Christmas music (21)–What I want for Christmas

It being 12th night and all, we’re waiting for another bout of snow to hit London, getting ready for the feasting and partying to mark the end of the Christmas season (except in the Armenian Orthodox church, which celebrates Christmas today, and other Orthodox churches, which celebrate it tomorrow). The wild boar is roasting away merrily, and everyone’s mead cup is full. So here we are. This will be the last post on this series for this Christmas season. There’s quite a lot I didn’t cover—Renaissance Christmas music being the most gaping omission. Still, one of the great things about Christmas music is that there’s always more of it. Whether it’s new songs being written by contemporary composers, or thousand year old chants being rediscovered, there’s more music out there all the time. Every year I stumble on an unexpected delight—this year it’s been an album by the Netherlands Chamber Choir, conducted by the erstwhile Paul van Nevel, called Mirabile Mysterium, mainly a bunch of little known but nonetheless stunning choral pieces, mostly from the 15th and 16th centuries. Particularly noteworthy is the title piece, by Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591), as well as a whole raft of Spanish Renaissance songs. And next year I imagine there will be something else equally captivating.

But that’s only if the dim bulbs still running the music industry haven’t killed the industry dead at that point. Continue reading

The new face of media and journalism: Me or Rachel Sklar?

The AEJMC News jury has rendered its verdict: As a print journalism professor, I am a dinosaur. I suspect many professors like me — bred through long newsroom careers and leavened, in many cases, with doctoral education — feel the same. Outdated. Web 3.0 inadequate. Multi-media insufficient.

In the past year, had I sought a professorship to teach print news reporting, writing, and editing, I’d be hard-pressed to find a job despite my two decades of experience and a really expensive piece of PhD parchment. A reason: Several thousand highly experienced, talented print journalists have been shitcanned by their newspapers in the past two years. But print professorships are few, making it a buyer’s market, writes Joe Strupp at Editor & Publisher.

But there’s another reason: Journalism schools, at least in terms of their job postings, may be shifting identities.
Continue reading

Predicting the 21st Century: Nostraslammy's ten-year review

Ten years ago, at the turn of the millennium, Nostraslammy took a stab at predicting the 21st Century, with a promise to check back every ten years to see how the prognostications were turning out. Odds are good I won’t be able to do a review every ten years until 2100, but I figure I’m probably good through 2030, at least, barring some unforeseen calamity. And if you’re Nostraslammy, what’s this “unforeseen” thing, anyway?

Let’s see how our 22 articles of foresight are holding up, one at a time.

1: Researchers will develop either a vaccine or a cure for AIDS by 2020. However, it will be expensive enough that the disease will plague the poor long after it has become a non-issue for the rich and middle classes (although this is one case where political leaders might fund free treatment programs). The end of AIDS will trigger a sexual revolution that will compare to or exceed that of the 1960s and 1970s (unless another deadly sexually-transmitted disease evolves, which is certainly a possibility). Continue reading

Sanctioning Iran: target Khameini, return assets to the people

THE DEPROLIFERATOR — “We declare that Iran respects the [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty], despite all the flaws the treaty has,” said Ali-Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, on Iran’s Press TV. “I believe that some Western countries, which are unfortunately affected by international Zionism, are trying to force Iran to withdraw from the NPT so that they can create an anti-Iran climate in the international arena.”

While invoking the NPT — that talisman of a treaty — on his way to the moral high ground, Salehi stumbled and took a header. Like his president, he just couldn’t keep his thoughts about Zionism to himself. Nor did he help himself or his cause by adding “we hope that the wise part of the West will overcome its irrational part so that it can seize the opportunity offered by Iran to end the current situation.” Continue reading