Sep 14, 2018

Read the original review on


Colin Thomas is one thirsty bitch. He's so desperate for you to subscribe to his email list, he pops up the subscription dialog every time you load a page on his site. Sure, you can close the dialogue box, but like a canvasser collecting signatures outside a Skytrain station, it'll be right there as soon as you turn around again. There's no way to make the harassment stop other than to give in to his advances. The only saving grace is that there's no verification the email you enter exists or that you own it (which probably violates Canada's anti-spam laws, but in this case that's good), so you can enter whatever strikes your fancy. I went with, but the only requirements are that it contains an @ and a dot. Follow your heart.

As part of his email list pitch, Thomas brags that he wrote for the Georgia Straight for 29 years. You might expect that somebody writing for a newspaper for nigh on three decades would learn how bylines work, but when you assuthomas you make an ass out of you and Thomas. Every post on is "by" Colin Thomas, including those that were actually written by a "guest reviewer." This was the case with Colin Thomas's review of Eric Jaffe's show C- (written by David Johnston).

It probably says something regarding Canadian postsecondary education that recent graduate David Johnston sat through a 60-minute monologue on college's inability to prepare students for the real world and failed to comprehend the central thesis of the show. Throughout the review, Johnston makes vague reference to the work he was reviewing but never goes into much detail regarding what, exactly, he was expecting. That's a pity, because this show couldn't be more relevant to somebody in Johnston's position. Jaffe studied computer science and wound up questioning the value of his degree. Johnston has a theatre degree--it was explicitly worthless from the outset.

In his bio, Johnston notes that he's "currently writing a script about reviews, so this should be a rather meta experience." Buddy, you have no idea. For behold, I am Alpha and Ometa, performer and play, the reviewer and the reviewed.

Meta would be a play about a recent theatre graduate reviewing a play about his own future, who doesn't realize the character he finds uninteresting is himself, decides to write a play about his experience reviewing the play, which is then reviewed by his younger self. And then that review is reviewed as part of another, better play. That would be meta. What Johnston describes is called "doing the bare minimum of background research."

Mostly, this review is a pointless overview of what happens in the show that fails utterly to convey what the show is actually about. At one point, he concludes a tepid attempt at a sick burn by quoting Jaffe, who said "That was a [sic] interesting interview," and ends by saying "All evidence to the contrary, I guess." But what evidence supports this claim that the interview wasn't, in fact, interesting? There is none. We're just expected to accept that Johnston's criticism and dull, rust-pitted sark are the result of a deep understanding of both the subject matter and the form.

All evidence to the contrary, I guess.

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