All posts for Uncategorized / General in 2013


A Mouthful Of Stories Dept.

Great writing and great cuisine, compared.

This And $2.50 Gets You A Ride On The Subway Dept.

On why both giving and interpreting good criticism are dying arts.

Your Own Thing (And Everyone Else's) Dept.

Do you own thing, but don't let it fence you in.

Bluckboster Dept.

Is franchise-driven storytelling the default mode of storytelling from now on?

Laugh At The Guy In The Mirror Most Of All Dept.

You have to take yourself seriously enough to know when not to take yourself seriously at all.

This, That, The Other Dept.

A new site opens up under my provenance; video games make a comeback in my life; and I ponder the future of my publishing system.

Criswell Strikes Again! Dept.

Another case of yesterday's tomorrow, today.

Out! Out! You Demons Of Negativity! Dept.

On the merits of talking critical smack.

Take This Type And Shove It Dept.

Me and my MT. (Is it "blog" or "bleargh"?)

NaNoMore Dept.

Why I may not participate in another NaNoWriMo from now on.

I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon Dept.

How you know when you've "arrived" as a writer.

A Bland Apart Dept.

On culture being a tasteless affair (puns intended).

The Men Behind Us Dept.

On writing about a kind of man that no longer exists.

Think, Thank, Thunk Dept.

Why artists and thinkers shouldn't consider themselves mutually exclusive entities.

Close One Door, Open Another Dept.

Goodbye, About.com; hello, something new.

Humble Pie A La Mode Dept.

Do creative people "have a core of fierce insecurity inside of them that's so profound that they see any legitimate praise as a form of sycophancy"?

Incompatible Adapter Dept.

Bill Watterson: "No upside for me" in adapting Calvin & Hobbes to animation. I agreed.

Pounded Out Dept.

When your only marketing system is for marketing blockbusters, what happens to everything that's not a blockbuster?

In Competition Dept.

With all the things that make demands on what little spare time we have, is it a surprise that sitting still and looking at words on a page gets pushed down and down?

Let's Get Wasted And Fool Around Dept.

On the concept of the wasted (artistic) opportunity.

Gut Says: Do The Right Thing Dept.

If the right thing was intuitive, everyone would already be doing it.

Be Someone Or Be Someone's Fool Dept.

Mr. T-isms aside, know who you are and where you're going. If you don't, the consequences to your creativity can be dire.

Bleep Bleep Bleep Dept.

An early '80s PC flashback: me and my ZX-81.

No Diversity Please, We're Geeks Dept.

Why technology doesn't promote creative diversity in the ways we like to believe it does.

Do What You Love (And All That Rot) Dept.

How my "is" is not everyone else's "ought".

The Art In Yourself (All 57 Varieties) Dept.

The more kinds of art you try, the better your art becomes.

The Museum And The Supermarket Dept.

Why the "market" can't fix problems with creative work.

In Contention -- Er, Competition Dept.

Is writing "competing" with TV, movies, video games, etc.?

Maybe You Should Be Able To Judge A Book By Its Cover Dept.

Book publishers should model themselves as Berry Gordy, not Lee Iacocca.

Critical Mass Dept.

On the art of the hatchet job, and on negative criticism generally.

The "A" Word Dept.

It might be better to think of more things as being art, even the things we wouldn't be inclined to call art.

We're Only In It For The Chicks And The Dough Dept.

Why ''Grand Theft Auto'' isn't likely to be a movie anytime soon: integrity. What? Yes.

Shoot High, Aim Low Dept.

Why Kurt Vonnegut didn't think much of SF.

Do That Thing Again! Again! Again! Dept.

More on not repeating yourself creatively.

The Beatings Will Continue Dept.

On the ways violence becomes an aesthetic unto itself in our entertainments.

You Gotta Say No To Another Excess Dept.

On why creative people must learn to say no.

A Pat On The Back, A Whack On The Side Of The Head Dept.

On things being their own reward.

Half In Love With Easeful Death Dept.

Artists don't need to be damaged to be profound.

But Who Am I To Be Critical? Dept.

On criticism vs. reviewing.

Plastics, Benjamin! Dept.

