Mornin’ Blog Otters, apologies for this late / really early QOTD, hopefully you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. Someone who won’t be forgiving me however, are the kind folks who recently got a plug, here, in this very ring- erm, blog, for their well-meaning but technically faulty documentary about wrestling fans, that I really took issue with, so I went the brutal honesty route.
Come to find out today, via a deleted Tweet and Facebook message, that I am all the things that are wrong with Chicago and my hyper negativity wasn’t appreciated, saying ultimately that I sounded like one of those genius multibillion dollar entrepreneurs on ‘Shark Tank’, which is really one of the nicest insults I’ve ever received.
So this brings to me a question I’ve had for awhile, especially regarding creative endeavors.
Generally, when asked for an honest opinion, do you sugar coat your criticisms to salve possible hurt feelings, or are you brutally honest? What do you prefer in response?
For me there are degrees to this. If a little kid shows me a picture of a house, naturally it’s a “wow this is great, Jimmy!”- if someone posts a song on youtube, or writes something on this blog that they’re not being paid for, I’ll tend to have benevolent feelings. Otherwise I generally tend to subscribe to the concept that if you can’t stand the heat, get the F out of the kitchen. When someone writes a spec-script for an original TV show that is very obviously and very desperately trying to be Entourage, I’ll point it out. When someone is asking for the money of complete strangers when they haven’t done any production work themselves, I’ll point it out. A girl I know got 5000 dollars to make a 20 minute, romantic ‘zom-com’ and I thrashed it to pieces simply because I KNEW it wouldn’t materialize, and worse, the person writing it wasn’t a very good writer – but was constantly placated because she was hella sexy – the short film hasn’t seen an update since August.
Ultimately the less serious you take something that I take intensely seriously, the worse I get. If you’re looking for a pat on the back, give the host of Wheel of Fortune a piggy back ride and get back to me when you shot some real footage that doesn’t look like Cinemax porno. As a result I kind of feel like John Goodman in ‘The Big Lebowski” – I’m not wrong, just an asshole.
It’s entirely possible that I’m like this because that’s how I want people to treat my own stuff. While I appreciate being told what’s good about something I’ve worked on, I’d rather people give me negative feedback that doesn’t pull punches. Hell, in high school I had to write a speech for a competition. I read it to a substitute English teacher, and the guy absolutely destroyed it, whereas every other teacher said it was really good. To this day the advice that teacher gave me I bring to the table every time I write something seriously, especially when it comes to transitional phrases to begin paragraphs to keep the flow going.
Actually one of the things I really like about you Blog Otters is that you don’t pull punches. When I went WAY overboard the other day on the ‘Have a Nice Day’ stuff I genuinely appreciated all the feedback / non-feedback that pretty much confirmed what I thought about the post five minutes after posting it – it was way self indulgent and overlong, much like my penis.
So for me, I tend to prefer someone rip me up and down and send me back with my confidence on life-support – determined to prove them wrong next time, than to have that same confidence artificially boosted for fear of hurting my feel goods, only to run head first into a brick wall of reality when push comes to shove.
Blog Otter Award: NoCash for not sparing my feelings. His award, and a visual depiction of how most Otters likely felt about my last QOTD, can be found below.
3. Because I do feel a little bad here’s a link to the actual Kickstarter. – They’ve raised almost 400 dollars, which is more money than I’ve made in video production all year long.
4. GTAV has a great line about this kind of thing: “Crowdsourcing: The hot new way to be a bum!”