Why Fame Can Be a Nightmare

Apr 16, 2021

Self-annihilation is a constituent part of many celebrity careers. While some actors or singers slide smoothly from one success to another, hardly pausing for the occasional misadventure, others are ruined, occasionally by others but much more usually by their own devices. Frankie Lymon’s...

NFTs and the Cynicism of Contemporary Art
Mar 08, 2021

NFTs and the Cynicism of Contemporary Art

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams
Dec 03, 2020

The Rapper Breaking Down Borders With Dreams

Juliette Greco: Snatching Dignity From the Jaws of the Absurd
Oct 02, 2020

Juliette Greco: Snatching Dignity From the Jaws of the Absurd

Richard Wagner and the Twilight of Western Civilization

Richard Wagner and the Twilight of Western Civilization

Oct 02, 2020

According to Alex Ross in his book, “Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music,” Richard Wagner was more than the composer who dominated German music in the second half of the 19th century. He became a towering cultural icon who transformed the way culturally influential people and...

Xi Jinping’s Tibetan Summer of Love

Xi Jinping’s Tibetan Summer of Love

Sep 01, 2020

As reported by Al Jazeera, China’s President Xi Jinping is seeking to realize the traditional Chinese ideal of harmony within the borders of Tibet. He has a threefold goal: Xi wants to “build an ‘impregnable fortress’ to maintain stability in Tibet, protect national unity and educate the...

Latin Music Is Seducing the World All Over Again

Latin Music Is Seducing the World All Over Again

Jul 29, 2020

When Luis Fonsi launched his ninth album, “Vida,” in January 2017, he probably didn’t imagine that its main song, “Despacito,” featuring Daddy Yankee, would become an international sensation. The track broke seven Guinness records, among which were the most weeks at the top of...

McCoy Tyner’s Improvisations of Hope

McCoy Tyner’s Improvisations of Hope

Mar 10, 2020

Jazz is a musical art form that cultivates complex and highly disciplined improvisational skills. In its brief history — hardly more than a century — jazz has always floated between being perceived as a style of popular, crowd-pleasing music or as a sophisticated art form produced by...

#MeToo: Power, Let’s Talk About It

#MeToo: Power, Let’s Talk About It

Feb 27, 2020

This is a story I have been sitting on for over a year, trying to get it right. It is a story about womanhood, immigration, my remarkably uneventful experience of dating R. Kelly, and the intersection between the American pop culture and the #MeToo movement. Let me start by saying that it took...

Is Brazil’s Soft Power Under Threat?

Is Brazil’s Soft Power Under Threat?

Feb 21, 2020

An image isn’t just worth a thousand words. A good public image generates better market positions, healthier interpersonal relationships and, of course, profits. When it comes to a country’s image, its importance is even bigger, not only for economic growth but for the safety of its citizens....

Did You Say High Culture Was Dead?

Did You Say High Culture Was Dead?

Dec 12, 2019

When I was a was a young teen attending a German high school in southern Bavarian in the late 1960s, we were made to know how to distinguish between high and popular culture. High culture was Kafka and Thomas Mann, Beethoven and Mozart, Goethe and Berthold Brecht, Fritz Lang and Josef von...

Brexit Goes to the Proms

Brexit Goes to the Proms

Sep 23, 2019

“Thug-like” verbal aggression and the unceremonious snapping of an EU flag — this, according to campaigners, was one of several reactions from a small, unrepresentative number of Brexiteers offered EU flags to fly ahead of the Proms, at London’s Royal Albert Hall, on September 14. It was...