[Note: This post has been updated (1) as of 7:17 PM Eastern on 24 Jul. See below.]
Playwright, critic, and blogger George Hunka of Superfluities Redux adds his voice to the growing chorus censuring The Guardian's Joe Queenan for what he had to say about "modern" or new music, and for how he went about saying it.
Once all [the] poor rhetorical flourishes are chipped away, one is left with a sense that what drives all this is the emergence of an inferiority complex — that Queenan just doesn't "get it." Setting aside for the moment the assumption that art is something that one has to "get," whatever that means, one doesn't need to get past more than an introductory course in Freud to recognise that Queenan's attack on this music is an act of aggression towards that which makes him feel inferior.
Well, even though we're in sympathy with much of what Mr. Queenan had to say in his piece, we must concede he unquestionably painted with a brush broad enough to paint Fifth Avenue without ever once having to lift the bristles from the pavement.
But is Mr. Queenan's attack really "an act of aggression towards that which makes him feel inferior," or is it rather an expression of his sense of outrage at our postmodern art-is-whatever-the-artist-says-is-art Zeitgeist wherein snake oil pimped by charlatans is being bought wholesale and with enthusiasm by those best equipped by native intelligence and refined education and sensibilities to know better — most especially by those best equipped by native intelligence and refined education and sensibilities to know better?
We suspect the latter is more the case than the former.
But, then, perhaps that's just us.
Update (7:17 PM Eastern on 24 Jul): For more on this, see this post.