Category Archives: 2017

Critique: An essay

I wonder sometimes what the relation between criticism and the genre of critique should be.
Critics v Creators
The esteemed British critic Mark Kermode in one of his uncut videos brought up an issue I’d always struggled with. I had been a critic of systems in the past like examination and testing systems and i’d always get the response ‘well that’s just because you failed!!!’ and that may have been true on occassion but it was not always true. There was in fact a day when it was markedly untrue, we had to participate in propangadizing the legacy of the person my university was named after and I had some issue with this. There was a course based on his life story and his hardship and the lesson to be drawn from that was in discussing topics like discipleship and valour. It was interesting his life story in the way that a Mad men episode or a museum is but the manner in which we assessed our progress was not to relate years and facts but to fill in the blanks in a textbook. Kermode made a similar distinction when he stated that he has not ever agreed that critics make better content or productions. He mentions one example of a Japanese critic who decided to make a movie that was not well received and in the resulting accusation had to delineate between the two identities he possessed.

 

A critic may not necessarily be a creator in waiting (director, producer, writer) but is an important gate keeper or even hand maiden in any given field. To serve the creators by showing them where they have failed or preventing bad products from being seen by those who are impressionable

 

Critics as High court judges
High court judges in the UK cannot hold political office or express political opinion during their tenure. This is a feature of separation of powers such that they can take cases individually or apply court precedents where necessary. In some newer creative fields such as comic books and video games there exists a lack of delineation complete or partial between enthusiasts and critics. In some of these industries, there exists an incentive to give positive reviews or praise to a work of art not on the basis of cohesion, symmetry, structure, appearance or value but on the off chance that they may break into the industry of their dreams.
There exists also a sort of perpetual childhood described by smarter people than me such that those who did not put away their long boxes have come back with a vengeance to critique work and to suggest ways to better an industry in decline like all print media. It seems ironic that the explosive popularity of spandex and flag wearing heroes has not seen a rise in overall sales and engagement in comics. The duty of the critic like a judge would be to decide the value of something based on evidence and arguments for and against and the creator should be able to separate the language or choice commentary from the empirical criticism.

 

Critics as Experts

There also seems to be an extent to which critics have to love or care about the products involved. An affinity or a fondness of the medium or material. While it is in common parlance to discredit someone by stating that they weren’t good enough to break into the industry, it is also important to use expert information to describe critical points. Someone who knows about story structure can critique a faulty story, an amateurish studied artist can describe things as they would be better and analyse artistic failures in poor anatomy work. This is an idea that seems to be lost, as though everyone never has control over emotions. If for example a person is categorised as hateful, is it impossible for them to make any agreeable points? The robotic nature of text should allow one to pars the simplest interpretations of critiques. Apply hanlon’s razor or legal rules of interpretation if confused. If your only response to a critique is that it is hateful you need to examine your counter critique. As much as it is pertinent to say that something is hateful it is also an unbelievably complicated concept that muddied the waters in discourse.

Tl;dr: Critics are important. Maybe critique and artistry are not always linked and should be separate. Insight into subject matter helps with reasoned critique

A question, an accusation and a comment

Can you see what you have wrought? You drew a line in the sand and decried anyone who disagreed with your separations. Personally, I redefine things for clarity sake and distinguish for the same purpose e.g. Colonialism is different from Imperialism because of the way they functioned differently

Can you see the dead you forgot? You said that my unavoidable distinctions only mattered when you wanted it to. People then identify me as you want them to, a victim needing cuddling and pre-apologies for perceived offence

Have you picked your hill to die on? There are people wanting to know in the fabric of your top-down system that is supposedly democratically sourced and has the will of the people. People know what they are told and get to tell very little back in a top-down system. Such that it is indeed not democratically sourced because the power comes not from the mandate of the people but from the original budge that allowed the rulers to ascend to the top.

When did you become absolutely moral? You say you are on the side of common sense and the positive side of history and note criticisms as hateful rhetoric stopping your message’s spread. Personally, I avoid moral arguments because they get to the realm of religiosity where measures cannot be used to assess the impact of statements made and arguments devolve to ‘because this is what my holy book says ‘.

Why abandon all of the past? You say that it was bad by our moral standards which we currently hold and that it was a limited interpretation of the world. I think that moral improvement is a strange thing because like technological growth it does not happen uniformly around the world. Such that the current positions of some religious people in African countries is the same as yours, ‘We knew little in our past and therefore everything we did then was heinous’. Much like how long it took Netflix to get to the Sub-Saharan parts of the continent, it has taken time for people to even accept religion as a moral basis for action.

