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Monday, January 18, 2021

Roger Downey

Born in Canada moved to Peru's altiplano at the age of six; came to the U.S. at 10 to discover that you don't use your feet to dribble the ball. Learned from the git-go that "America" is an idea, not a place.

Politics, COVID-style, Means Radical Transparency for Olympia Lawmakers

Every legislator now carries an official phone, to be used whenever conducting the public’s business. The logs of said phones are archived and accessible to public enquiry.

‘Ma Rainey’ and the Playwright’s Artistic Journey: Learning to be Black

Wilson says he did not feel he was Black by nature. He had to learn to be Black, and his education, which began at the age of 20, with the discovery of Bessie Smith and the Blues, is the stuff he transformed with ever growing skill into the tissue of his work.

The Robin Hood of Piedmont

This morning Rome’s La repubblica reported that Alberto Cirio, the president of Italy's heavily industrialized province Piedmont, has introduced a bill to introduce a supertax on the proceeds of web-based businesses grossing more than €5.5 million a year in Italy and €750 million worldwide.

Streaming Scene: PNB in the House of Imagination

Made with determination and imagination against the most inimical conditions imaginable, it may come to be seen as one of the harbingers of a new era performance, when all forms of delivery to an audience are seen as equally valid.

Good Counsel for Hard Times

You may think yourself rightminded when it comes to clumsy thought and slipshod reasoning, but reading him is to discover what’s slipshod and clumsy in your own thought. You don’t just learn about how “the enemy” thinks and acts, you discover how your own compromises and oversimplifications help him get away with it.

Have I got an Opera for you!

In this spare, intense revival from the Opera am Rhein in Düssedorf, it fits our current national mood like an Iron Maiden.

Want to end the Pandemic?

In a a rationally governed world it could be done, thereby opening up the enormous range of coordinated actions available to policy makers ready to look at hard facts before making hard but firm choices.

Nine . . . Ten. . . OUT!

In every American boxing movie between 1930 and 1960, there was a little guy in a white shirt and bow tie acting as referee. Chris Wallace was born to play that guy. But that guy knew a foul when he saw one. Chris, the famous conscience of Fox, saw dozens and barely raised his voice. This match was so unrefereed that an RKO crowd would have charged the ring. But there was no crowd. No count. No decision. Chris, say it ain’t so . . .

The Return of Byrne

It’s likely that many reading this piece were not among the audiences that made Stop Making Sense on of the most successful concert films of all time. I can only hope that they take advantage of the opportunity while it lasts.

Seattle Symphony: Reimagining, Reduced

The orchestra opens its season with a socially-distanced performance. "Imagination is not the word I would use in describing the show, which put competence on view but nothing more. No surprise, no delight, no flair, no depth of feeling."

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