To the Editor:
I am always somewhat amused and annoyed at the same time when I read letters such as Malinda Wilsonâ’s, October 11, in the Cougar. She and many others seem to share a misconception about the function of an entertainment reviewer. Such journalists do not attend concerts, plays, films, ballets, symphonies, etc. to review the general audience reaction to the event, but to review the events themselves.
Dale Adamsonâ’s name at the beginning of the review indicates that what follows is his opinion of Bette Midler’s performance, and his opinion alone. Given the diversity of people attending most entertainment events, it is quite natural that the opinion of any one
reviewer will differ considerably from that of many other people also in attendance.
People strongly devoted to a particular performer often get very upset over review’s of that performer’s efforts that aren’t as laudatory as theirs would have been (witness the furor over Adamson’s review of Neil Young’s concert here last February).
Malinda Wilson is certainly entitled to her opinion, but it is ridiculous for her to dismiss Adamson’s review as worthless because it was not a report on the reactions of a majority of audience members.
Any entertainment reviewer or critic cannot realistically expect to receive much praise for his efforts, and any one of them who tries to win popularity by writing what he or she thinks will please or meet with the approval of the majority of his or her readers is worthless as a reviewer. Adamson was at the Bette Midler concert to see it and afterwards write his personal opinion of the show’s quality, and he did just that.
PS. Regarding Allen Jones’ reviews of this semester: Despite his perhaps unconscious tendency to flaunt his vocabulary and write beyond the average reader, his reviews seem to me some of the most perceptive and best written to have appeared in the Cougar in a long time.