The Shape of Things To Come: Topics & Rating System

© Markus Winkler

As this blog remains a fairly blank slate as of now, I suppose it would be best to start off with some explanations as to what I’m going to do here and how it will be done. This blog will be a sort of a public depository for people to see what kind of things I write about. As for now, I’m intending to mainly post on two topics: culture and politics, with the former currently taking precedence over the latter.

Starting off with politics, it should come as no surprise that the topic does stray my mind every so often as a former polisci student. When I feel inspired enough to lose a word or two about it, it is most likely going to circle back to the topics that I’m most acquainted with: current events, international relations and geopolitics, democratic quality, and elections.

Now for the bigger splash: much of what I will write about is going to revolve around art, particularly music and film. For better or for worse, I consume both of them way too frequently and way too passionately for me not to write about them, and so I will. I’m neither a professional filmmaker nor a musician, and aside from what I’ve consumed, read, and picked up in a few courses, I am also by no means an academic in either field. All I can attempt to do is to link my limited knowledge with the tiny bit of writing ability that might be waiting to be discovered as we move along. Essentially, this is a process of collective learning, in which I start off from one point in the audiovisual space, and then work myself through an as-of-yet unforeseen route as we progress through the weeks and months. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it, or maybe you’ll learn to appreciate it, just as I might learn how to make sense of what I’m seeing or listening to, and how to write about it in a meaningful way.

Now to the heart of the matter: there are two types of regular articles that I’ll write on here–articles and reviews. Articles might be comments, retrospectives, thinkpieces, or guest contributions. The form is rather flexible, and could range from minimalist to sprawling. Reviews on the other hand will be a bit more standardized. I’ll examine an album, film, or series of my choosing, trying to give credit where it is due and criticizing where it seems lackluster. To keep things comparable, I will employ a 1-10 rating scale on which each work will be measured. Here’s a quick runthrough:

1-5: These scores will hopefully never have to be used, and are reserved for works that range from bad to atrocious. I cannot even think of something that might fall into this category, but if something makes it in here, it’s gonna be memorable.

6: This is a score that renders an album not good, but listenable. One front-to-back listen is bearable, but two on the same day (or a rewatch within the week) would already be a pain. A high-class disappointment, so to speak.

7: This is what divides the wheat from the chaff. Anything below isn’t really worth one’s time, everything above is very good or better. A seven is a solid, but probably run-of-the-mill kind of work, something that could be considered the magnum opus of a mediocre artist or the weaker end of a particularly outstanding one. Perhaps the most unloved of all scores, albeit by no means a bad one.

8: An eight is where think’s start to get proper good. This is something which can be circled back to repeatedly, even for sheer pleasure. It will get stale if consumed excessively, but it has a lot to offer and a pretty good half-life. It’s short of true greatness, but better than good–a respectable work in anyone’s repertoire and a strong contender for some kind of yearly top-10 list.

9: A rating that is not handed out lightly, and far better than what most might ever aspire to. Many artists will only produce one single piece of that quality, many more never reach this level. Any work scoring a nine is iconic in at least one way if not more, be it narrative structure, direction, atmosphere, or mis-en-scène. Front and center of any best-of-the-decade list.

10: A masterpiece in any conventional and unconventional sense of the word. A work that makes the ordinary critic dissolve into a pulp and drip down the gutter. These works transcend time and space–some of them will be recognized in their worth immediately, others only upon re-examination, sometimes even decades later. The wordly incarnation of a revelation, which, if enjoyed at the right occasion, might make all the difference.

A note of caution: I will take out the liberty of using half-steps in between these scores if the work under review doesn’t really fit into either adjacent category. That being said, check back again soon to get a feel for how this all plays out.

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One Reply to “The Shape of Things To Come: Topics & Rating System”

  1. Bebişgrad says:

    I am looking forward to seeing reading all of your work including the ones with Kanye West contents (take the bitter with the sweet)


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