Pander 3 (Autumn 1998)
MY DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
Orson Welles, dir.: Citizen Kane (1941)
I WILL PROVIDE THE PEOPLE OF THIS CITY WITH A DAILY PAPER THAT WILL TELL ALL THE NEWS HONESTLY.
I WILL ALSO PROVIDE THEM WITH A FIGHTING AND TIRELESS CHAMPION OF THEIR RIGHTS AS CITIZENS AND AS HUMAN BEINGS.
Charles Foster Kane
CHARLES FOSTER KANE
Well, that was Citizen Kane’s version, at any rate. Something a little less grandiose may suit our new Pander Reviews Section. He promised to tell all the news, every day, honestly. We don’t even promise to agree with the opinions we print. He promised to champion people’s rights as citizens and human beings. We promise only to guard the incognito of our writers against those they have praised or offended.
Yes, anonymous reviews – that’s our new Jerusalem. Cowardly, you say? Perhaps. Rather a disincentive to author’s vanity on the part of our reviewers? No doubt, but that’s small disadvantage to the general reading public. That nerdy boy at the next table – that nice lady you met at the dinner last night – they may be slagging you off at this moment, concocting vile slanders about your latest book/ show/ film. As long as it’s amusing and well-put, we’re game. Seriously, in a pond this small, how else can we hope for any objective criticism?
Can you ride a horse? Do you want to kill Yankees? That’s what Nathan Bedford Forrest asked his new cavalry recruits. We only ask Pander reviewers two things: 1/ Do you know how to use a pen? 2/ Do you want to spread the light? After all, if “they’re wrong” and “we’re right” (pace Pander 1:1), it’s about time we started to spread the word.
So, our own declaration of principles (rather like Jonathan Pryce’s in the latest Bond film) runs:
We will provide the people of this city with a journal that tells the truth – as we see it – most of the time.
We will also hide behind the mask of anonymity to provide them with a fighting and tireless champion of their right not to be bored by crappy works of art.
Signed, Jack Ross
Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877)