Journal: How to tell if it’s criticism or opinion

Yesterday’s journal was all about a new project that I’m working on.  It was cool; a bunch of stuff just gushed out.  Today’s was back to normal, more or less.

Something that’s been getting on my nerves is when someone “criticizes” a piece of entertainment that features women or has female creators by pooh-pooh-ing it.  Watch for things like, “I didn’t think the actresses were attractive enough.”  “It’s just not funny/scary/whatever.”  “I thought it was an X, but really it wasn’t.”  (Prejudging the work.)  “I just didn’t get around to it.” (Swerve.)

[Rant on people who “criticize” the Ghostbusters remake, some notes on the hypocrisy of people who love the Scooby Doo movies and Hudson Hawk turning their noses up at it.  I liked all three; Ghostbusters wasn’t one of the greats but it was a lot of fun.]

The good criticism is when you know the form well, and you can make insightful, specific criticism about the piece based on the form.  “They shouldn’t have done it” or “the story was bad” — those things mean you are not providing insightful, specific criticism.  You’re dressing up your bias in fancy words to excuse your shitty behavior.  People with vague, superficial criticism don’t have criticism:  they have opinions.  If you’re not doing some kind of analysis, then [pretending you have some kind of valid criticism] just a bullshit, handwaved, “I didn’t liiiike it.”

If you liked today’s blog, check out N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season.  It is an incredible book.  If you’re one of those people who “reads for story” and yet somehow doesn’t end up with a lot of women writers on your list…you’re missing out on this one.  It should go down as containing one of the best plot twists of all time, in my opinion.

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