Giving Offense

Once, Professor Petworth goes to Slaka to deliver a lecture at the university and meets Ms. M, one of the brightest undergraduate students there. Ms. M is most eager to seek criticism of her work; she is proud of the culture of criticism she comes from. “I come from a great culture of criticism,” she says – “I eagerly seek your criticism so that I can incorporate it into my work.” Petworth asks her what her thesis is called. “Critical Analysis of the Poetic Technique of Woolworth.” “Ah, you mean Wordsworth!”

Upon which criticism, Ms. M promptly bursts into tears, swears that the Professor’s lecture has been an utter monstrosity, and runs away, refusing to engage with such a spiteful man any further.

The people of India seem perpetually suspended in this story. There are, as I have come to find out these last few days, those who believe that the Supreme Court’s judgement on 377 does not deserve “this level of outrage.” That’s pretty ridiculous as opinions go, but the ominous bit is, having said this, none of them feel obliged to explain why. Challenged, they always scamper for cover behind their “right to refuse to answer” uncomfortable questions.

And I will now proceed to explain why these people are just like you, m’dear, the reader of this blog. Sample this exchange:

Me: The Horse Whisperers suck because they’ve got their heads up their arses, don’t dare to do anything new or clever, and refuse to engage with their audience.

You: Oh yeah! Spot on!

Me: You suck because you’ve got your head up your arse, and won’t dare to do anything new or clever, and refuse to engage with their audience.

You: O yeah?! YOU suck for saying I suck! (Runs away, sobbing.)

So much for discussion: A perfect example of Indians exercising their “right to refuse to answer,” because what simpler way of avoiding those nagging, unpleasant little questions about yourself and your work ethic than to call your doubters names. (And this, from the same demographic which cries itself hoarse that Indians are easily offended.)

reject question

If you still haven’t got the point of this whole site – and you well mightn’t have – here’s another exchange:

Me: Let’s see why you’re not able to make it big… ah, yes! Your music is boring, your set hasn’t changed in two years and you won’t do covers. Everyone hates all the snobbery which goes with you, so all you get is the same handful of turds you call your friends showing up for your gigs all the time.

You: The crowds have no taste! That being said, they never seem to appreciate my genius or give me their money.

You see the trouble with this?

A word to the wise: You cannot be contemptuous of the plebs’ tastes, and – simultaneously – moan about how they’re not treating you right.

It’s easy to have a laugh when someone else is being dragged through the mud. It’s a lot less easy when the same set of pliers come around to have a poke at your own work.

The oldest trick in the world to deal with uncomfortable criticism is to don the robes of a “do-er”, instead of a “talker”: The amazing “do-ers” walk the walk, jump the jump, put their money where my mouth is; in short, are busy forging a new country of the old, whilst the “talkers” – mean, cowardly, inactive, incapable of appreciating all the effort – aren’t fit to be taken seriously (but always seriously enough to spend time writing in petulant comments.)

Those who can't do, blog!

But I for one, surely cannot appreciate any of what the morons here call “hard work” because HEY! I don’t see any! You might all be geniuses for all I care, but here’s what it actually takes: It takes stepping out of your fucking comfort zone to make things HAPPEN. All you lot ever do is cry yourselves hoarse about how nothing ever happens while sitting around at home with a few instruments and fewer friends, calling yourselves musicians, and weeping about how the world will never appreciate your talent.

poop

You can stick your heads in the sand as long as you like, just as long as you don’t expect the world to come around and pull your weight for you. It ain’t happening till you stick your necks out.

You heard it here first!

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