Who gets to pick and choose? You say that in certain cases you get to be outrage on certain matters but state unequivocally that when others do the same it is baseless. I fail to understand how we seem to be unable to empathise with some potions not even to agree with them. But to empathise i.e. put ourselves in another’s position and try to figure out why a person disagrees and the result of that disagreement.

Taming the lone wolf

Next year I will become incorporated for the first time in my life. I’m studying to be a very specific kind of person and although everything about me in the last few years would not like it to be so, I will need to get a job in my field. Now, this may not be the hardest thing to do as I am trying to be a capable person and hopefully will be when the roll is called up yonder but I am not at this moment. Apart from whether or not educational competency translates to occupational competence I would like to know what happens when and individual like myself becomes a member of a body. The lone wolf in this case is one who does not attribute his hunting ability to his pack positioning but rather to his own skill and cunning. If like humans lone wolves have to socialise and domesticate after being the only member of their group what would happen to them? I don’t know nor will I find out until it happens but the real question for myself is whether or not being alone is my biggest virtue such that if I lost that virtue I would be just another lifeless machine pushing a rock up an incline. I have been in packs in the past and while the most recent one was fruitful it was probably more due to the constant association and refining of ideas than in the group itself. I was a pack member in high school and I think my lack of discernible interests or characteristics made for my lack of importance in the group structure. I was at best the jester and at worst the bitter fat dude that was strung along. I usually maintained my own little followings to make sure I felt purpose by helping people I thought sorrier than myself but who were in fact just interesting people who had had no platform. In between maintaining these two roles I was also the kid that was bullied by slimmer but more worn class mates who were jokes in the eyes of others but threats in mine. I would have to pay the equivalent of £5 to them everyday which was half my lunch so that I didn’t go home with a bruised eye. Also I had a teacher who hated me because mother through myself rejected a prefect position. My English teacher hated my brother and projected that on to me.
To summarise the group helped me feel useless and mentoring was slightly satisfying but all my school problems and personal problems went unsolved by the group. I fear what next year will bring and what I will become. If I become rich may be it wouldn’t be so bad.

After all if all I’m good at is being alone maybe I’m not good at anything.

Here’s My Joy.

Am I anything beyond my feelings
My love my fear my joy
When I win a game online is that real
When I have a non terrible female encounter

Is the fact that its chemically triggered falsifying
Does it change the fact that I think I feel my feelings
My encouragement helping a loved one
Discovering that someone else but me cares about my life

Is it bleak to be hyper aware of death
Or is it just a healthier form of denial
History is fascinating in its repeating patterns
Cities look better if you’re high enough

I’m self conscious because of my weight and hair styling
I’m not happy because I’m doing nothing but loathing myself
I found out that I was not terrible at cricket
I don’t think people hate me cause of my skin colour they might if I was an asshole

Are you a good person if you’ve just never seen bad stuff
Or is good only from overcoming evil
Relativism helped me think but like other things is only useful to a point
I love rock music and especially maroon 5

Here’s My Pain.

I can’t surrender all of my suffering to another

But every once in a while I want to take a load off

I couldn’t reject any invitation to visit me until my mom died

I failed school horribly that year

 

I don’t know you such that I can’t tell you enough about me

But every now and then I open my mouth and speak

I’ve not dated in five years because I’m literally afraid of females

I’ve deluded myself into thinking I was dateable

 

I don’t ever want to troll anyone with my pen name

And I never will but this anonymity is a little therapeutic

I talk to less than 10 people every week and convince each of them I’m busy

When in fact I’d rather leave my life to pretend to be a friend for an hour

 

I can’t believe sometimes what it is I said in the past

But I hope I don’t leave future me directionless

I convinced myself I was slim for 10 years until I became over 200 pounds

And I starve myself daily as well

Grovel

Deluded simpleton is my middle name, that’s where I got to after a month of thinking, maybe not critically but at least trying to understand why a mountain became a mole hill. I’ve not posted  anything in months for a number of reasons. The one that led me here was a desire to be a studious learner and pass examinations. It was rather abrupt and since I’ve not had the fortitude to publish anything anyway. It’s been terrible because I fell off the horse and tried unsuccessfully to reembark while it was moving at a running speed. It is entirely my fault as well as both the responsibility and wounds I bear. Hopefully I can be better in the future starting now. Whoever reads this, thanks and stay tuned for some stuff I’ve planned for the future. In the meantime here’s a poem:

