Wednesday Morning Arts Roundup


1. ThinkProgress has posted a strange article by Alyssa Rosenberg on the "contradictions" of the free-market philanthropist David Koch's relationship with public art subsidies. I call the story strange because I've read it several times now and I still can't figure out what the contradictions are supposed to be. I think it's that Koch gives his own money to the arts but doesn't think the government should do the same thing with other people's money. Or maybe it's that he gives money to organizations that also take money from the government. Or maybe…uh…seriously, I'm coming up dry here. Read it yourself and tell me if you can find an actual contradiction in it.

2. Over The Wall Street Journal, Lucette Lagnado has a fun piece about suburban theater companies performing homicidal spoofs of sitcoms. (Sample title: A Very Brady Murder.) These tend to be dinner-theater groups, though "shows based on 'The Golden Girls' are a hit at retirement communities." Naturally, there have been rumblings from the owners of the original shows' copyrights, even though the plays are clearly constitutionally protected parodies; the producers of The Last Cruise of the SS Minnow received a warning letter this year from the law team at Warner Brothers.

3. Last weekend the Journal published a less impressive article arguing that young adult fiction has gotten too "dark." Mary Elizabeth Williams has replied capably over at Salon. The key line: "It's our job as parents to protect our kids, even as they slowly move out into the world and further away from our dictates. But there's something almost comical about raising them with tales of big bad wolves and poisoned apples, and then deciding at a certain point that literature is too 'dark' for them to handle. Kids are smarter than that."

4. Speaking of kid lit: Roald Dahl wrote some of the best children's books of the last half-century. But man, what an asshole.