Friday, May 26, 2017

Interlude: Criticism, Vulnerability and Care

As these will be the last days of this writing platform, and potentially my last work as a critic, I will allow myself a brief interlude of self-analysis.

I find that criticism is, far from the way it’s often perceived, a position of extreme vulnerability. There is little respect or understanding for the work, a proliferation of poor critical writing, and critical thought in general is fading from the public sphere and media - replaced with commodified clickbait and easy answers based entirely in positivism and rejection of dialectics. “They don’t read what I write: they buy what I write”, as a friend said to me recently. It’s a commonly rolled-out  narrative now: far from building communities that are capable of self-reflection, we are increasingly constructing ones which follow pre-held beliefs and biases, making it difficult for anyone who sees critical thought as an integral part of community-building, and making open conflict between ideologies inevitable. Opinion is the new criticism.