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March 11, 2010

Dung beetles

Ooh, I do like this (by David Cote in the Guardian online, as posted on Artsjournal):

We critics, reviewers, consumer reporters - call us what you will - are the dung beetles of culture. We consume excrement, enriching the soil and protecting livestock from bacterial infection in the process. We are intrinsic to the theatre ecology. Eliminate us at your peril.

Me, I have a somewhat more elevated image of the critic's role -- something to do with celebrating art in all its diversity, having a vision of what art really is (as opposed to what pedants claim it to be) and what it might become, helping others share my enthusiasms, and such. But lively writing is lively writing, and Cote wrote lively.
March 11, 2010 8:04 AM | | Comments (2)


Thanks, John!

Believe it or not, I do have pretty high ideals when it comes to art and criticism, but you're right, I went for the pungent metaphor. Diversity it great, but sometimes diversity means Ariane Mnouchkine one week, and Impressionism the next. (The latter was an atrocious vanity project starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons).) You need a strong insectoid stomach to be a weekly critic in this biz.

Critic as dung beetle…

As an artist I don't necessarily want my work treated as a product subject to a consumer report. Especially I guess if it’s to be treated as just one more item to be picked from the dunghill. So my first thought went to that rude bumper sticker you spot every now and then on the road.

How's My Driving?
Dial 1-800-EAT SHIT

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