Best critic dis ever?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 Horrorthon Posts

Good critic disses come from many sources (and include famous one-liners by the likes of George Bernard Shaw) but this one is my current favorite. Who wrote it? Who knows—just another anonymous sad sack halfway down a long comment thread on The Onion AV Club, following one of their “Staff Inventory” features, in which the Club Staff all answer the same question. The anonymous commenter does not like AV Club staff critic Tasha Robertson, prompting this wonderful Howard Beale moment:

Tasha, I don’t know how you manage it. It seems like every week there’s some article in which all the AVCers are invited to whine and whinge about something, and your entry nearly ALWAYS manages to be the most soul-crushingly clueless in them. I’m baffled as to why you went into pop culture criticism in the first place. You have the keen eye of a tax attorney, the perceptive ear of a dental hygienist, the jolly sense of humor of an insurance adjuster, and the soul of a prison warden. Your writing suggests that you have willfully embraced drabness, dreariness and literal-minded stubbornness. Lots of critics have an even lower batting average than you—I’d say you’re somewhere in the .198 range—but few manage to be as maddeningly BLANK as you are, week in and week out. When you participate in podcasts, even your voice suggests a kind of flatness or emotional deadness. What puzzle me is that you seem BORN to the life of a professional bureaucrat, some mid-level government functionary toiling joylessly in some nondescript office somewhere. And yet, here you are… reviewing actual CREATIVE works which serve no immediate practical purpose and, therefore, make no sense to you. It’s mind-bending. You don’t even seem to have a paradigm for what this “comedy” thing actually is, and yet you’re actually PAID to give your opinions about comedy. It’s incredible.

Please, Tasha, I say this in all sincerity: switch jobs. You should be proofreading long, dull technical manuals somewhere. Creativity, humor, art, poetry—these things are not in your data bank. No wonder they don’t compute.

Other commenters joined in, on either side of the question of Robertson’s critical skills. Anyway the above was music to my ears, because I’ve often had the same set of questions about other critics (Like, Why are they even doing this if they have so much trouble finding something they can dig?).,50035/