I've taken over a month off from this blog (longer than I spent doing it), because of a major move. You may have noticed that the Tanuki has been writing as if the word "here" referred to Japan. From now on, he'll be writing as if the word "here" referred to the U.S.
I've got lots of ideas for blog entries stored up, but they're kind of logjammed at the moment, and all that's coming through is a little trickle of water, with maybe some wood chips or debris floating in it...
Anyway, you may remember a little aside I wrote about my attitudes, Then and Now, toward critics. Roger Ebert, whose work I've valued for a long time, just posted a new essay defending what critics do. Highly recommended.
(Although, I'm not as optimistic as he is about Rissient's dictum that "It is not enough to like a film. One must like it for the right reasons." Maybe Rissient was simply trying to tell us, as Ebert suggests, that "the unexamined life is not worth living;" but I have no doubt that a lot of the people who live by Rissient's words, if not the man himself, do have a bit of the cultural snob in them. If Rissient really meant what Ebert wants to think he meant, wouldn't he have just said "one must like it for a reason"?)