Arts

Monkey See
11:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

'Big Brother' Isn't Just A Terrible Show, It's A Wasted Opportunity

Houseguest Judd makes a toast during the season premiere of Big Brother.
Cliff Lipson CBS

Here's how Big Brother works.

Producers throw a bunch of people into a house, where they're stuck for about three months. All day and all night, they're watched by cameras, and they can be watched online — these are the so-called "live feeds," which are sort of like watching the security cameras in the most boring juice bar in Los Angeles. (I wrote about touring the house in 2010; it's very creepy.)

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Arts
11:02 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Baum School of Art's Clarence H. Carter Exhibition on Lehigh Valley Arts Salon

Host Bathsheba Monk welcomes Rudy Ackerman, Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Baum School of Art in Allentown, to talk about their new exhibition "Clarence H. Carter, Realism to Surrealism" opening July 10 in The David E. Rodale Gallery.  Carter, like many 20th century artists, had to find a way to steer his artistic vision from a pre-WWII aesthetic of homey, local subjects to the new world of abstraction which exploded in the second half of the century.

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Monkey See
9:02 am
Tue July 2, 2013

To The Dump, To The Dump, To The Dump Dump Dump: Write Us A Lone Ranger Joke

Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

This morning, as I perused the headlines, I saw a few items about the new Lone Ranger movie, and rather than being struck by interesting thoughts about the racial politics of Johnny Depp's Tonto, I abruptly remembered this joke: "Where does the Lone Ranger take his trash?" "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump." You know, because of the music?

And then I thought, "Who built the Lone Ranger's luxury apartment building?"

"Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Trump Trump."

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Books
8:42 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Chronicle of 'Gettysburg' Refuses Easy Answers

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:50 pm

For historians, and for much more casual students of the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago holds seemingly limitless fascination — a search for "Gettysburg" on Amazon turns up over 7,500 books — and similarly limitless opportunity for debate. Did the Confederacy's iconic commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, bring defeat to his own army by reaching too far in ordering Pickett's fateful — and disastrous — charge? Did Gen.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Book News: Neil Gaiman Revives 'Sandman' Comic Series

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:13 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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First Reads
7:03 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish'

David Rakoff, seen here in 2010, worked on Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for a decade, finishing shortly before his death in 2012.
Larry Busacca Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:03 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

David Rakoff was a mainstay on public radio's This American Life, and the best-selling author of Fraud, Don't Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty. He died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47, shortly after finishing Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, a short novel in verse that jumps from decade to decade, tracking a panoply of American characters across the 20th century: 1920s slaughterhouse workers, 1950s office girls, AIDS victims and '80s yuppies.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue July 2, 2013

You'll Want To Hang Up On These 'Secret Conversations'

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:34 pm

A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra.

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Code Switch
4:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Does Disney's Tonto Reinforce Stereotypes Or Overcome Them?

Johnny Depp says that with his portrayal of Tonto in The Lone Ranger, he tried to "right the wrongs of what had been done with regards to the representation of Native Americans in cinema."
Disney

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 1:00 pm

The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.

Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.

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The Salt
5:27 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Taking High-Heat Tandoor Techniques To The Backyard Grill

Punjabi Lamb Kebabs, like many tandoor dishes, can also be made on gas or charcoal grills.
Christopher Hirsheimer

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:24 am

In America, summer grilling generally means heading to the backyard and throwing some hot dogs, burgers and maybe vegetable skewers on the fire. But in India and Pakistan, where summers last for seven months, grilling takes on a whole new level of sophistication.

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Movie Reviews
4:41 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Branagh Imagines Mozart's 'Magic Flute' In Wartime

Pamina (Amy Carson) and Tamino (Joseph Kaiser) in Kenneth Branagh's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Revolver Group

Mozart's The Magic Flute, the last opera he lived to complete, has some of his most sublime and sublimely comic music. Technically, it's more of a musical comedy, what in German is called a Singspiel, a play with songs and spoken dialogue. I was excited to learn that it was filmed by Kenneth Branagh, whose Shakespeare movies I really admire. Mozart's mixture of fairy tale and high morality presents a great opportunity for a filmmaker; in 1975, Ingmar Bergman released a version for Swedish television that has become a beloved classic.

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