didn’t seem to encounter were huge audiences eager to hear Western music.” Many who did attend seemed new to concert-going. Pre-concert announcements “included not only the familiar exhortation to turn off cell phones, but instructions about how many movements each piece had, and how the audience should uphold the country’s good image (or something along those lines) by not clapping in the wrong places.”