Long live the clowns. Long live the clowns and the jugglers and fire-eaters and dancers. Long live the trapeze artists and acrobats and magicians. Long live all the live performers who entertain us on the stage and street. It seems they are all going to die.

 

A eulogy is sad celebration, but who among us can say that we were surprised when Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., author of 2011 Career Plan, 200 Best Jobs for Introverts, 250 Best-Paying Jobs, 150 Best Jobs for a Better World, Best Jobs for the 21st Century, et al., recently announced that “stage performer” is a dying profession in America. We were not surprised. We’ve been living in an increasingly automated world for more than a century now. We’ve grown to expect, without much resistance, that modernity will continue to turn… More…

 

The day that Christ comes to Brussels will be magnificent. There will be a huge parade. In fact, it will be a Mardi Gras parade. The streets will be in chaos. Costumed buffoons will march around, one woman in a blue cat suit. Death will show up, wearing a green and black top hat. Some people will carry banners with political slogans. Christ himself will ride a donkey and play it smooth. He is, after all, The Christ.

We know all of this because James Ensor painted it for us in 1888. He called the painting “Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889.” Unfortunately, it is one of the few major paintings not on view in MoMA’s current James Ensor show. That’s because the painting stayed in Los Angeles at the Getty Museum. It is too beat up to… More…