What is art? I believe art is an astonishing/wonderful/intriguing item or idea spawned from thoughtful/considered creation. So I also believe that what can be classified as art is entirely subjective; I’m all for different people loving different things. I believe you can consider something to be art despite personally not ‘liking’ it. Integrity in art is one of the greatest Virtues in my eyes, and I very much appreciate things I believe to be sprung from a real and sincere place.
It seems that frequently when I read music publications I stumble across vitriol and snide comment dime a dozen. It seems to be a prerogative of the media to trash the work of others. I do not believe this is art. I believe it is a poor use of time and energy.
I’m not at all positing that no negative criticism should ever be written. It just seems to me that a lot of the pieces I read are, in my eyes, poorly constructed, meaningless, have agendas, and dwell over facts I’ve heard and read many times before. I think largely people sometimes forget that not everything is created for them. Creation is for different people. I could write a damning review of Playdays, considering it as inspid and patronizing – but Playdays is a tellybox show for five year old kids. It was not created for me. This is a silly example but I think the logic can be applied to a lot of things.
Here is a Hemmingway quote: “Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors.” I think a key word is missing from the quote. It should be “Bad critics are men who…”. When I read pieces I consider to be poorly written, flimsy, meaningless, I can’t help but feel so strongly that atleast the person being criticized actually did something. Whether it’s good or bad, atleast they did something. Of course there’s awful things, insincere and terrible things; and if you sincerely dislike those things and can construct a well considered articulation of why those things are awful, then that’s fantastic. I just feel I almost can’t read most music media because I’m choked on the lack of sincerity and meaning behind most articles. Of course there are wonderful writers who do write great articles also, but they seem to be gemstones in a tub of gallstones.
I feel there is so much wonderful creation, so many great ideas and people. So many terrific things that are underrated and should be celebrated. I, personally, would rather read an article about what’s good than what’s bad. Even if I loathe something, more often than not I won’t want to read an article about it. But hey, if art is subjective, who am I to judge?!