Behind the art: The Westmoreland’s ‘Death of Elaine’ beloved of staff and visitors

I always slow down and spend some time with this painting when I visit my local art museum. This scene from the Arthurian legends has been out of exhibition for a while and will be back with a new frame Oct 16. A scene of mourning at Camelot, the castle of the legendary King Arthur, is depicted in Thomas Hovenden’s 1882 oil painting, “Death of Elaine.” The king and his queen, Guinevere, along with knights, ladies-in-waiting and servants, are gathered around a bed holding the body of the young noblewoman, Elaine. —Shirley McMarlin, Tribune-Review

Engrossing but difficult to watch: “Man in Cave” documentary on caver Floyd Collins

I’m conflicted. This is a very well done animated documentary, creating visuals that were not part of the original press coverage of Floyd Collins, the caver trapped in Sand Cave in 1925, and the subject of the first media circus, fed by the emerging new medium of radio journalism. The animation adds sight gags and sometimes crude humor, which is juvenile and not particularly funny. This story happened to real people, and I’m uncomfortable their suffering has been turned into entertainment. Yet here I am, watching. (That’s part of the discomfort I feel.) Even though I know how this story…

The Lost Art of Paste-Up

When I started using a word processor as a middle schooler in the early 1980s, I recognized the editing commands “cut” and “paste” as metaphors.  Here’s a short video showing the physical cutting and pasting that was required to arrange paragraphs of text prepare a document for mass production. According to layout rules, you’re not supposed to end a line with just a single word at the end of a paragraph, and you’re not supposed to break up a paragraph so that a single line from that paragraph begins or ends a column.  Note that this editor actually shaves slivers…

Gen Z Never Learned to Read Cursive

When I used to teach a “Media and Culture” class, I had students do an oral project, a handwriting project, a typewriter/cut-and-paste project, and a digital project, and we spent quite a bit of time reading and talking about how the ways we read and write affect not only what we read and write about, but also how we conceptualize the world and our place in it. I do remember  a time about 16 years ago when I overheard a student in the hallway, during some good-natured teasing banter, saying to a colleague, “Email is for old people.” That was…

The Miller of the Dee; by James Baldwin; read by Dennis Jerz

I showed up at the recording studio for about two hours over the summer; the creative team had three or four different scripts for me to record. We had a grand time knocking them out, one after the other. But this particular script included the stage direction “he sings.” There were lyrics, but no score. Not that seeing written notes would have helped me much… I’ve been fortunate to be coached by and work alongside many talented artists, in school, as a church cantor, and in local theater; and the only thing I can say I’ve really learned is how…

Checking out of @frontporchtheatricals Grand Hotel. What an experience!

My brother had already planned to visit from Virginia to see Carolyn in the closing of Grand Hotel. We were already driving to the theater when we got word that Aunt Rona is visiting yet another cast member, and the final show is cancelled. So we stopped by Julie’s Bubble Tea and Smoothies for a consolation treat. I’m glad the producers put everyone’s health first. We hadn’t told my brother that Carolyn was scheduled to go on again as Flaemchen. (But his face when she showed him a photo of herself in costume was priceless.)