>Well, Raymond, I've just listened to that section again, and got angry again. Nothing wrong with frank opinions or criticism - Harry Boardman used to offer plenty of both in days of yore, and I never got angry with him. It's the aloof and dessicated certainty with which EMC pronounces some poor sod's song 'dishonest' that I can't stand. Whatever happened to 'IMO'?<
Would there really have been a need during a Critics Group cut and thrust session to presage every vinegary utterance with "in my opinion"? I suspect they were used to opinions bluntly expressed.
> That and the MacColl passage are plain rude.<
This is a cabal of Marxist class warriors we're talking about, not a bunch of dainty milksops who wouldn't say boo to a goose.
>And of course what he says at this point is utter bollocks anyway.<
Did you forget your "IMO"? Play the game now...
> "You're trying to get us to accept the fact that you are a Vietnamese..." Really?? Was there a funny accent, make-up or perhaps a bandanna and set of jungle fatigues involved in the attempted deception?<
I'd love to think so...
>MacColl states baldly the nonsense that writing a song from another person's point of view is "dishonest" and "a hoax". Dear me, all the times I've heard singers in folk clubs earnestly pretending that they actually are Sam Hall, Jock Stewart or William Hollander! Sounds to me like he is making up the law off the cuff just to put an inferior in their place.<
Maybe it wasn't the principle he was deriding, but just this particular example of it? I can't help feeling that if the Critics Group was no more than a MacColl power trip to assert himself over everyone else present, it would have ended five years before it did. Who's to say the aspiring songwriter didn't go away and write a far better song as a result of Ewan's critique? Sure, he was an ideologue, and we have the benefit of forty years hindsight to debate whether his insights were valuable or mere bollocks. My verdict? A bit of both.