|El general De Gaulle ,en el cementerio de Morette, rindiendo tributo a las víctimas de Glières|
Fotografía del Consejo General de Haute-Savoie Asociación Fondo Glières
uGet is a free and open source software for managing file downloads (over HTTP/S, FTP etc). It’s the most popular download manager program for GNU/Linux distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, ArchLinux, Gentoo etc. It’s also available for Windows. uGet is lightweight but still a very powerful download manager.
On Ubuntu (I’ve tested on current LTS release (12.04) but it should work fine on other versions as well. e.g on upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release), open a terminal and type :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:plushuang-tw/uget-stable sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install uget
For any other Linux distribution or platforms you should check out the official download page.
Please welcome Erika Liodice, who is no stranger to WU. In fact, Erika acted as the Writer Inboxed digital expert since our newsletter’s inception. She’s also the author of the novel Empty Arms, and Vice President of the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association, and she’s here today to shake things up.
Would you like to learn more about the digital revolution? Read on.
The Digital Revolution: Subscribing to Change
The rate of change you’re experiencing today is the slowest you’ll see in your lifetime.
If you were following the Digital Book World Conference on Twitter, you probably saw this quote by
Michael Cader Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins’ Children’s Books (thank you, Porter, for setting the record straight), pop up in your feed more than once. I don’t know about you, but it already feels like technology is changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. How can it possibly change any faster? Every day it seems like there is a new way to write a book, publish it, and promote it, not to mention read it. Sometimes I worry that if I stop paying attention for even a moment, I’ll be left behind. While I’m still a relative newcomer to the publishing industry, having been at it for less than a decade, I’ve witnessed its rapid transformation in my own way—from the days when querying an agent meant putting a small dent in the forest to today, when the majority of my book sales don’t require a single sheet of paper. Back then, my author platform consisted of a well-balanced blog, Facebook page, and Twitter stream. Nowadays there are more social outposts than hours to keep up with them.
Of all the changes to shake up this industry, one of the most interesting, as of late, is the emergence of the subscription model. As recently as a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me that by 2014 not only would I no longer own CDs or DVDs but I wouldn’t even own my music or movie libraries, yet here we are in the age of streaming entertainment, the era of binge consumption, paying a few measly bucks a month for all the content we can digest. When it comes to the sensibility of subscription services, it all boils down to one question: will I spend more money buying new songs/movies/books each month than it would cost to pay for a subscription?
For the hard core among us, it’s easy to see why the shift is happening.
So will the subscription model be the way of the future for e-books? Investors seem to think so, considering that Oyster just secured a $14 million investment to expand its unlimited e-book subscription service beyond the iOS platform and has been diligently signing new publishers to its catalog, the most recent of which was Perseus Books Group. Oyster’s rival, Scribd, which has already received $25 million in capital and offers its unlimited e-book subscription service across multiple platforms, recently inked a deal with Smashwords to bring over 225,000 self-published titles to its catalog, which is similar to the deal that Oyster signed with Smashwords back in September.
What do we make of all this? Fellow Writer Unboxed contributor and industry thought leader Jane Friedman says, “Subscription models make a lot of sense when applied to niche communities, such as romance, SFF, mystery/thriller, or other enthusiast categories.” She points to O’Reilly’s Safari, which specializes in technology and business training as “one example of a successful subscription-model effort. It’s more difficult to see these services take off or be sustainable if they’re geared for a general-interest audience or casual readers.”
The topic was recently discussed on the Writer Unboxed Facebook page, where community members generally agreed that the subscription model has merit from a reading standpoint, though most were leery about how it will translate into fair compensation for authors. While Oyster and Scribd are trying to address this with a “percentage-read” compensation model, the other big player in the space, Amazon, is taking a different approach. Through its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which is available only on Kindle devices to Prime members, Amazon allows its members to borrow one book per calendar month and pays authors based on the number of “borrows”. To participate, authors who publish their titles through Kindle Direct Publishing must grant exclusivity to Amazon through its KDP Select program.
The smallest player in the space, Entitle (formerly eReatah), offers a tiered pricing approach and is described by its founder, Bryan Batten, as “similar to Netflix in its DVD days than Netflix in its streaming days.” Entitle takes a different approach asking higher prices but offering readers permanent access to the e-books they’ve borrowed even after their subscription has ended. Also, Entitle is currently only working with traditionally published titles and keeps its author compensation model close to its chest.
