lurk on the electronic ether.
The cacophony of boorish antiwomanmuck kicked off again with the release of The Avengers earlier this year. Over on Rotten Tomatoes, the horde waited for the first reviews and pounced. Even before the film was released, dissenting female critics – on average no more negative than the men – were being lambasted for failing to recognise Joss Whedon’s amusing romp as a copper-bottomed classic.
Does all this matter? Not much. The least-balanced and most intemperate voices always make the loudest noise. The vast majority of enthusiasts for The Dark Knight (or Spider-Man or Harry Potter) are still capable of holding civil conversations with those who think differently. Critics will surely hold their nerve and remember that any decent review should contain a brief outline of the plot. But many once-useful outlets for reasoned discussion have been overwhelmed by anonymous fanatics who regard dissent from their orthodoxy as a cause for public immolation. The bullies too often boss the playground.
As I write, the early reviews of The Dark Knight Returns are coming in. Within a few hours of the first negative notice arriving – from brave Marshall Fine at Hollywood
Tom Hardy and
Christian Bale square off in The Dark Knight Rises
This better stick: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man
Copper-bottomed: The Avengers