Why Everett True is wrong

Written for Collapse Board

“Mostly only art created by women has any validity. The male experience has been created and recreated so often” – Everett True, 1992

That is such bulls***. It’s like saying that only Tuvan throat singing/rock hybrids have any validity because you don’t get much of that, either. (And, f***, it’s good stuff.)  I don’t flip the sleeve over to check the gender before I’ll listen to the record, any more than I’d think too much about whether they were, say, Turkish. And, yes, a Turkish act does bring a certain flavour to the mix that you rarely get with non-Turkish acts. It’s informed and shaped by its Turkishness but not wholly defined by it because it’s more than that and to reduce it to that is to insult it.

Take Aylin Aslim, for example. I don’t know who she is, but I love her. I don’t have the slightest clue what she’s singing about (though Google translate tells me it’s called “ghoul”). There’s definitely a Turkishness to what she does, but I don’t set out to listen to Turkish folk. I just like this one – her – because she has such a don’t-give-a-f*** attitude and playful energy that makes her an absolute joy to listen to.

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The Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice

I watched this 2004 adaptation by Michael Radford today. It’s the one with Al Pacino as Shylock and Jeremy Irons as the titular merchant, Antonio. It’s not a play I’m familiar with – though of course I know it by reputation – so I was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer breadth of emotions it evoked. Famous for its gruesome premise, I didn’t expect a “comedy”, but this was how it was originally billed. Then again, the original meaning of comedy was not “funny film”, but a distinction from tragedy or history. “Drama” would probably be the billing it would get these days – though there’s a rich vein of warm wit running through it, which lifts it from its sadder moments.

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