News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

When the Hirshhorn Museum told Laurie Anderson that it wanted to put on a big, lavish retrospective of her work, she said no. For one thing, she was busy. She has been busy now for roughly 50 years, hauling her keyboards and experimental violins all over the world to put on huge bonanzas of lasers and noise loops and incantatory monologues that she delivers in a voice somewhere between slam poetry, an evening newscast, a final confession and a bedtime story. Although Anderson plays multiple instruments, her signature tool has always been her voice. Words emerge from her mouth deliberate and hyperenunciated, surrounded by unpredictable pauses. She piles up phrases the way van Gogh piled up brush strokes.

Over the course of her incessant career, Anderson has done just about everything a creative person can do. She has helped design an Olympics opening ceremony, served as the official artist in residence for NASA, made an opera out of “Moby-Dick” and played a concert for dogs at the Sydney Opera House. She has danced the tango with William S. Burroughs and flown to a tropical island with John Cage. And she is still going. As Anderson once put it to me, during a brief pause between trips to Paris and New Zealand, just before a Carnegie Hall performance with Iggy Pop: “Lately, I’m doing a stupid amount of things.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

There is an art to being Adele, which is to say that being the world’s most fleetingly glimpsed megastar is not a status achieved by bungling your exit from a limo. It is late afternoon in Manhattan, and her low-slung Mercedes is squeezing down a narrow ramp into the basement car park of the Four Seasons Hotel, the latest manoeuvre in the 15-times Grammy winner’s decade-long mission never to be photographed unawares. We are yabbering away on the back seat behind blacked-out windows, but before the car has truly stopped, Adele – cackling, conspiratorial, complex – has flung open her door mid-sentence and, head down, is loping across the concrete at speed.

Fumbling with my seat belt and recording paraphernalia, I scramble out after her, somehow dropping my bag on the ground, as up ahead a tense security guard pointedly holds open the hotel door. I’m taking too long, and when I catch up to Adele, something like worry, and a little like annoyance, have roamed across her normally merry features. But there’s no time. Nineties thriller-style, we are rushed through some swing doors into a kitchen, past hissing stovetops and blinking staff, out into a salubrious bar and through – finally – to a cavernous private room, empty save for two cocktails standing on a table. Safely re-ensconced in her privacy bubble, the person with the first and fourth fastest-selling albums of the 21st century visibly relaxes. Fair enough. There is an art to being Adele.

Now, the artist has returned. I must say, it is pretty wow to actually meet her in the flesh for the first time, as I had a few hours earlier. It has been five long and tumultuous years – historically, sure, and personally, you bet! – since she last sat for an interview. Here in New York for a few days, to be photographed by Steven Meisel for British Vogue, she’s keen to catch the Willi Smith exhibition, so has asked to meet at Cooper Hewitt on the Upper East Side, housed in Andrew Carnegie’s one-time mansion facing Central Park. As I walk into the gardens, where her entourage inform me she lies in wait beyond a trellis, it is safe to say proceedings take on a touch of the Greta Garbos.

Read the rest of this article at: Vogue

The Balmoral in Chestnut

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The art of flâneur-ing might be French and its most famous practitioners Parisians, but other European cultures have walking traditions, from the Italian passeggiata and Spanish paseo – social promenades to take the air as dusk falls – to German wanderlust: hiking with desire. Nothing opens up a city like a long ramble on foot. It’s the only way to make a place your own and unearth discoveries not listed in guidebooks or apps.

