Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Review Of A Review

There is a theatre reviewer contributing to one of the things I contribute to, and his writing is so awful it makes me angry. Really angry. Urge-to-stab-marsupials angry. I can barely make it through the opening lines. In fact his opening lines are almost as bad as the closing ones, which are about as bad as everything in between. I just want to scream at the painful awfulness of it. There is no flow. He insists on breaking up as many lines as possible with parentheses containing what are clearly intended to be witty asides but which are in fact witless distractions. And fuck me the bastard loves a semicolon... semicolons are okay, but it helps if you know how to use them - and if you're not sure how to use them it's probably a good idea to keep their use to a minimum. It's like he writes his reviews, scoops up a fistful of sticky semicolons and throws them at the review, and wherever they land, well that's good enough for him.

Same goes for humour. You don't just interrupt the flow of the point you're making because you've just seen the opportunity to make some stupid little pun or irrelevant observation. In fact that's the whole problem - he's going for some avuncular old chappie tone in an obvious attempt to be likable. Well I for one don't like you one bit. Especially when you end all of your reviews with an exclamation mark. Fuck off!

Thing is, I can't be alone in my seething contempt for this guy's reviews. Others must be thinking the same. But can I tell him? Given that I write for the same publication, is it my position to tell him that his writing prevents me from finding out what he thought about the production? Would I be out of place to tell him that reading his reviews is like trying to listen to a favourite song when the reception on the radio is out of whack and in the end you'd rather turn it off?

I know a review is just a review and not a literary masterpiece, but it's gotten to the point now where I see his name and I refuse to read on... no, that's a lie. I see his name now and I read on to see if this one is more awful than the last one. Invariably, it is.

Right. Now that that's off my chest, I got me some marsupial stabbin' to do.


Margarita Milongita said...

Hey thanks for your comment on my 'death of good comedy' blog.
I was in a mood that day! Actually on a good day, I don't mind Wil..but on the whole..zzzz...
Your blog is good..
The Milonguita x

Quick said...

Aww... and you came across as such a harsh judge too. Thanks.

I dunno who you meant on your blog when you said the bit about the fuckwit who does the red haired jokes but it cracked me up.

Little secret: I found your blog (I'm assuming you're going to come back and read this, otherwise this reply is pretty pointless) because... okay, this is not a particularly professional confession, but I was looking for some reference to the content of Wil's gig which I'd seen the night before. I had to write a review, you see, and although I giggled for most of the performance, I also somehow managed to get quite spectacularly arseholed and couldn't remember any specific jokes. There was one about Shannon Noll and rather a lot about John Howard... probably. I was googling to find something to jog my memory. Found nothing that helped. Wrote a pretty damn fine review regardless. It hits the streets tomorrow.

You better come back to read this, Margarita Milongita.

Aidan said...

Ah now come on, play fair - after such great splenetic scorn, you have to at least plant a few more clues as to how we can share and share alike this reviewer's magnificent octopuses in full...?
Play fair, or indeed, unfair...

Quick said...

Have emailed a link to you, akr. Enjoy.

You know, I kind of resent having to do this stupid word verification on my own blog.

Margarita Milongita said...

I did come back! Har har!
I've heard him do the Shannon Noll thing a few times - I concur that Shannon is a tool but I only giggled slightly the first time.

The red haired fuckwit is Tom Gleeson- I think he was on Skithouse (I'm sure there's a spelling error there-that show was as humourous as a road fatality).
I used to think Rob Sitch was pretty funny back in the day until he became an upwardly mobile twat.
The D Generation was great and I can still watch a few things from it and laugh. Maybe I'm just a snob and I hate things that are commercial,mainstream and mass packaged.
This has become an essay, not a comment! I look forward to more contact from you Quicky Boy... MM x

Quick said...

I think I know where you're coming from, Margarita. So, like, what are your thoughts on Rove? :)

Margarita Milongita said...

Rove McManus...unfunny,over exposed,irrelevant,corporate whore.
The sooner Belinda squeezes one out and he becomes a house husband..the better. Peter Helliar is dreadful and I wish someone would snuff him out with a pillow so we don't have to see Strauchnie or any of his pathetic,unfunny characterisations ever again. In short, fuck off and die..
Is that clear enough or did I forget something?

Quick said...

Think you pretty well covered it. In style.

Guyana-Gyal said...

tee hee I swear, I want to borrow this spleen venting, marsupial-stabbing review of a review.

Somebody did a review in our newspaper. It is so badly written I had the same reaction as you.

Margarita Milongita said...

Dear Quickster (or is that Kwik-sta-perhaps your kickin' it homie style these days,g),
Thank you for saying I have style. I'll stick my head under a cold tap to shrink it so's I can get it out the door.
BTW.. can you give me tips on how one gets a book published.. more to the point, how you write one?
Perhaps owning a computer from this century may be a good start...MM x

Quick said...

GG - worst thing is that the site that publishes won't allow negative criticism of the actual reviws. Weird huh, given that it's a forum discussing the creative work of others.

Margarita Milongita - Hmm. Perhaps Quickness. QuickLee?

Publishing a book? I guess that's referring to my profile where it says I'm in the publishing industry. Probably should update that - I was a magazine editor and writer, am now just a freelance writer. Unfortunately I've only had short stories published. Currently I seem incapable of writing any decent fiction and suspect those small successes may have been an unlikely series of clerical stuff ups. I need to get my writing mojo back.

I would recommend Miss Snark (link at the side here) for lively and informnative discussion on getting an agent. She is New York based but it's a bloody good site and I imagine a lot applies to our own market.

What kind of book do you plan to write? I'd be interested in reading it.