Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That Guy...


I appreciate folks who comment on my videos - I really do. I'm still astonished that anyone watches my stuff at all. There is, however, a class of commenter that manages to get under my skin to the point of making me want to stomp bunnies.

It's not the classic hater. "You suck", "Learn to sing", and "Die in a fire", all entertain me more than the one word platitudes like "Great" or "Awesome" that we've all been guilty of. Inspiring emotion is fine with me - even if it's negative. No, I only judge the haters on the creative effort they put into the insult... the more creative, the more I appreciate it.

The "tabs plz" guys do piss me off a bit, as do the loyalist "that's not how you play that" fanfolk of whatever band I'm covering (the concept of 'interpretation' is lost on these clowns). But even they pale in comparison to my nemesis. The guy I like to think of as "You Could Do Better Guy". These guys post things like "Nice try, but I think your vocal was a little pitchy", or "You know, verse/chorus/verse really should be adhered to when possible", or "as a songwriter for many years, I think you should try to relate more to your audience", and my favorite "That would be an ok song - you might want to try it in F#, that will give it more depth." Yeah. Those are real. All different folks too.

On the surface, they seem to be fine creative criticism. Let me stress - I am NOT against creative and constructive criticism in any way. One of the reasons I post videos is so I can get feedback. I actually dislike the Youtube communities' general lack of real critique. But these guys are special. What pisses me off the most is that these almost seem interesting - but then once you read them you realize they are simply meaningless condescension. Patronizing bull-shit dressed up as music critique.

First off - these nozzles never have a single video posted. Ever. They also tend to favorite the worst kinds of pop drivel of various genres. Secondly, they follow a formulas - I think they have a handbook:

1) Misplaced or inappropriately applied jargon
Calling out my vocals is fair - but the word "pitchy" is a dead giveaway. You are an American Idol watcher, not a critic. Watching Randy Jackson does not make you better at judging.
Things like the "F#" comment above are classic too - Major key is major key Retardo Montalbon, popping off things like "F# gives it depth" only identifies you as a toolbag.

2) Make sure you talk about your credibility
This one kills me. "As a songwriter for years..." or "I'm a professional musician and..." First, they never have anything posted, so they are clearly full of crap. Secondly, this is the internet. Your claimed credentials only go as far as you are actually able to back them up with intelligent and credible discourse on the subject at hand. You claiming something, and then writing words that clearly indicate the opposite actually *hurts* your credibility in our little digital world here. Worry less about making claims and worry more about actually knowing what the fuck you are talking about.

3) When in doubt, condescend
The goal of these guys seems to be to make themselves seem superior. They almost always come in the form of giving some kind of advice, and/or encouraging you to "try harder".
I have news for these knuckleheads - I don't do this for you. I do it for me. Unless you actually care, and preferably have something to offer of real value - don't give me advice. It makes you look even sadder than I suspect you are. You can't possibly get respect on my channel this way. My friends and my ego will eat you and then poop you right back out... or worse; ignore you. We are connoisseurs of condescension.

Again, don't take this the wrong way - I *want* criticism. But I do wish these guys would just stop. To critique, you must first be familiar with the subject at hand. To offer advice, it's customary to actually have some to give. If you don't know what you are talking about, try "I don't like this" or even "you suck". Those are honest and clear and, while not particularly helpful, at least not bullshit.

Ok, enough of my little public service announcement. Hopefully this will help you identify these little balls of suck and file them in the appropriate "go away" bucket rather than wasting any time thinking about them. Back to your regularly scheduled bitches.


Anonymous said...

As a longtime professional blogger, I thought that the tone of this blog was a little pitchy. I think if you just try harder, you'll be capable of writing a really awesome blog.

-your favorite sneezing panda

RussBuss said...

F#EA! your anger is my food. feed me seymour, feed me!

DeG said...

My rule of thumb for..well life in general... is that if someone feels compelled to tell you how long they have been doing something, or how much experience they have, that is a dead give away that they are an idiot. Their experience should be evident in the quality of their comment or advice. Since they felt they had to tell you first, means they have received a lot of rolled eyes and vacant stares, in response to their drivel in the past.

dktoller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dktoller said...

"I actually dislike the Youtube communities' general lack of real critique".

I agree Grumpy. Somebody (UCB) needs to rant about the deluge of saccarin Pollyanna-esque flattery that accompanies even the most mediocre of vids (mine eg). How the hell am I supposed to improve when the world keeps saying either "Nice" or "You're Awesome".
Anybody want to critique me? Just fire away. It'd actually be appreciated.

Adelle the Great said...

Excellent post. That guy's been commenting on my stuff too. FTG. You barely touched on one of the things I hate the most- the "this isn't how the original sounds" comment. Ya know what *does sound like the original? The original. Why would you even watch a youtube video of a song if you want it to sound exactly like the original?! Go listen to the original!! Okay now I've typed original so many times I don't know if it's a real word anymore.

When I get those one or two worders- "nice" "good job"- I translate it in my head. What they're actually saying is "I watched about 30 seconds of this, and that's all I'm giving it. However, I want the rest of the youtube community to think I'm a nice person, and I also want you to feel obligated to comment on my vids because I commented on yours."

HumbleUker said...

Hi, I'm Pollyanna. I just commented on one of Grumpy's posts a few days ago. Now, I'm nervous that the wrath of the UCB nation will come crashing down upon me.

RussBuss said...

@HumbleUker: there is no wrath of UCB. only coyote pellets.


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