The student asks a simple question, demanding a straight answer. Os the candidate for or against free college tuition? Watch Klobuchar do shameless rhetorical fireworks and Olympic sommersaults to avoid saying outright where she stands.
CULTURE & COMEDY
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STEVE ALMOND—In a 1906 address at Carnegie Hall entitled “Taxes and Morals,” Mark Twain lambasted plutocrats who advertised their piety while lying about their incomes. “I know all those people,” Twain noted. “I have friendly, social, and criminal relations with the whole lot of them.” He said that word—criminal—knowing that many of these folks were seated in the gallery before him. Twain had this to say about the patriotism of his day: “The Patriot did not know just how or when or where he got his opinions, neither did he care, so long as he was with what seemed the majority—which was the main thing, the safe thing, the comfortable thing.”
ED CURTIN—while Van Gogh sought reality by breaking the mold, the rich and powerful have devoured the results of his efforts and have transposed them into commodities. Last year, his painting, Laboureur Dans Un Champ, painted from an asylum where he had committed himself, sold for $ 81.3 million at Christie’s after a frenetic auction.
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But Bertolucci’s descent was not principally a personal matter. Italian cinema has sunk to extraordinary depths in the last several decades. One of the glories of world cinema in the postwar period through the 1960s and perhaps beyond, it fell from remarkable heights.
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CAILTIN JOHNSTONE—Comedy is meant to lampoon power and call bullshit what it is. Today it’s used at best for mindless escapism, and at worst it’s used to sell products and indoctrinate the public into supporting power and accepting bullshit. The most daring thing you’ll ever see most comics do is make fun of Donald Trump, and ooh, oh my, how brave and groundbreaking.