The Modern Review was not just a magazine devoted to the ‘posh pop’ view of culture. It was a publicity machine that served to launch a number of thrusting young commentators, including its editor, Toby Young, into mainstream newspapers. Despite its modest print run, and its very short life, this ephemeral apparatus is still feted by commentators such as Bryan Appleyard for having put ‘culture’ on the map. I didn’t see it that way, and still don’t.
Published in the Guardian, 9 July 1992, p. 25.
In a world where nothing really mattered as much as celebrity, how would we tell the old from the young who seek to take their place? Both groups would be entirely self-serving, and both would seek to entrench their influence in clubbish, institutional, networks.
The distinguishing feature would probably only be that the old go wrinkled and grey. For oldies are mortal, and there is something decidedly brutish about the brute fact of youth. The young will step out all truculent and unconstrained, kicking away at the Zimmer-framed has-beens cluttering the road to success, and adjusting the criteria of fashionability in their own favour…
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