"That, sweet god, you are a bad writer, useless critic and a complete idiot where your columns are concerned (A&E, “2007: Not the Most Memorable Year for Theater,” Dec. 26-Jan. 2). You have the insight of a 12-year-old furiously scratching last night’s homework assignment into their notebook as the bus pulls into the school parking lot. Your linguistic, grammatical and vocabulary skills rival that of fellow thinker Koko, the gorilla who used sign language. And your criticism ... well, let’s say, “Have any ‘I remember that now’ moments?” sums up your inability to write anything resembling a well-developed, informed, relevant and resonant point of view of your own, beyond the simple great, good, really good, bad, so so.
Both art and criticism establish a dialogue with the audience. Your contributions to this dialogue display all the talent and skill of a runner-up in a farting contest ... against the wind. Why not call your piece “Me List Shows I Saw 2007”? Why not, instead of wasting your word count informing the reader of your writing process (You sit down. You try to think. You actually “had” to do research, the rank quality of your chosen sources notwithstanding.) and sharing that even as sharp a mind as yours is incapable of recalling, five or six minutes to deadline, what shows out of all that you’ve seen were fit to assume the provocative, complex and deeply revelatory mantle of “THE GREATEST SHOWS OF THE YEAR” — why not actually choose a few shows (maybe some that were “even GREAT in some cases”) and write a few words about what made them GREAT or REALLY GOOD or SO SO or BAD LIKE ME.
For starters. Here’s a quick lesson. Let’s take that Taylor Martin guy who does magic shows every Fringe Fest. What’s the show about? An overweight transvestite who’s both family-friendly and fun performs compelling magic tricks for adults and children alike in Indiana. What’s interesting about that? It’s an overweight transvestite who’s both family-friendly and fun, who performs compelling magic tricks for adults and children alike in Indiana. What makes it good theater? Because it’s a freaking overweight transvestite who’s both family-friendly and fun, who performs compelling magic tricks for adults and freaking children alike in freaking Indiana. A very simple lesson, to be sure, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Hack on.
Posted by Philly Stine