Sometimes you just want to blow something up…
Lloyd Schwartz on Claes Oldenburg:
In an exhibition-catalog entry in 1961, Oldenburg made a famous manifesto: “I am for the art that a kid licks, after peeling away the wrapper. I am for an art that is smoked, like a cigarette, smells, like a pair of shoes. I am for an art that flaps like a flag, or helps blow noses, like a handkerchief. I am for an art that is put on and taken off, like pants, which develops holes, like socks, which is eaten, like a piece of pie … “
Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island talks to Terry Gross about getting older with hip-hop:
There’s a trend in hip hop of being more mature and getting older, for real right now, so it coincides really nicely for us, in terms of certain songs on our album like ‘YOLO’ and ‘Diaper Money’ that are more about being an adult and the joke of bragging about the responsibilities that come with being an adult.
46 people were shot and killed this past weekend on the streets of Chicago. Gang violence continues to be a serious issue that motivates communities to work at the source of the problem. Some of these people in the Chicago area work for a program called CeaseFire,which recruits former gang members to mediate conflicts and try to prevent — or interrupt — the cycle of violence. A 2011 documentary profiled their work and the film is a moving and intense depiction of their efforts. We spoke to its directors Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James.
image via OpenIDEO
Cécile McLorin Salvant makes it all sound not effortless exactly, but sorta easy. You get the strong impression she’s having a blast. In a way, that ease of execution is a problem — it creates the temptation to top herself, and go for the Extra Big Moments, like the killer high-note ending of “What a Little Moonlight Can Do.” It makes sense that she’d exploit her extreme highs and lows; she won’t be able to reach them forever. And age tends to calm folks down, so the over-exuberance may take care of itself. My point is this: She doesn’t need to try to knock us out. We’re already knocked out.
We’re tiny little white dudes. We weren’t living the rap life at all. We just loved the music … [T]hat’s where our comedy comes from: It comes from a love for what that music is and what it represents, but also always drawing a clear line to let everyone know that we don’t believe that we’re part of it.
The Paris press was writing about it a lot at the time — that [there] was ‘Chicago-style vandalism and gangsterism’ in the streets of Paris, and the American military had to do something about it. There were shootouts between the Paris police and the American and British MPs on one side and the deserters on the other side. They would rob banks, they would rob cafes, they would stop people on the street and steal women’s jewelry, they were gangs of real, hardcore outlaws, and they were armed and trained.
Image of Paris in 1940 via the NEH
Freedom, as well as war and peace are the big themes running throughout the other two historically-based ocean crossings in this novel: Frederick Douglass visited Ireland in 1845 — during the Great Famine — on a lecture tour to promote his Autobiography and Sen. George Mitchell tirelessly flew back and forth from the U.S. to Northern Ireland in order to broker the peace accord of 1998 called The Good Friday Agreement.
Image via Etsy
Some units had much higher rates [of desertion] than others. The 36thin the battles in France had the highest rate of any division in the American army. It can’t be accidental that there were junior officers … who were not interested in their men, and not talking to their men, and not looking after their men. [Private] Steve Weiss felt like his captain always led from behind, was never at the front lines, you could never find him, they couldn’t confide in him, they couldn’t ask him for anything, and they felt like they got a raw deal from him.
Image of Waldenburg, Germany, 1945 via Military History
If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend that you check out Patton Oswalt’s awesome essay about plagiarism in comedy, heckling, rape jokes, and the limitations of individual perception. It is brave and honest and oh-so-very-very-smart. Here’s a sampling from the section in which he grapples with the latest Internet controversy over a comedian’s rape joke:
In this past week of re-reading the blogs, going through the comment threads, and re-scrolling the Twitter arguments, I haven’t once found a single statement, feminist or otherwise, saying that rape shouldn’t be joked under any circumstance, regardless of context. Not one example of this.
In fact, every viewpoint I’ve read on this, especially from feminists, is simply asking to kick upward, to think twice about who is the target of the punchline, and make sure it isn’t the victim.
And now you can go listen to an interview with Oswalt here.
Image via SubPop
John Oliver has taken over hosting duties for The Daily Show while Jon Stewart is on leave filming a movie. In honor of the temporary switch up, today on the show we aired an edited version of an interview Terry did with him in 2010. Enjoy!
The Daily Show | June 13th 2013
I’m one of these children who grew up at the knee of my grandmother and her elder sister, listening to very old people talk about their memories. And as I say, in their conversation, everything was as if it happened yesterday. And the dead were discussed along with the living, and the difference didn’t really seem to matter. And I suppose this seeped into my viewpoint. Instead of thinking there was a wall between the living and the dead, I thought there was a very thin veil. It was almost as if they’d just gone into the next room.