Thursday, July 30, 2009


Just for a change of pace, I thought I'd post a review. I enjoy reviewing things. In fact, it's one of my dreams that one day I might be a professional reviewer, writing articles full of unsolicited opinions about breakfast in seaside cafes, sci-fi novels, political documentaries, bakeries, comic books, wargames, and all the other fine things in life. It'd be just like having a blog, but I'd get paid for it.

So today the thing to be reviewed is this blog post. I first stumbled across the blog itself shortly after its inception. It's been updated on a reasonably regular basis for more than a year now, and it has been fascinating to watch it evolve from a scrappy little hobby site to the powerhouse of modern cult underground dirty funk garage journalism that it is today.

The post itself is a typical example of the author's style. It takes a single simple idea, crafts a few mildly entertaining witticisms around that idea, and attempts to make itself seem more clever than it really is through its esoteric vocabulary. The sentences tend to be longer than they really need to be to convey their point and I suspect that what the author really needs is either a good editor or the motivation to re-read his posts before hitting that "Publish" button.

Although the tone of the blog as a whole is usually conversational rather than academic, this post strays a little too far towards the formal side, possibly due to the rather strained "Review" format. Perhaps the author would be better off sticking to his usual spontaneous confessional mode rather than adopting a contrived style solely in an attempt to get cheap laughs. And speaking of cheap laughs, self-referential humour was really a thing of the 90's. We're deep into the 00's now, and humour has moved on.

The writer clearly thinks highly of himself, and with good cause. He is clearly intelligent, articulate, witty, and gentle with books and dumb animals. Yet the bloated ego so evident in his own self-assessment makes me wonder if it isn't hiding some inner uncertainties. So often this type of tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandisement is actually a form of self-denigration. By spotlighting oneself so brightly, one's shadow is long and dark. I wonder if the author questions himself and doubts if he can supply the answers?

Finally, the post displays the typical fault of the amateur writer - he obviously runs out of ideas and is desperately searching for a way to wrap it all up that doesn't seem too forced. In this case, unfortunately, he has not succeeded.

Although the post probably succeeds in its modest aims, ultimately it is unsatisfying. Surely such a talent, this star in the blogging firmament, could find more productive ways to spend his time. I give it 3 stars out 5.


jamie said...

I agree with your assessment of this writer. However I have been a fan of his work for the last 20 years or so and have found it rather entertaining. Maybe you should, if at all possible, have a face to face with this chap and speak with him about his supposed short comings.
I'm sure both of you would find this very helpful.

PTR said...

jamie, for god's sake don't tell him or he'll get even more up himself!

and believe me, I've tried to tell him about his faults before - I might as well be talking to myself.

Anonymous said...

I think my head just imploded.

PTR said...

Dear Raisin-Head,

At least you won't have to undo your ties before you take them off.