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August Edition of the WEDGWOOD MUSE
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Hello MUSE readers! This month, we are excited to share the newest music video by TRACE. Check out her additional singles and be on the lookout for her debut EP that comes out on August 16th.

We're still feeling residual Comic Con excitement, so this month we are also sharing some pop culture favorites that we're loving! Read about how Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is taking bookstores by storm and why Netflix's Stranger Things is becoming the most talked about show of 2016.


Also, we are inspired by David Brooks' great reflection on the power the artist has in the world today and how art can change the world and reflect the times in which we live. 

We hope you are enjoying the final days of summer!

 

        


PS - Feel free to contact us and give us some feedback!
August 5th was the birthday of celebrated author and cultural critic Wendell Berry. His most famous works include The Loss of the University and Hannah & Nathan.  

Read more about Wendell and his work!

 
On July 31st the world got the first new "Harry Potter" book in nine years! Here’s a look at how bookstores prepared for the magical release.

Read more about the "bookstore hooplah" here! 
Vocalist TRACE recently released the music video for her new single "Honey!" Be on the lookout for her debut EP coming out August 16th.

How Stranger Things Re-Enchants the World

The Netflix show, along with Midnight Special, Frank Peretti's novels, and even Pokémon Go are trying to fill a void.

 

By: Alissa Wilkinson

Every trope from the 1980s is here: monsters, government conspiracies, single-parent families, rebellious teenagers, bullies, the weird kid at school—even the show's title sequence and design, which seems like an obvious homage to Star Wars. And by aping the 1980s, it both taps into our nostalgia-soaked culture and blazes a new path: by switching between types of genre plots, it keeps changing the rules, keeping us from guessing (and, eventually, from knowing) what is going on in a deeply satisfying way.

Watching Stranger Things, with its establishing shots that begin and end on the night sky, I found myself thinking of Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols' sci-fi film out this year about a young boy with magical powers and a parallel dimension that nobody can explain. Many critics (including myself) compared Midnight Special to Spielberg, citing Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. as influences—as has Nichols himself in many interviews. The beauty of Midnight Special (I reviewed it from Berlin) is its suggestion of a dimension beyond what we can see, something inexplicable that refuses to conform to our rules, but nonetheless intrudes on our reality—and in this case, something explicitly religious.


See full story at the Christianity Today

How Artists Change the World

By: David Brooks

Douglass brought that look of radical dissatisfaction to the studio. When he was a young man, his stares were at once piercing, suspicious and solemn. As he got older, his face took on a deeper wisdom and sadness while losing none of his mountainous solemnity. He was combining moral depth and great learning.

Douglass was combating a set of generalized stereotypes by showing the specific humanity of one black man. (The early cameras produced photographs with great depth of field revealing each pore, hair and blemish.)

Most of all, he was using art to reteach people how to see.

 

See full story at nytimes.com

There is no Song of the Summer

By: Chris Richards

We don’t suspend our romance with pop music in times of crisis because pop music won’t let us. Unlike movies, TV shows or books, songs can enter our lives against our volition and with incredible ease. It happens most frequently in the summer, when we’re outdoors, exposing ourselves to unsolicited melodies at the park, on the beach, in the streets. We tend to equate summertime with frivolity — summer reads, summer love — but pop matters most in the warm weeks, when a song can blast across the commons, altering the public aura, bending our communal temperament. Music finds us. It’s the truest texture of our times.

And this summer, we’re being reminded how powerfully the very idea of “us” is reinforced through the news cycle and the Hot 100. Humming together in secret symmetry, bad news and good pop help to feed our endless appetite for worry and escape, the yin and yang of American life. Once July rolls around and the heat starts to spike, we reach for our most reliable escape hatch: “the song of the summer,” that magical mega-hit capable of changing the nation’s psychic temperature.

 

Copyright © 2016 Wedgwood Circle, All rights reserved.


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