We bring you our favourite links and articles we’ve found around the internet this week.
Apple maps has to be the most embarrassing product launch in Apple history (and a landmark in the history of products, generally). The ‘most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever’ is so seriously defective that Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued a public apology and Apple has taken the extraordinary step of instructing users how they can use other mapping products while Apple maps is fixed.
What’s a disaster for the most successful company in the world is a gift for satirists, though. Check out the latest cover of Mad magazine: a spoof of an iconic New Yorker cover, with a map of the city wildly distorted (‘now using Apple maps’). 10th Avenue has become the Champs Elysees, the Hudson River has become the Sea of Galilee and Canada has become Chad.
The New Yorker’s David Denby is the latest in a line of film critics to write about the dearth of movies for grown-ups these days, in amidst all the Judd Apatow gross-out comedies and chick flicks about shopping and weddings (the only things girls care about, don’t you know?). He is depressed about the way that opening weekend grosses get more and more important, meaning that the the types of viewers drawn to see movies straight away are the ones who increasingly determine what gets made.
Since grownups tend to wait for reviews or word from friends, they don’t go the first few days the movie is playing. That means, as it has for years, that people from, say, fifteen to twenty-five years of age exercise an influence on what gets made by the studios way out of proportion to their numbers in the population. My friends under about forty-five accept this as normal: They don’t know that movies, for the first eighty years of their existence, were essentially made for adults.
The Awl has a nifty little humorous piece on the stages of grief after publishing your first book, from denial (‘If they want to low-ball me on the film rights, that’s fine, but in that case I will need a piece of the back end and final say on casting’) to acceptance (‘Remaindered? You mean I can buy my own hardbacks for a buck twenty a piece? Oh. Hell. Yes.’)
And on the ‘thinky’ side of the same subject, Australian writer Rachel Hills has written about the challenge of book writing – and the serious hunkering down in a quiet room, alone – it involves, particularly to the fragile writerly ego of a long-time freelance writer, addicted to the rush of being regularly published. ‘It is countless hours spent alone, perfecting ideas that are too complex to explain to strangers you meet at cocktail parties. It is enforced humbleness (or at least enforced daily stomping on that ego and desire for affirmation).’
Hardly a day goes by without another article about the plague of sexting (particularly teen sexting) and the perils of mobile and internet technology when it comes to privacy. But, as an Atlantic article points out, before there were mobile phone ‘selfies’, there was the Polaroid camera, which also lent itself to the kind of pictures you wouldn’t want your photo lab technician to see. Mia Farrow sprung Woody Allen for his affair with her adopted daughter Soon Yi after she found some naked Polaroids. And Robert Mapplethorpe experimented with Polaroids when he was just starting to play with photography, much of it homoerotic.
It’s tough times in the publishing world. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that Penguin are suing several authors for failing to deliver contracted books for which they’d already received an advance. Among them are Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel, darling of the grungey nineties, for a book to help teenagers deal with depression that never materialised (the contract was for $100,000 and she was paid $33,300 in advance) and New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead, for a collection of her journalism (which seems odd – had she lost her press clippings or her laptop since she signed the contract?), who owes $20,000; Penguin also wants $2000 in interest.
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