The Purple Prose Jackpot

A reader writes:

Can you find a review of a rock album that does not qualify for this award? Rock music reviews are probably the most pretentious area of criticism, with the possible exception of architecture.


If Jason Heller's "Ascension" review garnered a Poseur Alert, you guys must not ever read the reviews on indie trend-setter Pitchfork. From today's reviews alone:

""California" is among Anderson's best works, a stream-of-consciousness rant about displacement and alienation set to a musical backing that feels like civilization collapsing around her. "California" shows off her enviable talent for finding a comfortable place where big-topic sloganeering and personal tales can coexist. It's that sweat-soaked head-rush of repulsion, sadness, anxiety, and nostalgia you get when you feel the tug of home," – Nick Neyland.

"They portray a great deal of motion within superstructures that seem to stand utterly still. Negative space is diligently sought out and eradicated, until we can hear the computer age gently swallowing folk music whole," – Brian Howe.

Pitchfork's reviews are so pompous that it's hard to find a single "most" Poseur-worthy, but David Cross's takedown does a pretty good job.


I don't think it's going anymore, but for a while there was this great Twitter account recording the most egregious quotes from Consistently hysterical.


Your Poseur Alert reminded me of one of my favorite segments on The Daily Show – featuring Stephen Colbert as Senior Conceptual Art Correspondent, reporting on Christo's "The Gates" in Central Park in 2005 – "an artistic milestone that may finally put New York on the cultural map." Taking on Poseur as only Colbert can, if you have 3 minutes for a giggle.