Monday, March 28, 2005

Ouch. I just opened my copy of the latest issue of Maisonneuve and, of course, immediately flipped to my article on page 13—and there's the gaffe, right in the first sentence. It reads, "If there's one thing Hollywood loves, to be onscreen." What it should read is "If there's one thing Hollywood loves, it's an apocalypse. It doesn't even have to be onscreen."

At least it wasn't a surprise. Two weeks ago, managing editor Poppy Wilkinson alerted me to the error, and apologized (twice!) for the oversight. I wish all editors were so considerate.

The article in question is titled "Piracy Is Good," and it's about how the North American anime industry was built on a foundation of piracy. But now that it's out I have some mixed feelings about it. I originally conceived of the article two years ago, as a 4000-word opus on alternatives to the RIAA and MPAA's sue-them-till-it-hurts tactics, using successful real-world examples. I was never able to sell the article to anyone until I pitched Maisonneuve associate editor Carmine Starnino at a PWAC gathering and he zeroed in on the anime angle. In the end, it became a pretty focused 1200-word piece, but I think there's still a lot to say on the subject.

As a writing exercise, it was great; it's rare that I have to work so hard to keep laser-like focus on just one idea, and it's a good way to work the mental muscles. On the other hand, I would have liked to have had a few hundred words more to include some of my e-mail and telephone interviews with Robert Woodhead (AnimEigo), Matt Greenfield (ADV Films), and Fritz Attaway (MPAA); one of the interesting things I found was that in some cases, we agreed on the facts but disagreed on the conclusions drawn from them. I guess I'll just have to explore that another day.


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