Quiet, Please!

It’s everywhere. First we become interested in concerts with “relaxed” atmospheres that supposedly will attract young people who don’t want to be told they can’t talk during the performance. If a bit of quiet yakking is permitted, the theory goes, it’ll be more like a cool rock/jazz gig or the cinema. But then we realise we don’t like this very much.

Now, though, it turns out that many of the cool rock/jazz people don’t like it much either: just have a look at this, a series of interviews on the topic from yesterday’s Independent, after Simon O’Hagan last week argued that people should be quiet at rock gigs.

This morning a health warning from the Daily Mail on the outsize troughs of popcorn and fizzy drinks that people guzzle in the cinema led to some full and frank comments on BBC 1’s Breakfast about how the cinema is no longer a pleasant experience because of all the crunching, munching and scrabbling around at the bottom of the box: the commentator remarked: “We want to hear the film!”

If every form of art-for-a-seated-audience pulls together, maybe there’ll be some progress…

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens