The Siren Song Of Video…

YouTube is currently serving 100 million downloads a day. So what’s the great attraction? “YouTube, Google Video and related sites have revived vaudeville, then stabbed it in the neck with the razor-sharp shards of a torn can of energy drink, kicked it in the ribs, and left it onstage to writhe for the amusement of millions. And you can be part of it!”

Forget That $100 Million, I Play Classical

In 1958, Saul Levine built his own classical music station in Los Angeles. Now 80, he still owns and runs the station and programs classical music even though he could probably sell for $100 million. “Whenever I get an offer I call my wife and she tells me to tell them to go away. She doesn’t want me hanging around the house, and I would go nuts.”

The New Pynchon? (Or A Hoax)

“Last week, put up a page that listed Untitled Thomas Pynchon at a svelte 992 pages and bore a description purportedly written by the master himself. In fact, it purported quite well indeed and also rather charmingly, promising an archetypal Pynchonian buffet of settings, characters, and old tricks (“Characters stop what they’re doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically.”) Then the description just vanished from the page. Was this a hoax?”

Wanted: A Billionaire Who Loves Orchestras

Peter Dobrin wants to know: “So where is the billionaire so in love with orchestral music that he or she wants to make all the difference in the life of an orchestra? Where is that hybrid philanthropist-music lover who wants to add $100 million or $200 million to the endowment of the Philadelphia Orchestra so it can stop fearing deficits; activate a range of education programs that can really inculcate children with classical music; and take a chance once in a while on edgy repertoire or the cultivation of a young unknown guest artist without fear of box-office repercussions?”

Canadian Portrait Gallery Stalls

Work on the Portrait Gallery of Canada has been suspended and the government is reviewing the project. Said review will take until November. “Sources say the gallery is in limbo partly because of competing priorities within Library and Archives Canada (created in 2004 out of the former National Library of Canada and National Archives of Canada, it’s the institution responsible for the Portrait Gallery), and partly because the Stephen Harper government wants to fulfill its promise to increase accountability.”

Disney Makes Big Cuts

Disney is cutting 650 jobs, reducing the jumber of movies it makes, and putting a new production team in place. “The restructuring will cut Disney’s output from about 18 films a year to about a dozen. Of those, about 10 will be released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, a proven family-friendly brand that includes the successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.”