Hi! I’m Dave from boyinaband.com and today I’m going to talk about something I see looooads in the comments of musical videos on YouTube. The “Yeah? Well you can’t do it so shut up!” argument.
You know, you’ll find a performance where some weird looking guy is playing away on his MPC and then you’ll see someone post a comment criticising it, saying “That sounds crap, and looks really easy to play, that’s not impressive at all, try harder you gay piece of gay.”
Then someone replies saying “Yeah? Well until you can make a video of yourself performing a better song, your opinion doesn’t matter!”
I know a lot of people have good intentions saying this, often trying to defend the artist from people who think the word “tact” is the past tense of pinning something to a board, but this is a flawed argument.
Let me explain why with a little thought experiment.
So we have two dudes who go to a restaurant. They are celebrating the fact that one of them just reached 90,000 subscribers on YouTube, but that’s irrelevant.
What matters is they order order the special – which this week happens to be vegetable sweet and sour, which is fortunate because dude #2 is a vegetarian and it’s frickin’ awkward to find something for him to eat whenever you go out anywhere not that it frustrates me or anything.
So after we eat the pre-meal bread and the waitress gets the crumbs off the table with the crumb sweeping utensil, we’re all ready to eat our delicious sweet and sour. It arrives and we tuck in and… bleugh. It’s horrible.
Dude #2 gets really angry and starts to complain loudly, saying I DEMAND TO SEE THE CHEF, THIS SWEET AND SOUR IS TOO SWEET AND NOT SOUR ENOUGH AND DOES NOT CONFORM TO MY EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT A SWEET AND SOUR SHOULD BE.
Dude #1 adds that for some reason there’s loads of hair in his meal.
The Chef [quistis with a chef’s hat] then comes out and replies OMGz YOU AREN’T CHEFS YOU CAN’T KNOW WHAT TASTES GOOD, COME BACK WHEN YOU HAVE A RESTAURANT AND THEN MAYBE YOU CAN HAVE AN OPINION.
Regardless of how unnecessarily loudly and offensively dude #2 gets his point across, the Chef is still making a counter-argument that doesn’t make sense.
People know to some extent what they enjoy, even if they have never created it themselves. They know what movies they like even when they haven’t directed one, what pictures look good to them regardless of whether they can draw, and what music they like despite not knowing their Bass from their Bass. [fish from a subwoofer]
Now I’m not saying that everyone’s criticisms are equal – people who have experience with creating and performing music will probably be more knowledgeable with popular opinion on the subject and as such be able to offer more useful suggestions for improvement, for instance.
And I’m not saying you shouldn’t respond to these people; I know from first hand that it’s awesome when someone sticks up for you online, I just suggest that if someone writes a hateful, critical comment, then you reply addressing what they said rather than saying they aren’t entitled to an opinion.
Everyone is entitled to criticise things they don’t like; they only become idiots when they do it in an obnoxious, non-constructive way with no knowledge of the functionality of this [the caps lock key.]
So those are my thoughts, what do you think? Should non-musicians opinions be taken into account when judging music? Share your opinions in the comments. Unless they shouldn’t be taken into account.
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Cheers for watching and have a nice day!