NASHVILLE — This is an arts town, and artistic miracles happen here with some regularity, but last weekend’s miracle was not the usual kind. Watching John Prine, at the age of 72, dance onstage after a three-hour performance at the legendary Ryman Auditorium — that’s a truly Nashville kind of miracle. Watching “Lucy Negro, Redux,” a poetry collection by an African-American woman, come to life as a ballet — a ballet scored by an African-American woman and danced by an African-American woman? That’s the kind of miracle Nashville has never seen before. The project started with Caroline Randall Williams, who became fascinated as a graduate student with a theory advanced by Duncan Salkeld, a Shakespeare scholar at the University of Chichester, that the mysterious Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets wasn’t a white woman with a dark complexion at all — she was a black woman called “Black Luce,” or “Lucy … [Read more...] about A Nashville Miracle
Political pundits on both sides of the aisle mocked President Trump over the weekend for declaring the border crisis a “national emergency.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. While many might question how a functioning meritocracy could select such a boneheaded cadre of losers to run our country’s most treasured institutions — and they would be right to do so — it’s best to appreciate our elites for their most impressive talent: the uncanny ability to find new and creative ways to demonstrate just how out of touch they are with reality. The crisis at the border is real, and it absolutely merits Trump’s “national emergency” designation. The United States is now facing a drug crisis unlike any we have ever seen, due in large part to the unimpeded flow of illegal migration across our southern border. Drugs and crime are inundating our communities and destroying families in the process, mostly in predominantly poor … [Read more...] about SCHILLING: The National Emergency Is Real — Illegal Immigration Is Destroying Families
Cashing in land for development will help UMass Boston solve some longstanding financial problems. But it doesn’t solve the latest challenge to this urban campus, long starved for money and love: UMass Amherst, the system’s flagship university, is now boldly encroaching on its turf. First, the good news. The deal between the University of Massachusetts and Accordia Partners is legitimate cause for celebration. UMass will get an upfront payment of somewhere between $192 million and $235 million for the old Bayside Expo Center site — an excellent rate of return for a 20-acre parcel that was originally purchased for $18.7 million. Accordia, a firm run by a team of veteran Boston developers, will get a 99-year lease for mixed-use development.After the initial debt from the purchase is paid off, all the proceeds will go to UMass Boston, promised UMass president Martin T. Meehan, from the 32nd floor of One Beacon Street — the lofty home of the UMass Club. … [Read more...] about UMass Boston gets financial breathing space, as Amherst campus encroaches on its turf
HAVANA — “There is a centuries-old tradition of censorship that started during Spanish colonial times and continues today,” Antón Arrufat, one of Cuba’s most respected writers, told me recently. We were discussing the controversial new law known as Decree 349, the subject of much concern within Havana’s cultural community. The decree requires artists to obtain government approval before performing or displaying their work, while also regulating the artwork itself. For example, it prohibits audiovisual content that contains “sexist, vulgar and obscene language” or that uses “national symbols” in ways that “contravene current legislation.” Government inspectors can impose fines on offenders and confiscate their property. Opposition to the decree has been widespread, and public figures as diverse as Silvio Rodríguez, the country’s foremost composer of revolutionary songs, and Tania Bruguera, the dissident … [Read more...] about Is This the End of Cuba’s Astonishing Artistic Freedom?
In the week after President Trump’s State of the Union address, his approval rating soared to 52 precent — despite the fact that he is met with a barrage of hate from most cable news networks, late-night shows and Hollywood in general. The latest Rasmussen poll found the president’s approval rating at its highest point in the last 23 months — just a few weeks after he took office. A Gallup poll had similar findings of 44 percent approval, but they also noted that as the president’s approval went up — Congress remained stuck with 21 percent approval — nearly unchanged since January. “The latest increase in approval is mainly the result of political independents’ improved opinions of Trump. Between the late January and February polls, independents’ approval of Trump rose six points, to 38 percent. At the same time, Republicans and Democrats held steady at 89 percent and 5 percent, respectively,” Gallup … [Read more...] about WEISS: Trump’s Approval Soars — Despite Media Attacks