I actually haven't gotten to the author's main defence of the film yet. I'm pausing to blurt my excitement about an early paragraph of his, in which he - Landon Palmer - very casually (and, I think, correctly) posits a vein of consistency in Kathryn Bigelow's work that I'd actually never really thought about before: that she's interested in analyzing behaviour within what Palmer calls "subcultures." I quibble with the word a bit - it kind of evokes punks and Rastafarians to me,or maybe the surfers of Point Break - but I'm not sure that I'd apply it to the vampires of Near Dark, or the Russian submariners of K-19, or the bomb techs of The Hurt Locker. Another term (micro-cultures?) seems appropriate. Other than that, I here confess that Bigelow's films are outwardly so diverse that it had simply never occurred to me to look for a common area of concern or approach uniting them; I am delighted and somewhat surprised to find bikers, vampires, cops, surfers, voyeuristic tech geeks, Norwegian settlers, submariners, IED defusers and CIA spooks can all be so easily connected by the line the Palmer draws through these films. Good work, man! Suddenly I find myself excited and eager to read the rest of the article.
I'm still not eager to see Zero Dark Thirty, but... one step at a time. Palmer apparently thinks the objections to it are ill-reasoned; as I say, I haven't seen the film and don't plan to (while I still have to pay for it), so I'm not qualified to really engage on that point.