Metacritic: Matt Rudd

Taking a break from the elearning posts to do something I wanted to start doing after hearing Stephen Fry complain about critics, imagining them being quizzed at the pearly gates by St Peter asking them what they did with their lives “oh I commented on what other people did and whether I thought it was any good or not” and what a waste of a life that was. I thought perhaps they deserved a taste of their own medicine, so wanted to do a critique of critics. Whether they’re any good or not. This is usually prompted by a visit to my parents, since it’s only people of that generation that I know actually buy newspapers. They get the Sunday Times, which has a particularly poor range of critics.

This weekend it was Matt Rudd, standing in for AA Gill and he did a passable job of coming out with equally inane comments. The line that got me riled was in his review of Dr Who in which he says “Science fiction is fighting a losing batte with science nonfiction. Now the telescopes have peered into the farther reaches of our galaxy and found absolutely no Daleks, it is clear we don;t have to hide behind the sofa. We are alone, the space race is over and sci-fi has to be relevant in other ways.” This is the most profoundly stupid thing I have ever read in a newspaper. Does Matt Rudd have any idea of the resolution of the best telescope, if he imagines that a Dalek (or any life form) would show up on a telescope? Nothing that has been seen so far indicates that life is rare in the galaxy, in fact there are some good contenders discovered in recent exoplanet discoveries for harbouring life. Besides, Daleks come from another galaxy anyway. Rudd later goes on to say that sci-fi is dead, clearly a point he wants to believe is true, so likes to use his complete failure to understand basic science as a means to get to that conclusion.

On the plus side, he makes some valid comments about how intrusive the music is, but really, with those kind of ineptitudes in his awareness of how the universe actually works, it’s best he’s kept away from electrical appliances from now on.