Glen Hirshberg’s World Horror Convention post cracks me up in parts (and is also an excellent encapsulation of why conventions can be very good things for writers): By Friday afternoon, twelve hours after my arrival, I’d learned once and for all that vampire poets do age, many of them gracefully, and that their joy in gross-out contests and amateur film premiers is genuine and generous. I’d seen the Dark Scotsman: black kilt, black tartan, red hair, burr that could cut chainmail. He was new.
Megan at Bookdwarf asks for some opinions on this Slate article which basically says shopping at independent bookstores is for poseurs and hipsters. People, what is with the indie bashing? I don’t get it. Why is this fashionable to criticize? If every local coffee shop and arthouse movie theater in America was in danger of closing, I doubt the reaction would be to praise the chain competitors that are exacerbating the situation and criticize the local establishments. (And no, I do not think that chains are inherently EVIL; I think they are inherently impersonal and therefore unable to deliver certain things that are important to me. But yes, they are useful and have their place too.) Anyway, drop by at Megan’s and say your piece.
Re: the whole discussion about music, race and dismissal last week, Ben Bova thinks kids today are killing the symphony with their craptastic musical taste. It’s, er, interesting to see someone embracing such a classic geezer stereotype as "kids these days." One of our good friends conducts the local youth symphony; I’m guessing as long as such institutions exist, some kids will be exposed to classical music. I’ll have to ask him if he thinks the symphonic scene will be dead in a generation. Somehow, I find it doubtful he’ll say yes. My own theory is that as long as there are really wealthy people, there will be symphonies. Not that symphonies are only for the wealthy, but let’s face it, they write the checks. (Via Scalzi.)