On why too much advice to writers is mere marketing advice.

With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends? Dept.

I'd rather have a scrupulous intellectual opponent than an ally with dodgy thinking.

Look, Ma, I'm In Print! Dept.

On the fallacies of attention-getting in the "going viral" age.

Stop Look And Listen Dept.

''We have to take human behavior the way it is, not the way we would wish it to be.''

What The Market Will Allegedly Bear Dept.

What we call "the market" reflects more the behaviors of a few, not many.

Any Color You Like As Long As It's Black Dept.

Why DC and Marvel are stuck in a taste trap of their own making.

Something I Never Knew I Wanted Dept.

Why, as a fan, sometimes it's best not to get just what you want.

Radio Silence Dept.

I disappear.

Me Lack Space In The Spirit Dept.

More on the general avoidance of discussions about spirituality in futurism.

Less Gatekeepers, More Monoculture Dept.

On the ongoing publishpocalypse.

The Profundity Problem Redux Dept.

How to be out standing (sic) in your field.

Give It Away Now (And Forever) Dept.

A culture of free cannot be sustained by an economy of free.

Numbers Never Lie, But People ... That's Another Story Dept.

Why citing "data" as your justification can be no less arbitrary than "Because I said so."

Adamantium Over Bone Dept.

Why I liked "Wolverine", but had to be careful why.

History, Quantifying Itself Dept.

How number crunching -- the tool of the good -- too easily becomes the enemy of the great.

Spiked Dept.

Spike Lee turning to Kickstarter may be the new normal.

Destrative Crestruction Dept.

Why evolutionary forces are not your company cop.

Cheaper By The Dozen Dept.

How this summer's big-budget movie carpet-bombing has bombed bigtime.

The Highs And Lows Of High And Low Art Dept.

More on why art doesn't sit on the rungs of a ladder.

Combine Fifteen Beats, Simmer, Serves Ten Million Dept.

How "story beats" have killed storytelling, especially in Hollywood.

Pacific Limp Dept.

Why del Toro's Cthuluzillavengelion project didn't quite break wide.

Reality In a Theater Near You Dept.

The rise (we hope) of the non-fiction drama.

Nerd Herd Dept.

What constitutes an adult audience in this day and age?

The Feel-Bland Hit Of The Summer Dept.

Maybe we've grown weary of manufactured excitement, emphasis on that first word: manufactured.

This Wasn't On The Menu Dept.

If we don't know what's possible creatively, we might never try to look beyond what we have.

Passion to Fashion Dept.

Everything is in and nothing is out. Right?

Take This Type And Move It Dept.

Why WordPress and I can't get along.

Throne Out The Baby With The Bathwater Dept.

My failure to connect with "Game of Thrones."

Set Focus To Infinity Dept.

Be your own dang "focus group".

57 Media And Nothing On Dept.

On the video game of the TV series of the movie inspired by the book.

Smarter Than Your Average Audience Member Dept.

Expect dummies and that's what you'll get -- but I sense there's more on that score.

I've Seen The Future, And It Doesn't Play In Peoria Dept.

What happens to the movies after they all become tentpoles.

Just Lucky I Guess Dept.

Why things are popular may be more about dumb luck than anything else. But don't despair too much.

DIY Or Die Dept.

"Write the book you want to read." What if you don't know how?

Burning Chrome Dept.

Or maybe burning Java, who knows. More adventures in the jungle of bad software.

Man of Steel, Fans of Clay Dept.

Why the longing for "escapism" is problematic.

Oh, Grow Up Already Dept.

Living forever without actually growing up first seems like a non-starter.

Diversify, Diversify Dept.

There's always going to be something you can't do. The hard part is knowing what.

None More Dark Dept.

Ugliness is not a total synonym for "truth".

The Players, Played Dept.

How the death of DVD killed Hollywood.

A Man of Steel With Feet Of Clay Dept.

Why "Man of Steel"'s Superman is a little more interesting, and problematic, than you might expect. (Warning: spoilers.)

Burn Hollywood Burn Dept.

The movies are their own worst (financial) enemy.

Look At All Those Type O's Dept.

