Sometimes it occurs to me that the job of a serious cultural critic mostly consists in telling the generality of people that their opinions - on films, on books, on all manner of widgets, gadgets and even the latest electronic fidgets - simply aren't up to scratch.
In my view, the plangent artificiality of a lot of creative work results from the fact that the people who write novels, direct films and put on plays tend to read too many novels, watch too many films and go to too many plays.
If we bought everything on the Internet, our eyes and mouths and nostrils would probably begin to film over with a tegument - one initially tissue-thin and capable of being removed each morning, but which gradually thickened and hardened until we were imprisoned in our own tiny minds.
In our benighted age, when films about amusement park rides and electronic fidgets scoop the honours, perhaps Hollywood redux is the best we can hope for.
Modernism has a reputation for being a forbidding phenomenon: its visual arts disconcertingly non-representational, its literary efforts devoid of the consolations of plot and character - even its films, it's argued, fall well short of that true desideratum: entertainment.
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