As we sit back and watch these players duke it out to be the “Netflix of e-books,” it’s easy to forget about one key competitor: public libraries. In recent years, the public library system has been working with Overdrive and Axis360 to offer the general public the ability to borrow e-books for free. Simon & Shuster recently announced that it will partner with OverDrive to expand its e-book lending pilot (which began with Axis360 back in April), beyond the New York Public Library system into 15 select libraries. It will offer up its catalog of backlist and frontlist titles along with new titles, which will be available simultaneous with publication. This agreement with Simon & Shuster means that OverDrive now distributes titles from all of the major trade publishers as well as thousands of smaller publishers from around the world. But like the paid subscription services, this solution isn’t perfect either. While readers might be enticed by free access to digital titles, each library owns a limited number of licenses per title, which means that the disadvantage is the still same as if you actually went to the library in person: you might have to wait in line for the book to become available.
While the subscription model certainly seems poised to stick around for a while, the jury is still out on whether it will be the way of the future or just another option in this fast changing world of digital publishing.
What do you think? Does the subscription model have a place in your reading or writing future?
Erika Liodice is an award-winning blogger and author of the novel, EMPTY ARMS. She is the founder of the inspirational blog, Beyond the Gray, where she shares her journey to publication while encouraging readers to reach for their own dreams. She is a contributor to Writer Unboxed, The Savvy Explorer, and Lehigh Valley InSite. You can visit her at www.ErikaLiodice.com or follow her on Twitter: @erikaliodice.
This AMs NYT has a piece about a fascinating development in Tennessee, where management in a privately owned auto company, a VW plant in Chattanooga, appears to be working cooperatively with the UAW to organize the plant. So, what’s the problem?
I’ve written about this before, but the wrinkle is that “outside agitators” [my words, not the NYTs] are trying to block the union, which is pitting them against both sides—union and management, since the latter thinks organizing the workforce would be helpful.
The business community reacted with…dismay when several Volkswagen officials from Germany visited the plant and hinted that it would be good to have a labor union because that would help establish a German-style works council. Such councils, comprising managers and representatives of white-collar and blue-collar workers, seek to foster collaboration within a factory as they forge policies on plant rules, work hours, vacations and other matters.
It’s a great example of just how thin much conservative support is for “free markets.” A private firm believes it is in its self-interest not to block the union, and in fact appears to welcome the opportunity to for cooperative “works councils.”
Unlike most companies that confront unionization efforts, Volkswagen — facing a drive by the United Automobile Workers — has not mounted a vigorous campaign to beat back the union; instead VW officials have hinted they might even prefer having a union.
So you have politicians, including the state’s governor and TN senator Bob Corker, along with conservative activist Grover Norquist, trying to block VW management from working with the union.
The anti-U.A.W. forces are making themselves heard, warning that if the U.A.W. succeeds here, that will lend momentum to unionize two other prestigious German-owned plants: the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama and the BMW plant in South Carolina.
Now, that may be a legitimate concern for these politicians, but these are private decisions by private actors. As my colleague Dean Baker likes to say in these cases, “Let’s be good, neoclassical economists here” and let market actors join into partnerships they believe to be in their economic interest.
I doubt the outside opposition to management’s support of the union is a surprise to most readers, but it struck me as a classic example of how terribly thin this “free market” ideology really is when it takes its alleged supporters to places they don’t want to go.
The moral of the story: there’s no “free market.” It doesn’t exist outside of beginner textbooks. Instead, there’s a vast array of market arrangements wherein private and public forces interact in ways that create winners and losers. The winners tend to like things the way they are and will yell “free markets!” when challenged. But they don’t really mean it.
Hay más que amigas que no son para toda la vida.
acosmist - One who believes that nothing exists
paralian - A person who lives near the sea
aureate - Pertaining to the fancy or flowery words used by poets
dwale - To wander about deliriously
sabaism - The worship of stars
dysphoria - An unwell feeling
aubade - A love song which is sung at dawn
eumoirous - Happiness due to being honest and wholesome
mimp - To speak in a prissy manner, usually with pursed lips
Me by myself.
For the past few weeks, Lake Bell has been working hard to promote her new movie In a World… NPR set the stage this way ("'In A World …' Is A Comedy About, You Guessed It, Voice-Over Artists", NPR All Things Considered 7/26/2013):
Lake Bell has acted in the movies It's Complicated, What Happens in Vegas and No Strings Attached. She's been on television, on HBO's How to Make It in America and the TV series Boston Legal. And she is now starring in a movie she has written and directed. It's called In a World … — as in that instantly recognizable phrase that kicks off so many movie trailers.
