Arts & Culture

Arts and culture news, criticism, and programming from TPR/NPR.

From Texas Standard.

For many Texans of a certain age, learning civics and math and grammar began as we sat cross-legged on the floor in front of a big cathode ray tube on Saturday mornings. In between  The Archies, Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, Josie and the Pussycats and Super Friends, we learned lessons that have stuck with us all our lives.

Melissa Monroe-Young / Alamo Colleges

Sitting before you is a blank sheet of paper, save for an empty musical staff. You assignment is to write great music using the guidelines of the contest you’ve already entered. Not more than eight minutes, and the instrumentation… what is it, string quartet? Maybe solo piano? How about a short cello sonata?

Or maybe you’re told to write for trombone and violin.

The U.S./Mexico border is the source of intense political discourse and heartbreaking stories of people caught in between a multi-sided immigration debate. For quite a while now, very strident music has been coming out that reflects all of the above.

A few months ago, social media trend spotters got excited for a moment about the fact that we're all going to die. The occasion was the launch of a new app, WeCroak, that follows the Buddhist practice of frequently contemplating mortality by sending notifications about that very subject to users five times a day.

When The Exorcist, based on the novel by William Blatty, came to theaters in 1973, it captured the public imagination. Or more accurately, the public's nightmares.

Exorcisms aren't just the stuff of horror movies — hundreds of thousands of Italian Catholics reportedly request them each year. But when William Friedkin directed the movie, he'd never actually seen an exorcism. It would be four more decades before he actually witnessed one.

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