As part of the Green Porch’s continuing efforts to help guide human behavior toward more sustainable ends, we bring you rule number three in our series, “Guide to Giving Courteous Critique”…
But before we get to that, I thought it would be worth mentioning a few things I’ve discovered, as of late, I don’t hate:
As a matter of fact, I love the above three things and will be blogging about each in turn over the next few weeks. Ahhh. Now doesn’t that feel therapeutic? Get on the love train folks, because it’s time for rule three of giving courteous critique:
Haterade is for Sipping
There, I said it. Now don’t get me wrong. Haterade is a powerful elixir, and has its place and purpose around the sphere of artistic endeavor. Where would we be if Milli Vanilli hadn’t received the heavy dousing of haterade they so rightly deserved? Or if reality T.V. hadn’t gotten booed from the primetime stage… (oh, crap).
Anywho, haterade is fine and dandy, sour candy. As long as its consumers understand the difference between a snifter and a cooler jug (a snifter is a snooty glass, narrower at the top, used for brandy, thus the difference is that one of them is refined and small while the other is big and clunky and used at foozball gatherings. Okay, good to go?).
Just like a seventy-year-old, overweight football coach with heart issues standing on the victorious sidelines in freezing weather moments before the end of football contest, an artist (or creator of any sort) can be quite negatively impacted by a cooler-jug-full of haterade all at once.
Not only could they die, but even if they only suffer hypothermia for several hours, your lambasting will only be remembered as the blathering of a petty individual who needed more love from his or her mother. Thus, legitimate criticism will be dismissed along with the torrent of overdone, gagamagging verbal flatulence.
So if you fancy yourself as a sophistimacated critic of the arts and you wish to be taken seriously while sitting around the table of artistic endeavor (I know it was a sphere earlier. Well now its a spherical table. Get over it.) then try drinking from a glass rather than a trough.
- Make it a rule to never use exclamation marks in your critique! If you find something like this!!!! in anything you’ve written, delete it and start over.
- Don’t write a critique the same way you try to win arguments with your spouse. (ie. “Why do you always do this?”) bellyaching via superlatives makes you sound whiny and pathetic.
- give specific examples or numbers to back up claims. Something like “The author must have used the phrase ‘dirty Mexican’ every third sentence,” when in fact the author didn’t use it at all, can make you seem crazy.
- Along those same lines, react emotionally, but then critique rationally.
- Finally, always remember rule number one: Compliment them, stupid!
If you can follow these guidlines, then you will be well on your way to drinking haterade responsibly. And that, folks, is enough to preserve the community of artistic endeavorers sitting around the spherical table of artistic endeavor well into the future so that our children will benefit from the same long-endeavoring arts that we do.