Do We Really Need Critics?

In an age when fewer and fewer people read newspapers, and even fewer want to be told what to think about their choice of entertainment, who exactly are arts critics writing for? Increasingly, it seems that the only people who read reviews are other critics and the people being reviewed. “So are critics necessary? Many are genuine experts in their field, whether it be art, music or literature, and they offer erudition as well as opinions. But some, notably in the performing arts, clearly savor their power, a power that comes from burying, not from praising… And there lies the problem: most people who buy a ticket for a play or a movie or an opera or a ballet want, above all, to enjoy themselves.”