03 January 2014

First-Storm-of-Winter Link Sausage Platter

Bob Gorrell, 03 Jan 2014Like, why did they have to stop making those cool microbuses right when pot finally became legal in a few states, man? That just totally harshes my mellow... but not as much as these link sausages will harsh yours:

  • Speaking of harshed mellows, consider your laptop's fate at the border. Now contemplate that this is the sanitized-for-public-consumption version. Harsh, man.
  • When one asks first how many novelists may be attempting to write the great (or not-so-great-but-popular) American Novel, and combines it with the recent drop in the cost to "get published," it becomes so much more obvious why statistical studies of why so few books get finished are fundamentally flawed, and lead only to overcategorization a la Netflix. One of the reasons that I dropped Netflix in disgust after a two-month trial last year is that the system has no nuance to it whatsoever; another is that it presumes that what one desires for entertainment at time t holds at time (t+n), regardless of anything else... before considering how inaccurate many of the analyses of works are (no, Netflex, The West Wing season 2 episode 10 is not a "holiday story of redemption"). But then, that would require not just finishing the works, but grasping some context about them.
  • Kris Rusch accurately notes that "discoverability" and business plans are neither what they used to be nor what the marketing dorks claim they are or will become.

    Yes, in some ways, the idiot pundits are right—only BeyoncĂ© could have done this. But that’s because BeyoncĂ© stands on seventeen years of work, and seventeen years building a fan base, seventeen years of a career that, with luck, will extend into the future.

    And she built the album according to her vision.

    Not, as so many of you keep asking me, on what she should have done or what someone else does. Her vision.

    Because, in the arts, all we have is our individuality. The minute you try to do something the same way someone else did—from composing a story to choosing a genre to marketing your work—you’ve failed.

    (italics in original, boldface emphasis supplied) This goes, in particular, for those who try to "write to market" — write more of what seems "hot" now. It's more possible than it used to be (when a "fast track" from a completed manuscript to public availability ranged from six weeks for certain hot-topic/celebrity-based works to the more-ordinary twelve- to eighteen-month editorial and production cycle), but unless you're both accurately assessing what makes things "hot" and writing at Erich Segal speed, you really can't do it and produce anything other than utter crap... let alone repeat it.

Now I have to go shovel the front walk... of falling leaves and pine needles.