Re: Crutches

Jeff Miller (
Wed, 13 May 1998 10:20:14 -0500

>. . .and this brings up *another* question -- one that's been debated
>for hundreds of years (your sig contains a very clever paraphrase of
>the epilogue from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's dream"; another
>part of the same epilogue says, "If we have unearned luck now to
>'scape the serpent's tongue"): How do we educate critics?

Paraphrase another of Shakespeare's phrases: Hang the Critics!

Seriously: I think it's mainly going to take time. Part of it will be
media coverage beyond reviews: interviews, public workshops, etc. Program
notes help, if you can find a way to make people read them. In addition,
there is a movement amidst academia to "critique the critics". Doug
Rosenberg, for example, gave a lecture at a gallery here in Madison in
which he looked at the local critic's review of the show and pointed out
what the author had missed. Eventually they may get the point.

It does show promise. When a local reviewer here in Madison recently
criticized some Irish dancers for being "too stiff in their upper body"
there were many readers who wrote in to inform her that that's the way
Irish dancing is done.

The first step in educating a mule: get the mule's attention. A two by
four works well...