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Everyone’s a Critic

by Dumitru Ana 6 days ago in album reviews
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The Careless Commentator

Drake dropped an album night before last night. I should say now that I like it even if nobody is wondering, even if it waters down the following points somehow (covering all bases sort of thing).

I begin there because, from what I’ve seen, not many felt the same.

“Who asked him for this?” said one, and then many more on any platform that would have them.

No, nobody asked him for it. The world didn’t ask for much of what we currently have, yet every time we make space. But the point is– that was mean. It wasn’t only mean, but also, careless, not entirely thoughtless, yet lacking a necessary degree of thought. However, in the cultural world– home to snap judgements and quick reaction times, nobody would’ve been right to expect much more.

Being ‘harsh’, forming a damning judgement (especially on something subjective) is an exercise not often enough empowered by thoughtfulness. Instead, it’s encouraged by ‘involvement’, ‘participation’, ‘FOMO’ even– ‘the fear of missing out’. The average person wants to feel involved and housed for being involved.

I was freaking out– funnily enough, not as a creative person (though the bias is definitely there) but as a person who lives here on earth. The average person is programmed to be mean-spirited. The literal average Joe. (An existential crisis I arrive at close to quarterly.) Because of social media? Yes. But it is also human nature as well, who would’ve thought.

JUDGEMENT: being on one side or the other– wanting to be on one side or the other, and valuing that warmth over the comfort of somebody else, every time, without question.

On the topic of feelings, the truth is obvious and it is this: if each of our outputs here on earth were equalised, we’d owe it to ourselves to be kinder, constructive critics.

For example, if Drake and I and you and that guy over there were releasing an equal amount of content from the heartspace on a yearly basis, we would all be more inclined to look at Drake’s creative experiments with less of a piercing eye. We’d know then that when our time came, we would and could expect Drake and everyone else to judge our project fairly, if at all.

Obviously this line of thinking doesn’t account for the following, though it cannot ignore it for the sake of the argument. That is that Drake and the other ‘high-value’ creatives are paid handsomely for their risk, and would not be without our commentary– ‘harsh’, ‘biased’ or not.

And too, thoughtful constructive public judgement births a standard, titling the gifted and the truly anointed as such, and also those who should probably be doing something else (yes, we all know those cases exist). AND, when we get it right, we push lazy creatives to face up to their potential, and to make good on all that we’ve invested in them.

But that’s not what happened here. What did happen, for the most part, was a judging game, fun haphazard commentary over the creative instincts of another (who granted, has found a lot of success, but still has a heart and a soul and a mind that no amount of gold can cut clean out).

Feeling the need to assert a point of view for internet’s sake will likely always dismiss the hard work, message and purpose of another for the sake of fleeting banter. And, most importantly, contributing to a system that makes a person not want to try anything ever in public view is just upsetting.

A pause, one, short or long– that’s all it takes, all that is needed before joining any conversation. It is enjoyable to judge, may even be fun (depending on where you’re at in life) to reduce someone down to what you perceive to be your own size. But as said, if we all felt driven to submit ourselves on the world’s stage for whatever reason, in an ideal world, it goes without saying that we’d all find that extra energy to judge fairly, so that we ourselves could experience the same.

Perhaps the greatest energy of all is the one needed to consider whether we really have an opinion at all. No worries if not.

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Dumitru Ana

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