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March 09, 2011

"Spider-Man" Director Leaves B'Way Production

On the Hollywood Babble-On podcast last week I heard that the producers planned to re-write the musical's book two weeks before opening. Now, that opening may be in June. I guess the strategy might be if they never open, they'll never be reviewed. Sources: "Spider-Man" Director Leaves B'Way Production - NY1.com
The web surrounding Broadway's controversial "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" musical has become more tangled, as sources tell NY1 that star director Julie Taymor has left the production. NY1 has also been told that production of the $65 million musical may have to shut down for a short time for possible changes. "If they want to make some serious changes, they're going to need to shut the show down for a good amount of time," said NY1’s “On Stage” producer Frank DiLella. "That brings up the issue of money. The show is grossing $1.2 million a week." The show costs about $1 million a week to produce.

March 05, 2011

The Moral Crusade Against Foodies

This is a stupid and vicious article, thoroughly torn apart over on Salon. The Moral Crusade Against Foodies - Magazine - The Atlantic
It has always been crucial to the gourmet’s pleasure that he eat in ways the mainstream cannot afford. For hundreds of years this meant consuming enormous quantities of meat. That of animals that had been whipped to death was more highly valued for centuries, in the belief that pain and trauma enhanced taste. “A true gastronome,” according to a British dining manual of the time, “is as insensible to suffering as is a conqueror.” But for the past several decades, factory farms have made meat ever cheaper and—as the excellent book The CAFO [Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations] Reader makes clear—the pain and trauma are thrown in for free. The contemporary gourmet reacts by voicing an ever-stronger preference for free-range meats from small local farms. He even claims to believe that well-treated animals taste better, though his heart isn’t really in it. Steingarten tells of watching four people hold down a struggling, groaning pig for a full 20 minutes as it bled to death for his dinner. He calls the animal “a filthy beast deserving its fate.” Even if gourmets’ rejection of factory farms and fast food is largely motivated by their traditional elitism, it has left them, for the first time in the history of their community, feeling more moral, spiritual even, than the man on the street. Food writing reflects the change. Since the late 1990s, the guilty smirkiness that once marked its default style has been losing ever more ground to pomposity and sermonizing. References to cooks as “gods,” to restaurants as “temples,” to biting into “heaven,” etc., used to be meant as jokes, even if the compulsive recourse to religious language always betrayed a certain guilt about the stomach-driven life. Now the equation of eating with worship is often made with a straight face. The mood at a dinner table depends on the quality of food served; if culinary perfection is achieved, the meal becomes downright holy—as we learned from Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), in which a pork dinner is described as feeling “like a ceremony … a secular seder.”

March 03, 2011

Where does the hate for teachers come from?

Proposed Cuts Strike Teachers as Attacks on Their Value to Society - NYTimes.com
“You feel punched in the stomach,” said Ms. Parker, a high school science teacher in Madison, Wis., where public employees’ two-week occupation of the State Capitol has stalled but not deterred the governor’s plan to try to strip them of bargaining rights. Ms. Parker, a second-year teacher making $36,000, fears that under the proposed legislation class sizes would rise and higher contributions to her benefits would knock her out of the middle class. “I love teaching, but I have $26,000 of student debt,” she said. “I’m 30 years old, and I can’t save up enough for a down payment” for a house. Nor does she own a car. She is making plans to move to Colorado, where she could afford to keep teaching by living with her parents. Around the country, many teachers see demands to cut their income, benefits and say in how schools are run through collective bargaining as attacks not just on their livelihoods, but on their value to society. . . .