Fusilli: Why I Quit Book Reviewing

Jim Fusilli quit his job reviewing crime fiction for the Boston Globe. “Writing that monthly column for the Globe was easily the worse job I’ve ever had, and this coming from a man once responsible for the nightly hamburger run for a dock’s worth of Teamsters. The assessment has nothing to do with the Globe or Boston, which, one could argue, is the epicenter of American crime fiction.” Why was it so bad? Too many books…

Payola – You Play, You Pay

How to get your song played on the radio? One word: Payola. “Although some forms of payola were outlawed after the mid-century scandals, various loopholes allowed other incarnations to thrive, under the guise of independent promotion. With money from the record companies, promoters used oblique tactics—subsidies, gifts, “research funds”—to encourage radio stations to add new singles to their playlists. By 2000, tens of millions of dollars a year were being spent on what you might call legal payola, and although bad publicity has severely curtailed the promotion business, paying to play is still integral to the way radio works. Despite its sleazy reputation, payola has a certain rationale.”

Reform Bug Hits Non-Profit Management

After Congress passed legislature tightening accountablity on corporations, non-profits are looking at their management operating standards with an eye to reform. “Efforts at philanthropic self-policing have been launched across the nation. They aim to counter public perceptions that financial abuses may be widespread at charities and to deflect lawmakers’ calls for more federal regulation.”

Say Goodbye To Frankfurt Ballet

The Frankfurt Ballet gave its final performance Sunday night. “After many curtain calls and a few tears, the Frankfurt Ballet ceased to exist. One of the most exciting chapters in contemporary dance was over. As one troupe dies, however, another is taking shape, because a new Forsythe Company should be born in January. And it too will be based in Germany. Unlike the Frankfurt Ballet, which worked from the Frankfurt opera house, the Forsythe Company will have two homes.”

Are Documentaries The Next Big Thing?

With the success of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, critics are wondering if documentaries are going to be the next big thing in movies. “Are documentaries going to be taken more seriously? The short answer is yes. But Michael Moore is still a special case. He’s become a star, almost like any other star. That said, I do think audiences are getting used to going to documentaries in a way they haven’t before.”

Neruda – The Examined Life

Pablo Neruda “would have turned 100 on July 12. Today he is the emblem of the engaged poet, an artist whose heart was consumed by passion — for people and politics. García Márquez called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century, in any language.” While the homage might have been overinflated, there is little doubt that Neruda is among the most enduring voices of the last, tumultuous (in his own words, “the saddest”) century.”

Introducing… The No-Frills CD?

Attempting to combat the lure of piracy, Betelsman is offering three different “classes” of CD’s. “The no-frills version will look virtually identical to a pirate copy, with only the title printed directly on the disc. It will cost €9.99 – about £6.70. The regular version will cost €3 more. It will include a cover and lyrics. A “luxury” version with additional material and video clips will cost €17.99.”