Thursday, July 18, 2013

Criticism - The Bad VS The Good

So, I was on vacation in Mexico, with my dad and my step-mother and my two little siblings, who are just the cutest by the way.
Ok, that was just to show off. Now, the real deal: the topic of critics and criticism came about (because I often quote critics) and they (well, my step-mother anyway, though she claims that my dad's opinion as well) said that (they) don't like critics and criticism and think they are losers. Why?

The Bad:

    1. Critics feed their ego-s by bashing someone else's work, but in reality they are just talentless pricks.
    Ok, that's not really what she said but it's what she meant*. Critics take quick satisfaction by poking at someone else's work, because it's easy. Why don't they do something original if they are so smart?
   And while, there is truth to that, here's my counter-argument(s):
    1. That sounds like a lot like a fan-fiction defense.** "If you hate it so much and find so many mistakes with it - do better!" The thing is, it's not about being able to do it better (even though if you had the money, the time and the desire, you probably could)! It's about being free have a taste to express opinion. If someone doesn't agree with that opinion, that's also fine.
    2. Most of them are doing or have tried to do original work. Maybe their original work isn't/wasn't as successful, but that doesn't mean
      a) they are talentless hacks
      b) they haven't seen what it's like to do the actual work.
      c) their original work also sucks.
While one or all of these may be true, usually they are not. It's just means that business is competitive. That's why some people are multi-billionaires, owning 3 private jets and golden toilet seats (yeah, this is a thing) and some starve to death and die of pollio.*** And everyone knows, that just because something is famous, doesn't make it good.

   2. Criticism gives quick satisfaction and makes you feel smart, but brings about a lot of negative energy long-term.

My counters:
   1. Yes, negative criticism, maybe just like most negative things in life. But just because someone is a critic or "reviewer" (if you prefer that word because it's more neutral) doesn't really mean everything that comes out of their mouth has to have negative connotation. Sometimes a critique is positive, sometimes neutral, sometimes it's just light-hearted humor.
    2. If something offends you personally or intellectually or in any other way, how is keeping your outrage over it healthy for you? Lashing out lowers your blood pressure and helps you move on to more positive things. You may get an ulcer, if you don't say anything. Malcolm in the Middle had a great episode about that.
     3. Yes, it does produce some unhealthy energy, but if you have a fanbase that is entertained and eager to listen to you, why is that not a good thing?

  3. Critics can make (push-over) people biased and take away their ability to see the product with fresh eyes.
   1. First of all every person's opinion will be influenced one way or another. How strong that influence is, is a whole other subject. My opinions are constantly influenced, but I am 19 and still pretty much forming as a person.
   2. Just because you may find flaws with something doesn't mean you won't necessarily like it. You can still like something and acknowledge its flaws. Plus, everyone is different, everyone likes diffrent things.
   3. If those people are so easily influenced - why are they listening to critics? No one's making them.

The Good:

   I. I respect the hell out of anyway who can come out and say an honest opinion about something, especially if that something is popular and the said opinion is negative. It takes courage to do so, you may get attacked by the fanbase and fanbase-s are crazy.

  II. Pretty much all  humor is born out of some form of critique.

   If you think about it most jokes are critique of something. Irony, Sarcasm and satire are big parts of humor and they are basically critiques in their nature (satire even means a critique of something).

   III. Critics are the editors of the industry.

   This one is pretty straightforward - everyone needs someone (something) to oppose them. It's the third law of  Newton: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If no one talks about how trashy, trashy products are, and get people not to buy them, no one will stop producing those producs.

    IV. The media and entertainment today affect our lives and sometimes there are more important things to be pointed out than simply "This product has a bad quality."
           Racism, Sexism, themes of abuse etc. when they are not put there ON PURPOSE (or even if they are subtly into the meaning) or the opposite themes are good examples of that.

    V. Like Doug Walker says:
What a critic should do is challenge someone's point of view. Even if you don't agree with it, just give some different outlook or point of view that perhaps another person hasn't thought about before.
* By the way I respect and love my step-mother and my father a lot. but I certainly don't alwsys agree with them.
** Which I didn't tell her. because then I'd probably have to explain what fan-fiction is.
*** Sorry for the downer.

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