Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Time Out considers the state of criticism

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Time Out Chicago weighs the impact of blogging on traditional print criticism and cultural journalism in a package of stories this week, including this article and this roundtable discussion featuring several local critics (this writer included) from a number of different beats, including music, food, film and books.

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This is a really interesting article and discussion Jim. Thanks for posting it. Speaking from my own experience I blog on a site ( which is about R.E.M. the good, the bad and the ugly and I post from the experience of being a 20+ year fan of the band that has had its ups and downs. Part of the passion for me that does not exist in the mainstream media is that idea of having that discussion with like minded individuals who share that same passion as well.

Very critic sites allow for that communication between critic and fan to be on equal footing and that is where the blog succeeds. An example would be the Juno article you wrote. While I completely disagreed with you on it and thought you were an idiot, your thoughts allowed me to think about the movie and come up with my own conclusions.

As a music fan of R.E.M. I get tired of fans that don't know why they like or even dislike an album and I would rather challenge them and make them think about it.

Also, I think that one of the problems with many mainstream critics is that they do not provide any of themselves in their work. I can go back and read articles by Lester Bangs and the thing about Lester was that he never claimed to be objective, he was just Lester and that was what was so special about it. When he wrote he put his passion and wit in his work. I think what good blogs can do is provide that same passion because in many cases they are not writing for a corporate entity like Rolling Stone, they are just writing for themselves. I am not objective. I am completely subjective.

Now admittedly I fail sometimes in getting my feelings into words, as I am not Jay Mariotti, but that is okay sometimes. It is still a learning experience. It will never be about the money, its about the music. Rock on!

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on January 24, 2008 10:11 AM.

The New Face of Techno, Redux? was the previous entry in this blog.

The Chicago Music Commission is talking a lot, but is it doing anything? is the next entry in this blog.

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