28 December 2010

Light Link Sausages

Light news, so light sausages — and unlike many other sausage sources, I don't use (excessive) fillers!

  • The fabulous Sarah Weinman pours a well-deserved bucket of cold water on boosterism for e-books. Not on enthusiasm, or recognition that they have a complementary role — on boosterism. The blatherings of people like S3th G0din that e-books will destroy print publishing remind me of the proclamation that punk will destroy rock (just how are your royalties these days, Sir Mick?), that cable will destroy network TV and the movies (care to take a guess who owns 2/3 of cable and two major film studios?), and that word-processing will destroy elegant prose (there would have had to be a preponderance of elegant prose in the first place... and I've actually read Dickens, Hawthorne, Hemingway, et al.).

    The key point is that "success" does not have a uniform definition — not for authors, not for publishers, not for retailers/distributors. The idiocy of G0din and his ilk is that they impose their personal definitions of "success" on everyone else; any historian could tell you that's a sure path to "everyone else"'s ruin.

  • The NYT swings at H'wood again... and misses. While asserting that film executives are now emphasizing quality, the article fails to note that with one exception (James Cameron) every single point of emphasis by the studios cited is on filmmakers under 45. Yet again, H'wood's alarming emphasis on youth and enthusiasm (over old age and treachery) raises its ugly head. That's not to say that fresh blood is unnecessary, or that youth is never brilliant (Welles's early work behind the camera, to maintain parallelism with the NYT piece); it's only to say that the treachery of old age can lead to the subtly timeless All That Jazz instead of the bombastic, youth-oriented Transformers. Besides, young talent works cheaper...
  • The venerable Chicago Manual of Style hates open access scholarship and forgets that it's about style, not publishing economics. This is rather interesting bullshit from a manual that still encourages an awful lot of expensive BS about book formatting...