Apropos of nothing, a former Washington Post classical writer and a current Washington Post pop writer recently weighed in on the meaning of music criticism. J. Freedom du Lac claims that influence is no longer a widespread possibility—and hasn’t been since the era of Boston—but that it’s still possible put a subject under a new light. And Tim Page argues for professional criticism as a bulwark against factual errors and unnecessary meanness. Both are worth reading if only because, while technology has no doubt changed the pursuit (see: blogs and MP3s) and made it more difficult to do it professionally, music criticism predates recorded sound and will probably outlast its current low ebb.