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by Jerome Weeks 20 Jan 2009

There’s much talk that the Washington Post is considering killing its Book World section. Executive editor Marcus Brauchli says ,“We are absolutely committed to book reviews and coverage of literature, publishing and ideas in The Post. Our readership has a huge interest in these areas.“ But Scott McLemee notes that Brauchli’s statement does not include […]

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There’s much talk that the Washington Post is considering killing its Book World section. Executive editor Marcus Brauchli says ,“We are absolutely committed to book reviews and coverage of literature, publishing and ideas in The Post. Our readership has a huge interest in these areas.“

But Scott McLemee notes that Brauchli’s statement does not include any commitment to continuing the section. In fact, it’s rather similar to what the Post executives said just before they shut down Washington Post Radio.

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  • Something better? I have encouraged this blog to post to my list of 100 Plus Favorites. The World’s first World list of New Best Music from MYSPACE and YOUTUBE. And I’ll continue to champion this better music. That’s new music from every continent – and almost all of it free of corporate control.
    it’s 10 times better than mainstream art – compare.
    http://musea.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/100-plus-best-music-from-youtube-and-myspace/

    Novels are the cutting edge of 1850! I see no explosion of great novels like the recent era of Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Faulkner. I see horrible novels. Investigate the literary advocacy group called the ULA Underground Literary Alliance. http://www.literaryrevolution.com/
    OR read the reader’s manifesto – the celebrated attack on modern mainstream fiction
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200107/myers

    What you have missed is the explosion of zines since the late 80’s. A new type of publishing that is not only innovative but has it’s own Zine Hall of FAme
    http://www.musea.us/fame0.html There are more zines published than novels. It is the main type of publishing in the US and deserves fair reviews.

    Here’s an analogy – it’s as if its 1970 and the media has yet to mention rock and roll and is
    still celebrating the music of the 30’s. Now for a tough question – where have you been
    during the golden age of zines?

    OR where have you been in covering anti mainstream literary advocacy groups like the ULA?

    Now for newspapers. We won’t loose newspapers. Hopefully what we’ll loose is bad journalism and big business controlled journalism. I see a world of no-ad newspapers where no corporation
    interferes with what is covered. DMN is for advertisers not readers. And they show that in every page.
    The roller is large because the consolidation of the arts and media is widespread. Have you looked at the media chart? Are you not concerned that the arts and media of our nation is in about 5 CEO’s hands? Ben Bagdikian wrote how worried he was about 50 mega corporations back in the 80’s – “Media Monopoly” . Now there are 5 or so.
    Look at what corporate art has produced? It’s been the golden age of no mainstream arts anywhere for decades. It’s the independent zinesters, and internet pioneers that have done incredible things. The proof is in the bad art of corporate art. And it takes a big brush to cover all that bad art.

  • Bill Marvel

    A list of 100 favorites isn’t a review, Tom. It doesn’t support much of a discussion.
    Apparently you haven’t been paying much attention. Music is slowly but surely slipping out of the grip of the corporate world for some time now. I look for writing to follow.
    No question that the novel flourished in the early 20th century. That’s how it is with all arts. The theater enjoyed a golden age in Elizabethan times. Vienna was the place for symphonic music in the 19th century. Paris and painting in the early 20th. So your argument would be that outside these eras, art died, that no playwright of any consequence appeared after, say, 1630? That painting died with cubism?
    Art in the Renaissance depended upon the kindness of princes and popes. Hemingway and Faulkner did pretty well on the corporate patronage of big publishers. Artists are always beholden to others for support and encouragement. Will ‘zines provide this? One can hope, but I doubt it. They reach a vanishingly small audience and they have the shelf life of a firefly. Besides, ‘zines are only the vehicle. Tell us about what’s in them. You didn’t mention a single author, a single piece that you regard as the equivalent of a Faulkner. In the meantime, Cormac McCarthy is alive and well and writing in Santa Fe.
    This is what bothers me most about your post. I’ve heard these little squeaks of pain from the anti-establishment art crowd since the 1950s. Sometimes significant art has come from that direction; sometimes it hasn’t. Off-off Broadway in the 1960s was a wonder to behold. But we don’t get that much significant art, even in the best of times. Law of averages.
    ULA Underground Alliance? I remain skeptical. And I remain downright disbelieving when somebody whines that no great music, art, literature is being produced, none at all. Wake up and look around, Tom. Great art comes from where it comes from.

  • Bill you are not fair. The hundred list is a review of the 100 best. They are listed clear as a bell.Put up your hundred best and we’ll compare. The Zine Hall of FAme is the best zines . They are listed clear as a bell. Being obvious is obvious. I couldn’t be more clear in showing evidence of the better art in the indie world.
    Go to Zine World and see thousands of reviews of zines.
    http://zineworld.org/ They are there and have been for decades.
    Where has the media been? Covering dumbed down Disney Movies, and trendy rock albums,
    And instead of being skeptilcal about the ULA why don’t you spend the same time on investigating them as you do the latest trendy novel!
    The best art used to be the mainstream art. Now its everything but the mainstream art.
    Time for you to list – list the best corporate art. What bothers me is the big squeak from the empty corporate art promo machine.