January 31st, 2022
Nobody likes to think about it, but at least once a day, someone criticizes you.
For every book you adore, film you love, television show you’re obsessed with, work of art that inspires you, there are people out there who will tell you why it is bad.
Cynicism, though, is a fad. And, like all trends, it is cyclical, but only because it has never been worth remembering.
Here’s what I mean by that: there has always been optimistic art, and so much of that art becomes classic. But, for every positive work, there have been examples of negative critics, and then waves of artists who become reactive, reductive, or both.
Years pass. And time after time after time, the work is remembered — and the criticism is not.
That’s not entirely true, of course. You can look up the response to pretty much any work of art — any piece of music or play or essay or film or book.
But for every work you would assume had universal praise upon its release, you’ll find folks who wanted to make their mark by trying to tear it down. And the forward passage of time tends to wash those footprints in the sand away, while the art transcends and becomes the rain itself.
So what does that mean now?
The trolls on the internet — the people who complain and insult and lend absolutely nothing to culture and add nothing to the positive nature of this world — will amount to nothing.
They will not become anything.
They won’t be everlasting.
And the best part is, with the accelerating speed of our times, they’ll be left behind faster and faster.
But the things we love, the art we cherish? It is even more accessible now. It’s easier to keep. It’s easier to defend. It’s easier to share.
And it is more likely to live to as close to forever as we are.