Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Articles [NAJP]

Freak You

I have relatively weighty matters I blog about, but I also have a new refrigerator to get into the house, and refrigerators are, as I'm sure you know, very weighty. So instead I watched a little television, this new series we like in my house called In Plain Sight, and the second time I sat through the promo for a show I've never seen called Burn Notice that used the line (I may have it slightly wrong) "The critics say, 'Totally freakin' cool," I freakin' freaked out. This was as stupid as the Levitra ad where two very attractive people with very slightly wrinkled skin pantomime romantic bliss. What critic(s), I wanted to know. What's the point if you give them a freakin' blurb and they don't even name you? Admittedly, I know the answer to that one--the blurb game has two goals, only one of which is getting your name in the papers, the other being feeding the publicists whose favors you cravor. But I still wanted to know what "critic" had devised this wildly inane yet self-evidently quotable phrase, so I could put the guy or gal on my hit list. "Totally cool," mere cliche; "freakin' cool," bravely aliterate; "totally freakin' cool," asshole in bloom. But alas, I Googled to no avail. In case you're interested (this is one of my favorite Google games), "totally freakin' cool" gets 627 hits, 26 if you add "critic," while "totally freaking cool" gets 604, only 10 if you add "critic."

I agree with the critical consensus: "freakin'" is better than "freaking." If you're an asshole in bloom, why stint on fertilizer?

1 Comment

By John on August 1, 2008 11:33 AM

Apparently it's "just freaking cool."

Articles, July 27, 2008


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