Attention and Intention: Contextual Consequences and Cultural Confusion in Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Broadway Revival

Let’s agree on one thing: Deaf West’s excellent Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening” is a fine production currently showing at the Brooks Atkinson theatre in a limited run. The sets and lights are magnificent. The staging is right. The actors are completely superb. The effort is noble, but perhaps, imperfect in the execution of its essence, and it is in that vacuum of those slight flaws in amber that this review reflects — to make you think and wonder in preservation and ponder beyond the simple joy of watching a few Deaf actors on a live Broadway stage.

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Michelangelo’s 16th Century Cipher Image Communication

One internet meme that is taking flight on social media is the handcrafted glory of a grocery list Michelangelo created in the 16th century for his illiterate servant to use while shopping.

Because the servant he was sending to market was illiterate,” writes the Oregonian‘s Steve Duin in a review of a Seattle Art Museum show, “Michelangelo illustrated the shopping lists — a herring, tortelli, two fennel soups, four anchovies and ‘a small quarter of a rough wine’ — with rushed (and all the more exquisite for it) caricatures in pen and ink.” As we can see, the true Renaissance Man didn’t just pursue a variety of interests, but applied his mastery equally to tasks exceptional and mundane. Which, of course, renders the mundane exceptional.

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Lost in Cultural Translation: Aesop’s Fables, Fairy Tales and Disney Movies

Every plan has a hole.  Every ship has a leak.  Every internet session is insecure.  These are the new universal writs of living in the new ancient world.  I learned that lesson in an especially troubling manner that forced me, in an instant, to reassess my role in the world as a Midwestern White Man teaching at-risk minority undergraduate students at a major New York City university.

I thought the assignment was simple and universally understood. I’d used a similar teaching plan at other universities with great success; but, in reflection, I realize most of those successes were found in mainstream classrooms with well-schooled students who were taught that learning was a priority in the home.

In my new teaching role in the inner city, many of these students working on a B.A. did not come from the same font of mandatory educational opportunities. They scraped by to earn understanding. They fought for what they grasped while others around them had learning handed to them.

There was a great divide of the mind and cultural experience that I quickly had to bridge or the entire end of the semester was at risk of failing, and the blame would solely be mine as the instructor for not being able to quickly re-adjust and move the field lines to be fair to my students so they could find success.

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Seeding the Social Mesh with Sprout Social

I’ve been testing several social media managers to continue the brand consolidation of everything Bolesian — and to help make updating the Social Mesh a much easier, and more centralized task.  I used to spend all day writing new updates for each, individual, social network.

Yes, handcrafting unique updates is always best, but sometimes time and tide work against that noble effort because you’re propagating old work instead of creating something new.  The rise of Google+ Pages Vanity URLs broke the handcrafted dam.

My first shot into managing all the social profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Pages — was HootSuite.  I ultimately found the Hoot experience overwhelming and brittle and I hated using their image network and link-shortener.

Next, I tried Buffer — a good choice, but the vanity URL shrinker did not reliably work across all profiles, and images posted to my Twitter stream would not natively expand in view.  You had to click on the images to get them to show even though they were in the Twitter image bin.

Enter Sprout Social.  Yes, Sprout Social is expensive — a free 30-day trial does not equate with a free account like HootSuite and Buffer offer — but I knew NYU and other big organizations were using Sprout Social and, I thought, even though I now have over 20 social profiles to manage, and Sprout Social limits me to 10 accounts on their $39.00USD per month first-tier plan, I should still give them a try.

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Bidding Farewell to Angelina Jolie’s Beautiful Breasts

In today’s New York Times, Angelina Jolie shares the story of her decision to have a double mastectomy after her BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests came back with bad news:

My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.

As a red-blooded American boy back in 1998, I remember when Angelina Jolie set the world afire in her debut as Gia, the star-crossed SuperModel.  The hallmark of Angelina’s performance was the baring of her beautiful and natural breasts that became their own phenomenal meme in the lives of all young men long before there was an active internet.  The Google now preserves that original beautiful and naturalistic naked memory — and here’s the start of the stunner that became the star:

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The Yaakov Hoter Gypsy Jazz School Review

Gypsy Jazz is one of the niches of Jazz I have been exploring with great fascination and delight.  I love the dynamism of the Gypsy Jazz performance and the energetic specificity of the Gypsy Jazz guitars, Gypsy Jazz guitar picks and Gypsy Jazz guitar strings to make the mechanical bits become the encompassing human whole.

Gypsy Jazz is a whole ecosystem unto itself and that’s why I decided to try to find an online teacher to help me quickly navigate the rules and the peculiarities of the Gypsy Jazz performance method.

I was lucky to discover Yaakov Hoter’s outstanding Gypsy Jazz School teaching portal where you can learn with him in universal private lessons you download.  Yaakov is based in Israel, but due to the wonder of the internets, you can study with him right in your living room, in your own time, at your own will.  The beauty of web teaching is in its inherent asynchronous learning systems.

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Art as the Object: Division of an Equal Three

When we think of Art, we must take into careful consideration the three elements for understanding.  The Maker.  The Object.  The Receiver. Without all three of those equal, triangulating elements, Art does not exist beyond the ordinariness of just being.

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