Category: ARTS & FILM

Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World

ED CURTIN—So yes, I do think most people are victims.  No one chooses their parents, or to be born into poverty, or to be discriminated against for one’s race, etc.  No one chooses to have their genuine experience poisoned from childhood.  No one chooses to be born into a mad society.  This is all true.  Some are luckier than others.  Suicides, fast and slow, are victims.  But not just victims.  This is not about blame, but understanding.  For those who commit to lives of slow suicide, to the squelching of their true selves and their consciences in the face of a rapacious and murderous society, there is always the chance they can break with the norm and go sane.  Redemption is always possible.  But it primarily involves overcoming the fear of death, a fear that manifests itself in the extreme need to preserve one’s life, so-called social identity, and sense of self by embracing social conventions…

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KULTURALIA: Mario Lanza, the American Caruso

PATRICE GREANVILLE—Mario Lanza, who crossed the artistic firmament of America and the world like a comet in the 1940s and 1950s, to die suddenly of a heart attack in 1959 at age 38 in Rome, the land of his ancestors, is credited with inspiring some of today’s greatest classical singers. Carreras, Domingo and even the incomparable Pavarotti have claimed a debt to Lanza. Such high testimony might have surprised even Lanza, not exactly given to excessive self-doubt. To this day, few people know that Lanza was born Alfredo Arnold Cocozza, to humble immigrant Italian parents on both sides of his genetic tree. Mario Lanza was the stage name he chose in honor of his mother, Maria Lanza.

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Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: A hollow “defining moment” cloaked in identity politics

NICK BARRIMAN—News coverage in the lead-up to the film’s release, a key component of its multi-million-dollar marketing campaign, gave the impression that a viewing of the film would be enough to inspire impoverished black children to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps. Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, has joined in the general establishment promotion of the work, sending out tweets encouraging his followers to see the film. This carefully orchestrated and well-funded marketing scam is driving millions to see Black Panther, providing mega-profits for its distributor, Walt Disney Studios.

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