Monday, 30 March 2015


After sitting next to Mark Fisher (the one with the nice smile and a book coming out soon) in Stornoway, and finding out that he'd been reading an earlier post, I decided to do something I'd regret. 

I'm writing this from the Stones at Callanish, the nearest place to my hostel that offered appropriate psychic energy, to summon the one person who can always be relied upon to break things down.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Aristotle, the King of the Category.

"Why have I been awakened from my slumber? Why dire imprecations summon me forth from my dreamless aeons? 

Oh, hell, it's you, Vile. What is it this time?"

"I want to know how to define the roles of the critic, the reviewer and the journalist."

"Why don't you ask Plato? You know that whatever I say, you'll ignore it and make up your own definition. One which makes you the only critic in the world, and everyone else reviewers or journalists or hacks."

"Because I know in the end, all of my opinions are either justifying what I do already, or just a load of nonsense that won't change anything, anyway."

"Like your idea about how actors ought not to write reviews?"

"Yes - even if I actually get around to saying what a review is, the world will go on. Critics will still write well or badly, actors'll do the odd review, which will be no better or worse than those done by 'proper' critics."

"If you start with 'proper', I'm going back to death."

"Tell me about it. I'm not even sure that statements that involve 'ought' or 'should' have any place... anywhere."

"How about, you should not ask questions of the dead? And aren't you keen on some of the Ten Commandments - the ones that you can keep without too much effort?"

"Let's start with a delineation of The Journalist."

"There are five kinds of journalist."

"That's six types."

"Do you think anyone has read this far down? But I can do this all day - what's the purpose of dividing it all up so neatly?"

"Not sure yet. But I'm tired... let's come back tomorrow with the five types of reviewer. Then we'll see what happens."

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