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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson


I am ready to admit that, usually, I’m a big fan of internet-based rumours. Five out of ten times, they tend not to be true – who can forget the fun of the ‘Queen Mother Is Dead’ rumour about four months before it happened? And I’m a great big walking admirer of popbitch . But tonight I came across something really quite disturbing, that I’m hoping to God isn’t true, because if it is, it would be a very very upsetting thing. I’m not going to spread it any further, until I know whether or not it’s true, but the reason I’ve even brought it up now is because I just got attacked on the same stupid forum for asking the original poster to back up the comment with some more information, or explain where he heard it from. And I’m mightily pissed off about that. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Anyway, the other reason I’m posting on the blog right now is because I’m supposed to be reviewing a show I went to see tonight, and I’m kinda stuck.

The problem is, three quarters of the audience really seemed to get in to the show, and really enjoyed it, laughing quite loudly most of the way through (it was a comedy, so that’s a good sign) and joining in all the nonsense. The other quarter sat stoney faced and slightly bored throughout. Unfortunately, I was in that minority. The problem, as I said, is the fact that the majority of the audience enjoyed it, and this is where being a reviewer is a difficult job.

When it comes down to it, I can only write my own opinion – I could do a quick survey of the rest of the audience on their way out, but to be honest that’s not terribly practical. And when it comes down to it, it’s my name that appears at the bottom of the article, and so it is my opinion that is represented. A lot of people argue, however, that the review of a show should represent the feeling of the audience as a whole, rather than just the opinionated ramblings of one individual. Is that the difference between a critic (“One who tends to make harsh or carping judgments; a faultfinder”) and a reviewer (“one who examines publications critically, and publishes his opinion upon their merits”)?

Or is this just a great big excuse to get away from writing the rest of it because, quite frankly, I’m stuck?

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