Monday, July 12, 2010

Taking Armond White to the Woodshed

Richard Brody points to this extraordinary piece of meta-criticism by a writer named Paul Brunick, unknown to me. It's a VERY detailed examination of a short, and apparently quite controversial, review of "Toy Story 3" by Armond White. Brody has his own views, which are also interesting, but Brunick is pretty devastating -- especially to someone like me who admires White's spirit and verve. Brunick's conclusion:

So where does this leave us? By my count there are about three declarative statements in this entire piece that are not categorically inaccurate. The rest is a seething tissue of factual errors, self-negating examples, glaring elisions, logical inconsistencies, specious industrial analysis, mystifying rhetorical constructions and basic grammatical errors. It speaks for itself. As White's critical hero and much invoked "mentor" Pauline Kael once said in an interview, "No one should trust any critic who does not take the art form he is writing about seriously enough to write a decent paragraph. I simply do not trust the observations of people who write sloppily or in illiterate hyperbole." Of course, all of these mistakes would be far less objectionable if they weren't used to prop up some of the most misanthropic mudslinging that any "professional" reviewer has passed off as criticism since, well, the last outrageous thing Armond wrote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sheesh. It's too bad that in all the whining over Armond White, very few people are mentioning that he's written a book on the subject of Michael Jackson that may very well be the best EVER on the subject. It's called, "KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles" and it's a collection of essays on the subject of King Of Pop, MICHAEL JACKSON.

Published in 2009 and written over the course of 25 years, the essays focus on the songs and music videos AFTER the Thriller album. If you are interested in more information, google the entire title and read for yourself the praise that Armond White has earned. Also, see what a growing audience of readers have discovered about critic Armond White. That he's ALWAYS been a shining example of insightful, honest and principled criticism.

-Wow Jones