Popular taste vs critical taste

radiohead-1Rolling Stone magazine ran an section at the end of last year called, “50 Best Albums of the Decade”. Though I did not entirely agree with their choices, my tastes ran much closer to the critics who wrote the article than to the tastes of the public. A small evidence of that: I had seen live 18 of the groups or people represented in that list – and none of the top 40 albums for the week at the end of the magazine.

Where do your tastes lie?


When you MUST have an accent

pendragonIn our desire to provide suitable entertainment for our fathers or family, we watched Pendragon.

It was pretty much a C-grade movie. The acting was OK, in some instances. None of us thought the heroine was beautiful enough. But the thing that killed it for us was the American accents. Somehow we have been conditioned to expect that any historical film reflecting that era should have actors and actresses with English (British) accents.

(Image courtesy of the film production company’s site.)


We have no accent

accent-rAs I have traveled to different places in the world, I am always amused when people claim, “We have no accent.” It’s true – if they have never lived anywhere else. But my contention is that we all have accents.

I admit that there are standard accents. In England, there is the BBC broadcaster’s accent, which is a kind of measuring stick. The American equivalent would be what one can hear on the national nightly news. In Kenya, national radio broadcasts are spoken in a standard baseline Swahili that is most easily understood by the largest majority of the listening population. But those are still accents!

Another factor is saturation. If we are used to hearing a particular voice on a long-term basis, we put their voice into our accent-less category. In high school, my friend Bryan’s mom was from Quebec. She had a wonderful French-Canadian lilt. He thought she had no accent. My dad grew up in Texas. Bryan claimed he had a southern accent. I thought he had none.

The lovely model for today’s photo is my daughter Rachel.