Hustle & Flow: It took me until the movie is almost out of theatrical release to follow my movie maven’s recommendation to see Hustle & Flow, but I did and I must say, for the reasons my maven said I’d find it intriguing, I did. On one level, it’s merely a rap Rocky — a bit formulaic. And its “heroes” have made many of the worst choices our society offers — and the movie offers no explicit judgement on those choices. And it is wall-to-wall profane and there are moments of disgust. Yet stripped of its veneer, it is a story of hope, triumph and in the strangest of ways, the value of family (as opposed to “family values”). As always, I encourage anyone reading a movie review of mine to not interpret it as a recommendation to see the film. In fact, I discourage you from seeing Hustle & Flow unless you can see past what’s taking place on the screen and understand what’s taking place in the lives of the characters.
What Warren Adler said: (The author of “War of the Roses” and 26 other published novels is profiled in the NY Times Today about his decision to self-publish and give away online his latest novel.)
The Internet, with its limitless capacity for blogs and whole books that can be electronically whisked from place to place, means people can pretty well publish what they want. On the downside, the competition for readers, already intense, will become maddeningly so. But writers need not make it past the gatekeepers at publishing houses to be published. Vanity publishing – a term Mr. Adler hates – has come into the electronic age.