…will probably not be a hit here in the U.S. as it talks about the philosopher's experience with being a host as a literary critic for the French show Le Grand Journal – a very popular pop culture show that aims to be an intelligent talk show about politics, culture, T.V., radio, and other stuff, stuff, stuff (they do deal with a lot of stuff, including politicians' tics during a speech – how daring!). Let's be clear: it aims to be intelligent. It also claims to offer edgy, cool and in-depth analysis and discussions about the world.
But all in all Le Grand Journal is pretty shallow. Well, nothing new, it is just a T.V. show, and we can't ask them for scholar work. What has always annoyed the hell out of me, though, is this gap between what they want to show off and their actual way of showing it. And the ultimate example of this is the way they talk about books. To show how smart the show is, they hire people from the CULTURAL world, such as philosophers or literary critics from the public radio. There you have legimitacy, right? Except the poor guy has two minutes to babble three words about a book, and God forbid he uses words with more than two syllables. Well, he sure gets a nice paycheck and he plays the game (I think I would gladly do it). But Ollivier Pouriol couldn't take it. And he writes about how his season as the literary critic in Le Grand Journal has been hell. And we are glad he did, because, hell (that's a lot of hell for one post), we are tired of hearing this show is great, the host Michel Denisot is great, his journalists are great, and they are all a big family hanging out on weekends and having dinner parties like old friends. No, they're not. They are just T.V. people. And they don't like the non assertive guy who is just trying to make us like poetry.
Can't wait to get it here at Moustache Books! Oh, and its title is On/Off by Ollivier Pourriol.