Sunday, 13 April 2008

In The Interests Of Balance

Just because I ragged on it so hard last week, I thought I'd mention Dr Who was actually rather spiffing yesterday. I would qualify that, but I've learnt in this week's SFX that when you like something, you aren't allowed to criticise any part of it whatsoever.

Seriously, I've never known any magazine so desperate to push the idea that critical faculties are a bad thing. One wonders why they bother having anything so complex as a five-star rating system, since apparently all art belongs to one of the binary states of "awesome" and "shit".


Jamie said...

So long live Death Ray! (although it's probably inevitably doomed...)

SpaceSquid said...

Possibly. The more I think about it, the more it seems SFX is becoming what I can only describe as a tabloid genre mag. I don't mind opinionated (fairly obviously), it's this inverse snobbery that suggests those that analyse are somehow less than they are.

I really should read Death Ray more often, although right now I'm consciously limiting myself to two magazines a month, both of which are non-negotiable (even though White Dwarf has been rubbish for years now).

Jamie said...

Well, you can scan through my collection this weekend, if we have the time! What's the other magazine?

SpaceSquid said...

Q. Which is also becoming increasingly crazy. I may choose to switch to a new music magazine. But I have to have some kind of music mag each month, otherwise how will I keep as young and groovy as I obviously am?

Actually, Q's problem is fairly common in the general music media, and indeed the media full stop, i.e. they frequently choose a narrative and then stick to it like all Hell. "REM return to form" (yes, Accelerate is good, but I remember when they gave Reveal five stars, which is exactly 2.5 stars per good song) and "The Strokes/The Arctic Monkeys/whoever are here to save music!" are easily substituted for "Gore is a liar" or "Obama is an elitist". Or, for that matter "RTD is a genius". If you read a magazine for long enough you can start predicting their reviews before they come out, and eventually you can start predicting their reviews before the object under review even exists. It happened with NME (which I quickly found unreadable), it's happened with Q, and it's happened with SFX. How much of that is me getting older and smarter, how much is experience of one given magazine, and how much is a slump in journalistic standards in general, makes for an interesting question.

(Incidentally, I sent a somewhat scathing email to SFX about that idiotic soap box column, essentially pointing out that it was a desperate plea for people to stop qualifying their comments because it made some doofus' head hurt).