Why A Poor Critic May Be A Poor Critic


Money makes the world go round, it makes the film reel wind, it turns the pages.  That sounds cold and capitalistic.  I don’t like the implications but I think it’s true.

We’re familiar with the terms highbrow and lowbrow both of which evolved from phrenological descriptors, the first being the more refined, and the second being intellectually inferior, the caveman.

I don’t find that very helpful.  While that is an analysis of genetically enabled mental acuity and is attached to older ideas of class structure, I believe the poor are no less intelligent than are the wealthy.

If the poor are lesser critics, the problem is more to do with resources.  I write this because I have realized something about myself.  I tend to come away from nearly every movie or book with a favorable impression.  I have often wondered why, when I look up to see what the real critics think, my opinion is so routinely different than theirs.  I believe there are some objective measure on which criticism is founded and that not all evaluation or review is strictly opinion, although opinion has to be metered out.

I go to the movies once monthly and sometimes less often.  When I go I have a certain experience in mind.  This is why I purposefully choose films I believe I will enjoy.  While that is not limited to particular categories of film, I do tend to tread certain waters more than others.  I cannot afford to spend the time, the money, and the experience only to come away disappointed.  So, if I am, in fact, not entirely enthusiastic I will find a away to feel good about it.  I will dig for it.  Otherwise, I would be too annoyed to bear it.  Too feel cheated would just be too much.

As I say this, I understand that this phenomenon effects other people differently.  I’ve known of people who hardly appreciate anything.  Why?  Because for one, they don’t want to feel like they are missing out.  It’s easier to dismiss.  When they go to the movies, they go with similar motives to my own:  to locate the experience worth their money.  However, they have felt burned more often and as a result, they are more tuned into that disappointment.  Therefore, they will adamantly voice their rejection of whichever movie they feel to have ripped them off.

On the contrary, there really is such a thing as having more money than sense.  There are people, (some college students, financiers, etc.) in the world who don’t think about or don’t have to think about where their money goes.  They walk out on a movie with greater ease but are less inclined to rant about it later and if they do it’s more as pastime than emotional release.  They reject a movie because it bores them.  It’s harder to keep the attention of someone who has seen everything.  It befits the meaning of passe.

So, the rich aren’t always the best critics either.

Yes, these are generalizations but that just means they are true most of the time.

Being aware of my own critical weakness, I can become stronger.  This is why we need the real critics, to weigh our reflections against theirs and to more objectively understand our subjective inferences.

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