Multiple stab wounds

Paul McGowan:

I recently enjoyed the latest version of Murder on the Orient Express. I’m certain everyone’s seen at least one version of this Agatha Christie classic but if you haven’t, it’s alright because I won’t tell you who done it.

The antagonist in the film is named Mr. Ratchett but his real identity is Cassetti, an infamous child abductor, murderer, and all around jerk. In this version, he’s well played by the actor Johnny Depp. The protagonist in the story, our hero, the affable Hercule Poirot, has to figure out who killed Mr. Ratchett after he had been stabbed 12 times. It’s a good film.

Stabbing someone 12 times is the epitome of overkill, as Poirot affirms. Apparently, the first stab did the job quite well.

We’re often concerned with overkill, afraid that too much will gild the lily or somehow become a futile attempt at improving that which does not need help.

The most common source of angst when it comes to overkill is with amplifiers. Second on our list just might be cabling, and subwoofers a close third. It’s common wisdom you don’t need 1,000 watt amplifier on a pair of bookshelves, $1,000 cables on a cheap off-the-shelf receiver, or a pair of 24″ woofers in a small room.

I would argue poppycock. There is no power amplifier with too many watts just as there are no cables too expensive for the job or a woofer too big for a room. The increase in amplifier headroom is always welcome in my book. The real crime is pushing an amplifier close to its limits.

Fear not the overkill, but be wary of too little. A wounded beast is dangerous indeed.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The opinions expressed in the above post do not necessarily reflect those of our editorial team – just in case you wondered. Neil McCauley