01 September 2010

Solid Sausages

After the first solid food since Sunday...

  • Academia, business, and the government share one viewpoint: unstated disdain for individual voices in the arts. Even when honoring artists, academica, business, and government almost always look to the past, and seldom to the recent past, for those to honor. For example, Kennedy Center Honors are almost always for "distinguished careers" in the arts, not for individual (recently produced/published) masterworks. To say the least, this is inconsistent with the work-by-work premise of the IP Clause... and it's also inconsistent with just about everything else that academia, business, and government do, which is all based on RightHereRightNow as a meme.
  • While Bertelsmann's US book-publishing unit was engaged in a war with Andrew Wylie over e-rights, it (Random House) was sitting on knowledge of "major increases" in revenues and profits. As Mr Spock might say: "Fascinating, Captain. I have never encountered this phenomenon before."
  • In one of the sillier H'wood battles of late James Cameron and Mark Canton are battling over 3D films... while simultaneously ignoring the elephant in the room. For all of its technical wizardry, Avatar — much like Star Wars — is a rather mediocre film (not in the same class as its contemporaries District 9 and Moon, due primarily to problems with story/script/narrative, leading into the set-piece battle sequences. Even more so, horror films (especially splatter-based horror films) neglect story/script/narrative in favor of set-pieces. That's not to say that a film based upon a set-piece orientation is inherently an artistic failure; it is to say that other innovations in such a film may (and often do) have little to say about its overall quality, or impact, or translatability to different varieties of films and stories. So, my advice to Mr Cameron is to look at the state of his own narrative house before he objects to someone else using his toolkit to produce comparable (but to his mind "inferior") works.
  • Professor Crawford explains why allowing Comcast to set (or even influence) internet access policy is a bad idea... and, incidentally, why the proposed NBCU/Comcast transaction should be rejected on antitrust grounds. And she does it without once noting that much of our current media-ownership mess is the fault of Austrian School economists who provided (incorrect) justifications for weakening antitrust law! And meanwhile you can ponder tennis.