The reading list
“Can bad people create good art? If that question pops up on an exam or at a dinner party, you might want to be wary. The obvious answer — so obvious that it practically goes without saying, and ought to make the examinee suspicious — is that bad people, or at least people who think and behave in ways most of us find abhorrent, make good art all the time. Probably the most frequently cited example is Wagner, whose anti-Semitism was such that he once wrote that Jews were by definition incapable of art. Degas, a painter often praised for his warmth and humanity, was also an anti-Semite and a staunch defender of the French court that falsely convicted Alfred Dreyfus. Ezra Pound was both anti-Semitic and proto-fascist, and if you want to let him off the hook because he was probably crazy as well, the same excuse cannot be made for his friend and protege T. S. Eliot, whose anti-Semitism, it now seems pretty clear, was more than just casual or what passed for commonplace in those days.”
— From “Good Art, Bad People” at nytimes.com
How many Earth-widths away is the moon?
Wisdom of the ages
“Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.” – Jean de la Bruyere
“No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform.” – President Obama, after a divided Supreme Court threw out major parts of Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Fun Fourth fact
Almost 1 in 3 – that's the chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.7 million hogs and pigs as of March 1.
instauration (in-staw-REY-shuhn) – renewal or restoration; renovation; repair, as in: “The editorial writer told the council president that one interesting meeting did not constitute instauration of that group's reputation.” From the Latin instauration, “renewing” or “repeating.”
Today in history
On this date in 1934, Hitler staged the “Night of the Long Knives,” a bloody purge of the Nazi party; and things were just fine and dandy after that, of course.
Now you know
The first performance of Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly” was one of opera’s all-time worst flops, according to Random History.com. The audience made bird, cow and goat calls and booed heartily. However, the work went on to become one of the most-loved operas in history