On Characters

A great deal of nonsense is written every day about characters in fiction — from the side of those who believe too much in character and from the side of those who believe too little. Those who believe too much have an iron set of prejudices about what characters are: we should get to “know” them; they should not be “stereotypes”; they should have an “inside” as well as an outside, depth as well as surface; they should “grow” and “develop”; and they should be nice. So they should be pretty much like us… A glance at the thousands of foolish “reader reviews” on Amazon.com, with their complaints about “dislikeable characters,” confirms a contagion of moralizing niceness.

James Wood from How Fiction Works

via Dr. Frank

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On “Selling Out”

I get letters from people expressing their outrage that they heard the music of The Stooges, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, or The Fall in an ad and I understand their anger and sense of loss as they figure yet another one of their well-kept secrets has just become part of the corporate structure and the band is nothing more than the lap dogs of the man, the very man they were supposed to be sticking it to in every waking moment. These bands are not being co-opted or selling out at all. Selling out is when you make the record you are told to make instead of the one you want to make. I wonder if it ever occurred to these people that the reason the music of these interesting and alternative bands is being recruited is because their fans are now the ones calling the shots. In other words, we have arrived! Of course the ad is trying to sell you something and by using a band you like, attempting to gain your confidence by exploiting the band’s integrity for a commercial end. So what? You’re not a fuckin’ moron are ya? You see through that, don’t ya? What would you rather hear, Iggy and The Teddybears doing “I’m A Punk Rocker” in a car ad or enduring some generic background music? I thought so. Do you have any idea what some of these bands went through to make that music? The fact that there might be some money for them all these years later is great. You think that paycheck is in any way a slight to their integrity? Are you fucking kidding me? Pay them. Pay them double. Pay them now. It’s about fuckin’ time.

– Henry Rollins in the Huffington Post

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