You know, the number of drafts in my pool is supposed to get lower as time goes on, but my numbers keep going up and up… what’s with that?
Recently, I’ve seen comments around the web by people who criticize criticism. They say things like “remember your decorum!” “cut them some slack!” “whatever happened to charity here?”
While I especially agree with the last one, this only goes out to a point. While I’m all for cutting slack for people (again with the love the sinner, hate the sin theme), there is a point when I have to say, “No. The hero has turned into the villain here. This is too far. Disowned!”
After all, these people and companies are in the public eye. They have a higher responsibility than the rest of us for giving scandal; if they give scandal, they tend to give it to millions more people than private persons give it to; even if you have a thousand friends on Facebook. And here, I’m also going to make a call to arms.
It is our responsibility to bash bad literature and poor movies. If we want a high standard in entertainment, we must let the entertainers know that, and an important way of doing that is partially through bashing.
However, it is equally important that we are even-handed and fair in our bashings. We have to keep it all in perspective, or we’ll end up with an enormous mess on our hands. Citizen journalism is a big thing. Thanks to new (and older) technologies, everyone is a critic. Everyone has someone’s ear; if not the “big people”‘s ears, then the ear of someone who has.
As Uncle Ben says, with great power comes great responsibility. (And fyi, Uncle Ben wasn’t actually referring to the fact that his nephew is Spiderman. Was that a spoiler? Whoops… *grins unrepentantly*) With the ability to access the Internet comes the ability (and perhaps the responsibility) to bash. And with this ability to bash comes the responsibility to be honest and fair. Because, if a bad review turns up on some website, it could ruin the writer/creator/filmmaker/owner, and if they don’t really deserve it, they’re hardworking people and nobody–I repeat, nobody–has time for that sort of nonsense.
So bash away, when the book is repulsive! Just be careful of what you bash, and why. 😉