Monday News: TV becomes more like books, “labia lipstick” WTF, writing Les Mis, and Little Golden Books birthday
How watching a TV show has become more like reading a book – I can’t be the only one who has replaced some reading time with binging on television series. You cannot really control for individual speed with TV watching, but the idea of binge-watching as commensurate with reading makes a lot of sense, and the fact that it has resuscitated many older television shows and movies suggests yet another form of competition for our entertainment dollars and allocated hours. The lure of being able to complete an entire story in a condensed timeframe, along with the synesthetic appeal of visual media may also make it more, rather than less, difficult to innovate with enhanced content digital books.
Binge-watching has been around long enough to be an American institution, according to 2016 data from consulting company Deloitte, which reported that 70 percent of TV viewers now binge-watch shows. In that way, says Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, TV shows are consumed now like books – stop and start whenever you please and, in the case of watching an old show, know a conclusion is coming when you want it.
That shift in audience consumption creates new longevity – a.k.a. classics in the book industry – for shows that ended years ago on broadcast or cable TV. There’s now a deep archive – or library – of old TV programs instantly available. And it doesn’t matter to viewers that “The Sopranos” or “The Wire” hasn’t been on the air for years and that there are no signs of revival or new installments in a series. – Christian Science Monitor
This ‘Labia Lipstick’ to Glue You Shut During Your Period Is Absurd – It’s difficult to discern the best (aka the worst) aspect of this story, but it may be the inventor’s disbelief that he is being criticized for his PATENTED-without-actual-testing (WTF, feds?!?!) “lipstick.” I don’t know why I’m surprised, given the unbelievably slow and kind of horrifying history of the tampon, but I am. Beyond the health risks, body shaming, anatomical and historical ignorance, and offensiveness of the name (Mensez), the Kansas chiropractor who had this brilliant idea is clearly winning the admiration of many women around the world (not):
[Dan] Dopps says he’s worked on the product for years, noting that several manufacturers have expressed interest. He also created a Facebook page that has now been removed after it fielded plenty of negative comments.
“Yes, I am a man and you as a woman should have come up with a better solution then diapers and plugs, but you didn’t,” read a remark from the now-unavailable Mensez Facebook account, per The Wichita Eagle. “Reason being women are focused on and distracted by your period 25% of the time, making them far less productive [than] they could be.” – SELF
How Victor Hugo came to write “Les Misérables”, his magnum opus – Interesting coverage of a new book on Hugo’s writing of Les Miserables, including it’s incredible size, lengthy time in development, composition, and printing, and its reception. The book is David Bellos’s The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Miserables, and will be published in March. Yet another reminder that popular fiction is not an invention of the 20th century.
Around 65 film versions (the first in 1909) make “Les Misérables” the most frequently adapted novel of all time. The first stage musical opened in Philadelphia in January 1863. Since 1980 Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s operatic melodrama has been performed more than 53,000 times in 44 countries and 349 cities. Yet, from the outset, adapters and translators cherry-picked elements from their supersized source. British admirers had to wait until 2008 for a complete English text of the novel in the order in which the author had planned it to be read. Even to lovers of “Les Mis”, Hugo’s world-shaking blockbuster can feel like a lost continent. . . .
The editing and printing of the precious manuscript depended on the schedules of Queen Victoria’s Royal Mail and the Guernsey steamer timetables. In 1861 “the biggest deal in book history” saw Hugo paid the equivalent of 20 years of a bishop’s stipend: enough “to build a small railway”. By late 1862, the year of publication, Charles Wilbour’s English translation was reported to be “the largest order ever placed for a book in America.” – The Economist
‘The Poky Little Puppy’ And His Fellow Little Golden Books Are Turning 75 – Anyone remember these from childhood? Now published by Penguin Random House, Little Golden Books were originally just a quarter and had a distinctive gold design on the very thin binding. I haven’t seen one in at least a decade, and I wonder how the quality has changed. Anyone read the originals and then have their kids read the later editions?
Diane Muldrow, an editorial director at the current incarnation of Golden Books, says the publisher drew on two talented pools of artists: animators who wanted to leave the Disney studios and commercial artists fleeing the war in Europe. Teaming up with an equally creative team of writers, Muldrow says, they came up with a sophisticated product in a deceptively simple package.
“I think that sense of motion and wit — it really shines through the books,” says Muldrow. “When I think of these famous Little Golden Books — like Tawny Scrawny Lion, Scuffy the Tugboat, The Shy Little Kitten — these books have a wit to them, a slyness that I think was very rare at the time. It’s lasting.”
In the 1960s Golden Books drew criticism for their lack of racial diversity, and the creative teams behind the books worked to make them more inclusive. In the ’70s, Golden Books began getting some competition from inexpensive paperbacks; by the ’90s, the company went bankrupt. – NPR