Ralph and I see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, and criticism is one of them. In the previous post, Ralph lamented how often viewers don't stop to think about why they enjoy a film -- they just watch it without worrying about the context of the film or the techniques involved. How sad.
Criticism isn't, of course, just a negative act. And critical writing, be it about art, food, books, or film, is often some of the most entertaining writing around. Think of the film criticism of James Agee, or Pauline Kael. Their classic writing defined and legitimized a new art form.
With the abundance of blogs, criticism is alive and well. Although finding good critical writing can be a challenge. If you want to read more good criticism, take my suggestion and go "old-media" by subscribing to The Atlantic. You'll find outstanding writers in residence, like food critic Corby Kummer and literary reviewer and jack-of-all trades Benjamin Schwarz.
As a bonus, you'll get excellent writing on foreign and current affairs, technology, and travel, to name a few. It's something I look forward to every month.