Friday, January 14, 2011

Critics Love them or Dislike them: a thought By John McKinley Pride Jr

Well love them or dislike them we must some how deal with critics all through life from friends to family, from coworkers to bosses, from classmates to teachers and from neighbors to just the simple passer by. Well if you do anything that is set into the public’s eye or put it up on the “World Wide Web” then you know that people are going to love you or dislike you and friends nothing has changed when it comes to critics. Point been every body is a critic and a plethora of knowledge when it comes to your work. So be it flowers or tomatoes get ready cause the love you have for the work you do will be tested whether you like it or not.

From Shakespeare to Pollock they have all been criticized for there work that they do. Some loved them and some hated them or were just plain jealous for the talents they possessed. One critic went as far as to say that Pollock’s work resembled burnt macaroni on canvas and some critics have gone far enough to say the Shakespeare did not write all of his plays because of his educational back ground and the fact that he had not been to any of the places he made his plays about.

As artists we need critics no matter how much they tare us down. Basically because there is some crazy notion in my head telling me that I need to work harder and improve my style or how I present my work to others. That’s the magic of critics getting under your skin and for some reason it pushes you to do better or maybe change it up and try something different.

So how do you deal with critics? Well friends I know this is the last thing some one wants to hear; well we suck it up and except the challenge they put before us to better our work. Swallow our pride and stubbornness in the act of planning the perfect attack of created the best work you have ever made. I one time went as far as to make a poem about two critics that just shot me down with no mercy.

And well low and behold here it is just for you to see, check it out lady’s and gents.
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Jaded Ivy

The words spill out on to the page, but they don’t seem to go anywhere.
No eyes or mouths can figure them out, brains of those who read it burn and fizzle trying to knead it in to there own ideas of what the words should be.

Were does this go?

How does this fit?

No, no, no the words are all wrong, this should be here and that should go there.
Trying to find some mathematical problem deeply imbedded somewhere in the words I bleed.

It is not science nor is it a puzzle to figure out why we are here; it is words put to paper to shout out loud and clear to the whole world I am here.

To see that the soul has nothing to fear, to peek out of your heart at the demons that have built up inside of you and say here I am bearing it all; all for you to see my love, my fears, my happiness and my loathing.

Wait, wait a hush for just a moment; I will shut my mouth or do I shudder when I think silence must become me because of the words that come from you, thinking it to be wisdom past on to some one who had nothing and made something even more grand than life offered.

The paper my body, the pen my spirit and the ink my blood; surly you think these words come from a mad man; well my friend such is my writing, such is my work.

So I slowly remove the jaded ivy around my head and I think to my self a peaceful thought and I walk away knowing that you know nothing about me at all.

By John McKinley Pride Jr.
8/15/08

That was my big boy way of handling the sitch. But the one thing I noticed as I said it mad me want to do and try even harder than before.

The Great Sir Peter O’Toole said it best as Anton Ego a cartoon character from Ratatouille. Which in mind I think this was the best speech I have ever heard. It’s crazy to think that such a wonderful speech would come from a children’s movie. Check this out word for word; I truly love it so much and it gives hope to us who love the arts we do.

I think in many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize that only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.

So next time some one has something really snotty to say about your work. Use it as ammo to spark that poem, art piece, music what ever your love is even if it is you’re every day job. We want others to respect us I think that is a fact for every one in this crazy world and I think the best way to show some one that there not going to get the best of you is by working harder and in the process others will notice that work that you do and the opinion of the other person will simply dwindle into comparisons to the respect you get from others. Now don’t get me wrong if there is one thing we all know is that you can not make every one happy. But in this case you are staying happy and staying on top of your game.

Thank you every one and have a wonderful rest of the week

John

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