Sunday, May 29, 2011
Weekend Reading: Lady Gaga gets Fryed, Groupon's gag writers, Bikini Waxes, Kissinger's murderous sycophancy, Hunt Lieberson's sublime Berlioz
Lady Gaga Takes Tea with Mr. Fry offers an engaging and enlightening account of the inimitable Stephen Fry's visit with the unsinkable chanteuse.
Kissinger's China - also in the FT, the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, reviews Henry Kissinger's new book On China, and paints a portrait of a brilliant man devoid of any moral sense. In his latest work the chronic enabler of blood-soaked tyrants offers up a whitewashing of Mao's crimes, to which Patten provides an sobering rebuttal.
New Royalist Torquemada Grover Norquist. When even Tom Coburn thinks someone's a dangerous extremist, you know you're dealing with a real piece of work. Also in Business Week, there's a discussion of the relationship of the bikini wax to Brazil's measure of inflation.
On the music front, The Financial Times finds Glyndebourne's Meistersinger flavorless mush, and reports that, after a slew of cancellations of dates earlier this year, including Chicago, Maurizio Pollini was back in top form at a Royal Festival Hall recital that included Chopin, Schumann, and Stockhausen Klavierstücke.
Funny or Die: Groupon's Fate Hinges on Words suggests that Groupon's continued success may hinge on its gagwriters - "musicians, poets, actors and comedians" who write the copy that keeps subscribers clicking coupons.
Elsewhere, Zachary Woolfe has a glowing review of the new live recording from 1995 of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's sublime acount of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Ete , plus a selection of Handel arias, a must-have release that has been topping out my iPod for the past few weeks.