A new (to me) blog; plus, criticism and journalism

You may have noticed the new blog in my blogroll. I’m not reading Luke’s stuff because I necessarily agree with him, although I do find myself doing so at times, but because he’s thoughtful and damn good at expressing himself. (I also love his use of italics and bold face, for some reason.)

He recently wrote about the folly of pretending to be unbiased, and I truly enjoyed his thoughts.

It’s now obvious in my own life that critical objectivity is impossible. I can’t review something solely on its merits, there are millions of arbitrary, personal-preference type filtering media that any piece of literature or film or art have to pass through before lodging somewhere in my love/hate cortex. This explains many things that had long been mysteries to me.

Why Roger Ebert liked Benji: Off the Leash, for example.

I’ve touched on the problems with journalism–specifically, that its “objectivity” loses credibility due to advertising. Luke, however, goes in a completely different direction: he states that pretended objectivity itself is the culprit. While his article was mostly targeted towards criticism, he includes an interesting aside:

America is the only nation I can think of where journalists are expected to be objective. This is silly and ultimately dangerous. […] Impartiality and journalism are so often placed in tandem that they’ve become synonymous with each other. “The narrator’s style is so passive it’s almost journalistic”–meaning unbiased, without commentary. The truth. This is patently untrue in most cases.

I had a lot of fun with the latter part of Luke’s piece, which presents a LiveJournal-esque version of Ebert’s review of Benji: Off the Leash. I giggled.

An interesting guy with interesting thoughts. Read him.