Doug Stephens wrote a powerful piece on how 'to save retail, let it die'. In it, he lists all the ways in which retail is doomed (hi, Amazon!) on his way to a, more-or-less, familiar conclusion: retail spaces need to become experiences.
A week on the road and with a really, really tetchy computer, but - I'm back. And straight into the middle of things.
Middle Relievers Don't Win the Cy Young
We tendency to lionise the start and the end of creative projects, and forget about the middle bits.
We all become 'authors' as soon as we open a Word file, 'artists' as soon as we buy paint, 'bloggers' as soon as we register our domain name. By contemplating creation - simply by having an idea - we re-identify ourselves.
But then, we also leap to the other extreme. A creator isn't 'allowed' to claim that identification until they have successfully created. You're not really an author until you finish a book. (Or perhaps even publish one.) You're not really an artist until you finish a painting. A blogger without posts is a poor example of the breed. This isn't unfair: inspiration might be the easiest part of the project. Socially, we should celebrate the do-ers and which means focusing on the evidence of what they've done.
But what about everything in-between?
We were inspired by this terrific piece on Film School Rejects, discussing the importance of respecting films we've "outgrown". The article points out an unlikely hypocrisy: we uncritically adore our childhood nostalgia, but we're utterly vicious to those films that 'mean something' to us when we're coming of age.
With that in mind, here are ten movies (mostly) that we've outgrown. They were there for us when we needed them, but, um...
Spoilers ahead for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and S1:E22 of Star Trek the Original Series.
It was the best of Khans, it was the worst of Khans. It was the film that redeemed its predecessor, and the film that tarnished its predecessor. It was the voyage that went where many others had gone before.
Tillie Walden (A City Inside, The End of Summer) says of her new autobiographical novel, Spinning - covering her teenage years as a figure skater - that "it ended up not being about ice skating at all".
Instead Spinning ends up being one of those rare books that's not particularly about anything, but potentially about almost everything. This quality means that what you get out of this book really does depend on what you bring to it. In writing about it, therefore, you may end up revealing more about your own preoccupations than you'd really like to. With that in mind, let’s delve into just what I thought Spinning was all about.
The graphic novel, published by SelfMadeHero, written and drawn by Walden, covers the years of Walden’s life between 12 and 17, the prime teenage years, and so sits firmly into the ‘coming-of-age’ genre. While it is mainly set on or around ice rinks, its first movement features the 12 year old Walden discovering her family is moving from New Jersey to Austin. This unexpected and life-altering change is, I believe, characteristic of much of a child's life. So often children face massive, inexplicable upheavals and go through their lives without control or consent. Coming-of-age stories can be seen as a move from the lack of control a child has, subject to the whims of parents, teachers and (as we see) ice-skating coaches.