In a sometimes hilarious 4.17 review of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Variety‘s Justin Chang begins with the following passage: “Nothing aired by WikiLeaks could possibly be more destructive to Sony’s reputation than the release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 the sort of movie that goes beyond mere mediocrity to offer possible evidence of a civilization in decline.” Every now and then a Variety critic will depart from the template (make sure observations are dry and sage, focus on craft and commercial potential, mention but don’t dwell on social undercurrents) and let go with a remark like this, which is obviously out of the Hollywood Elsewhere playbook. Since this column began 10 1/2 years ago I’ve pointed over and over (some would say tediously) to indications of a grim cultural slide. I see “evidence of a civilization in decline” in all kinds of films and events on a daily/weekly basis. Anyone would. Everyone probably does. But Chang’s job description specifically forbids “going there.” Slap his palms with a ruler. Note: As we speak Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has a zero Rotten Tomato rating.