03.31.16

How Big Corporations Ruined American Radio

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“Citadel, along with Cumulus, Entercom and Clear Channel (a.k.a. iHeart Radio) destroyed radio as we knew it. If you can’t stand to listen to radio anymore you can thank these companies. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed them to consolidate thousands of Mom-and-Pop radio stations into just a handful of owners. What was once a thriving marketplace of ideas and new music became a moribund feedback loop of homogeneity and satellite programs.”

A Broadway Composer Bans His Works From Being Performed In North Carolina Due To Law

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Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist for Wicked, Pippin, Godspell and more, has pulled his works from North Carolina because of its new discrimination law. He says, “In the 1970’s, I, along with many other writers and artists, participated in a similar action against apartheid in South Africa, and as you know, this eventually proved to be very effective.”

What If No One In The World Cares About America Anymore?

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“One of the ways Hollywood argues for its own social significance is by suggesting that its products export an appealing vision of America and American ideals. If international audiences don’t find America and Americans to be appealing subjects anymore, that creates a strong economic incentive for Hollywood to make movies and television shows that are much more generic in every way.”

How Did The Original ‘Shuffle Along’ Even Happen?

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

“How did Eubie Blake, whose parents were both slaves, end up having a deep, deep desire to write musicals? He could write rags. He could write pop tunes. What he really wanted to write were Broadway shows. It’s astonishing to me that the child of slaves said, ‘I want to write a Broadway musical.’ That’s an extraordinary thing. Why would he want to do that? Why would anybody want to write a musical?”

Qatar Wants To Be An International Arts Destination. But…

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“The country which has the highest per capita income in the world is treating its migrant labourers in conditions described by the Guardian newspaper as “modern-day slavery”. It is persecuting political dissenters and it put its greatest poet in prison and then only released him to avoid embarrassment when the attention of the international art world was briefly focused on the country. Qatar is importing so much from the West: architects, artists, scientists, universities, and much more besides. Why then, as some in the Gulf are brave enough to point out, does it not import freedom and the rule of law?”

Distracted? It’s Nothing New (They Were Talking About This In The 1700s)

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“The first time inattention emerged as a social threat was in 18th-century Europe, during the Enlightenment, just as logic and science were pushing against religion and myth. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1710 entry from Tatler as its first reference to this word, coupling inattention with indolence; both are represented as moral vices of serious public concern.”