Free Britney Spears

Jamie Spears was authorized by the California Superior Court to control his daughter’s finances, health care, and aspects of her daily routine. The conservatorship was initially temporary. Twelve years later, it’s still in place. The court documents and hearings—there have been many over the years—have been mostly sealed to the public, so little is known […]

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My Conversation with Edwidge Danticat

Here is the audio, video, and transcript.  Here is the CWT summary: She joined Tyler to discuss the reasons Haitian identity and culture will likely persist in America, the vibrant Haitian art scenes, why Haiti has the best food in the Caribbean, how radio is remaining central to Haitian politics, why teaching in Creole would […]

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What our new Chinese overlords desire for us

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is a top 10 album this week — more than four decades after its release — thanks to a viral TikTok video that’s had everyone vibing along to “Dreams.” Rumours now ranks seventh on the Billboard 200 chart, the publication announced last night, the album’s first appearance in the top 10 since […]

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My Conversation with Alex Ross

Here is the video, audio, and transcript.  Of course Alex has a new book out Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music, which explores the complicated legacy of Wagner and music more generally.  We learn Alex’s nomination for the greatest pop album ever made, but many of my questions focused on progress in […]

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Against digitalized subscription services for the movies

Quality public taste is a public good, and right now we are taxing it: Another response to my whining might be to tell me that I live in a world of cinematic plenty, especially considering my various subscriptions and DVD collection. That is also entirely fair, but do keep in mind the original worry: that […]

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Toots Hibbert, RIP

Possibly a Covid death (NYT), he was leader of Toots and the Maytals, and along with Desmond Dekker a favorite figure from the earlier period of reggae music.  “Sweet and Dandy” and “Pressure Drop” and “Monkey Man” I still listen to frequently, among others.  I was lucky to see him in concert twice, once as […]

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My Conversation with Matt Yglesias

Substantive, interesting, and fun throughout, here is the audio, video, and transcript.  For more do buy Matt’s new book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger.  Here is the CWT summary: They discussed why it’s easier to grow Tokyo than New York City, the governance issues of increasing urban populations, what Tyler got right […]

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*Collected Writings of Morton Feldman*

Feldman probably was the most important American composer of his generation, he interacted with the leading NYC painters of his time, and it turns out he is a splendid writer as well.  His observations are to the point, often with a Nassim Taleb kind of sting.  Here is one bit: Recently in the Sunday papers […]

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Claims about Richard Wagner

The truth is that Wagner’s popularity was already in relative decline during the Weimar Republic and simply fell further, more quickly, under the Nazis.  During the last years of the Kaiser’s Germany (and despite the cost and privation of the First World War), the Master’s works were still hugely popular, accounting for over eighteen per […]

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How to aid the arts during a pandemic

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column.  In addition to “the usual,” we might also consider arts vouchers: The second element of the arts rescue plan would take a different tack. Rather than giving money to arts institutions, the federal government could set aside some amount for a concept known as arts vouchers, […]

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