Friday, June 1, 2012

Culture and Criticism

TWO of my favorite journalists, film critic A.O. Scott and media reporter David Carr, have gone back and forth about a number of important issues lately. Some of this is analog vs. digital, print vs. Internet stuff.

Some of it has to do with the nature of the press, of DIY/artisanal culture, or the revival of vinyl records. And in this swirl of new and old, they ask, what is the role of the culture critic?

(Cue chin-stroking music, please.)

I wrote about a fading golden age or arts criticism a few years back, in a story -- eventually titled "Critical Condition" -- that drew so many letters, pro and con, that the LA Times added a Sunday letters page to contain them. Norman Lear responded to the article in a speech. That kind of thing.

My piece tried to look back, and to speculate on what was coming next. Here it is.

I'd like to think that what it said has held up pretty well, and that things are, if anything, bleaker than I forecasted at the time. How have things changed since then?

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