Now, like the whingers, it came as a surprise to me that AA Gill reads anything other than AA Gill, but, picking up the axe where Nick Hytner sheepishly dropped it, he scythes into our much-maligned reviewers with barely concealed glee - casting them as a small platoon of soggy, anoraked miserablists, scuttling up the aisle like woodlice as soon as the light comes up.
"Where" he asks "are the voices that ring out as being aesthetically intelligent, passionate, current and, most important, entertaining?"
Again, as the Whingers identify, Gill's main criticism of the critics is that they don't write well enough - failing to pepper their prose with the kind of succulent bon mots that he obviously adores so much. They are, apparently, a joyless, lifeless amalgam who all write with such a uniformity that he (the arbiter of all things) can't tell which is which.
And this, he claims, is a major problem because, rather self-aggrandisingly for a critic, he also suggests that reviewing is the lifeblood of any cultural form (nay, the beating heart of western civilisation)...
Look at restaurants and food. The incremental improvement in the quality and sophistication and enjoyment of eating, cooking and buying food has coincided with the rise of good, angry, witty, opinionated writing.And by 'good, angry, witty, opinionated writing' AA Gill obviously means the good, angry, opinionated writing of one AA Gill. Yes, that's right - if only AA Gill wrote about theatre, then as surely as the sun rises, audiences would abandon Connie and her nuns in their droves to revel in theatre at its most complex and avant-garde. Forget the encroachment of television, the celebrification of Western Society, the rise of the Hollywood film, nay, the whole history of the second half of the twentieth century... if only the reviewers were more like AA... I mean Kenneth Tynan, then theatre wouldn't be in the irreparable state of disrepair that AA Gill says it is.
You can almost hear his coterie of be-suited dinner party chums pleading with him over a tasteful bottle of Pinotage, "please AA, please... lend you're golden touch to those god forsaken no-hopers scrounging in the ashes of English theatre... save them from themselves..."
But no - AA Gill will reserve himself to the easier task of drumming up a few tired cliches and couple of really, really dead white men (Shaw... anyone?). After all, those who can do, those who can't criticise, and AA Gill? Well, he criticises those who criticise, apparently.