There is No Shame is Self-Publishing

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A little article today in the New York Times about the still growing business of self-publishing.

It has become increasingly common and is, like online dating, no longer something to be ashamed of. The traditional publishing industry is crumbling in large measure for the same reason that newspapers continue to do so. They are victims of the democratization of media.

You are now the gatekeeper. Writers should utilize all the tools at their disposal to reach their audience without the stifling interference and failing business model of big publishing.

In a tangentially related editorial, David Swensen and Michale Schmidt, write about newspapers seeking endowments and not-for-profit status to survive. A brilliant idea this commentator has been suggesting for a couple of years.

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Capsule Critique: Her Body, My Baby

Monday, December 1, 2008

Her Body, My Baby by Alex Kuczynski was the cover story in the magazine section of the New York Times this weekend. It was about the gestational surrogacy of her baby. Here is my capsule critique:

1) It’s not in the top ten most-emailed articles. There can only be one reason for this. Women didn’t read it. It’s a rare process so maybe they couldn’t relate, but my guess? The cover turned them off. Here it is for your viewing pleasure. One glance and you can see the mental claws come out.

2) The cover gives a fair approximation of the entitled sensibility of the article. I learned that AK had a wonderful experience and not too much angst (but some) over the whole thing, and has the side benefit of still looking great. She is married to a wealthy investor (with two previous marriages under his belt) who is twenty years older than her. They have homes in, at minimum, South Hampton, Idaho, and New York City (with a big Steinway in the Manhattan pad).

3) She also had a number of miscarriages and failed IVFs. In that sense, many women can relate to her.

4) She now has a healthy baby boy.

5) You cannot read this article without some sense of hatred for this woman. Whether it’s the photos, the small, unnecessary indications of her wealth, or her carefully concealed and yet inescapable condescension, it feels like a triumphal lap meant to provoke envy.


Wingnut Insanity

Sunday, October 26, 2008

There are millions of people in America who believe this woman’s questions are totally sane:

In their world, Obama is a Marxist because he used the phrase “spread the wealth.”

Truly an alternate universe.


Pre-Powell Endorsement Smear

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Drudge Report, a sleazy website that has officially jumped the shark this campaign season (by relentless posting often spurious pro-McCain, anti-Obama links and/or omitting links to pro-Obama news), started what will be a relentless smear job against Colin Powell if, and I stress if, he endorses Obama on Meet the Press tomorrow.

The picture I’m referring to is down now, perhaps because Drudge realized no one knows what Powell will do and thought he might find it offensive. The picture in question showed Powell dancing with a couple of black singers or rappers. The implication?

The endorsement, if it comes, is racial.

And Colin Powell, the respected general and former Secretary of State is, just another n****r.

Too harsh?

Not for that sleaze ball. Matt Drudge is a partisan hack of vicious and evil intent no better than Karl Rove. No one is willing to cross him and many pander, but his site, surging traffic aside, is a dying animal. It is merely a propaganda organ for a soon to be discredited niche party called the GOP.

As a symbolic act of protest, I am removing Drudge permanently from my blogroll. I encourage everyone with a conscience to do the same. This kind of brutish extremism must be marginalized.


It’s, Like, the Idiocracy, Stupid

Monday, October 13, 2008

Heather MacDonald, of my favorite conservative rag, City Journal, defends the GOP from the spread of Palinism. Some choice bits:

I’m, like, man, I really don’t know if I’m ready for a vice president who goes: “My son’s, like: ‘Mom, I’m in the army now,’ and I’m, like: ‘I’m so proud.’” And who’s, like, “And [my son] goes, ‘O.K., well I’ll be praying.’ I’m like—total role reversal here, that’s what I’ve been telling him for 19 years.’” Or who goes, “This is a time when, man, politics have got to be put aside.” (As Alaska governor Sarah Palin told Sean Hannity, William Kristol, and Katie Couric.)…

…the inability to answer a straightforward question about economic policy without becoming tangled in words suggests either ignorance about the subject matter or a difficulty connecting between ideas. Neither explanation is reassuring…

…Still, the conservative position on the family happens to be the right one. So, too, was the erstwhile conservative defense of articulateness, knowledge, and uncommon achievement. It’s a shame to have sacrificed these ideas, even temporarily, in the quest for political advantage.

Here’s my related take on the same phenomenon.


Obama Interview with Charlie Gibson

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It’s a very good, reassuring interview from Obama. He really does exude calm and confidence. He is a natural leader. This interview also includes the moment where Obama calls out McCain for not making shameful claims to his face.

Joe Biden’s response?

“All of the things they said about Barack Obama in the TV, on the TV, at their rallies, and now on YouTube … John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him … In my neighborhood, when you’ve got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him.”


Friedman Nails Palin

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

As regular readers of this blog know, I am not a big fan of Thomas Friedman (see here for reasons), but even a stopped watch is right twice a day.

In today’s column, Friedman takes the measure of Palin and finds her wanting:

Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Even though he is taking this stand long after the matter of Palin is settled in the mind of any honest American, I glad to hear his voice in the chorus.