"One can almost hear the anticipatory echoes of something like Yelp in the context of José Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses
(1930). The multitude, he wrote, once “scattered about the world in small groups,” now appears “as an agglomeration.” It has “suddenly become visible, installing itself in the preferential positions in society. Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the footlights and is the principal character.” The disgruntled diner, now able to make or break a restaurant through sheer collective will. Against this leveling of critical power, the old guard fulminates. Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet
, recently harrumphed that “anybody who believes Yelp is an idiot. Most people on Yelp have no idea what they’re talking about.”
, by Tom Vanderbilt, in The Wilson Quarterly [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on May 5, 2013 -
, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004 [more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist
on Feb 19, 2013 -
's Hatchet Job of the Year
rewards "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months," with the winning critic taking home a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp. 2013's winner
: Camilla Long, for her devastating review
of Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir, Aftermath
. Among other things, she described it as a nasty, bizarre memoir written by a "brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 18, 2013 -
"I was never threatened covering the cops beat nor while reporting on a big Mafia trial, but I was threatened – twice – for writing negative reviews of two restaurants. Shows where the passion is, I guess
." Restaurant critics write about (and link to) their most negative reviews and discuss the measured and reasonable responses they received after their publication. [more inside]
posted by the young rope-rider
on Dec 27, 2012 -
The public pillorying of Janet Malcolm is one of the scandals of American letters. ... why is it Malcolm, a virtuoso stylist and a subtle, exciting thinker, who drives critics into a rage? What journalist of her caliber is as widely disliked or as often accused of bad faith? And why did so few of her colleagues stand up for her during the circus of a libel trial that scarred her career? In the animus toward her there is something almost personal. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Jun 1, 2011 -
"… if I ever have to see this gurning little maggot clicking into faux reverie mode again – rising from his seat to jazz-slap the top of his piano wearing a fake-groove expression on his piggish little face – if I have to witness that one more time I'm going to rise up and kill absolutely everybody in the world, starting with him and ending with me.". Charlie Brooker, the UK Guardian's TV 'critic', calls it quits.
posted by lalochezia
on Oct 15, 2010 -
Death To Film Critics! Hail The CelebCult!
"A newspaper film critic is like a canary in a coal mine. When one croaks, get the hell out. The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child for the self-destruction of American newspapers, which once hoped to be more like the New York Times and now yearn to become more like the National Enquirer. We used to be the town crier. Now we are the neighborhood gossip."
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys
on Nov 29, 2008 -
"A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me."
Goodbye to George W.S. Trow, one of the strangest, wisest, disturbingest writer ever to gape at, marvel at, and love his fellow Americans. His 1980 essay "Within the Context of No Context"
(which shared with J.D. Salinger's last published story
the distinction of taking up an entire issue of the New Yorker
) placed television, irony, and distance at the center of the new United States. He also wrote the less well-known (but equally beautiful) short story collection Bullies
, along with a novel and several screenplays
, helped found National Lampoon
, and was a staff writer at the New Yorker
from 1966 until 1994, when he quit in protest of Roseanne Barr's guest-editing stint. He died on November 24, in Naples, at the age of 63. Appreciations from the New York Observer
posted by escabeche
on Dec 12, 2006 -
The 16mm Shrine writes about movies. "The fact that there’s any talent in Brazil not devoted to kidnapping schemes and making curare poison out of small frogs, let alone the kind it takes to make an epic like Meirelles’ breakout film,
City of God, is astounding ... [With
The Constant Gardener,] I hoped Meirelles might be able to inject some excitement into material that probably had an initial interest level hovering somewhere between televised Canadian parliamentary proceedings and rough notes for a thesis project on religious atavism in Norway. ... Weisz is an activist, which means she’s easy and doesn’t shave her legs, and gets very upset if you notice. She also becomes immediately attached to the African children surrounding her in that particular stage of starvation and illness that makes their eyes big and their stomachs small enough that they still look small and pitiful, but not yet weird enough that they could pass for shark-toothed baby Grays from
The X-Files. She gets involved in a conspiracy and soon ends up dead, leaving Fiennes to pick up the pieces and grow a backbone."
posted by Marquis
on Sep 22, 2005 -
New Zealand critic blasts LOTR
. Big budget movie special effects have overshadowed the timeless are of storytelling and character development. "..The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is, as a work of cinematic art, ham-fisted, shallow, bombastic and laughably overrated.." [More Quotes inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Apr 8, 2004 -
McDonald's gets bad review, sues critic.
"McDonald's has labelled as "defamatory and offensive" an influential Italian food critic, who poured scorn on the quality of the fast-food giant's cuisine.
The corporation has sued Edoardo Raspelli, a critic and commentator for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, after he compared its burgers to rubber and its fries to cardboard, in an article last year.
McDonald's is seeking undisclosed damages, possibly as much as the 21m euros (£15m; $25m) it spent on advertising in Italy last year. "
Is it really defamation if it's true? What if every restaurant that got a bad review decided to sue?
posted by kayjay
on May 31, 2003 -
I'd like to thank the Academy. And the French.
Film critic Michael Sragow, late of Salon
and currently of The Baltimore Sun
, ruminates on the upcoming Oscar telecast and wonders why such a "lib-rad industry" would sit-out the night and pass on the opportunity to bang us all over the head with soporific political messages. In actual movie talk, he sez of LOTR: "I don't think there has been a fantasy film IN MOVIE HISTORY as faultlessly acted, as magnificent in its scope and invention, and as enthralling in its narrative drive as I'm sure the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy will turn out to be. "
posted by baltimore
on Mar 21, 2003 -