28 January 2004

Prometheus Unpaid.

Ah, the tragic flaw of overweening pride. The thing the Greeks called hubris. Not a thing that is good at all, the same hubris. And I too have been guilty of this. Right here, in this blog. Not too long ago I posted about my secret ambition to be, not an ordinary mild-mannered everyday smalltime blogger, but a THEATRE CRITIC. I flew into a turgid fancy, if you'll remember, flagrant in its narcissism and wholly uncalled-for. I fantasised about having minions at my beck, doxies on my arm, drugs up my nose, and our fair, smooth-browed Taoiseach on the other end of the phone. All complete idiocy of course. I apologise for inflicting all that muck on you.

For when I come to consider that which is my true calling, the noble craft of theatre criticism, I understand now that I'll never realise my ambitions by dwelling on such idle reveries. This is the time for action, not contemplation. To which end I've sent off a few pieces I've written for consideration. Some of the responses so far have been encouraging. Some, too, have been less than heartening:
"Oh you're from Galway? I've heard of Galway. My uncle's milkman's fiancee's dog's pedicurist went there on vacation once. Anyway let us know if you come up with anything else, er, Brian, isn't it?"

"This theatre criticism stuff is all very well, sir, and you have a certain facility for it, but don't you think the smart money these days is in those new blog thingies they're all talking about? I was looking at one the other day and it was great fun, all about imaginary blue catlike beings and punk woodland animals and stupid search referrals. What was it called again? No, wait, come back."

"We'd like to thank you for these submissions. Careful research by our highly-trained crack team of textual interpreters has determined that every word was, in fact, generated by polyglot monkeys with typewriters. Who exactly are you trying to fool here? Do you think we're complete idiots?"

"You, sir, are the greatest hero in human history and we would be happy to publish some of your magnificent musings on Mr. Shakeyspar. Please send 250 euro to defray printing costs and we'll be sure to put it in the March issue, and we'll even send you back 50 copies to sell to your friends."

"This is terribly written. We've checked - there is no such word as 'Fresnel'. We'd be interested in reading anything else you've done, though. Have you tried keeping a weblog?"
I've received no little interest, and plenty of encouragement, from a publication called Incomprehensible Bollocks Monthly, who have described my work several times in quite glowing terms. It's not clear yet whether they'll actually print any of my work, or pay me money for it, but such matters are moot. I have a Doc Marten on the bottom rung of the ladder, and that's the important thing. I feel I have finally found kindred spirits, others who understand me:
"Notwithstanding a certain crumpling, epidermal quality, tempered with outbreaks of plush metacarpal limburger tendencies, there remains a certain frisson of quasi-tectonic, almost mixolydian furniture displacement."
So, things are looking up. Until then, I accept that I am just going to have to roll up my sleeves, apply some elbow grease, and do some honest-to-goodness, no-frills, thankless but remunerative hack work for local papers. I'm not proud. Nor do I much fancy goething before a fall. So for the time being I'll be churning out stuff more along the lines of:
"Fair play to the Bailenamagairle Players for their fine rendition of Jonjo McPhooster's delightful romp, Me Mammy's Afther Joinin' The Guards, Who's Going To Make The Dinner So? Sangwidges at the interval were provided by the lovely Sorcha Ni Phlabbergast and spot prizes were given out by Father O'Botulism."
Genius is pain.

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