I write a lot. Well, at least more than the average person I imagine.
Some of it is informative. A good bit of it is opinionated. And, surprisingly, if you look at the sum total of my output across all platforms there’s more positive than negative, especially when it comes to comments and commentary about music.
While I tend to share more praise than anything, as I do genuinely enjoy passing along the best of what I come across, there are times when a certain amount of negativity is simply required.
Call it “keeping it real”. Or maintaining credibility. Or simply … being honest.
I consciously try to avoid calling out bands or artists specifically, no matter how much something might have provoked me to do so. I exponentially try to avoid doing so when it’s artists with a relatively low profile, or without the necessary larger body of work to provide a fuller perspective. I work REALLY f’n hard to avoid that. I succeed a lot more than I fail.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent cases with artists – some better known than others – where considerable exception has been taken with various opinions that have landed on the internet. Exceptions taken in a manner I find particularly objectionable.
See, if you’re happy to accept the adulation of “people who probably live in their mother’s basement” or the money of people who “have never sung in their lives” then I believe you have to be willing to accept other expressions of their opinions when they’re less favorable.
Now let me make a very significant distinction here: by “accept”, I don’t mean you have to agree with their take on your work. You’re welcome to defend yourself, even more welcome to ignore those takes. What you are NOT welcome to do, not without losing any presumption of respect at least, is attempt to deny the critics right to have a less than favorable opinion.
Thin-skinned artists — unreasonably thin-skinned in my estimation — seem to come in a wide range of talents these days. And that’s disappointing. If you’re content enough to bask in the glow of praise then be man enough to accept criticism as well. And if you aren’t up to that then perhaps it’s time to reassess your use of social media. I hate to have to put it bluntly but … we’re not all out here just to kiss your ass. Some of us may have gotten at least one evolutionary step beyond blind idolatry or even plain old fanboyism. And we’re not all only entitled to an opinion, or to express our opinion, when it’s one that suits you.
And, nope, nobody asked us for an opinion pro or con … except you DID put the work out there. Were you really hoping it would just be ignored? I’m going to guess that’s generally not the case.
No, you were ultimately hoping for some reward of some sort,a proverbial cookie. Financial, typically. Psychological and/or emotional in many cases. Thing is, that’s not entirely a straightforward transaction. You didn’t “buy” the positive with your work, the response isn’t guaranteed nor obligated to be favorable. It’s more of a gamble, like putting your money in the slot machine and pulling the handle. You KNEW that was a risk, not a guaranteed payback, as the wheels started spinning. It’s either incredibly naive or incredibly ignorant to get mad at the machine if you don’t get three of a kind on each & every pull.
For years, I’ve said that the internet really ISN’T for everybody. Lately I just wish so many people didn’t seem so hellbent on proving my point.