Watch “Geometry of Circles,” the Abstract Sesame Street Animation Scored by Philip Glass (1979)

≡ Category: Animation, Music, Television |1 Comment”>”Geometry

Look into the childhood of any highly innovative American artist of the past couple generations, and you’ll probably find at least a trace of Sesame Street.


Joan Jett Sings “Love is All Around,” the Theme Song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show

≡ Category: Music, Television |1 Comment

There’s lots of sturm und drang here in America–enough that we didn’t get to pay our respects to Mary Tyler Moore, an icon of 1960s and 1970s television.
Above, we give you our favorite tribute. Joan Jett performing a sweet rocking cover of “Love is All Around,” the original theme song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.


Willie Nelson and His Famous Guitar: The Tale of Trigger: Watch the Short Film Narrated by Woody Harrelson

≡ Category: Music |Leave a Comment″>overwrought

There are those albums that can change someone’s perception of an entire genre of music. Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger was such an album for me. But Nelson’s approach on his 1975 concept record not only challenged my preconceptions, it challenged the sureties of the country scene of the time.


Albert Camus, Editor of the French Resistance Newspaper Combat, Writes Movingly About Life, Politics & War (1944-47)

≡ Category: History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics |1 Comment

Image by United Press International, via Wikimedia Commons
When totalitarian regimes around the world are in power, writing that tells the truth—whether literary, journalistic, scientific, or legal—effectively serves as counter-propaganda. To write honestly is to expose: to uncover what is hidden, stand apart from it, and observe.


1,000 Musicians Play Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Live, at the Same Time

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In July of 2015, 1,000 musicians gathered together in Cesena, Italy and performed in unison a rollicking version of the Foo Fighters’ song “Learn to Fly.”
Now, they’re back and playing the best-known song from Dave Grohl’s earlier band. We’re talking, of course, about Nirvana’s hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.


Henry David Thoreau on When Civil Disobedience Against Bad Governments Is Justified: An Animated Introduction

≡ Category: History, Politics |7 Comments″>animated

“In March 1845, the United States acquired a new president – James K. Polk – a forceful, aggressive political outsider intent on strengthening his country and asserting its pre-eminence in front of other world powers, especially Mexico and Great Britain,” says The Book of Life.


Hannah Arendt on “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship:” Better to Suffer Than Collaborate

≡ Category: History, Philosophy, Politics |5 Comments

Image by Bernd Schwabe, via Wikimedia Commons
When Eichmann in Jerusalem—Hannah Arendt’s book about Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann’s trial—came out in 1963, it contributed one of the most famous of post-war ideas to the discourse, the “banality of evil.” And the concept at first caused a critical furor.


The Harlem Jazz Singer Who Inspired Betty Boop: Meet the Original Boop-Oop-a-Doop, “Baby Esther”

≡ Category: Animation, Comics/Cartoons, History, Jazz, Music |Leave a Comment”>actress

Jazz Age cartoon flapper, Betty Boop, inhabits that rare pantheon of stars whose fame has not dimmed with time.
While she was never alive per se, her ten year span of active film work places her somewhere between James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. The market for Boop-collectibles is so vast, a definitive guide was published in 2003.


Pakistani Immigrant Goes to a Led Zeppelin Concert, Gets Inspired to Become a Musician & Then Sells 30 Million Albums

≡ Category: Life, Music |Leave a Comment

Salman Ahmad, the guitarist who founded the acclaimed Sufi rock band Junoon, has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and continued making music despite threats from The Taliban. He also teaches courses on Muslim music and poetry at Queens College of the City University of New York.


Ian McKellen Reads a Passionate Speech by William Shakespeare, Written in Defense of Immigrants

≡ Category: Literature |16 Comments

The identity of William Shakespeare has been a literary mystery for four hundred years, inspiring theory after theory, book after book. There has been, indeed, little biographical evidence to work with, though paleographer and “literary detective” Heather Wolfe has very recently filled in some critical gaps.


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