Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The work of the critic is easy

There’s this great monologue at the end of Disney’s RatatouilleAnton Ego, the food critic, thinks about criticism:

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 probably 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. The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends…. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.

Ego is right, it really is easy to criticize and I fall to that temptation far too often.  I’m guilty of criticizing directly, discreet and most often through my “suggestions” for improvement. 

The work of the critic is easy…  the new needs friends.

Those are good thoughts as I continue into this week.