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Criticism, sarcasm and general snarkery

December 17, 2007

Many of us enjoy reading it – the scathing editorial in the local newspaper,  a review panning the latest block-buster flop, or a snarky blog lambasting a celebrity, political figure, or large organization.    What is it about the human condition, that we find entertainment and value in the ridicule and derision of others?

I wade through this on a daily basis and often struggle for emotional perspective.

Last week, while watching Ratatouille, the latest Disney / Pixar film, I found an inspirational little nugget.  The movie was entertaining and cute – chock full of the subtle and not so subtle social commentary that Pixar films are well known for.   One of the characters, a bitter food critic,  is transformed and following his personal metamorphosis launches into a profound monologue that I found worth quoting.

“…In many ways, the work of a critic is easy.  We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment.  We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.  But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.  But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. sweetlybroken permalink
    December 18, 2007 2:52 am

    Great post. Some folks, it seems to me, criticize others to make themselves “look” better feeding their own phylosophy of “we’ll at least I’M better than they are”. Most people attack another because they lack self confidence that they are as good as the person they’re putting down. It’s an upside down, ass backwards world we’re living in. Again, great post, very thought provoking.

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