09 May 2012

Will Max's Dinner Still Be Hot?

Sorry to see you go off into the night kitchen, Mr Sendak.

  • From the department of amusing ego trips, George Lucas has dropped plans for a film studio on his Marin County "ranch" after objections by neighbors and is instead proceeding with plans for low-income housing there. Perhaps this would deal with the economic hole in the Star Wars universe that the Jedi, individually and collectively, have no visible means of support...
  • The UK government's legislative agenda for the next year, as disclosed in the Queen's Speech, includes several measures of interest to writers. The most important, and most obvious, one is reform of Britain's insane libel laws; unfortunately, this will be at most a half measure, based on the various proposals, white papers, and green papers that have been published. As a critical note, it will still require US-based authors to pay careful attention to the warranties-and-indemnities clause of any publishing contract, and to the coverage limitations on any media-perils insurance policy, because there will still be a substantial "Ehrenfeld gap" for US-published works that somehow make their way into the UK to fall into.
  • Let's have a big "Y - M - C - A" for authors' rights! One of the authors of The Village People's hits (the "policeman") has prevailed in his attempt to terminate the forced transfer of his rights (see 17 U.S.C. § 203) to a "music publishing company" and record label that have (undoubtedly) underpaid him over the years. I'm still considering the opinion itself, but this appears to create a clear circuit split with the Second Circuit... if it stands on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. In turn, that might mean that the Supreme Court would actually bring some clarity to termination rights; of course, it might also mean that the Supreme Court would bring only further confusion to the issue, but that's the risk one takes!
  • Some intellectually curious (that's a good thing) consideration of The Daily Show as a resource on comparative religion still manages to miss Stewart's ultimate point. The issue is never theology for Stewart and his merry men and women; it is the relationship between (stated and/or canonical) belief and behavior that makes for comedy, far more than the beliefs themselves.
  • There's a new superhero/supervillain in the world this week: Captain Qamiis Daakhalii. I wonder if the "magic" undergarments can only be drawn on with the left hand?
  • Maybe the literary and mainstream publishing/writing categories have something to learn from people who dress up as Klingons and go to conventions. And that's not just for marketing purposes, either; one of the things that higher-level study of literature offers (that "creative writing" courses, as a rule, don't) is insight into not just the apparent context on the page, but the author's context as a whole — and that necessarily includes defining the (intended) audience.
  • One of the felines at the IPKat offers this amusing (and disturbingly perceptive) guide to distinguishing between economics and business/management studies. Perhaps next we'll learn how to distinguish counsellors-at-law from LitiGators...