"What happens when people get swallowed up by beauty -- that is, by good art -- is not exactly clear. ... "
Beautiful music's all around us in the world -- and so is stupid, fake music. We all know that. And it's the same in all the other arts -- beautiful novels, stupid novels that make you furious at wasting money; beautiful architecture, stupid architecture; beautiful paintings, stupid paintings. And to make things worse, we know from experience that it's not always easy to tell the difference. How many of us realized right from the beginning that those miserable punks the Beatles were in fact real artists? Or that tortuously self-conscious, sentimental rhetorician William Faulkner? Art breaks all walls down, all categories. Good classical music and first-rate jazz have more in common than good classical music and bad, or good jazz and bad. How do we know the difference?
Enemies out to confuse us are everywhere: dumb teachers, smart businessmen fobbing off trash on the pretense that it's art. What should we look for? How can we be certain that it's not all a con?"
"Christmas survives into the 21st century as a thin place where people attempt to step out of the stress and nastiness of everyday life and show love and charity and know peace. It is a nice time of year, a nice holiday."
What Christmas music does: Two quick views of the spectrum
Policing Pop Dept.Germany imprisons right-wing singer
"BERLIN â€” In the first case of its kind in Germany, a right-wing rock band was deemed a criminal organization and its lead singer was sentenced today to more than three years in prison for lyrics that venerate Nazism and incite racial hatred."