What follows is a rash, imprecise, certainly unfair impression. I’ve developed this vague idea that Chaz Ebert‘s rogerebert.com has a general inclination to go easy, and that the critics who bang out reviews and essays for the site are…well, not necessarily inclined to err on the side of friendliness but they certainly have this in the back of their minds. I think the site reflects Chaz’s nature to some extent, and her understandable interest in keeping things on an even keel. I especially expect kindness from Matt Zoller Seitz, whom I used to think of as this cool New York guy but whom I now regard as this gentle, kindly papa bear figure. I’ve admired and respected MZS for a long time but since he’s been with the Ebert site I see him as Mr. Greenjeans — a first-rate writer and top-notch critic who will always radiate a certain alpha vibe.

I’m not saying that the entire Rogerebert.com crew (Christy Lemire, Glenn Kenny, Simon Abrams, Godfrey Cheshire, Susan Wloszczyna, etc.) is committed to butter not melting in their mouths, but it seems this way (emphasis on the “s” word). Like I said, what I’m saying lacks precision and exactitude. Of course the site is not all about turning the other cheek. Of course it’s staffed by first-raters. But when I think of rogerebert.com, I think of a bunch of people who are not just smart and gifted but nice. Does the site have one asshole, one snarly snapdragon who doesn’t give a shit? They could use one, let me tell you. Am I the only one sensing this ?