On reissued e-books and copyediting. Or the lack thereof.

Godhood And Godhead Dept.

Why do we make gods out of men?

Build A Bigger Megaphone Dept.

On Amazon's flash sales creating breakout bestsellers:

Love The Art In Yourself, Not Yourself In The Art Dept.

Know thyself, especially why you create in the first place.

Manufaketuring Dept.

Let's not confuse the process of describing something with the process of creating it.

By The Numbers Again Dept.

Template-driven storytelling strikes again (and again, and again).

The Heart Of The Matter Dept.

On love being the highest law.

Your Characters Would Be Cooler If Only They Wore Designer Jeans Dept.

Is formula storytelling "better" just because it's more commercially successful?

Fan Faction Dept.

Amazon helps fanfic goes "legit" -- or is it about fanfic?

The World Crashes In, Into My Living Room Dept.

Why the pipeline that deliver us the culture we have to live with is failing us.

Template In The Head Dept.

Why checklist-driven, beat-structure construction works in the short run but is ruinous in the long run.

Look, Ma, No Subject Matter! Dept.

Just having an audience doesn't mean you have something to say to it.

Mass Market, Crass Market Dept.

How economics supplants culture: a failure of marketing, and of imagination.

Made Over Dept.

Creativity, once again: it's at least as much about observing as it is "making stuff up."

The Sounds Of Salesmen Dept.

What self-publishers need most: big data?

Bakshi to the Future Dept.

Ralph Bakshi is alive, well, and angry in a good way.

Trust Me, I'm A Marketer Dept.

A new venue for one-to-one curation: gaming.

Paint By Letters Dept.

The number-crunchers have arrived in the screenwriting department. Pray.

Big Picture, Little Picture Dept.

Why do we let the business of creativity pass into the hands of the most uncreative people around?

Indie Pandering Dept.

The little guys in creative fields are being just as lockstep and predictable as the big guys.

In Their Faces Dept.

Just "being a writer" isn't enough anymore -- and maybe it never was.

Ubik Witty Dept.

Once we've bonded through our mutual fandoms, then what?

Art Not Artifact Dept.

A book is not just a wad of paper.

All The People, None Of The Time Dept.

Can't please. Shouldn't try. But don't confuse that with blowing your toes off.

Learning Curveball Dept.

Why functional competence is no place for an artist to rest on one's laurels.

Raw Shock Blot Dept.

Suspension of disbelief: exercise for the brain.

Do It (To) Yourself Dept.

On self-publishing, self-promotion, and self-delusion.

Buddy, Can Youse Paradigm? Dept.

Knowing more than others is not a form of oppression.

Leeboy Dept.

Spike Lee, remaking "Oldboy": I'm excited, and nervous.

Perfect Forever Dept.

What makes a work great isn't an objective truth.

It Might Play In Peoria, But Then We'd Have To Actually Try To Sell It There Dept.

On the word "unmarketable".

Out Of The Vaults And Into Our Hard Drives Dept.

Why I still love me some physical media, even when downloads are that much more convenient.

Every Butt A Billboard Dept.

On the hazards of being someone else's product via social networking.

The Balcony Is Closed Dept.

Goodbye, Roger.

Cultural Half-Life Dept.

When we live in a world where nothing we create ever really goes away, what should we create and why?

Discipline, Please! Dept.

The sheer impulse to write can't by itself be used to avoid self-criticism.

Hypocrisy Rules, OK? Dept.

Change your mind, early and often.

Peer to Peer Dept.

Hijacking the power of peer pressure.

The Bookmakers, All 7 Billion Of Them Dept. (On "The Business of Literature", Pt. 1)

How to fix publishing? Fix publishers, readers, books, all of the above?

Don't Get Mad Or Even Dept.

Life's bigger than one-upsmanship.

The Thing In Itself Dept.

Which will it be: to leave artifacts or to create experiences?

Failing Upwards Dept.

I play over my own head, even when it hurts.

Kickstart My Heart Dept.

Crowdfunding's best when the crowd has some idea what you're doing.

Medium, Neither Rare Nor Well Done Dept.

They were complaining about the movies being scorched earth in 1937.

