How to Respond to a Critic

Posting will be light-to-nonexistent here until after the new year, but I want to put this up before I forget it.

I've been bingeing on Tim Minchin over the holidays, mostly because I've been very busy with grading, writing, wrapping, cleaning, etc. and needed something amusing and profane in the background of these activities. Minchin's "Song for Phil Daoust" is a heartfelt, soul-searching, and genuinely touching example of something artists should really never, ever do, despite the temptation: respond to a negative review. (Note: despite being heartfelt, soul-searching, and genuinely touching, this is not a song you will want to play anywhere where colorful words might singe sensitive sensibilities.)


  1. Did you track down the review? After hearing the song, I did. It appears to be here:

  2. Thanks, Brian -- I had seen that, but hadn't thought to post it here. Good thinking!

    And talk about revenge: just Google "Phil Daoust" and you get Minchin's song in the top results. In fact, it's most likely that if Daoust is remembered for anything at the end of his career, it will be that. Poor guy. But he did imply that Minchin deserved to be tarred and feathered, so I'm not wasting any tears on him...

  3. The review did seem unnecessarily uncharitable. Though your point re: artists responding to negative reviews is also quite valid.

  4. personally i find this song hilarious. and why not? singers such as rap artists make songs about difficult times in their lives and they become big hits. what is wrong with Tim doing the same? he took a really personal moment in his career that really wasn't personal at all because it was put in the guardian, a newspaper most British citizens will read, and he made that experience his own by getting back at Phil, he did it in an intellectually childish manner that really sold itself.


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