Something like 75% of CondÃ© Nastâ€™s most venerable publicationâ€™s readership – the always studious, perpetually thorough The New Yorker – doesnâ€™t even live on the island theyâ€™re reading about. (Shit, I live worlds apart in Columbia, South Carolina and still canâ€™t bring myself to cancel my subscription.) When it comes to art, music, theatre and books though, the magazineâ€™s equally studious, equally thorough critics are usually beyond reproach. Throw in some fiction by Updike and T. Coraghessan Boyle, and youâ€™ve got yourself one helluva imposing rag dog-eared there in the wicker basket – between this monthâ€™s Vice and an old, â€œlove wornâ€ copy of Screw – right beside the can.
That is, until I read whatever schlop film critic Anthony Lane schtarts schlinginâ€™ around there in the back pages. In a review split down the middle, word-count wise, with Wes Andersonâ€™s newest familial joint The Darjeeling Limited, Lane readily admits that while heâ€™s never even heard of the very band whose very lead singer is the very subject of the very film heâ€™s getting very paid to see, I should still gas up my big-as-a-whale Chrysler and head down the Atlanta Highway to catch Control at Midtown Art Cinema Friday, November 2nd:
â€œSpeaking as someone so irretrievably square that I not only never listened to the band but didnâ€™t even know anyone who liked it, I canâ€™t imagine a tribute more fitting than this.â€
Really, Tony? You mean to tell me that all that time you wasted reading Eliot at Oxbridge, you never once ventured northwest to Macclesfield? Fuck, thereâ€™s a wasteland for ya. And all that time you spent on assignment for The Independent, you never dropped Ecstasy in Madchester? Youâ€™re loss, I suppose. But to state grosse pointe blank in a review that you havenâ€™t done your homework negates nearly everything you have to say about the subject. Iâ€™d really like to believe you when you write that Anton Corbijnâ€™s film features Sam Riley as a â€œdreamy schoolboy, posing shirtless in front of the bedroom mirror, mouthing along to Bowieâ€™s â€˜Jean Genie,â€™â€ but how can I be sure? For all you know ass clown it could be Shaun Ryder popping zits to Jean Genet.