Sunday, November 27, 2011
Whither The Arts Critic?
I'm not sure I care, and I doubt you do, either.
I read, but didn't bother linking to, this Michael Kaiser lament for the vanishing day of the critic. I'm elitist enough to appreciate where his appeal is coming from, but far too plebeian in my mentality to give it any credit whatsoever. Listen, I miss Pauline Kael as much as any reader out there, but I'm considerably happier living in the current climate than I was in the climate of the 80s when I first discovered her. Kael is gone, movies don't count like they used to, and most of them suck, besides.
If the movies aren't interesting, the variety of little scenes and happenings crowding in to replace them often are. It seems like just about everything is going up for grabs — which is scary, sure, but also not a little exciting. I'm not altogether on-board with Ian David Moss's response to Kaiser, but I did resonate with this line near the end: “(Complaining about the collapsing value of the newspaper arts critic is) like complaining about the oversupply of artists — y’all had better get used to it, because it’s not going away.”