Berlin: Crossroads of modern history

For all that it is mainstream, even fashionable, and was a favourite with no-frills flying weekenders before the pandemic, Berlin remains a strange, sometimes alienating city. This is especially the case when you go walking around its historic heart, where the Berlin Wall stood from 1961 to 1989. While unified Germany has thrown many millions at the city and tried to fill this former site of espionage, tension and trauma with newbuilds and showy upgrades, such as Norman Foster’s glass dome for the Reichstag, swathes of the area remain open to the sky. This accentuates a feeling of emptiness in what is a relatively unpopulous capital city – 3.6 million, around a third of London – and also allows the mental space to conjure Berlin’s many ghosts.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

During the first days of the Trump administration, when my attention was split between the endless scroll of news on my phone and my infant daughter, who was born five days before the inauguration, I often found myself staring at her eyes, still puffy and swollen from her birth. My wife is half Brooklyn Jew, half Newport WASP, and throughout her pregnancy, I assumed that our child would look more like her than like me. When our daughter was born with a full head of dark hair and almond-shaped eyes, the nurses all commented on how much she looked like her father, which, I admit, felt a bit unsettling, not because of any racial shame but because it has always been difficult for me to see myself in anyone or anything other than myself. But now, while my wife slept at night, I would stand over our daughter’s bassinet, compare her face at one week with photos of myself at that delicate, lumpen age and worry about what it might mean to have an Asian-looking baby in this America rather than one who could either pass or, at the very least, walk around with the confidence of some of the half-Asian kids I had met — tall, beautiful, with strange names and a hard edge to their intelligence.

These pitiful thoughts quickly passed — for better or worse, my talent for cultivating creeping doubts is only surpassed by an even greater talent for chopping them right above the root. The worries were replaced by the normalizing chores of young fatherhood. But sometimes during her naps, I would play the “Goldberg Variations” on our living-room speakers and try to imagine the contours of her life to come.

My daughter spent her first two years in a prewar apartment building with dusty sconces and cracked marble steps in the lobby. The hallways had terrible light because the windows had been painted over with what in a less enlightened time might have been called a “flesh tone” color. Such cosmetic problems will improve with the arrival of more people like us — the shared spaces will begin to look like the building’s gut-renovated apartments, with their soapstone countertops, recessed light fixtures, the Sub-Zero refrigerators bought as an investment for the inevitable sale four to six years down the road.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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News 11.10.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In the mornings and evenings, the staff often dimmed the lights in the living room and played Christian music. Emma found herself letting go of her inhibitions. “I’d be on my knees, bawling, and then the other girls would start doing it,” she said. “It was presented as if we were becoming vulnerable to God—I was told I had a gift for worship—but I think it was actually all of us feeling overwhelmed and oppressed and stuck. It was a collective cry session.” Sometimes Emma would speak in tongues, a practice encouraged by the Assemblies of God. “It made me feel free and powerful, but I also knew that I was being watched,” she said. “It was, like, ‘Please see this. Please validate that I am experiencing God, and He is real.’ ”

Every week, at different churches, Emma was asked to give her testimony, the story of her son’s adoption, in the form of a poem. She told the story so many times that the plot points no longer seemed connected to her. “To give him the best life, adoption is the only way,” she recited. “I was the one who was the prodigal daughter / But I turned right around and went straight to my Father.” After her performance, a collection plate was passed, the proceeds of which went to Teen Challenge. Other students selected to share their stories typically had personal histories involving rape, murder, or dramatic abandonment. Shea Vassar, one of Emma’s classmates, told me that she was rarely asked to give her testimony. “I was just some depressed kid who didn’t want to go to school,” she said.

In the past decade, there have been several lawsuits against Teen Challenge. One mother sued for negligence, because her son was abruptly discharged from a Teen Challenge, in Jacksonville, for breaking a rule, and died of an overdose that night. This year, a student named Amaya Rasheed filed a lawsuit against Teen Challenge of Oklahoma, alleging that she was “physically restrained against her will” until she couldn’t breathe, and was denied medical care. (The director of Rasheed’s center said, “We remain confident that our actions are consistent with our First Amendment rights to honor our Lord and our legal obligations under Oklahoma and Federal law.”) Former employees have sued, too: a staff member in Georgia alleged that he was fired after he revealed that he had been hospitalized for depression; an employee in Oregon sued because she was terminated, on the ground of “moral failure,” for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.