Sunday, November 01, 2009

How To Start A Review

In a typically cynical insight, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once observed that romantic love is nothing but a subterfuge by which nature ensures the survival of the human species.

He could hardly have known that a couple of hundred years later, love — or rather, three-minute depictions of how one falls in and out of it — would have become the focus of an enormous industry selling CDs and music downloads.

There seemed to be very few cynics at Miley Cyrus's Halloween night concert at Freedom Hall.

(etc etc)

11 comments:

Marty said...

Hi, Paul. Someday I'd like to hear how it came to pass that someone whose musical tastes run to Nick Lowe and Neko Case happened across a review of Miley Cyrus. Thanks for blogging it, in any event. I rather like your reviews of those BBC 4 Afternoon Plays; I subscribe to several BBC 4 podcasts, myself.

Alas, as nearly as I can tell, those plays aren't available as podcasts.

Cheerio, and keep up the good work!

--Marty

Paul said...

Marty - I was searching for Schopenhauer. I have a theory that the world's media agenda is actually driven by Melvyn Bragg's Radio 4 programme In Our Time - possibly one you listen to as a podcast? - which last week was about Arthur. I like to think the guy reviewing the Miley Cyrus gig was actually sitting in his car the whole time listening to Melvyn and his guests. Well, it's just a theory.)

Thanks for your comments on the play reviews - I must start doing them again.

Marty said...

Paul! I am happy to corroborate your excellent theory! I did hear that fascinating discussion of Schopenhauer, and it was very much on my mind when I was writing the review (though in fact, I was in the arena for the full three hours of the concert).

Tell me, what other evidence have you gathered in support of Melvyn Bragg's global impact?

Marty said...

Okay, so Akhenaten was the subject of the October 1 "In Our Time." The dateline on this story is October 8:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/obama_and_akhenaten.html

Coincidence or confirmation?

--Marty

Paul said...

So you're you, Marty! You got me there. I had my tongue in my cheek when I suggested you stayed in the parking lot. Don't sue me, please.

If only everyday life here in the UK were like it is on In Our Time. ++sigh++ I fear that I have as yet no other evidence that Bragg is dictating world events. But I'm with Karl Popper on this one: we should be looking for evidence to refute my marvellous theory, rather than mere details that would tend to support it.

Can you work Popper into your next piece?

Paul said...

I think you've busted Pamela there on that Akhenaten steal, Marty. Melvyn Bragg is a Lord, you know - I don't think people should mess with him.

Marty said...

Paul - I'll give some thought to props for Popper. In the meantime, leaving aside Melvyn's fearsome, lordly majesty, where do you stand on this question: Is Andrew Marr a couple of steps quicker that Melvyn? And is it possible that in an intellectual throwdown Harriet Gilbert would thrash them both?

If answering would subject you to lawsuit under those pesky British libel laws, be circumspect!

--mr

Paul said...

Marty - under English law, not only is it impossible for me to say anything about Andrew Marr, it's also impossible for me to even say that it's impossible for me to say anything about Andrew Marr. In fact, by the time you read this, I'll probably be in jail.

I think Harriet Gilbert would be pretty handy in a fight. Say she was walking along a beach promenade somewhere, enjoying the light breeze and tucking into a paper funnel of fish and chips as she walked - when a Local Disaffected Youth swaggered by, and smacked the fish and chips from her hand. As the seagulls swooped, I suspect Harriet would give the young man a sharp crack across the nose with her forehead in what we call a "Glasgow kiss". If Lord Bragg was nearby (perhaps he's putting more money in the parking meter, who knows) I expect he'd shout "Leave him Harriet - he's not worth it!"

Marty said...

Paul - It's good to know that the jurisprudential acorn doesn't fall far from the habeas corpus tree! On this side of the Atlantic, say the wrong thing and we'll treat you right off to some extreme rendition and a bit of waterboarding.

Now, of course, my Marr moments are piling up. How on earth I can use the siege of Munster in a column is beyond me - unless I write something cheesy!

Marty said...

By the way, I'm glad to see you back in the reviewing game! --Marty

Paul said...

Marty - it *is* going to be a challenge to squeeze the siege of Munster in somewhere, though it's a great story. For some reason, it got me thinking of Dogville. It's hard to imagine a world in which people could argue about issues like baptism... Or, no, it isn't actually. And of course it's very easy to see how cults establish themselves and gain power. The Manson family - that's the other thing it reminded me of.