Am I a Philistine – or an Alt-critic?

Adrian Arnold
2 min readMay 23, 2021


Photo by Max Böhme on Unsplash

A recent film critic for a UK colour supplement reviewing a Netflix release of “Army of the Dead” asked “Do you want to see a zombie movie set in Las Vegas?” Personally, no, but, apparently “it’s the bes thing that Jack Snyder’s done: a mini- movie scored by a retro version of Viva Las Vegas, featuring a series of bloody slo-mo tableaux of the zombie apocalypse.” In the side column of the page a shorter review tells me that the director of “Peter Rabbit 2” satirises commercialism in the children’s entertainment sector saying that we should be grateful that we didn’t cheapen things.

Please tell me that I am not the only one who considers such self-important verbiage as codswallop. I would not go to the extremes of ‘cancelling’ them or even ‘no platforming’ them. I just ask if they have actually read their words before presenting them the commissioning editor. These editors probably live in the same alternative civilisation as their contributors.

Presumably these ‘artists’ live on a higher intellectual plane than the rest of us. (Please note that I spelled – or is it ‘spelt’ – Philistine correctly and I know that they don’t Live in Philistia so I am not completely illiterate.) There must be a market for critics/reviewers who string words together that Joe Public can relate to. We could also contribute to the planetary ecological future far more effectively than most G4, G7, G20 and other international gatherings hosted by Davis, Reykjavik or Kuala Lumpur by saving the Amazon rainforest. How? Simply!

Les Miserables – inspiring

Oliver Twist – great story, elaborate language

Elgar’s Enigma Variations – uplifting

Beatles – Will you still love me? – questioning

Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea – thought-provoking

Citizen Kane – simply ambition

Love Island, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Eurovision Song Contest, inane game shows and anything ‘inspired’ by the Kardashians – crap. (that is Continuously Repeated Adverting Profit)

Is there nobody out there who thinks for themselves? Where are the great critics and commentators of today? The successors to Roger Ebert (film), Peter Alliss and Alex Hay (golf), Harold Hobson (theatre), George Melly (jazz), Jacob Bronowski – The Ascent of Man, Dorothy Parker – urban observation and wit and so many more men and women of intelligent letters. Where have these flowers gone? Long time passing.

Life is dulled by their absence, sadder too.



Adrian Arnold

Retired veterinary surgeon now a collector of trivia. Married to a wonderful wife, four children and four grandchildren. Author of A Veterinary Life on Amazon.