Falling forever seemed like a long time
It pained me that I hadn’t changed my mind
My limited role in the choice of citrus like lime
Boggled myself for days before I left it behind

Brought it up again it was unexpected
She thought we were done with that wee distraction
I quickly changed what had been n her perception
While we were present in a house she rented

The walls were painted cream because beige was too pretentious
My preferred blue was in the trash like most of my humility
I’d bottled up this for a while and the doctor said  to avoid anything contentious
Here goes I said as I ubshackled myself from dignity

What is it she said as though she was not present in my head torturing me
Lording over my head her victorious conquering
For while seated in TGI Friday’s she ordered orange juice without my considering
Bah I said I wouldn’t drink orange juice if they gave us for free

In a fury rage I left into the bathroom and washed my face
I was appalled that I had married her without knowing her true feelings
If she likes orange juice she might as well think Rogue One and Transcendence good movies
It was painful like a slap in the face

I mustered the courage to tell her please could we have any other thing than orange juice
Honey don’t embarrass me we’ve been meaning to come here for a year
I’d rather you made me see avatar again than do this here can we call a truce
Please can you understand my side she whispered in my ear calm down before security gets here

An episode for a show that’s over No. 1

*I know very little about script structure and running times and this was not word processed so i don’t know the number of pages it will fit on. I wrote it after i had finished watching how I met your mother and I didn’t bother to check when it will fit in the show’s timeline. I have no rights to these characters and just did this for fun.
The Brantheon
INT Mclaren’s EXT Day
Barney is seated away from the booth today, he is waiting impatiently for something nay someone to come in to the bar. He gets up as he sees TED enter the bar. He calls out to him and TED comes to sit across from Barney.
BARNEY
Hey Ted, how has your day been so far?
TED
…..
BARNEY
Well that’s all about to change. For today I will bestow on you the greatest gift from the Brantheon.
TED
First off, who’s to say that my day’s been bad? It’s barely lunch. Second Brantheon means….
BARNEY
I’m glad you asked. In ancient Greece, when the Gods were all in loin cloth and the Godesses were in Bikini cloth there had been a party thrown to welcome a new god into the fold, one who had proved himself worthy. His name was BARNACLES—-
BARNACLES
Hullo fellow gods and godesses, I am but a humble greek man and am pleased to be in the presence of such greatness. I will do my very best to please
ZEUS the elder god looked down from his sky throne to reveal a face similar to Marshall’s. He gestured that BARNACLES be brought up to his throne.
BARNACLES walked cautiously as he ascended the golden staircase to meet the elder god.
TED
Your story isn’t going anywhere and I’ve got work
BARNEY
Ted…. come on…. Ok?
BARNACLES was met with the welcoming humiliation of being accepted into the pantheon:
he had to clean up after pegasus for a week
he helped atlas hold up the world for his yearly vacation
and other humiliating frat initiation rituals.
He felt that at last he would be welcome in the world of the gods, they did welcome him into mount olympus. His only request was that bro’s respect other bro’s, which some would say was an early version of article 3 of the bro code.
Time passed and—-
BARNACLES had picked a greek girl to have a demi-god with a year ahead of time as the elder god told him that he had to book the date ahead of time to avoid all the gods being absent from Mt Olympus.
On the day of the conception of the demi god, BARNACLES walked toward the home of the maiden. He knocks at the door to no response, when he opens the back door he finds ZEUS in her front door and HERMES in her back door. He walked back to Mt. Olympus to continue his godship but it was not till late that zeus and hermes returned. He had wanted to confront them when he noticed a fellow god in the corner tearing up, he goes over to console him and pats him on his back
THEODORE
sniffles I’m Okay… uh thanks Barnacles
BARNACLES
You’re welcome, what was all that about?
THEODORE
I saw Zeus lie with the would-be mother of my child even after he promised me that no one would do such a thing. He even made me give him a date so that no such thing would happen–
BARNACLES
He told me the same and yet he will have another demi-child
Theodore
You as well, do you think there be others?
BARNACLES
Perhaps, If there are we will find them and help them..
Thus the Brantheon was born to ensure that the gods never screwed over bro’s, to maintain the golden rule “Bro’s before ho’s”
Present day
TED
Wow… Uh Barney that story was—
Barney
— A true story
TED
