Of Critics – A Response

Plays, books, movies and productions. Critics pop up a dime a dozen for any one of these events. Somewhat like rats, but rats at least have the decency to look embarrassed when they are caught out. Granted, there are some individuals who can be counted on to give a good impartial review, but the majority of them simply find pleasure in picking at faults, real or perceived, while feeding their ego with illusions of superiority. It is a funny thing, but the best articulation of my thoughts on this matter comes from a cartoon. An animation to be more precise. Anton Ego, a critic from Ratatouille, says:

In many ways the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.

We need reviews to give us an idea of what we may want to experience. But we don’t need ego trips. Funny that it took a cartoon character to say it right.

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4 comments
  1. Critics are those who don’t have the fantasy to make art themselves. They write about, because they can’t just write.

  2. R said:

    Look on the bright side, they do give some marketing value to the creation…

    Today critics are being so criticized they are slowly starting to loose their jobs. Now the ratings are slowly transfered to the public itself. Youtube, IMDB are good examples.

    In a few more years crowdsourcing will be so powerful that only the best of the critics will survive. So don’t fret too much about the ego-centric critics; their life expectancy is very low.

  3. janusis said:

    Not quite. If anything, ‘crowdsourced’ critics might be worse. Even less experience and even more angst..

  4. R said:

    For that, critics have to be criticized as well. And probably rated.
    I’m sure you’re familiar with Digg.com.

    Crowdsourced critics might not be good quality wise, but their sheer quantity turns the tables and gives a good rating. Youtube ratings are pretty damn good if you haven’t noticed. (unfortunately the same cannot be told on the comments)

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