The good thing about writing music reviews is that they attract more comments than most of my posts here. The downside to it is that the new commenters are largely assholes, especially if what you write is not 100% positive. I understand that people care about their favourite music a lot; I do the same. But if you are getting your knickers in a twist over me saying something negative about your bestest most favouritest music ever, keep it to yourself. Specifically, don’t write me a one-line post telling me I suck. It won’t get approved. It will be your time that is wasted, not mine.
Criticism, on the other hand, is always welcome. How can you tell whether you’re writing criticism or being an asshole? Criticism is usually more than one line, it usually does not attack the person being addressed, and it takes issue with specific points in the review under consideration. For example: “I don’t think Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero did such a bad job mixing Trash; why do you single them out like you did in your review?” is criticism. So is “I found the ideas in your review poorly organised and think you might want to write shorter reviews”, for that matter (I will ignore that because I want to work on how I organise my ideas by writing longer reviews, but it the thought was on my own mind. What I got in my comment box today: “Reinder, you know absolutely nothing about music.” from someone with an e-mail adress at “alicerocks.com” (a site that apparently does not exist), is being an asshole. To the complete stranger who wrote that, I’m sorry a negative review on your Google alert spoiled your morning. If you want to whine about it, YouTube will let just about anybody comment. Here, we have standards.