Another quick note… on our local culture’s aversion to real criticism

We’re afraid to openly, honestly constructively criticize each other because we created a culture where people are culturally taught to attack and ostracize anyone who takes significant or fundamental issue with their work, e.g. long stretches are boring, it lacks identity, it’s not compelling, whether as a whole or in significant parts… real problems that impact whether or not the public is willing to pay $10-20 or more and invest 1-3 hours of their limited free time to see it.

We need to recalibrate our culture so it’s acceptable to be constructively blunt. Tact is an excuse not to tell the truth out of a belief that the truth would upset someone who made the mistake of considering their art sacred. Most of who speaks up about what in a piece needs work does so because they care about the performer, care about the work and want you to succeed… not because they hate you and want to cut you down. If they wanted to cut you down or wanted you to fail they would just ignore your work (and there are plenty of people I know in the scene who don’t like me and handle it by doing just that).

You should not be verbally/textually attacked by people or given the cold shoulder at events and shows by entire groups of friends because you spoke up about not liking a particular show or performer’s work or said something someone doesn’t agree with. Our culture needs repair.

Believe it or not, this is one of many themes in line with a piece I just began developing, on culture and poker and the parallels between both.

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