I was re-thinking my last post over the weekend, and I've come to the conclusion that blogs can be a healthy corrective to critical corruption (sorry about the alliteration) -but that's assuming blogs and print existed on a level playing field. Instead, blog monster is tipping over the game board and sending all the print players into the trash.
Regardless: professional criticism does have its share of problems. It's hardly a pure and virtuous pursuit as practiced by many of the critics that you read in your dying magazines and newspapers. Speaking from experience, I can safely say that, during the last boom time of the music business in the mid-90's, you had so many hacks wiping the salt lick clean, so many wimps and weaklings selling their bylines in exchange for good favor, that it became hard to distinguish criticism from publicity. Here are the worst offenses in order of odiousness:
1) Critics who want free stuff and so therefore suck up to publicists. This also includes getting free lunches, accepting junkets and writing in-house press releases.
2) Critics who give everything a positive spin so they can continue to get work.
3) Critics who don't listen to the records they've been asked to critique.
I'm too groggy and Monday-depressed to think anymore. More later....