LA Times critic, Richard Schickel doesn’t read blogs. But he gets to whine about them:
Criticism â€” and its humble cousin, reviewing â€” is not a democratic activity. It is, or should be, an elite enterprise, ideally undertaken by individuals who bring something to the party beyond their hasty, instinctive opinions of a book (or any other cultural object). It is work that requires disciplined taste, historical and theoretical knowledge and a fairly deep sense of the author’s (or filmmaker’s or painter’s) entire body of work, among other qualities.
Schickel, when he isn’t cranking out reviews and articles for Time at a rate that makes his criticism of Wickett for publishing 95 reviews in 12 months verge on hypocrisy, largely spends his days propping up Hollywood corpses with clip-laden documentaries for basic cable.
And one of the bloggers Schickel rips on says:
Schickel fails to understand that, by way of expanding options in a democratic medium, it remains ever more possible to find â€œoases of intelligence and delight,â€? if one looks hard enough. He seems inured to even contributing to these potential oases. He presumes that criticism and the joyful archipelagos of art must remain perennially dictated by a select mainstream elite.
Oh, it’s not impossible for a blogger to write a serious review, he says. But before he’ll listen to a word anyone says, he demands credentials. Only the annointed â€” again, by whom? â€” are invited, or can be taken seriously.
This all began when NYT proposed that not everybody is a critic. That’s true. Some are puppets of a media-controlling hell-bent administration.