Everyone’s A Critic

The big story today was Michael Kaiser’s post on Huffington Post, which generated lots of response. May I suggest you read these three articles in particular?

First up, read the original story:

Anyone can write a blog or leave a review in a chat room. The fact that someone writes about theater or ballet or music does not mean they have expert judgment. But it is difficult to distinguish the professional critic from the amateur as one reads on-line reviews and critiques.

No one critic should be deemed the arbiter of good taste in any market and it is wonderful that people now have an opportunity to express their feelings about a work of art. But great art must not be measured by a popularity contest. Otherwise the art that appeals to the lowest common denominator will always be deemed the best.

Next, check out Benjamin R. Freed’s response in the Washington City Paper:

One hopes people get paid to do good work, but a lack of payment should not be grounds for automatic dismissal of the criticism. If it’s good, it’s good. The weight of an unpaid but intelligent blogger dissecting a play is far greater than some snippy commenter bitching that his seat was uncomfortable. If Kaiser can’t see that, he should probably try following Bedard’s advice.

Yes, that’s Travis Bedard he’s talking about. More specifically, this post on the 2AMt blog:

The magic of now is exactly that everyone is a critic. Everyone has a voice. We’re all nobodies together and the words can speak for themselves. More. And better. And More.

I won’t say it’s “required reading” or “a must-read” because those terms are starting to lose all meaning, but I will say that it might be worth your time to click on at least of one those links.