Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sandford, Koontz, and (of course) Chandler

I have an entry up on America Reads, a website dedicated to getting more Americans to read. Check out the site here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Your Senator As, uh, Editor

Senator Phil Berger, the head of the North Carolina State Senate, wants the government to review and approve film scripts before shooting begins on films made in his state. This would apply to all films applying for the state rebate program, which offers a 15% incentive for filmmakers to shoot in North Carolina. His proposal comes on the heels of Hounddog, the movie in which Dakota Fanning, at age 12, plays a rape victim. It's always sticky when government starts playing art critic. I can picture it now: "Can't we have a bit more character arc for Sally?" "Well, Senator, her growth is more subtle and internal." "Can we change goddamn to goddang then?"

When I was doing research for my soccer script, set in WWII Ukraine, I came across a section talking about how Stalin would personally oversee final cut on many films made in the Soviet Union. However bad we think we've got it, imagine having Stalin over your shoulder, observing your work and twirling his mustache. I wonder if their guild protection covered being shot and left in a mass grave.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Reviews for Sale

This Slate article is amazing. It discusses new practices not just in self-publishing, but in purchasing blurbs and reviews. The audacity is jaw-dropping.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Art and Human Rights (and Bono)

It seems artists, when discussing weighty issues, run the risk of seeming...well...out of their depth. And even if they are well-intentioned, or can affect genuine policy changes, they can be deflated quite effectively. Especially by a Scotsman.

The story below sailed through my inbox and made me actually laugh out loud:

Bono is playing a U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland when he asks the audience for total quiet.

Then in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone, "Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."

A voice with a broad Scottish accent, from near the front of the crowd, pierces the silence..."Well, fucking stop doin' it then!"

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Quotation for the New Year

"Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment."

--Samuel Johnson