The Age of the Critic

The Guardian reflects on how social media fit into the perennial debate on cultural elitism:

We now live under the hybrid tyranny of middlebrow. No serious person believes the Oscars are a list of the best films, or the Grammys the best music. Charitably one could say they represent a kind of averaging out, an index of the taste of a group of informed people. At worst, critics acting en masse, with one eye on what’s popular and one eye on what’s good, end up praising work that doesn’t upset them. That’s why there’s so much stuff that looks like art, smells like art, but when you bite into it, it just tastes of cardboard. This is why we have the internet. Social networks don’t strive for consensus. Instead they thrive on argument.

February 2, 2012