In a World … is a comedy about doing voice-overs for those trailers, and Bell's character, Carol, is to movie trailers roughly what Rocky was to boxing. Underneath the comedy, it's a moving story about female empowerment — though Bell tells NPR's Robert Siegel that she doesn't like to be preached to. "I "I always hope that, you know, if I do have a message, that perhaps it is with a good sense of humor and not too soap-boxy. Just a little suds on you, to get the message across."
There's been plenty of media uptake: "In 'A World', All Voice-Overs Are Not Created Equal", Fresh Air 8/8/2013; an interview with John Oliver on The Daily Show, 8/7/2013; A.O. Scott, "All those Voices: Can You Hear Her Now?", New York Times 8/8/2013; Amanda Dobbins, "Lake Bell On In a World… and Tattoos", New York Magazine 8/11/2013; "Lake Bell Poses Nude & Covered In Tattoos for New York Magazine", Huffington Post 8/12/2013; Leah Brillson, "Lake Bell Explains Why A Woman's Voice Is Her Most Powerful Tool", Refinery20, 8/12/2013; Tess Lynch, "Lake Bell vs. 'Sexy Baby Voice'", Grantland 8/13/2013; Daniel Cowen, "'In Other Worlds…' — Heeb Reviews Lake Bell’s Directorial Debut: In A World", Heeb 8/13/2013; Mark Caro, "With 'In a World …,' Lake Bell puts her film where her mouth is", Chicago Tribune 8/13/2013; "Interview: Actress Lake Bell Writes, Directs ‘In a World…’", HollywoodChicago.com 8/14/2013; Norman Wilner, "Lake Bell: Versatile artist pipes up in eccentric voice-industry send-up In A World…", Now Toronto 8/16/2013; Ken Eisner, "Lake Bell spins In a World… her way", straight.com 8/14/2013; and many, many more.
Bell's movie is about a young woman trying to break into the male-dominated world of voice-over acting. As she puts it in her interview on NPR's All Things Considered:
I was always interested in the idea that the omniscient voice was always considered male. This sound that's telling you what to buy, what to think, how to feel about what bank to have, or what kind of car, or what movie to see. So I thought it would be an interesting protagonist to have a female vocal coach who would sort of aspire to take on this world.
But her interviews all stress the idea that women themselves are to blame for their exclusion, or at least are strongly complicit in it. Thus in her interview with Katherine Monk ("Interview In a World… film director Lake Bell with video", Canada.com 8/14/2013) she says:
There is one statement in this film and I am vocal about it: There is a vocal plague going on that I call the sexy baby plague, where very smart women have taken on this affectation that evokes submission and sexual titillation to the male species,” she says.
“This voice says ‘I’m not that smart,’ and ‘don’t feel threatened’ and ‘don’t worry, I don’t want to take charge,’ which is a problem for me because it’s telling women to take on this bimbo persona in order to please a man.
Or in the ATC interview:
OK, small soap-box moment. I have been personally ruptured and unsettled by the trend, the vocal trend that I call sexy baby vocal virus talking. So it's this is – not only is it pitch, so really high up, but it's also a dialect. It's like a speech pattern that includes uptalking and fry, so it's this amalgamation of really unsavory sounds that many young women have adopted. It's a pandemic, in my opinion.
Asked what it sounds like, she responded:
It would sound like this, and, like, we would just have this way of speaking. And it's not necessarily that I'm, like, stupid. It's just that what I'm saying makes me sound less than. And so, for me, I find that – like I can't have people around me that speak that way, and mainly because I am a woman, and I grew up thinking a female voice and sound should sound sophisticated and sexy and a la Lauren Bacall or Anne Bancroft or Faye Dunaway, you know? Not a 12-year-old little girl that is submissive to the male species.
Ms. Bell is a talented mimic: in addition to pitch and voice quality, she uses vowel retraction, for instance in her pronunciation of "this" as something like [ðæəs]:
But she mixed her message a bit — though increasing her media coverage — by posing nude on the cover of the August 19 issue of New York Magazine. While she certainly doesn't present herself there as a 12-year-old girl, some people might think that the magazine cover puts other "bimbo" stereotypes within reach. At least, nude magazine covers were not part of the way that Don LaFontaine and Carl Kassell built their case for "omniscient voice" status.
In any case, Bell's "sexy baby vocal virus" idea has gone viral, collecting many thousands of diverse and mostly positive comments, many of them from women. Thus here are the first few comments on her ATC interview:
I work at a private university. I am an old woman surrounded by squeaky-toy voices. Thank you for making me laugh about it.
Yeah…I call it 'Ball of butter in the back of the throat syndrome.."
