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Always love a good argument about the arts?


by Jerome Weeks 13 Feb 2008

How about these? In an iPod-mad World, we need to re-assert the continued relevance of the supposedly obsolete concert hall: “Lest we forget, our own bodies are flesh and blood membranophones that resonate in a live concert environment with instruments and voices. We are all sounding boards . . . the composed literature of centuries of […]

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How about these?

  • In an iPod-mad World, we need to re-assert the continued relevance of the supposedly obsolete concert hall: “Lest we forget, our own bodies are flesh and blood membranophones that resonate in a live concert environment with instruments and voices. We are all sounding boards . . . the composed literature of centuries of music — both Western and non-Western, by the way — was, until about 125 years ago, entirely achieved by brains that knew music only through live hearing.”
  • Dallas, let’s face it, is not widely known for its great public art. The downtown cows and the suburban mustangs always win the local “best of” contests, but when you get beyond popular Texana in bronze form, the pickings get slim. But who knew London had so many hideous statues? “Cultural tanks,” “Frankenstein monster memorials” and — my own favorite, considering its very un-British tone — “move this tin can” are some of the recent comments directed at them.
  • Millions of (mostly) female readers have loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s spiritual memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. But some critics have come out recently, objecting to the book’s “Western fetishization of Eastern thought and culture” as well as its shallowness and self-obsession and, in one case, the fact that if a male journalist had written about dumping his wife to find personal fulfillment with a cuter, younger writer-actress, leaving the writer-actress when it seems she doesn’t match his emotional intensity or sex drive, quitting his job and heading for Italy to eat pasta and learn the language with a young, cute Italian girl while extolling the virtues of Italian women who know how to treat their men properly, and then leaving Italy for India and Bali, where he meditates in an ashram while feeling unhappy about the poor but finally meets a lovely Balinese businesswoman who wants to have sex all day and tell him how beautiful he is — his book would have been eviscerated as “travel porn” by reviewers.
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