For those of you familiar with “The Driftless Area,” I have decided to resurrect and revamp my previous blog. This blog will be solely dedicated to reviewing books, TV, film, and food. I will also have the much-beloved Critical Appraisals. Hopefully my reviews and critical opinions will be valuable to you as you decide what to eat, what to see, and what to read.
My tastes run the gamut, from Warhammer 40K novels to the latest works of Thomas Pynchon. I find the distinction between High Culture and Pop Culture to be an artificial, albeit useful, one. I’m interested in the muddy areas, the strange intersections where the highest achievements of art mingle with pop culture ephemera. My critical sensibilities exist with equal comfort amidst cultural luminaries like Clive James and drive-in/exploitation/trash cinema champions like Joe Bob Briggs.
I am not a professional reviewer. Meaning, I don’t get money for it. I am merely an enthusiast. Of literature. Of pop culture. I enjoy the strange, exotic, and ephemeral, but also big-budget commercial movies — unless they suck — as well as indie flicks and the latest “It” Author adored in the halls of academia. I see reviewing as a means to sharpen my tastes and to assist when you want to know what to spend with their hard-earned money.
For me, it’s not just important that I know what I like, but also, why do I like it? It’s easy to trash people who like different things, but that’s a shallow exercise unless you know why those things are terrible or good. Taste is a nebulous, subjective, and exclusionary thing. Why do you think hipsters sound disappointed when their favorite band hits it big and/or totally sells out? In the end, you’ll have to make your own decisions regarding my reviews and aesthetic judgments. I’m only a guide.
I hope this helps clarify things.