*Note: an edited version of this article appeared in the Washington City Paper.
Layered beneath the flurry of articles bemoaning the death of print journalism, one aspect not regularly mentioned (perhaps not to seem even more cloying) is the somnambulant status of the critic. The professional critic’s stature, maligned as elitist or outright ignored, had diminished long before the onset of the current crisis facing newspapers and magazines. This argument is consistently paraded out during award seasons, when numerous discrepancies arise between the highest grossing and widely praised. As this dynamic steadily played itself out, year after year, mainstream publications have been neutered and marginalized while non-traditional outlets filled the void until the Internet gave everyone with an opinion and a caps lock button a voice.