Vacant of Any Real Oomph

RECEIVED Mon., July 28, 2008

Dear Editor,
    This is a response to Marc Savlov’s piece: “The Future’s So Dark I Gotta Wear Mirror-shades” [Books] in the July 25 edition of the Chronicle.
    As usual, Marc Savlov imbues his review with flaring acrobatic literactrics, like a racehorse so jacked up that it can’t even see where it’s going. Mr. Savlov’s idea of a review seems to consist of nothing but the effort to eclipse whoever he might be talking about with his own ranting, reference-loaded, jargon-overdosed, slash-and-burn style of prose. Just once, could I read a review from Mr. Savlov with an ounce of objectivity? Sure, some movies are bad, and maybe cyberpunk isn’t what it was, but that opinion becomes disgusting through Mr. Savlov’s work, like throwing ice cream sprinkles onto an undercooked piece of steak and calling it “done.”
    In “Mirror-shades,” Savlov claims that cyberpunk is dead; cyberpunk is already obsolete. The irony of this point, and the creativity in it, he proceeds to completely shovel under a 100-gallon drum of fireworks, set to go off, but strangely vacant of any real oomph. You keep expecting to hear something serious, but it simply doesn’t come. Mr. Savlov entirely misses the point about a genre which couldn’t give the slightest damn about what it, itself, is, or how it ought to be defined. Cyberpunk authors don’t sit in a room chortling and debating about the “futuristicness” of their work. They simply create, like any other artists. Categorizing their genre or projecting your own predictions on it is as fallacious as it is childish. Savlov says, “Noooo, the future is already here!” Well, what then? In fact, the future is everyone's to describe, but Savlov really doesn’t describe much for all of his blistering, festering prose.
    Good critics provide insight. They don’t just load guns and pull triggers. Savlov needs to find a way to inject some actual analysis into a style which has absolutely nothing to say. Savlov, the acrobatic critic, dancing enticingly on a wire above the art below, spewing diarrhea out of his ass which is so opaque and empty, nobody can even see it. But everyone smells it.
Mordechai Rorvig
Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering
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