No, it was ridiculous. I could have found better things to do in that same time. In fact, that’s how long it took me to make my first crappy chair
BARNEY
Ted, look at me. Do you want to spend the rest of your life pursuing meaningless hobbies or meaningless sex? Now I always pick sex cause it is less likely to kill you… directly
TED
Hobbies, Barney all this sex you’ve had in the last few years. What has any of them done for you?
BARNEY
Oh, they did many things for me. High five!
TED
When was the last time you connected with someone else?
BARNEY
Last night! Hey-oh!
TED
You need to take this seriously man. Life isn’t waiting for us and it doesn’t stop for anyone …. ever but Barney chasing life instead of sitting under its shade is what will help you.
BARNEY
Ted,I hear you but you’re not hearing me…. See the point of the story was that we should help out our other bro’s for all our bro’s who helped us in anyway whatsoever.
TED
Does this mean what I think it means?
BARNEY looks at him with his photograph taking smile and nods at TED. They both walk out to the front of Maclaren’s Bar where they see LILY and MARSHALL coming toward them.
TED
Let’s hail a cab before they get here or you’re Indiana Jones
BARNEY
Before or after Shia
TED
After Shia
BARNEY
Yooooou’re despicable
A cab stops by on the side of the street and TED and BARNEY get in leaving LILY and MARSHALL confused.
LILY’s evil kinder
INT Mclarens Bar EXT Evening
LILY orders a beer jug as soon as she gets in, MARSHALL comes in after her to sit in their regular booth. He squirms in the chair as if trying to find the right butt to balance consistency, LILY approaches the booth and sits across from him. She chugs the whole jar down as MARSHALL looks on in horror.
MARSHALL
Was it that bad?
LILY
You saw what they did to us didn’t you?
MARSHALL
I did. How was your day at school?
LILY
—-
MARSHALL
*Awkwardly How’s that new kid Sharon doing?
LILY
*Her eyes turn blood red as she says Sharon!!!
EARLIER THAT DAY
INT Classroom EXT Day
LILY gets up from her afternoon nap in time to wake the kids for the next half of the day. As her eyes open, she is shocked at what she finds
LILY
*Quietly Why didn’t you go nap nap Sharon?
SHARON
*Sobbing Someone pulled my hair and woke me up
LILY
*Comforting her Don’t worry Ms. Aldrin will punish this bad bad person
LILY gets a napkin to wipe her face and proceeds to wake up all the members of the class.
The class had been boring that day, so LILY decided to play detective like the Mosby Brothers had done back in the day. She started light with the Hokey Pokey as she hoped all the shaking would leave a trace piece of evidence on the floor, this was unsuccessful. Then she made them work on future masterpieces of hand painting, the sticky oil paint could catch a hint or the water in the basin could leave larger objects floating. After these failed attempts, LILY had to stop the games and the activities as the day had come to a close.
The kids seemed to like the class with the lively Ms Aldrin today, all around running and looking at their work and showing approval at their pieces. Sharon was the last in class and LILY told her that she is so sorry to not have found the person who woke her up.
When Sharon left, LILY noticed her lunch box was still in the classroom and took it to give to her parents. She paced quickly down hallways till she met them in the Headmistress’ office.
Looks of unease were exchanged by the room members, all five of them giving each other some kind of signal. LILY establishes eye contact with the Headmistress across from her in the room with the two parents seated in front of the desk with a stenographer.
LILY tries to engage in a telepathic conversation with her headmistress
L: What are they doing here?
H: Why are you holding the kid’s lunch box?
L: They found a gun in robin’s glove box?
H: Haemoglobin and Waltzing Foxtrots?
LILY shakes her head ever so slightly in disgust, breaking the link as she speaks
Lily: What’s wrong here?
Headmistress: You remember Mr. and Mrs. Johnson?
Lily: I do, they’re Sharon’s parents. Huh.. Is Sharon in trouble?
Mr and Mrs. Johnson: Not in the slightest madam.. hrumph
Headmistress: Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for informing me of this, the school will take the appropriate action to make sure this doesn’t happen again
They take the lunchbox from LILY and walk off upset
The headmistress explains to lily that Sharon had reported to her parents of her teachers hatred of English food. The parents had then packed her a lunch box to shove in the face of her hate and she had seized the box fro Sharon as a result of that. Lily tries to reply to which the Headmistress says:
We appreciate your work her Ms. Aldrin and pending the conclusion of this PTA committee investigation, you are suspended.
PRESENT DAY
LILY
— That’s why I’m upset Marshall, that little rat set me up.
MARSHALL
We’ll need to exonerate you from that charge. How can they say you hate British food?
————————————————————————————————————————————–
Comment below with feedback!
Thanks!