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The Independent Culture
I suppose I'm a member of the bowel movement because I actually enjoyed The Road to Wellville, Alan Parker's trot through the Great American Bottom and all its works. But then, I'm working class (or was - it's a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there) and the old butt holds no fears for one whose father was nicknamed "Hurricane Tommy'' and whose grandmother used to holler for us kids to come look at the size and consistency of her latest deposit (we called it "toilet bowling").

But I digest. The point I'm trying to make is that most of the critics who reviewed Wellville didn't review the movie but reviewed themselves and their obviously disastrous potty training. Parker's commendably straightforward approach - here's a man who calls a turd a turd - was bound to come a crapper with a middle-class, middle-brow sensibility that can only handle faeces if they come wrapped in a pretty box labelled "Literature" (The Canterbury Tales or Genet) or "Art". I draw your attention to the serious notices given to a recent exhibition involving children's soiled nappies (yes, yes: your three-year-old could do better than that).

Parker, another working-class lad, is having none of it. His setting may be America, but his assault is on coy Britishness, the sort that reads The House at Pooh Corner to its progeny but thinks Carry On movies set a bad example. Actually, Parker can rest happy in the knowledge that Wellville's notices are a vindication: that howl he's hearing invariably accompanies a certain substance hitting a fan.

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