Today’s write-only exploration will cover the subject of criticism, particularly the elegant and courtly means by which Second Life residents guide each other to betterment. What? Ya … SCREW YOU TOO BUDDY! Every exhibition or competition, from Burning Life to State of Play inevitably features some variation on the following dialog:
Aristotle Omega: Your build sucks!
Plato Midnight: What? Who asked you? Your ATTITUDE sucks!
Aristotle Omega: *GASP* You DARE criticize the critic?! If you don’t want unsolicited critiques, you should hide your build from the public eye and become a critic! Good DAY to you SIR!
Besides the fundamental right to free speech, Aristotle does have a valid point. We are all being judged for everything we do, either silently or in the public forum. If we aren’t ready to accept this, then we should just hide under the blankets. Most of us are painfully conscious of the judging eyes upon us, even if only on a subconscious level. When we expose some part of ourselves (like our work) we are secretly asking for public approval. We also feel extraordinarily hurt when our efforts are ripped apart like a dog’s chew toy. But hey, that’s the risk we take when we put our efforts “out there.”
But what about criticism? When critics critique, are THEY putting their efforts “out there” and opening themselves up to counter criticism? Or should they enjoy some sort of de facto immunity from having their comments critiqued? It seems most critics, particularly the unsolicited variety, are incredulous when their animadversion is condemned! The problem is that any argument supporting one’s moral right to criticize also supports the right of others to criticize them right back.
So the question is ... can we criticize our critics? Think about that while I go hide under my blankets.