The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s exhibit, “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (through Sept. 9) was inspired by Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’,” which she defined broadly as style over substance characterized by theatricality, irony, playfulness, masquerade and unselfconsciousness. It’s a definition and a show that cuts a wide swath, but in the end it turns out to be less about camp and more about identity — its mutability and its ownership.Read More
Show of hands on how many of you have visited an Apple store recently and gotten out in oh, say, less than a half-hour?
I can’t see you, of course, but I bet not many hands are raised. Going to an Apple store is like the Luis Bunuel film “The Exterminating Angel,” in which the guests can’t leave a party. (Since this is mainly a cultural blog, I should point out that it was made into an opera.)Read More
Three friends, the same reaction: They’re all in a tizzy — bewitched, bothered and bewildered — by Trump world.
One is appalled at the Trump Administration’s restrictive treatment of pregnant undocumented immigrants. Another is angry about President Donald J. Trumpet’s policies and tone in general. And speaking of which, the third is severely stressed by his threats to the American resistance, which preceded the massacre of 50 Muslims — and the injury of just as many — at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand by yet another young man with a disproportionate rage at life’s rejections, one who counted El Presidente as a white power inspiration.Read More
Last week was another minefield in which we found ourselves treading carefully.
We begin with the state of Virginia, which seems to be collapsing like a house of cards with revelations of blackface and allegations of sexual assault against the governor and the lieutenant governor respectively. (The state attorney general and some Republicans have also admitted to having done blackface.) I have great respect for Mark Shields and David Brooks on “PBS NewsHour,” but I think they missed the point in saying that Gov. Ralph Northam’s blackface experience is mitigated by his good work. The Buddhist principle of karma holds that what you put out in the universe returns to you. This is different from the vengeful, biblical “What you sow you reap.” It’s merely cause and effect. You do it, you own it, because it will come full circle, regardless of what else you have done.Read More