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Showing posts from November, 2015

15 SONGS THAT DEFINED THE YEAR FOR EYEWEAR IN 2015

It's so typical of me to talk about myself..Adele's great song 'Hello' sums up the Selfie age, perfectly, and also Eyewear's BLOG, which has always been of the digital age - self-important, fluid, ephemeral, fashion-aware, ubiquitous, curious, seeking, innovating, changeable, and deeply trivial.Tis the season, again, of lists and we love them here but know them to be of course profoundly personal - and so what? Here are the fifteen tracks we played most this year at Eyewear HQ, and loved the most - though a few nearly got through, including songs by Madonna and Lana del Rey.... indeed, you know the year is rich beyond belief when we cannot even fit in critical darlings Julia Holter, Diiv, David Bowie, Ezra Furman, Everything Everything, Petite Meller, Peaches, Sleaford Mods,Grimes, Mark Ronson, Sia, Beck, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, or Deerhunter, to name just a few.15 for 2015, get it?  Silly but it helps us to cut down the writing. And, if you made this as a list at…

BEST TV IN 2015

As befits this new age of entertainment excellence, it is possible to declare 2015 one of the best years in the past 50 for TV, film, and popular music.

No list of excellent, popular TV in English would exclude Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Homeland, The Affair, Game of Thrones, Daredevil, Halt and Catch Fire, Mr Robot, Wolf Hall, Humans, The Americans, Manhattan, Jessica Jones, True Detective (even season 2), and some guilty pleasure lists might even include Better Call Saul and the absurdly kitsch T&A throwback, Quantico.

However, in a supremely crowded field, Eyewear wishes to select two mini-series, one from America, and one from the UK, which both exemplify the very best of TV drama, especially when it comes to grips with politics and recent events.

The UK show is London Spy - not even concluded, but already, in its first three hour-long episodes starring Charlotte Rampling, Mark Gattis, Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent, startlingly brilliant.  This series manages to combine the stylish …

EYEWEAR PUBLISHING PRAISED IN THE TLS!

Good news in tough times. Eyewear Publishingis mentioned in a new review by poet and critic Rory Waterman in the latest issue of the TLS - it's a round-up following the Michael Marks shortlisting, discussing various pamphlets.

 Here is a brief taste:
'Eyewear Publishing, founded by Todd Swift in 2012, has quickly risen to prominence for its similarly attractive poetry volumes, and has now launched the stylish pamphlet series Eyewear 2020/ (get it?), which demonstrates much of the rich multifariousness of British poetry in 2015.'There is mention of Sam Jackson, Matt Howard and Damilola Odelola, among others.  Seek it out.

THE GOD OF CARNAGE

2015 has been a year of outrages - terrorism - a word which may have its origins, as some rather crass pundits wryly observed, in the rampant and often cruel massacres of the French revolutionary period.  The West - no stranger to cruelty to the Other and others itself at least since its settlers and explorers raped, tortured, and pillaged across the Americas - and in two World Wars the perpetrators of the worst atrocities in human history (the Holocaust, the dropping of nuclear weapons) - has finally met its match.
Civilization was once used to contrast the good with the barbaric.  The endless random killing masterminded by half-insane fanatics and fantasists, motivated by a medieval theology of incompatible Jihad, has cast itself as the new normal of barbarism. IS, the current bogeyman, though having never put forth a 9/11 style spectacular, instead went all Digital Age on our asses, chopping off heads for our apps and iPhones, smashing ancient cities for the cameras, and then pullin…

EYE SPY

The new UK Spy bill being mooted - see here - is unacceptable, and yes, will out people's private browsing habits, which are more personal and potentially embarrassing or damaging than we might care to admit, as a society.

Simply put, a large percentage of the British public uses the Internet to do one or more of the following: a) cheat on a spouse or partner; b) look at (legal) porn; c) look at (illegal) porn; d) read up about suicide or mental illness or some other illness they may wish hidden; e) illegally pirate/ download American TV shows; f) pirate music, books, movies; g) explore other odd, eccentric or very personal hobbies or obsessions.

If the government is able to collect the data exhibiting this behaviour, and if it is gathered, and then perhaps hacked, or simply used by their own unscrupulous intelligence agencies, mass harm to the society would ensue.

This is because you could easily blackmail anyone in politics or any position of authority to make them do your bidding …

THE SECRET TO PUBLISHING

I have discovered the secret to publishing success: print money.

Seriously, the success of a publishing house is directly connected to the following statement: if you publish books people want to own and read, they will buy them from you.  If they buy them from you in large amounts (over a few thousand copies) you make a profit on initial expenses, and can also cover overhead costs, marketing, salaries, design, postage, etc.

In short - if publishing as a business model is to be viable, the publishing company must produce goods/items/units/books that are in demand.

The reason poetry presses fail, struggle, and generally require state or private funding (subventions) to survive, is because they underperform at generating sales revenue.

In ugly words: poetry is something not in demand.

Despite some big selling poetry titles every year, most poetry titles will sell between 50 and 800 copies - usually around 200. Very few sell more than 2000.

A company that only produced books (or any product) t…

THE 1&1-ARVATO ONLINE HOSTING SCAM

Eyewear - no naïve wanderer in the online world - has become victim of a dreadful scam. A few years ago we bought a number of domain names from a supposedly-reputable company known as 1&1. Sadly, at the time I did not Google their reputation. It turns out they have, at least since 2010, if not earlier, been accused by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of former customers, of running a breath-taking and cynical scam.

Though they have been taken to the Trading Standards people, and often threatened with legal proceedings, this seems to have avoided major media attention - though that may change, because we at Eyewear are outraged at the intimidating way we have been treated by these unprofessionals.

To summarise, the scam works like this: when you first order the domain name and web hosting, you have to give them your credit card or PayPal details; you also, unbeknownst to yourself (because it is in illegally dense and opaque terms and conditions) agree to pay them in perpetuity - unless y…

CREATIVE WRITING AT BRITISH UNIVERSITIES - A BASIC CHECKLIST FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Like many courses and degrees offered by one of the 115 or so British universities, Creative Writing comes in many shapes and sizes. Prospective students are often faced with bewildering choices, if even between local or regional options. This is a brief guide to the perplexed - a simple checklist. Here's how it works - for every yes score 10 points.  This will give you a score of between 0 and 100.  Clearly, you will want to attend a university that scores above 50%.

1. UNIVERSITY RANKINGS.
There are several ranking systems you can locate easily online with Google, updated every year. The question here is, is the university you are considering ranked in the Top 50? If it isn't, the likelihood is, for all its potential benefits, it won't be able to offer many of the advantages of a more prestigious, better-funded campus, that can attract (often) brighter students.

2. DOES IT HAVE CW ACROSS BA, MA AND PHD?
Many students who wish to study for a BA in Creative Writing (or a joint…

JINGLEBOOKS!

Ho ho ho - all Eyewear book titles are now 35% OFF UNTIL DECEMBER 15 (last day we can guarantee delivery more or less on time with our skeleton crew of cheery Elves) - code is JingleBooks !!!!