Critic Ripping Critic: A Dream Come True | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Critic Ripping Critic: A Dream Come True


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Dear Reader,

To read the letter from Jae-Ha Kim to Bill Wyman [May 12] was like a dream come true: critic ripping critic to shreds! As a musician who has occasionally had the misfortune of reading unfavorable reviews about my own work, I can attest to the sinking feeling of helplessness that occurs when a critic takes months or years of your creative energy, and, on an impulsive whim, publicly bludgeons it in print through a few "clever" paragraphs. (Jae-Ha Kim did a "favorable" article on my band once: but it included numerous factual errors, embellished quotes, and several direct quotes that were complete fabrications.) Any musician who read (in J.H.K.'s letter) the dimwitted bickering about samples had to be disgusted by the lack of understanding both writers publicly exhibit about the topic. Try sampling something just once, you dorks, will you please?

I find that most critical reviews read like narcissistic, shameless pontificating by ordinary listeners who have somehow convinced themselves that their personal opinions are miraculous revelations. I often wonder about the critic as I read a surly review or article: Are their shoes too tight? Are they constipated? Do they need to get laid? Do they actually enjoy music? Do they actually enjoy life? Do they ever fear for their personal safety after lambasting someone?

Hopefully the public will realize someday that, for the most part, critics are self-serving, and a destructive force in respect to the arts. They are leeches who suck off the creative talents of others to make a buck. I've always wanted to see someone critique rock critics to point out to the public just how terrible most of their writing actually is. It was thrilling to see these two goofs turn on each other like cats. Jae-Ha and Bill, I hope you continue your brawl until you destroy each other. Maybe you should think about doing something creative with your own talents (assuming you might actually have self-generated ideas), stand on your own feet, and discontinue the ignoble profession of making a living by using and abusing artists.

Elessar V.

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