26 February 2008

A Day Late (Again)

I got tied up with the Voracious Teen's financial aid paperwork yesterday, so there wasn't any time for a Monday posting.

  • In "celebration" of the Oscars, we should ask if there just might be 10 sure-fire steps to an Oscar. Or, perhaps, ask ourselves whether Hollywood is dead. (Creatively, yes; but that's a much, much longer and more-tangled story indeed.)
  • It's cold here now. Not quite cold enough to freeze your computer's memory to break hard-disk encryption, but plenty cold enough to freeze my memory.
  • G.B.H. Hornswoggler — the nom de blog of former Science Fiction Book Club editor Andrew Wheeler — cautions against overreliance on Bookscan. I'm actually a bit surprised that his piece does not point out yet another source of books that does not accurately and timely report sales through Bookscan: book clubs! Which leads to further questions about starving artists, and particularly whether they're even being paid the pittance that the entertainment industry offers to actual content creators. Unless, that is, you assemble large, mostly meaningless tomes from other people's work and call them novels. At the moment, the publishing industry is waiting for Dan Brown. But he said the manuscript is coming...
  • Somehow, I think this article on J.S. Bach misses the point. I'm not an expert on Bach's life by any means, but from what I do know one couldn't do a Peter Shaffer treatment called Sebastian. Besides which, Bach is perhaps the paradigmatic example of a figure in the arts who is respected primarily as a pioneer, not as a master worthy of further emulation today. That isn't to say that we have nothing left to learn from Bach's music — only that what we learn must be applied in light of everything else we've learned since. One runs into the same problem in literature, of course; Jane Austen leaps to mind, but she is hardly the paradigmatic example (that would have to be Dickens).