Saturday, April 30, 2016

Be a fan!

I have long considered the state of our culture of critique, and its impact on our collective soul. When I was young, I considered my opinion to be the epitome of my offering to the world. With intellect, and wit, I would offer my criticism of the art and opinions of the day. But, you know what? I was just an asshole.

I see this a lot in the way our culture takes in various forms of art. Whether it is movies, TV, books, paintings, poetry, or any other form, derision is the call of the day. Telling someone else they suck isn't about them. It is about you! I say this not having yet had to deal with a terrible review. Once enough people read my writings, it will come. Someone will just hate it, and they will feel the need to let me (and everyone else) know. The thing is...art is subjective. I expect some people not to like my writing. I got into writing plays in my mid-teens because I loved the work of Neil Simon. Some people just hate Neil Simon for the same reason I love his work. His dialogue driven, light wit tells stories that are deeper, but enjoyable. It is intelligent without being boorish, and it is fun.

In the early 1990's, I would rail against People Magazine's movie reviews. They seemed to only report on movies they hated. Everything they reviewed was just a heap of shit. I used to hate that they did that, and I stopped reading their reviews. But, I did the same thing to a much smaller audience. My casual dismissal of music or films that other people liked was a People Magazine film review on a smaller scale. Once I realized this, I was disturbed enough to change.

I am married to an amazing woman, who has taught me many things about how to live life. But, probably the greatest lesson I learned from her was to see the good first. She looks for the good in a movie, a TV show, and in people themselves. You know what? She finds it. We find that for which we look. So search for the good. Look at what is right with something, or someone, before you notice the bad. Trust me, if there is bad, you won't be able to avoid it. But concentrate on the good. Be a fan, without hesitance, and without reservation. When you love something, tell everyone. When you don't, keep it to yourself. Because in the end, the shit is not in the work, it is in our view.

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