Non-constructive criticism

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Non-constructive criticism

The Internet seems to give people a unique opportunity to have a reputation for expertise without having to demonstrate it. They aren’t rigging in front of people, aren’t rigging in clubs, in fact they seem to not do a lot where people can see what they actually are or are not able to do at all. It’s not about people doing their bondage in private. It’s only something I really notice with a certain kind of internet expert.

The kind I’m thinking of are the ones that seek to gain status by critiquing other peoples work.

I’ve seen criticism of Akechi Denki, Nureki Chimuo, Osada Steve, Arisue Go… well the list goes on.

These criticisms, uttered with great authority and certainty really grind on me for several reasons. Not least of which is that they are done with no regard for the context in which or the time when the work was done, with no regard for the development, innovation and creation involved or of the age of the bondage in question.

It’s possible to look at pictures from the past and to say, this is wrong, that is wrong, this should have been done. However the bondage of 30 or 40 years ago was a product of that time and the development and knowledge of that time. To sit now and to look at it with perfect hindsight but without historical context and pick apart ‘selected examples’ isn’t a fair way to view them. The fact is that a great deal can and should be learned from the work of the past.

For someone to try to make their reputation at the expense of those that have made genuine contributions to the advancement, knowledge and progress of rope bondage is not only likewise incomprehensible but also repulsive to me.

In the end the thing that most strikes me is that people wish to build what they are pleased to call their reputation at the expense of those that have made great contributions rather than by making a contribution themselves.

By | 2017-03-17T09:57:17+00:00 July 13th, 2012|Life, Rope|2 Comments

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  1. C. Frown November 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    While I can sympathize with your frustration on the matter, this is the nature of criticism. And, in my opinion, art doesn’t grow without criticism. One doesn’t have to be a great practicioner of an art to be a great critic. Pauline Kael never made a film, but it doesn’t make her criticism less valuable.

    I’m not speaking to the quality of a critic. We remember critics whose work has helped re-define an artist. We, hopefully, forget the critics that bring nothing to the conversation. I’d argue that the examples you gave would fall into the latter category.

    Unfortunately, the only recourse is to allow the audiences of art to decide which critics are worthwhile and which aren’t. Our audiences get the critics they deserve. They also get the artists and instructors they deserve. If they don’t expect better, they won’t get it.

    • wykd November 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      I agree with you completely, some critics are helpful. Some have great insight, serious thoughtful criticism is very valuable. However…

      This post isn’t about that kind of criticism. It is, I think, pretty clearly about people who seek to elevate themselves by tearing down others. This is not in my view Genuine critique and I do not believe that it can be justified as such.

      My issue is not with the nature of criticism, or with those that simply as you put it “…bring nothing to the conversation.” and it is not with the judgement of the audiences of art. It is with those that seek to make their reputations if you like by contrast, by attempting to making themselves look bigger by diminishing others.

      Genuine criticism of the kind you mean is useful, it also I will point out, requires a knowledge of the subject matter. Good critics do not just materialise, they too have to work and develop understanding.

      My post is not by any stretch a blanket rejection of criticism. I have found the criticism of knowledgeable individuals and teachers invaluable in my own development. My frustration is not with criticism. It is with the behaviour of those that wish to make their own name only at the expense of others. The others in this case have been subject to genuine criticism in careers spanning many decades.

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