17 November 2007

No butt-kissing here

These days, instead of criticism proper, many periodicals and for that matter online news sources give us an "entertainment" section.

The goal of an entertainment section isn't to criticize. It's to merchandize. Its to get "access" to Dustin Hoffman, which you can do by telling your readers how wonderful all his movies have always been and will always be -- so that maybe he'll favor you with an interview.

I appreciate it when someone swims upwards, back toward criticism, against this stream. The latest such salmon-like effort is Owen Gleiberman's delightful review of "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." Give CNN its props for this.

I was watching the folks on the Today show gush over it recently, but from the clips they showed I couldn't really get what all the gushing was about. Gleiberman lets me suspect that my instincts are sound.


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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.