You were hired to write

by Brian Forte

You won’t be respected by dint of having Writer as your job title. You might be respected for writing well. More important than the respect of strangers, however, is money.

And you were hired to write.

6th April, 2011
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Thinking out loud about self-publishing

by Brian Forte

Independent film-making and independent music-making are long-standing and well-respected artistic and commercial endeavours. And, in both fields, ‘independent’ basically means self-funded (NB: the term gets a bit stretched in both fields. It’s perhaps more accurate to describe independent music and film makers as those who either self-fund or self-raise their funding. That is, they either […]

14th January, 2011
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We came so far for beauty: a useful metaphor

by Brian Forte

The sub-set of Mac OS X users and developer who actively prefer the platform to others = Oscar Wilde.

The sub-set of Linux users and developers who actively prefer the platform to others = H G Wells.

The metaphor’s potential use is in its ability to make evident the often cross-purposes arguments of each community.

12th March, 2008
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A Mundane Menacing

by Brian Forte

I’m now sitting in the right-hand lane, waiting with half-a-dozen other cars for the light to change so we can cross or turn onto King William Street.

It’s about as mundane a setting as you could find in any city on earth. People in cars and on bikes and on footpaths going about their day.

Unfortunately, on the footpath to my left, only a lane away, something ugly and stupid is happening. Even worse, for all its ugliness, this happening is as mundane as the cars and bicycles.

6th June, 2006
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In Praise of Voting Below the Line

by Brian Forte

There are 54 people standing for 11 open seats in the upper house this election and some of them are truly awful.

Now, I could vituperate these folk. I could suggest Barbara Pannach and Basil Hille (the two One Nation candidates) are representatives of a paranoid, xenophobic, anti-intellectual, anti-reality, ‘I can’t handle complexity and want things to be the way I thought they were when I was young and stupid’ party.

I could say that Dennis Hood (number one candidate for Family First) is a hateful fundamentalist who’s arrogant swagger and self-righteous religiosity remind me more of Elmer Gantry than they do St Francis of Assisi or Hillel the Elder.

But it’s a lot more fun to put the numbers 52, 53 and 54 against their names as I finish laying down my preferences.

18th March, 2006
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Twice as Cold as 0°C

by Brian Forte

If the temperature today is 0°C, and it will be twice as cold tomorrow, what will the temperature be tomorrow?

1st November, 2005
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Mind Your Apostrophes

by Brian Forte

The apostrophe is the most troublesome mark in all English punctuation. And there is no automating a fix for the various problems it presents the writer. There is only taking the time to learn the over-loaded ways of the apostrophe and quote mark. So let’s take the time.

23rd October, 2005
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Some Speculations on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

by Zoran Bekric

It’s no secret that Star Wars is based on the cliffhanger movie serials that flourished from 1912 to 1956. The text scrolling towards infinity that opens each movie is taken from the chapter openings of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). And the most recent film features a character — the clone leader working with Obi-Wan Kenobi — named Commander Cody, which I take as a deliberate tip of the hat to Commando Cody, who appeared in the serials Radar Men from the Moon (1952) and Commando Cody, Sky Marshall of the Universe (1953). A nice acknowledgment of sources.

However, to work as a serial, it should be possible to watch the six movies in numerical/chronological order.

4th October, 2005
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The Passion of the Christ: an inflammatory perspective

by Brian Forte

do I think The Passion of the Christ will inflame anti-Semitic feeling? Do I think it will revive the deicide slander?

Yes, I do.

Do I think Gibson should be stopped? That the film should be banned?

Of course I don’t. Supporting freedom of speech means defending speech you don’t like.

Do I think Gibson has guts putting the film together in the first place?

Not particularly.

8th February, 2004
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The Gentle Art of Pitching

by Brian Forte

Getting paid for putting the right words in the right order is a trade and a profession before it is anything else.

Selling your precious creations to strangers is almost the entire writing game. You make a pitch to a person in a position to give you money for your words. They accept the pitch and ask to see the work. If they want it, they give you money and you get a credit. (Byline; name in print; and published are other terms for the same thing: the visible sign someone’s paid you money for words.) If they don’t want it they say ‘thanks but no thanks’ and you find someone else in the market for words and make the pitch to them.

31st July, 2003
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