Monday, December 17, 2007

Critic's Manifesto

So, a friend of a friend's blog is the 7th result when you google "Berkeley Eclogue."

I am jealous. Could I blog in such a focused and disciplined way, so that my views appear when a poem is searched?

I read through the Time-out New York extended features on the "everyone's a critic" phenomenon.

Turned it all over in my head for a couple hours.

And then, over dinner, the TV in its ever-ambient state, I heard Andy Rooney blasting off irritatingly about... something... His tone sounded eerily similar to that of a KIIS 102.7 morning radio jockey yelling about how stupid the caller's girlfriend is... and I realized:

That's the critic I don't want to be. The Andy Rooney, Don Imus, Bill O'Reilley, I'm-yelling-over-you-critic. More thoughts on the kind of public critic I'd like to be coalesced into the following manifesto.


1. I will react immediately, viscerally, and honestly. Jargon, bullshit, and over-thinking are my enemies. We don't consume art so that we can form beautiful opinions. We consume art because it touches us and this "touch" can never become obsolete in criticism.
2. There is no right; there is only a conversation and the hopes of a revelation.
3. More discipline.
4. More consumption of work.
5. More respect for the artist.

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