That squeaky-toy voice drives me nuts. We have a few younger ladies in our workplace who started out sounding like that, but quickly learned that it wasn't professional, and started sounding more like adults.
FINALLY … A woman calls out this awful baby talk, 1982 Valley Speak trend of young women. Agreed 100 percent Lake Bell.
The scary part is that there are more than a few of these godawful squeaky girl voices on NPR. The "woman" (can't tell by here voice) who co-hosts "Science Friday" is, to me, un-listenable.
I was hysterically laughing while listening to Lake Bell. Every time I hear a grown woman with that squeaky baby girly voice that ends in "like a question" even thought it's not a question, I cringe and roll my eyes! I'll bet Lake can imitate Vicky Pollard from Little Britain!
I thought I was the only one taken aback by the current epidemic of 20-something women increasingly sounding like a blase Mickey Mouse -or Mice. My boyfriend and I call them "Yaaah Girls" – as in "I had a whole Greek Yogurt before yoga and it totally bloated me in class" – "Yaaaaah." [...] In a world where I wish I could punish these girls with impunity, someone give me Lake Bell's kickboxing skills from What Happens In Vegas and very fast legs…
The "sexy baby vocal virus" trend is ridiculous on the surface but also speaks to the thoroughly depressing way that young women view themselves and are viewed by others.
As a linguist, I'm always happy to see so many people so interested in how other people talk. But there are a few things about this epidemic of anti-female-vocal-virus discussion that bother me.
First, the annoying (to them) features that commenters bring up are all over the place, and it's not clear that the discussion is about an identifiable speech style, as opposed to a long list of things about various female-associated vocal features that people don't like.
Second, at least two of the features that Lake Bell mentions or imitates — vocal fry and retracted (backed and lowered) vowels — actually represent women's attempt to sound more like men (or at least to sound larger), with lower-pitched vowels and lower frequency vocal-tract resonances. (At least, this is true to the extent that such effects are gender-linked and not just general phenomena that become part of a gender stereotype.)
Third, I'd be willing to make a small wager that at least some of the features that annoy Bell are actually commoner in female-to-female speech than in female-to-male speech. Many of the commenters' examples of annoying speech come from young women talking among themselves.
Fourth, I haven't seen any evidence that there's anything really new here. Consider this passage from a 1985 interview with Carol Channing ("How Carol Channing became Carol Channing", in James Kirkwood, Diary of a Mad Playwright):
"My mother was just like this. I was never going to be pretty, I was too tall, I was. . . . Look, somebody nominated me for secretary of the student body in school — I was eight years old, okay — and the procedure was, I had to get up onstage in the school auditorium and make my campaign speech. Well, I didn't know what to say. I couldn't say I was smarter than they were, I couldn't say I was better in any way [...]
"Because, if a mother gets a Mary Martin or a Carol Channing, she's got this mushroom coming up under her and it's very frightening and disconcerting, because she doesn't know what to do. She can't rescue you, because you're not a cripple, so she makes you a cripple. 'Goddamnit, you're going to be a cripple!' And, woman to woman, they beat you up.
"So suddenly you're onstage and you find out the whole thing's a lie, it's not true, and on top of which, although I'm not the cutest girl in class, never was, and very tall, and . . . I could act like Marjorie Gould, and did Marjorie Gould for them and –" now Carol's voice switched to sexy babytalk — "and I did Marjorie Gould for them, and I swished my ass around that stage like Marjorie Gould never thought of doing, and it was so exciting and so sexy, and I did it better than Marjorie Gould! Well, naturally I got elected."
Since Carol Channing was born in 1921, this episode would have happened in 1929, 50 years before Lake Bell was born. It's certainly possible that the techniques that Carol Channing learned in 1929 have recently spread like an epidemic among young American women, but frankly, I'm skeptical that the prevalence of the "sexy baby voice" syndrome has changed much in the past decade, or even the past century.
For more, you should read Jessica Grose, "Why Is Lake Bell Dissing Women’s Voices?", Slate 11/9/2013, which ends with this sensible remark:
I agree with Bell that making yourself sound younger or dumbing yourself down on purpose won’t be great for your career. But, what she’s advocating is that women should have low voices to sound smart, or even sexy. Since she obviously cares about advancing women, maybe she should stop instructing them that they need to sound like dudes.
