In this age of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and where everyone is trying to build her/his Tribe (or 1000 fans) , everybody is playing nice - everybody is playing to please one's echo chamber - no one likes the modern Pauline Kael, Armond White. Dishonesty is the new sincerity, whatever that means.
Today’s reviewers tend to lionize the old talk-show dustups between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal or Noam Chomsky (the videos are on YouTube), but they’re unwilling to engage in that kind of intellectual combat themselves.* They praise the bellicosity of Norman Mailer and Pauline Kael, but mostly from afar. Mailer and Kael are your rebellious high school friends: objects of worship, perhaps, but not emulation. After all, it’s all so messy, and someone might get hurt.