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 Everett True

Classic quotes from the Australian mainstream press – 1: Explosions In The Sky

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Explosions In The Sky

I don’t care if the writer (Rachel Olding) is paraphrasing another writer, or is simply hiding her embarrassment at using such a crass (and badly-written) metaphor behind the time-honoured device of an unnamed ‘third source’. This paragraph (reprinted from the august Sydney Morning-Herald) is unforgivable:

The music had no small part to play in the atmosphere of love and parity on stage. It opened you up and grabbed your emotions. It was an eye-opening surge of splendour, as one music critic put it, like the first gasp of a newborn baby taking in the world for the very first time.

Why just the world? Why leave it at that? Why not “the entire universe, both known and unknown, in all its shimmering firmamental glory”?

As Wallace Wylie pointed out on Facebook:

This is such a phallic review: “How to provide something for people to grab onto and remember?”, “swelling into something massive again.”, “The undulations were incredibly satisfying”, “ecstatically large”.

The closing paragraph is killer, too:

As soon as I left, I remembered nothing. There were no epic climaxes that stood out. Rather, I left with a feeling or a perspective. And that is exactly what Explosions of the Sky do so well.

Wow.

A tip of the ET hat to Julian Knowles for bringing this to my attention.

And an even bigger tip of the ET hat to the Sydney Morning-Herald ‘editor’ who allowed this ‘review’ to pass through unchecked. Please. If you’re reading this, stand up and be counted. Name yourself so you can bask in the glory.

MORAL: Every dog has its dinner 

P.S. You don’t mind if I run this paragraph past you again, do you?

The music had no small part to play in the atmosphere of love and parity on stage. It opened you up and grabbed your emotions. It was an eye-opening surge of splendour, as one music critic put it, like the first gasp of a newborn baby taking in the world for the very first time.

… as opposed to a the first gasp of a newborn baby taking in the world for the second or third or 50th time, presumably?

3 Responses to Classic quotes from the Australian mainstream press – 1: Explosions In The Sky

  1. Conan Neutron December 15, 2011 at 5:51 am

    There is nothing so sad as music writing that strives for profundity and falls short. I’m surprised the often overused (and quite hacky!) phrase: “seminal” did not appear.
    (: of, relating to, or consisting of seed or semen)

  2. Erika December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    uh oh. I think I just turned in something with the word “seminal.” Seminal means “highly original, influential and important, AND the origin of the word is “seed.” So it’s not a bad adjective (as adjectives go) for describing an important work that influences other artists, as if the artist is sowing seeds.

  3. Everett True December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I use it all the time, actually. You could almost call it a guilty pleasure.

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