An earlier episode of collective annoyance at similar features in the speech of (certain) young women occurred in 2006, as discussed in these LL posts:
"The Affect: Sociolinguistic speculation at the NYO", 3/22/2006
"Further thoughts on 'The Affect'", 3/22/2006
And there was an even earlier outbreak, starting in the early 1990s, focused on "uptalk":
"This is, like, such total crap?", 5/15/2005
"Uptalk uptick", 12/15/2005
"Angry Rises", 2/11/2006
"Uptalk is not HRT", 3/28/2006
"Uptalk anxiety", 9/7/2008
"The phonetics of uptalk", 9/13/2008
"Uptalk v. UNBI again", 11/23/2008
"Elementary-school uptalk", 11/30/2008
Some other relevant posts:
If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light. — Lady GaGa
I came across a phrase I liked in John Truby’s excellent THE ANATOMY OF STORY: necessary opponent.
Truby uses it in the context of storytelling, but you could also apply it to life.
In fiction, when you’re thinking up your protagonist, you can’t create him in a vacuum. She exists within – and is defined by – a web of other characters.
And no hero can be a hero without an antagonist.
I’m not exaggerating, writes Truby,
when I say that the trick to defining your hero and figuring out your story is to figure out your opponent. …This relationship determines how the entire drama builds…Structurally the opponent always holds the key, because your hero learns through his opponent. It is only because the opponent is attacking the hero’s great weakness that the hero is forced to deal with it and grow.
In other words, the main character is only as good as the force(s) she battles. Protagonist and antagonist drive each other to increasing levels of greatness.
So the opponent has to be necessary, in that she is the one person in the world who can zero in on the heroine’s weakness.
The heroine must overcome this weakness, learn from it, or be destroyed in some way (end the story at a lower point than when she began).
We exert so much energy avoiding conflict — but fiction is all about meaningful conflict. Conflict, conflict, conflict, as any writing instructor will tell you. Why? Because meaningful conflict is the crucible that exposes character, boils out the essence and then transforms it. Conflict forces us to grow and change – or die trying (and what is stagnation except a death-in-life?).
And perhaps the reason why human beings have such a driving need for stories – why nature hardwired us this way – is because we look to them to show us how to deal with challenge and change. How to come of age, how to love, be moral, live well and, when the time comes, how to die well. In a conversation with Bill Moyers, the beloved scholar Joseph Campbell explained that all myths are about “the maturation of the individual”. We want to become contributing members to society; we want to grow past our small frightened selves and into a much larger picture. That’s how we find and make meaning. Stories point the way.
When I was a teenager I became fascinated with the Dark Knight Returns graphic novels, especially the relationship between Batman and the Joker, how they serve as dark reflections of the other. I always loved that movie cliché where, during the final battle, the bad guy tells the good guy some variation of, “You’re just like me.”
Jungian analysts say that in a dream, every character represents some part of the dreamer. In a story – the fictive dream – characters tend to represent some aspect of the protagonist: who she was, is, or could be.
When antagonist and protagonist compete for a goal that only one can win, it’s not just two individuals battling it out but two opposing sets of values, of living and being, that each represents. How the conflict resolves reflects the writer’s final overall message (otherwise known as a theme).
So, as Truby points out, a human antagonist must double the protagonist in some way. The antagonist is who the protagonist would be if she lost her moral vision. The antagonist is her Shadow: the buried, repressed parts of the personality that the protagonist has sent underground. By dealing with the antagonist, the protagonist is really dealing with the dark qualities of herself. A triumphant protagonist learns how to integrate those qualities, to take what she needs, apply them to her situation, and grow and evolve to higher consciousness.
In life, we are constantly creating, or co-creating, our ongoing life stories, based on how we choose to interpret the world around us, the weight and meaning we assign to events. We tell ourselves a story about who we are, and whatever doesn’t fit that self-definition gets cut off and cast out – and forms our Shadow.
Trapped by our blindspots, the limits of our self-preconceptions, we can’t see our own Shadow until someone else throws it back. They do this when they trigger us, often just by being who they are. We can’t see them clearly. We see instead the Shadow we’re projecting, the qualities in ourselves that we have disowned…but come surfacing back to us when we see them, or think we see them, in the other person.
So maybe that other person becomes our necessary opponent: necessary for us to learn from in order to learn about ourselves – and mature as human beings.
Perhaps the necessary opponent of your life isn’t one person but a series of people with certain traits in common, traits that always trigger you because you haven’t dealt with them in yourself.
Maybe when you learn to love your enemy, you’re learning how to love that shadow aspect of yourself: to find the gold in the darkness, the strength and the wisdom. Maybe that’s why forgiveness is so powerful. In the act of forgiving someone else, you’re forgiving a despised and neglected aspect of yourself. click to tweet
We learn to love ourselves through loving other people; we learn to love other people through loving ourselves.
We are tangled up in each other.
We are one.