“Be light, stinging, insolent and melancholy”

Each day the Guardian finishes its leader page with an ‘In praise of…’ segment. Today it marks what might have been the eightieth birthday of the theatre critic Ken Tynan. It finishes with an aside to today’s bloggers, which I guess is a nod to the passionate iconoclasts amongst us.

What would an octogenarian Tynan have made of the age of instant comment, when any passing text-messager counts himself a critic? He probably would have welcomed Web 2.0’s democracy and debate. But he also knew when to keep quiet and at the end hardly wrote. “I no longer have a stance, an attitude, what Eliot called ‘the core of it, the tone’.” Bloggers, take note.