For 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. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about de-jackassing them, but that we should de-prioritize them.
If someone offering critique has failed to follow steps one, two and three of this series, then they are either a struggling jackass or a hopeless one. Either way, their comments will be tainted by their own mental and emotional instabilities. While there might be useful information, it will undoubtedly be sleazed over.
So as an artist, do yourself a favor, and just ignore it. Find the same critique in more lucid and helpful manner elsewhere. Yes, I’m telling you to throw the baby out with the bathwater. ‘Cause this baby ain’t right. Jerks will always be with us. You better learn to ignore them now.