Great New Negative Review
February 27, 2022
…he larded this fatuity with dollops of the usual rhetorical fat that greases governmental grandstanding
―George Will, Washington Post
I have been writing reviews for 52 years. In that time I have learned the facts of life in that craft. Rule number one is that negative reviews are easier and more fun to write because there are a limited number of ways you can praise a piece of art and an unlimited number of ways to vilify it. To remind me of this, for many years I carried a copy in my wallet of the worst review ever .
Since my loving kindness breakthrough, however, I now try to temper my criticism with the realization that we are all doing the best we can in this world. I am certain that no artist (except Max Bialystock) has ever deliberately set out to produce a piece of crap. I like to think my rare negative reviews are a little less personal now.
I despise George Will’s politics almost as much as I love his prose. The delightfully malign put-down above (worthy of a place next to Shakespeare’s Hempen Homespuns) was aimed at an unworthy target, whose name I won’t repeat.
If only Will had been self-aware enough to apply it to every statement made about Jan. 6 by the former president, the Republican National “Legitimate Political Discourse” Committee, or the Republican insurrectionists in Congress, the description would have been both clever and apt. To read Will, you’d hardly know he left the GOP over Trumpism.