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devil's advocate for the critics

2009-03-17 21:57:11 by carlhh

I take a little umbrage at being told "you're not a professional $WHATEVER, you can't critique a $WORK."

I see this all the time on Newgrounds. Some 12 year-old's crappy "just-finished-chapter1-of-a-how-to-us e-flash-book" Flash submission gets a bad review and the defense is "You haven't submitted anything/You've never made a game/You've never made a flash movie/I'd like to see you do any better!"

I'll bet you any amount of money that the vast majority of people who eat out at restaraunts are not professional chefs. I'll make the same bet that most people who buy cds/dowload music/listen to the radio are not musicians. And that most people who buy and read books are not authors themselves.

I understand how infuriating it can be to have somebody who's never gone through what you've gone through going on and on like an expert, but you don't need to be a professional chef to know you've been served a bad meal. You don't need to be a musician to know you're listening to bad music. And you don't need to be an author to know you're reading a bad book.

I suppose someone who tried and failed is nobler than someone who didn't try, but in my experience most of the people who take refuge behind "You've never done 'it', you have no right to critique me!" aren't very good at doing 'it', themselves.

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