“Your life is a bad story”: Professional life critics

I have a generally low opinion of any kind of professional critics, professional art reviewers, who will look at some kind of piece of art and then judge whether they consider it to be good or not.
And of course, nothing wrong with an opinion.
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with what they say.
My issue with these critics is only when they believe that what they are saying, their interpretation, their view, is in any way more valuable than anybody’s personal opinion.
And they could say, like, “I hated this movie. This was a terrible movie.” Well, anybody can say that, and there’s nothing wrong with that judgment.
But if they believe that, you know, “Based on my superior knowledge of art, I can determine that this is definitively a bad movie.
And, you know, anybody of good taste would clearly agree with me.” You know, this seems to be completely pointless.
Why should anybody consider their opinion to be more valuable? Now, maybe if somebody has a lot of background in studying a lot of art, and they really have, you know, a deep knowledge of the history of the art, that can lead to- it’s been possible to make very useful commentary that might be insightful, by putting the new piece of art into some kind of context with previous works that were there before.
So you could say, you know, “This reminds me of this work of art, and this reminds me of that work of art.” So they can make some kind of commentary about it.
So it doesn’t dismiss anything that they could possibly say as being automatically useless.
But it’s the appraisal of saying that this is good or this is bad.
That seems to me to be something that can only be a personal decision based on what the work of art means to us.
And I am quite happy to consider that anything that’s considered to be, you know, a “good movie”, “good work of art”, I might find it to be, to me, just uninspiring, whereas some kind of work of art or some movie that is generally considered to be terrible, I might just find that, you know, I like it.
And that’s OK.
Just because the specifics of that particular work of art happen to resonate with something in my own life and my own perspective.
And that’s something that is different for everybody.
So as much as we can have artistic standards and talk about how the art fits into some kind of context and some kind of tradition, ultimately, it’s whatever the effect is on the individual that seems to be that’s what really matters.
So that’s my general view of criticism, and now I imagine this whole idea of looking at our own life as a movie or a story: could you imagine what it’d be like to have somebody be a movie critic of your life? And they’re judging your experience according to some kind of standards that they believe, fitting your life into the context of some kind of bigger tradition, and then they determine whether your life is a good story or not.
And coming from your position inside your own life, hearing somebody who doesn’t know you, but who considers themselves to be, you know, “I am a professional life reviewer.
I’m a professional expert on life.
And I have determined that your life is a bad story.” That would be silly.
We would have to think that this person, they don’t really understand.
And even if they might have many people that agree with them, and you know, “According to certain established standards, your life has been determined to be a bad story”, there can still be other people that it resonates with, people that will appreciate the story that your life brings, no matter how much it is generally considered to be bad.
And of course the opposite, if your story is considered to be a great story, you know, not everybody’s going to appreciate it.
So imagine the reviewer can be describing your life, you know, “This is just- the character development is going nowhere.
There’s so much wasted time with these side plots that don’t go anywhere.
The main character is not relatable.
And really, this life demonstrates ignorance of the tradition of living good lives, and it’s clearly derivative of these other lives, and it has nothing original to add.
And in conclusion, I determine that this is a life that is best forgotten.” That could be an appraisal of a life, where you know, it’s all backed up by standards and tastes and schools of art and contexts and, you know, cultural milieus.
And yet, when you apply that to an actual real thing, ultimately it seems like if you know that thing, and you know what it means to you, it doesn’t matter how anybody criticizes it.
It doesn’t matter what anybody else’s opinion is.
Your life means something, in some way, to somebody.
And whether that is a box-office smash that’s beloved by the public, or a darling of the critics, or is considered to be the worst turkey of all time, ultimately it doesn’t matter.
The life, your life, your story, still has meaning to someone, and in some way it is making a difference.

#critics #lifecritics #lifestory

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