Media din drowned out 2 major stories

Jimmy Breslin in Newsday on how the hub hub about the proposed marriage amendment and the controversy over the Mel Gibson film obscured notice of two remarkably important news stories — Alan Greenspan’s forecast of the demise of social security and the approval of the first cancer drug that works by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis. [thanks, adam]

French bride weds dead boyfriend

“Dressed in black, a 35-year-old Frenchwoman has married her boyfriend.


But Christel Demichel’s wedding needed special permission because her policeman boyfriend, Eric, was killed by a hit-and-run driver 18 months ago.


The bride said she knew some people might be shocked but Eric’s death had not dimmed her feelings for him.


The wedding at Nice city hall, attended by the couple’s close friends and family, took place on what would have been Mr Demichel’s 30th birthday.” [A rarely-invoked law allowing posthumous marriages was introduced by Charles de Gaulle.] —BBC [thanks, Pam]

Rescuing Art from ‘Visual Culture Studies’

“A disturbing though little publicized movement is afoot in American education to transform the study of art into what is termed Visual Culture Studies. It seeks to broaden the proper sphere of art education–the visual arts–to include every kind of visible artifact. To quote the prospectus of a recently established academic program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

Anything visible is a potential object of study for Visual Culture, and the worthiness of any visual object or practice, as an object of study depends not on its inherent qualities, as in the work of art, but on its place within the context of the whole of culture.

In other words, one can henceforth treat the Nike of Samothrace and Michelangelo’s David, say, on a par with Mattel Toys’ Barbie and Ken dolls.” —Aristos

‘Living with a terminal illness isn’t only a dark place of despair’

The first arts festival staged by people facing death will feature works from beyond the grave. “Ranging in age from 20 to 80, sufferers from cancer, HIV/Aids, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and other incurable conditions will participate at London’s Riverside Studios, once home to BBC classics such as Dixon of Dock Green, Dr Who and Hancock’s Half Hour and now one of London’s flagship cultural centres.” —Guardian.UK

Laughter’s Perennial at the Doctor’s Seussentennial

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“Dr. Seuss is getting a United States postage stamp, a statue and, on March 11, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It’s all part of a bicoastal celebration of the centennial of Theodor Geisel, best known as Dr. Seuss, the man responsible for the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat and the Lorax, among other unforgettable creatures.” —New York Times. Please, though, don’t let the likes of Jim Carey and Michael Myers be the medium through which Dr. Seuss is filtered to the next generation!