Jackasses Will Always be With Us

Haterade image for Get into the Head before JockFor the fourth and final installment of The Green Porch’s Guide to Courteous Critique, I’m expressing my confusion. Is it fashionable to hate apples because they don’t taste like oranges? So why do people think it’s legitimate to read pulp fiction and then hate on it because it isn’t teen romance?

And has anyone noticed hate-nastics often include all the same buzz phrases? Are these auditions for The Next American Jerk-A? Look, I get it. It’s easier to sound smart when criticizing something than when praising it. Every monkey loves his banana. But to describe it as thick-skinned, moldy and lacking pungency makes me sound like one cool gorilla.

That’s why part four of the guide is about ignoring the inevitably erroneous critiques when we get them.

Ignore them, they won’t go away.

What was it Jesus said about the poor? That they will always be with us. This wasn’t intended to let us of the hook when it comes to caring for them, but it was meant to help us prioritize. If Jesus were writing this post he would tell everyone that jackasses will always be with us. [Read more...]

Haterade is for Sipping

Haterade image for Get into the Head before JockAs 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). [Read more...]

Get Into Their Head Before Their Jock

Haterade image for Get into the Head before JockWe all know truffles are just bottom-dwelling, fungus balls leaching off the decay of other plants, and that it takes a pig to sniff them out. Yet most of us will jump at the chance to eat the truffles for dinner and then turn on the pig for breakfast the next morning.

So it shouldn’t surprise us that as critics we always want to add salt to the gravy before we’ve tasted it to find out it’s caramel sauce. (Am I inside your head yet?) On that note, it’s time for our second rule of giving courteous critique:

Get into a writer’s head before you get into their jock.

For those of you who never played high school sports in the 80’s or 90’s, “getting into someone’s jock” isn’t as provocative as it sounds. [Read more...]

Compliment Someone, Stupid!

Haterade image for Compliment Someone, StupidLearning the skill of critique in our po-mo (post modern) world is handier than a grave digger learning how to sharpen a shovel. Bitching and moaning has become a competitive sport and a matter of pride. Without spending more than a few seconds considering this statement, it’s the only thing that unites every generation from youngest to oldest.

But sadly, most people think genuine critique is as simple as farting his or her gut’s first-churnings onto paper or into the digital aethers. Not so. Today we will deal with the first rule of courteous critique:

Compliment someone, stupid!

Match your slash and burn with at least an equal amount of praise. [Read more...]

A Guide to Courteous Critique (plus rant!)

Haterade LogoEveryone needs to be able to give valid critique every now and then, lest we end up with a friend embarrassed before the nation when Simon Cowell pronounces her tone deaf and fat (then despite listing “female” on her entry form, he continues to inform the world that our friend is most certainly a “dude”). Terribly devastating, as you can imagine. And all because you never learned how to tell your friend that she really wasn’t a great singer.

But contrary to popular belief, critique doesn’t equal criticism. Plus it’s not as simple as “calling a spade a black icon that looks sorta like an upside down heart skewered on a stick. It’s takes some skill and practice. Like anything you have to practice, it’s best to start with the basics.

That’s what we’ll be addressing here on the Green Porch over the next couple of weeks in our four part guide to giving courteous critique. Here is what you have to look forward to.

Part One: Compliment Someone, Stupid.

Part Two: Get in Their Head Before Their Jock

Part Three: Haterade is for Sipping

Part Four: Jackasses Will Always be With Us

[Read more...]