April 9, 2008 by A.C. Rhodes
Ready to tackle some new depression with yet another article about the precarious state of the critic? Patrick Goldstein did just that yesterday in his Los Angeles Times column, The Big Picture: The End of the Critic. Culling sources ranging from his son to journalism students and other critics, he tackles multifaceted issues within the issue, namely the dearth of the print age, the rise of the blog and how crass commercialism can impact both.
Also discussed in the article is the role of the critic; elucidator versus arbiter of taste is a continuing theme, though it’s generally agreed upon that it’s the sharing of opinions that still matters. However the notion of critic’s ability to be honest while paying attention to their readers is still a confusing contradiction.
Surprisingly, an encouraging passage involved students who reveal themselves to be more discerning than one might think. Yet, reading through, one can find themself caught between concern about the state of writer’s opportunities and sheepish satisfaction at some of the more windbagier scribe’s decisions to opt out or move on.