Friday, October 12, 2012

A Critical Perspective: Waking Up From Your Nap Cranky.

I woke up from my nap cranky today...I slept on my passion wrong.

Perhaps my water began to boil when I saw the same tired, played out and asinine argument that a critic can only have 30 years of experience on a bandstand to be "qualified" enough to write a review.

Now...If you follow this unbelievable trail of stupidity to a logical conclusion then only Academy Award winners can review movies. Naturally this is in reference to a face book post by an artist that I will go ahead and toss into what I refer to as the #bam buddies group simply because I can. Professionalism (believe it or not) will not allow me to name names and while the actual post was in all likely hood NOT directed at yours truly, this cultural cancer that plagues the industry simply needs to man up and move on. If an artist or a writer or any person working in any creative endeavor expects to please all of the people all of the time then you better re-think your career path. 

Better yet ponder this...The difference (as I see it) between an artist and a critic is actually relatively simple. A critic offers a perspective, whether or not it is accepted is not his or her motivation for writing as much as an obituary. A critic hopes you understand their point. An artist (being case specific as it relates here) demands his or her position be "accepted".

The sheer stupidity of any artist to take a drive by cheap shot at any critic is the musical equivalent of screaming, "Get Off My Lawn!" Are critics exempt from criticism? Of course not.
Grow a thicker skin.
No one holds the cultural keys to the kingdom. Any artist that claims to have all the answers and operates with as much anger and venom toward others as these individuals do stopped being an artist a while back. These individuals I speak of have morphed into self-serving media hounds to grab the attention their craft can not seem to draw. Life is a 24/7 learning curve. No critic has all the answers and certainly no artist. You never figure this stuff out but you keep doing the best you can and attempt to learn and to grow with the results. 
 I got some good advice from a former editor (he did get some wood on the ball on rare occasion) being, "don't feed the beast." 

Below is Robert Hilburn from the Los Angeles Times on what it takes to be a decent critic.