So Bad Language Doesn’t Matter?

Bad language is everywhere in the media. I there anything that shocks us anymore? And yet, we make gestures at protesting. “We obsess over the encroachment of vulgar words into public spaces on pain of a stark inconsistency, one that will appear even more ridiculous to future generations than some Victorians calling trousers “nether garments” does to us. At least the Victorians’ vocabulary taboos reflected mores that permeated society. Theirs was a world in which an author of a slang dictionary would have had trouble finding a publisher, people sequestered themselves under reams of fabric, illegitimate birth was a scandal, and sex was never spoken of in polite society.”

Note To Movie-Makers: Sex Doesn’t End At 35

Why are critics going so ga-ga over 50-something women showing a little skin in recent movies? “Though the American film industry has pretty much had a 35-and-out attitude toward women as sexual beings, the trend, if indeed it is a trend and not merely a confluence of goose-bumped flesh, is more reflective of real life than the way things have been. Women’s bodies don’t become decrepit when the first grey hair appears, and sexual desire doesn’t dissipate when a woman blows out the 36th candle on a birthday cake.”

A Cable Universe Of Equals (Sort Of)

Do broadcast networks have any advantage over cable stations anymore? “Even if it doesn’t bite them today or tomorrow where it hurts (presumably the wallet), the broadcast titans seem to be ceding creative leadership in a way that ultimately dissolves any viewership advantage to which they continue to cling. How long can it be until viewers completely abandon the notion of the networks as the “default” choice to check what’s worth watching each night? What’s the difference when ABC looks like TLC looks like Fox looks like Spike?”

Poetry – A Year After The $100 Million

It’s been a year since Poetry magazine was told it had received $100 million in a bequest. “Staffers have a lot of general ideas on how to use the grant, including reaching out to the business community, but nothing specific has been decided. The foundation expects soon to hire a president who can organize and implement what board president Deborah Cummins calls a strategic plan. “We can’t do anything until we have a strategic plan,” she says. “We’ve never been in this position before — the ones giving out the money. We’ve always been on the other side of the desk, writing grant applications.”

Label Sales: This Can’t Be Good For The Music Business

The sale and dismantling of two of the best music labels in 2003 bodes ill for the music business. “Those two developments, both announced in the fall and awaiting governmental approval, represent a tipping point – the moment when, with swift decisiveness, the patient, long-term approach to record-making that prevailed at the major labels through much of the rock era bit the dust.”