Roundups

Morning Shots: Advice For Writers, 'Wire' Academia, And A 'Wife Swap' Lawsuit

cup of coffee.
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• I can't vouch for the authenticity of this alleged missive from David Mamet to the writers of The Unit (since canceled), but frankly, no matter who wrote it, it contains some sensible — if sometimes oversimplified — advice. (Caution: Mamet-like profanity.)

• I very much liked, to my own surprise, this piece from The Guardian about a recent controversy in the UK that arose when one of the judges of a literary prize for women lamented the fact that the books under consideration all seemed to be pretty relentlessly grim. It's a tricky topic, but handled well there, and the idea of a sharp divide between "chick lit" and "really, really serious" is very plausible to me.

• Hey, so, have you heard about this Twilight series? It's pretty popular. And the DVD of the second movie, New Moon, is a giant hit.

• There's a nice piece in Slate about all the academic discussions of The Wire — some centered on its sociology, some on its art, and some on a combination of both.

Amazon review antics, the future of ChatRoulette, and how to get sued by a pageant contestant, after the jump.

The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting discussion of the future of ChatRoulette. The service has, on the one hand, millions and millions of users. On the other hand, it's considered good news that only 5 to 8 percent of the sessions are sexual content, and that makes it difficult to get investors and advertisers. (See Omar Gallaga's post at All Tech Considered for more.

• The new Michael Lewis book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine is getting a lot of one-star Amazon reviews. Not because it's bad, but because it's not being released for the Kindle. As others have explained, this is rather pointless, in that it punishes the author for something he can't do anything about.

• A 15-year-old who appeared on Wife Swap is now suing ABC, claiming she was set up to be embarrassed. I have no idea how much legal merit her case will turn out to have, but I'll tell you this: when a significant part of your show relies on making a villain out of a 15-year-old, no matter how she behaves, you're not getting a lot of sympathy from me.

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