Who's to judge? Better an eminent critic than a daft blogger

A thought provoking piece by Rachel Cooke in The Observer today berating the critical abilities of bloggers when it comes to film reviews. Check it out at Who's to judge? Better an eminent critic than a daft blogger.
But I'm not sure that you can say that journalists - and certainly not critics, who I don't deem to be journalists (how many words a minute shorthand can they do?) - can be said to belong to some holy order of good taste and informed views. For instance, I love everything Bob Dylan has ever recorded but accept he has done some stinkers. I feel I am relatively well informed about the man. Indeed, I have just finished reading a gushing interview in today's same Observer.
However, I feel I know enough about the subject of His Bobness to talk intelligently about the subject - being a lowly blogger - for instance comparing "Sally Girl" with "Subterranean Homesick Blues". But I digress.
Ms Cooke's suggestion is that bloggers - not being real critics - carry no real weight - they are the hoi pollo, The Mob, the un-educated, the un-washed.
However, I do agree on one point - a good critic is one to cherish and that is why I think Nancy Banks-Smith should be a Dame immediatetly and that Charlie Brooker should be give a Knighthood. Meanwhile, Ms Cooke might spare a little thought for her readers (there must be thousands) who regularly commit their thoughts to a blog.
By the by - I normally like Ms Cooke's whimsy - which is what she does best, and should stick to.
As a footnote I notice that The Guardian and The Observer - BOTH HAVE BLOGS! I make no comment.


Linda said...

I think there should be a Nancy Banks Smith Appreciation Society and have written about this before.

I got a real online 'kicking' (is there such a thing?) for suggesting some blogs are rubbish and some of the women columnists on the broadsheets have been roundly condemned by the 'superior' bloggers for basically suggesting they should get out more - no doubt this journalist will also now find her name is mud!

Still, working on The Observer, she must be used to all sorts of criticism coming her way...

Ian G said...

Hi Linda,
I agree some blogs are rubbish and any argument says that all blogs should not be observed through some critical lense is a nonsense.
It's the same sort of argument that you don't have to use correct English grammar to be a good writer.
I also accept the argument that just because the majority believes it is so - doesn't necessarily mean it is.
As to the argument of getting out more, as I've said in the past, I think the quality of journalism would improve if the scribblers got out more.
I think we should start a campaign to have Nancy ennobled.