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There's A Real Square Cat, He Looks Like 2004

In the L.A. Times, Richard Schickel discovers the Blogosphere. I used to really enjoy Schickel when he wrote movie reviews for Time magazine 30 years ago (including the article behind one of my favorite Time covers for obvious reasons; note the poster in my den). But with a reaction that's much like my Bing Crosby-worshiping father hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time, Schickel does not like the successors to his genre.

At all.

But then, no one in a legacy industry likes to come face to face with his successors.

Update: Not surprisingly, "Dirty Harry" of the heavily trafficked group film criticism blog Libertas takes umbrage with the screedy Schickel. I'm kind of surprised that apparently, no one at Blogcritics has yet posted anything about Schickel's rant, as Eric Olsen's pioneering site did much to create a salon for Blogospheric criticism from perspectives much more diverse than the monolithic LA Times.

To be fair to Schickel, the ability to instantly self-publish does not immediately make someone H.L. Mencken, of course. There’s lots of dross in the Blogosphere—but then, there’s lot of dross everywhere; Sturgeon’s Law is inviolable. But it most assuredly includes newspapers and magazines, as well. Readers have long since known that the “halo effect” that was provided by being chosen to be in print by gatekeepers such as editors and publishers has faded badly over the last several decades. That's one of the reasons why newspapers are being abandoned in droves (as the circulation figures at Time and the LA Times help to illustrate) as readers seek alternatives.

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