Nonwriting The Nonbook Dept.

Another quote from Nile Rodgers spurs some thought.

Still Cutting Out The Middleman Dept.

Publishers, who needs 'em?

Constrained But Not Constricted Dept.

On why limits are good things. (Part one of many.)

Kill Your Idols Some More Dept.

The artist isn't a guru, a god, or sometimes even a good guy.

Missing And Presumed Found Dept.

Where'd the site archives go? Oh, they were right here all along.

Gap Filler Dept.

Our art isn't just "content", but that's what it's being turned into.

Good To Be Wrong Dept.

I was wrong about the bottom falling out of e-book pricing, thank goodness.

Specially Affected Dept.

The exploitation of effects houses by Hollywood is only one of many signs of the system's ill health.

Astonish Me Dept.

"I demand two things from a composer: invention, and that he astonish me." What did Stockhausen mean by this?

What To Do When You Suck Dept.

What can you do when someone you trust tells you about your work, "Sorry, it's terrible"?

Not For The Money Dept.

Should creative types even bother to monetize their work?

Money in the Bank Dept.

Meet my first, and very tiny, Amazon Kindle royalty check.

Do-Over (And Over, And Over) Dept.

In a conversation with a friend about remakes, said friend noted that there are three things you need to do with a remake: Retell the old story, and not only do it justice but pay proper homage to it. Update...

Another Corrupt Brightness Dept.

Let's not fence ourselves in.

Busted Brain Trust Dept.

Why machine recommendations are by, and for, machines.

News Flash: Hollywood Says No A Lot Dept.

Daniel H. Wilson's io9 essay about having his books optioned but not filmed was a wasted opportunity.

It's Your Party And I'll Cry If I Want To Dept.

Why the current pop-culture Geek Movie Paradise orgy leaves me cold (again).

The Stanislavsky Solution Dept.

On loving the art in yourself, not yourself in the art -- and not letting your art do your living for you.

A Corrupt Brightness Dept.

The neurotic escapism and spectators' world of masscult.

Grate [sic] Expectations Dept.

"Half the scores are the reviewers reviewing the game, and half are reviewing their expectations."

Wide Eyed And Legless Dept.

We will always find a new way to be naive, and that's a good thing.

Beats(en) Path Dept.

Is crowdsourcing a substitute for curation?

Shelved Dept.

On the whole alternate universe of unfilmed movies that exists only as scripts in a vault somewhere.

The New Darth Dept.

Why there will be no "this generation's Star Wars", not even from Star Wars itself.

Fan's Mind, Beginner's Mind Dept.

One thing you can't blame fans for doing: they always have their eyes open to possibilities the rest of us shrug off.

Put Away Childish Things Dept.

Fandom can be expressed in immature ways, but at its core it's far from immature.

A Bite of the Apple Dept.

I recently picked up an iPad Mini, mostly for the sake of having an iOS device of some variety. It's next to impossible to work in the field I'm in(information technology journalism) without knowing at least something about the Apple...

Speaking Critically Dept.

Sure, it's a "textually enriching experience" or what have you ... but is it any *good*?

April Showers Dept.

Criterion: Gate of Hell, Repo Man, and Naked Lunch.

Death Of An Iconoclast Dept.

Nagisa Oshima (most notorious for In the Realm of the Senses) has died at the age of 80. I wonder whether or not someone of his cage-rattling importance will be able to step up to the plate in his absence....

Shichinin no Jedi Dept.

Lucas honors Kurosawa yet again, by remaking him.

Spice Of Life Dept.

Yasutaka Tsutsui's Paprika is now out domestically

Creator Knows Best Dept.

If we can't let artists make mistakes with their own work, then they won't be free to make happy discoveries either.

Great Minds Think Unalike Dept.

Why are people valued more for their "consistency" than for their ability to learn and adapt?

Those Magnificent Bastards Dept.

Is a bad guy always a requirement in fiction?

Disqussion Dept.

Disqus 1, Movable Type 0.

Oops Upside The Head Dept.

Comment subscriptions should be working again.

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This page contains an archive of posts in the category Uncategorized / General for the year 2013.

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