Saturday, 25 May 2013

Extract from the Biography of Mr Criticulous....

"There's a reason why the avant-garde plays get collected in a special book, and don't just become familiar in the schedules, or get made into television series or films," Criticulous began to explain in yet another of his sporadic manifestos. Unfortunately, he failed to provide a coherent argument and was perhaps merely clearing his throat before he began the 1992 tour: Criticulous Sells Out.

Sadly, Criticulous' idea of mainstream subversion was to dress up as David Bowie and perform a karaoke version of The Laughing Gnome at full volume, surrounded by a set made up of broken lego. The only interview he gave during this tour - to a bemused music critic who had thought he was at a tribute gig - hints that the chemical enthusiasms that had undermined his 1970s were back in full effect.

The absolute failure of the tour - after being bottled in Stoke, he cancelled the rest of the gigs, and retreated to his studio - was matched only by the incoherence of his explanations in the interview. At first, he came across as heavily refreshed, slurring his words and was distracted by the patterns on the writer's note-pad. By the end, he was howling, as if in pain, and his concluding words were sadly prescient.

"Success destroys far more than failure. In the next decade, we'll see a sudden shift towards political support for the arts. Then, when the right gets back into power, it will be like now, only worse. The artist will have forgotten how to protest."

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