Critics, who needs them?

From the Total 911 archives comes this missive from Kevin Hackett:

Where would we be without critics? A critic’s duty is to tell it how it really is, to expose flaws and, at the same time, celebrate greatness. Love them or loathe them, critics are here to make your life better. Whether it’s a restaurant, film or new car, you want to know what it’s really like before parting with your money and usually there’s only one way to find out if it’s any good or not: read what someone else says about it.

The Sunday Times’ restaurant critic, AA Gill, recently savaged a country pub in Gloucestershire, saying that the atmosphere was fake and that the salmon was saltier than a fat man’s cycling shorts. Would you go there for lunch after reading that? Me neither. But if I was the owner of that place I’d be mortified but not too proud to admit the truth, take on board the criticisms and make the necessary changes. It’s how things improve.

If it wasn’t for critics (and I include Total 911’s writers in that description), we’d all be served second-rate food, movies would be even worse than they normally are and cars would be boring, badly made and hideous to look at. The next time you read or hear someone saying how much they despise the press, just remember that.

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