A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
I’ve bee sitting at a different desk for the last few issues, and not a little—to say the least—has happened in that time. Here’s a brief roll call of some important names: Katrina, Rita, Michael Brown, John Roberts. Such simple names can indeed yield such profound devastation.
The work of the first three is unfortunately much too clear: we are left with a shattered region and shattered confidence in the basic competence of our government. In re: Michael Brown, the only real question is shouldn’t the person who hired him be fired?
John Roberts, of course, is a fuzzier matter, which is exactly why he was nominated. Roberts didn’t have much of a track record for the public to judge him on, and his performance in the Senate hearings showed his considerable skill in the art of evasion. But my hunch is that the 78 senators who hired him know exactly where he stands.
My bet is that he will become the most influential Chief Justice since Earl Warren. But where Warren moved the court towards protecting full legal equality for everyone, Roberts will continue to steer it in the direction of inequality, giving corporations and the state primacy over the rights of individuals. Unlike Brownie, Roberts is a competent crony of the Bush administration. And, alas, we’re going to live under his influence for at least the next 25 years.
Wolf TonesBy Ann C. Collins
MAY 2022 | Art Books
Wolves, we all know, are not to be trusted. They disguise themselves in sheeps clothing or wait at the door for impending ruin. They come as a howl in the darkness, their presence heard but not seen. To cry wolf is to raise a false alarm, thereby forfeiting trust and belief. In music, a wolf sometimes lurks in a stringed instrument, often a cello.
Despite its Bumpy History, Merrily We Roll Along Glides Back to New YorkBy Billy McEntee
DEC 22–JAN 23 | Theater
The first time I saw Merrily was at Fair Lawn High School in New Jersey in 2008; Stephen Sondheim apparently attended a performance and spoke to the cast. I remember being amazed by the score, confused by the story, but moved by the endingin that amateur productions final gesture, as the chorus refrains me and you during Our Time, antihero Franklin Shepards piano comes back on stage and he, alone, faces it. Maria Friedmans production, now sold out at New York Theatre Workshop, concludes with a similar visual, and an idea clicked: music is the you to Franklins me, the thing he cares most about and what he has to lose when the people who make him sing fade away, dimming like distant stars.
Michael Wang: Lake TaiBy Gwendoline Cho-ning Kam
DEC 22–JAN 23 | ArtSeen
The concept of youyuan, that is, strolling in a garden, has always been inspirational for traditional Chinese intelligentsia. Thousands of creative workspaintings, literature, music, and poetryare fueled by a love of natural beauty. Michael Wang, a New York-based artist, takes on this spirit of the intelligentsia in Lake Tai, his debut solo show in China at Prada Rong Zhai, Shanghai. Wangs sculptural installation engages with the traditional Chinese appreciation of scholars rocks (unusually but naturally-shaped stones) and scholarly flower arrangement that were once prevalent in Chinese art and celebrated the human relationship with the natural world.
Michael Seidenberg’s Unsolicited Advice for the End TimesBy J.T. Price
NOV 2022 | Books
I dont care what Bob Dylan said, Michael writes in Unsolicited Advice. I say do think twiceat least twice. He was never not one for doubling back.