Blog: Criticism vs. Trolling

hater

by Ken B.

The internet is good because everyone gets a voice.

The internet is bad because everyone gets a voice.

Ever since the beginning of writing, people have used it to express their honest, truthful opinion. But let’s say Person A writes an opinion on something, and Person B doesn’t agree with this. However, it’s human nature that Person B will assume Person A is wrong. Why? Person B have lived their entire lives in their own view, and Person A is this nameless, faceless individual who doesn’t agree with them. Therefore, Person A must be an inferior individual.

It’s all too easy to type something up online, and when you look at some of these awfully personal vulgar attacks, written by borderline illiterates, it becomes painfully obvious. The worst part is, they’re called reviews and criticism.

This degrades the name of criticism. This degrades the name of real critics… or anyone that tries to honestly express their opinion. They are grouped into these angry people.

Sure, I may withhold the opinion that Adam Sandler is annoying, but if I review a Adam Sandler movie, I’m going to try not to spend all 500 words bashing Adam Sandler, Adam Sandler’s parents, Adam Sandler’s agent, and Adam Sandler’s housekeeper. Sadly, people who call themselves legitimate critics will do this. I have the unproven hypothesis that they’re taking this out on the world, perhaps due to some kind of personal inferiority.

I look at some of my early negative reviews – and I think they’re veering dangerously close to such attacks. I will apologize for the comment I made in the Facing the Giants review:

Really though, you get me? OUR LEAD CAN’T ACT! He’s on screen for nearly ninety percent of the film. There was an effort seen from him, there was an effort seen from everyone, but this effort seemed blatantly nightmarish and sad.

(Let me clarify – I apologize, but I certainly won’t remove the passage. It’s part of the original review.)

These don’t stop at movie reviews – there are those celebrity gossip websites where all they do is spending the day tearing down people, being mean for the sake of being mean. (At least they go onto the effort of stalking them all day.)

I’m not going to specifically reference these sites, simply because that would make me no better than these people.

OK, Quick Q&A session on trolls disguised as critics —

Q. How can this stop?

A. It can’t.

Q. How can filmmakers feel better about themselves?

A. Just know that well-intentioned reviewers won’t directly insult filmmakers, in fact, they probably won’t ask them to directly stop making movies. And don’t even think about Rex Reed.

Q. How can you, the reader and the internet consumer, figure out how to tell if a reviewer is legitimate?

A. If they review the movie, not the people.

But the fault is not completely with the “reviewers” (although they are part of the problem). In 2006, Uwe Boll (a universally panned director) challenged the critics of his movies to a boxing match. He called himself “Raging Boll” (ha, ha). I’d like to ask Boll a couple of questions about this.

What on earth does boxing have to do with movie reviews?

Why do you read reviews on what you know will be negative? Are you some kind of masochist?

Why do you give weight to people’s words? My reviews have no point unless you give it to them. If someone trusts my opinion, they give it weight.

It’s interesting to think that… wait, what’s that? What’s that at the door? Whoa! Is that Uwe Boll? Please, I can explain… oh! Ah! Stop! Ah! Augh!

uweboll_ragingboll

Uwe Boll: Fighting Critics Who Are Weaker Than Him since 2006. (It is said that he actually refused to fight one because the critic was stronger)

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