“Is there anything you don’t like?”
This was a question asked to me by a causal reader of this blog. Well, the honest answer is absolutely, of course. Believe me there is plenty out there today that doesn’t move me in any way, shape or form - either in literature, music, art, film, you name it; and when I was a much younger man, I was far more vocal about it than I tend to be these days. So, yes, there are plenty of things out there that I don’t like - can’t stand, in fact. As I got a little older I’ve begun to practice the old adage: “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it at all.” I’ve become more inclined to simply ignore those things that I don’t like. Why waste time and energy on them? What would be the point? After all, I am not an expert on any of these matters. All I do is write about what I think of them, in this case mostly the books I’ve been reading; and I’m sure there will be times where I won’t have such glowing things to say about what I’ve been reading. What I won’t do is a hatchet piece. I don’t really see the point in that. I’ve been a little critical at times but when I started this blog, my main purpose was - aside from promoting my own work - to try to pass on to others the things I found interesting and enjoyable. Even if I read something that I wasn’t particularly fond of, I’ll say so, but there’s always something to pass on to those who may appreciate it more than I did.
Artists by their very nature are often hyper-critical beings. I suppose it comes with the territory. We all look at something at some point and just know we could do a better job. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I haven’t felt that way, especially in my younger days when I was more inclined to get up on the soapbox about it. Nowadays I’m more inclined to just dismiss it, ignore it and not waste precious energy on it. I’ll leave that to the professional critics, of which I am most certainly not. I am just one man with an opinion, a feeling, an “impression” so to speak. I know what I like and what I don’t like and why. Sometimes you may agree with me, other times you will not. That’s only natural - and healthy. So if you’re one to look for hatchet pieces here or if you’re looking for someone to completely tear down another just because he can, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere - and believe me, there is no shortage of that sort of thing all across cyberspace. The internet has allowed all of us with the ability to type and string a few words together the means to say what we wish about all kinds of things. Again, this is good and healthy, particularly in a free society. And a good healthy discussion is also a good thing. I’m not here for that. Again, I’ll leave that up to others to do.
I realize we live in an age where tearing another to pieces is considered entertainment. Just look at your television programs. Just look across the internet at your favorite blogs and websites about books, music, films and art. When I started this thing, I made a conscious effort to try to keep things positive. This doesn’t always mean that everything will be glowing but I refuse to contribute to the noise that, in my view, is a blot on our culture (i.e. so-called “reality shows” - there you have it. I fucking hate those shows. All of them. I don’t watch them). And what I mean by “positive” is that I intend to try to turn people on to things that I come across that they may not have been aware of (although a good deal of what I’ve read here aren’t exactly “obscure” items). Still, for those who may not have heard of them, this is my way of trying to show you that there is something worth checking out.
So yes, there are plenty of things that I dislike - and hate, in fact. I’m just no longer going to waste my time and energy on it, especially when there are better things out there to experience.