Commentary

Lynne Davis is associate professor of organ at Wichita State University, where she is the Robert L. Town Distinguished Professor of Organ. Davis also hosts the Wednesdays in Wiedemann concert series, which celebrates the Marcussen organ which is housed there. 

'Midnight Special' is a Challenging Brain Teaser

Apr 14, 2016

As much as I could figure it out, Midnight Special is a fascinating movie full of suspense and mystery, a sort of challenging brain teaser that I'm willing to risk spoilers in my review of because I'm not at all sure my interpretation is right. You may want to pass this review up if you think you're going to see Midnight Special, but it might give you a bit of a head start.


There has been a quiet, brilliant force taking place at the hands of Wichita painter, digital artist, and graphic designer Dustin Parker. Since April 2007, Parker has been publishing an online blog known as Proteus Mag, and the results have been extraordinary.

Let’s consider Jon Benjamin’s piano playing on his provocative new jazz album “Well, I Should Have.” This effort follows the time-tested formulas of the genre: traditional arrangements, a world-class back-up band, and high production values. But Benjamin is a comedian, doesn’t like jazz, and, most importantly, doesn’t know how to play piano.

There’s a film documentary of the session; the interaction between his complete failure at the keyboard and the highly experienced and unsuspecting side-men is a bold exercise in confrontational comedy. But it also raises the question: Can a bad musician make good music?

On the list of influential choreographers of the 20th century, one name stands in bold relief: Bob Fosse. Born in Chicago in 1927, Fosse showed exceptional talent for dance at an early age, and was tap-dancing on vaudeville and burlesque stages before he was old enough to attend high school. As the only male at dance school, Fosse initially endured teasing and whistling, but the joking didn't last long. “I beat up a couple of the whistlers,” he said, “and the rest sort of tapered off after a while.”

A couple of weeks ago in Charlton, Massachusetts, a car pulled up to a group of teenagers. A man got out of the car and began rapping at the teenagers. They were asked if they, too, wanted to, quote, "spit some bars." The teenagers declined and the man got back in the car and left. It’s a weird and silly story, but it left me concerned for the teenagers: Why didn’t they have any bars to spit?

'Eye In The Sky' Will Keep You Guessing

Apr 7, 2016

The new drone warfare thriller Eye in the Sky is not only a first-rate suspenser but almost a police procedural about the use of drones in assassination attempts, with big drones the size of small airplanes, little drones the size of birds, and tiny drones the size of junebugs. 

nintendo.com

Unlike most other game companies, Nintendo has long stayed out of making games for mobile phones, preferring to publish games for the 3DS. But last year they announced they would start putting out games for iPhones and Android, and the first of those was released last week.

Kansas made the the front page of The New York Times this past week as the fiery battle to reshape the Kansas Supreme Court and make it more accountable to a conservative-leaning public is heating up.

Senator Jerry Moran actually had the gall to suggest that Congress ought to do what the Constitution says it should do and hold hearings on the President’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Right-wingers went ballistic and slapped him down so quickly that his little Cowardly Lion bow almost fell out of his hair!

Oh, I say tomato, you say tomah-to,
Ok, forget I ever said tomato
You scared me! A lot – Oh! I’ll switch to tomah-to!
Let’s call the hearings off.

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