This is an odd place.
The reasons for me being here doing whatever this is are my own and occasionally littered across posts. Primarily, it’s to cheer me up – to get my brain pointed away from the drudgery and misery of the usual and towards things more positive and beautiful; the sort of stuff that doesn’t usually fill the course of a normal day. Otherwise I’d just look out the window all day and save a fortune.
I don’t write much in the way of what could be construed as negative about anything much, because I do all that at work and want an escape from all that. I also have very little actual spare time, so can’t see much of a point in sitting here for an hour waxing lyrical about something someone else did to an audience of, well, you (hi!) about something I didn’t like. Also, I’m not very good at constructive criticism anyway. I’d just get shouted at.
So it’s with a bit of sadness today to read the continued fallout of an internet seething with apparent rage at something written about their favourite band because someone wasn’t 100% shiny and nice about it. Oh, the comments. Oh, the humanity. Oh. It’s something that would affect anyone who does this sort of thing, as the consensus across Facebook seemed to be pretty much completely along the lines of “all critics are worthless and everything they write is rubbish because they’re not in a band or anything”. So? I don’t do it for whatever worth is supposed to be mined from such a pastime, I do it for my own good. Sometimes it works.
And sometimes it gets read. Which is nice. If someone likes what I write, I’m glad. That’s probably an ego thing, but I’m not concerned with the whys and wherefores. I’ve been corrected on factual bits before (from people whose work I love), but it’s almost always been polite and civil. When it isn’t? I go and do something else. There’s not much point in all this, I’m happy and thrilled if you like anything here or elsewhere, I’m flattered and proud whenever anyone tells anyone else, but mostly I’m not really that bothered if nobody pays it a second glance.
It’s a double-edged sword, then. If I listen to something that doesn’t move me to sit here for however long 500-ish words takes me, then I’m not going to sit here. If something I do find the time and enthusiasm to witter on about turns out to be something that you or anyone else finds unpalatable, boring, overly gleeful or just plain bad, then don’t sit there either. The world’s too full of great stuff to even waste seven sweary characters on Twitter aimed in Pitchfork’s direction.
As Philip Larkin said in the last line of “An Arundel Tomb”: What will survive of us is Love. Whatever it is you do, and whatever you surround yourself with, I hope you find every brilliant facet of it. As for the rest of it, just ignore it.