Today's Age contains a wonderful opinion piece by Peter Houghton. I don't know why I found this such a pleasure to read - I guess, in keeping with one of his points, it's because the piece merely vindicates my own arguments about the critic's relationship with audiences.
"Several critics have argued recently that it is not their job to describe the audience response. They claim that the reception is irrelevant, that the critic is there to bring their professional skills to a clinical task of criticism which is separate from the audience. To me this is the rambling of an insane surgeon."