So there I am checking in with old Arbogast when I see his newest post giving the what-for to Armond White, someone whose job title, film critic, desperately begs for quotation marks. After seeing a quoted excerpt on Arbo's immensely entertaining blog from the White-penned piece in question I figured I'd read the whole thing. The quote Arbo provides has White basically calling film bloggers a chattering gaggle of dimwits. See, we're all solipsistic. First a Google search took me here, to Glen Kenny writing about it as well, which piqued even more interest. Apparently White also went off about print critics. Finally I got to the White piece itself here and read it. And... well... um, here's the thing. I was all set to go off on White myself but after reading it I really only have one question: Was White drunk when he wrote this?
Jesus, what a mess! How messy? Here's a sentence I have written as a sample: "Let cigar discombobulate wallet the cd in coffee your speakers."
There. That sentence is clearer than most of what White wrote. He does have a few salient points but as soon as they're made he... um... this is kind of weird... he tears them down himself. It's kind of confusing. Let's see, best I can tell, bloggers bring down the conversation. They're too conversational. And you don't want conversational in a conversation. Or something like that. Print critics have responded by dumbing themselves down too. Ebert's too conversational for instance. Except, "today’s criticism isn’t real conversation; on the Internet it’s too solipsistic and autodidactic to be called a heart-to-heart. (Viral criticism isn’t real; it’s mostly half-baked, overlong term-paper essays by fans who like to think they think.)" So... it's good to be conversational? Or bad? Maybe bad because bloggers spend too much time "intellectualizing" that which is merely a hobby. And then there's... ah, to hell with it, just read it for yourself and when you figure out where he stands let me know.
Ed. note: Of course, in all seriousness I know where he stands. His overriding point seems to be, "I am right, you are wrong. Only my opinions are of value." It reminds me of a definition I've read before that goes something like this: "a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism" What's that definition for? Oh yeah, solipsism.