Realistic Music Careers 101: The Hidden Critic
COLUMN: On any given day you can find that critic who is pushing his or her opinion on craigslist, a forum, some website or anywhere online where he or she can make a loud, brash and often harsh statement. This statement is generally incredibly opinionated, usually rude and brazenly offensive. Funny thing: while the author’s comments are strong, the author is not strong enough to stand behind them. The author hides behind â€œanonymous.â€
From anonymous posts to made up screen names, these people will make any comment about anything they like from the music they hear on a site to a blog, to the look of your site to the look of your album cover. I have heard a lot of people talk about how pissed off they get over anonymous comments or made up screen names. These people respond to these attacks and get into these online back and forth arguments with their invisible and hidden tormentors.
Take it for what it is
In the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jason Lee’s characters has a hilarious monologue where he explains an internet movie review site and how the anonymous reviewers who â€œlive in their parents’ basementsâ€ rip and tear into anything with joy and passion since they can never be found out. It is a high point of the movie for me and really hits the nail on the head when it comes to anonymous postings.
Seriously folks. Do you really want to get bent out of shape over someone who might be making fun of your music, your logo, your band, etc and doesn't have the honor, the maturity or the respect to at least identify him or herself? In the end, it’s a passive-aggressive and sad approach to be so forward and yet not have the guts or â€œpair,â€œ if you will, to sign your own name and identify the source from which the review comes.
I have no problem with critique or criticisms. I get them every week for the blog entries and articles I write. I don't expect everyone to agree with what I write about. Still, it is my opinion and when I give it, I sign my name, give my website, access to my email and am happy to hear other sides, viewpoints and opinions. I welcome disagreements; it is how I learn about sides of the industry or viewpoints I am not familiar with.
As far as when someone sends a comment through a user name that does not have an email or real name, I just let it be. It isn't worth it and I have better things to do.
Don't stoop to their level; grow a thicker skin
Do you really want to respond and argue with every anonymous person that’s out there saying something or making a comment that is harsh to you, your music or something you are doing? Do you want to fight that fight or put your energy elsewhere? I have had negative comments on blogs that I have written and leave them up. I am not trying to make everything look perfect and pretty, nor do I think I have all the answers as a guy or girl that tore in to me a few weeks ago about a blog I posted claimed.
I have opinions and I have ideas. I choose to share them and I confidently and comfortably sign my name to them. When people have added their comments, good and bad, I really respect it when they leave a name with their comments. In my opinion, it shows an honorable and respectable person.
If a person wants to tear into me or anyone and decides to hide themselves, just let it be. Grow a thicker skin. Don't waste time trying to justify yourself, your opinions or where you stand to a person that is too afraid to stand up and identify them self. Its wasted time and energy that you could put to something much more productive and effective, there is no reason to stoop to the level of some one like that. Also, the attacking poster will not hear you no matter what you say. They are correct; you are incorrect. No amount of arguing will change their mind. In fact, arguing is exactly what they want.
Cowards behind keyboards
If someone feels they have to tear into you and does not have the courage to identify them selves, then that shows signs of a coward. Do not worry about it. Do not waste the time responding to it. You will only fuel a fire that is pointless and will inevitably take away energy that could be put to better use elsewhereâ€¦like your art.
This person leaving a derogatory comment with no name is just someone who is afraid and only tough when hidden behind the mask of anonymity. Give it no due and no consideration. Don't start up responses or counter attacks. This person or persons is not starting on the level of maturity or respect, and nothing you could possibly say will change that. For me, the word â€œingrateâ€ comes to mind.
In some cases, when you allow for someone to make some comment and leave it alone, you may find other people will actually come to your defense and start up a fun little run of comments and back and forths. You will come off a lot more professional if you leave it be and let others play with the fool.
Not everyone is going to like you. There even are going to be some people who will hate you. It might not make sense. It might not be rational, but it will happen. Welcome to entertainmentâ€”or, for that matter, any business. Take it in stride, do not get defensive, do not counterattack. Just let it be. See it for what it is and move on. Be the better person and take the critique, the criticism or for that matter the slam and brush it off. It will only get worse and occur more often as you gain any kind of acclaim because, in the end, identified or hiding behind anonymity, everyone is a critic.
Watch out for Loren Weisman's book â€œThe Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Businessâ€ coming soon.