Jul 24, 2010

Right Back Atcha, Mr. Simon

In his excellent report/rumination from last weekend's O'Neill Center gathering of the American Theatre Critics' Association, Jonathan Mandell has many good things to say about the present and future of theater criticism, and he includes many interesting quotes, from Kristoffer Diaz's suggestion that he'd rather be reviewed by fellow playwrights to Adam Rapp's ambivalence on the matter, as well as reflections by two fine theater critics, Philly's Wendy Rosenfeld and Chicago's Kris Vire, on their impact and intent. Mandell also brings in several relevant outside quotes, including a few from movie critics A.O. Scott, Michael Phillips, and Pauline Kael.

Another, though, is closer to home. In a recent television appearance, the lovely and charming John Simon had this to say:
No matter how wrongheaded a critic may be...he or she’s always better than the bloggers. The bloggers are the vermin of this society.
To be fair, it's hardly unusual for Simon to casually insult those he deems his lessers; I have it on good authority that he once called the waiters at a downtown restaurant "wogs" within their earshot.

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