Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ripping to shreds

The other night, after going to see Yao Ramesar's "Sista God" with two friends, we went to get something to eat. As we were waiting for our tofu (after over 30 minutes of waiting, the waiter came back and told us "There is no Tofu" - so we left) we were discussing the film. During our conversation, I brought up a pet peeve - the way some people love to badtalk and criticize creative efforts behind the artist(e)'s back. Yes, we all will like or not like things and will talk about what we like and don't like accordingly, but there is a fine line between discussing or criticizing something in a healthy way ... and scathingly ripping the person and their effort to non-constructive shreds.

Some people are 'experts' at detailing what they think the creator of a piece did 'wrong' and outlining all that the person "should have done instead" to make their piece worthy. Everyone but the creator of the piece may hear this 'advice'. My peeve that night as we sat around our tofu-less table was that half of the people who will badtalk Yao's film (or any creative work) in a scathing, dismissive or non-constructive way may have never done a film (or creative work) of their own and don't understand all that has gone into it.

Then one of my tofu-less friends told me: "They do it to you too, Elspeth. People that you think are friends were ripping you to shreds after All of Emily showed at Deluxe that year." After the premiere, when people were gathered in the Deluxe (now Zen) lobby, he stood there and heard all that was being said in his presence (they, not realising that he was a friend of mine).

Well, as I said, it's natural that people will like or not like things, so that's not the point. My point is ... how often do these people go up to the creator of a piece and talk to them about it rather than talking about it behind their backs and coming to their own conclusions ... without understanding the genesis and process of (or thinking behind) that particular work?

Granted, sometimes one may not know what to say, may have nothing to say or may not feel moved to say anything. And it's not always physically possible to tell everyone what you think or feel.

Nothing is perfect. It's a whole two-way learning and growth process. When you speak to someone about what they have created, whether you like it or not, you learn about the creator's perspective and understand something that you didn't before. And vice versa. The creator gets feedback and takes into consideration other perspectives.

We're all entitled to our opinions and ways of sharing them or not. And at the end of the day, you can't please everyone. You just have to do what you do the way you would do it.



Blogger Mirari Coaching and Consulting Services said...

hmmm i think a piece should stand on its own without input/explanation from the creator... although i enjoy such behind the scenes explanations i prefer to hear them after i've seen a piece. most of the explanations come across as kinda frothy self-important muck which detracts (imo) more than imparts...

like you said tho there's a diff. between a critical dislike and ripping the creator to shreds. i hope the people who were ripping you aren't your friends anymore. i think the people who will actively engage with the artist and those who will stab in the back have two different motivations to begin with so you can't expect the latter to behave like the former...

haters suck energy, set em free :)

7:41 AM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

I agree with what you're saying. A piece should be allowed to stand on its own (first) because the piece has as many different meanings, sides, perspectives as there are people who encounter it. Definitely to hear behind-the-scenes explanations (afterwards) can be enlightening, especially when egos are not in the way.

A.E. (Actively Engage) people and S.I.T. Back (Stab In The Back) people make this world go round.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Mirari Coaching and Consulting Services said...

heheh ... S.I.T Back... i like that one! will use! (and credit :P)

8:14 AM  

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