I am a humorless killjoy for aesthetic reasons, not because of my knee-jerk political leanings


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Emma wrote:

If you’d rather complain about lack of *insert adjective**insert race/sex/religion/whatever* characters in the media instead of writing your own, you might be a humorless killjoy.

Emma’s post is a perfect follow-up to my recent post about audience apathy.

My post:

https://vultureofcritique.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/there-is-not-a-sufficient-market-to-support-social-criticism-in-the-mass-media/

Emma’s post:

https://emmatheemo.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/politics-make-us-all-into-humorless-killjoys-who-cant-enjoy-a-movie/

Obviously, I could write bad sci-fi, and I could keep working at it until my writing was good enough for people to read.

I am not going to do that. Art-creation exacts a price in emotional well-being. If you court the Muse, you pay with a piece of your soul. (Note that if you limit yourself to criticizing art, it’s much, much easier. Almost anyone can write a thousand words of criticism with zero emotional stress.)

The first step toward sanity is to stop consuming art with no redeeming quality – e.g. Hollywood movies.

The second step is to think twice about art that might have some redeeming qualities, but might give back less than it takes from the audience.

A case in point: 2×2 Shinobuden. It’s harmless, it’s watchable, and I regret that I bothered to spend even 20 minutes on it.

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The third step is to remember that some art really is worthwhile. There are some shows where I can look back and say, “Yes, watching that was the right decision.”

Some worthwhile shows are heroic and inspiring, such as Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Other worthwhile shows are anti-heroic and horrifying, such as Mardock Scramble.

The anti-heroine of Mardock Scramble was not fun to watch. After the first hour, she was the exact opposite of fun to watch. But the emotional unpleasantness of her anti-heroism can be undone by analyzing the exact reasons that make her anti-heroic.

(Incidentally, the idiots who say that if you are not having fun when you watch the show, then you shouldn’t be watching, are both wrong and intellectually dishonest. You should watch a show for intellectual consistency, which usually requires watching the whole thing. Idiots who say that you shouldn’t watch if you don’t enjoy it are just attempting to defuse justifiable criticism of substandard art. If you are going to criticize the hell out of substandard art, you have to watch it, even though you don’t enjoy it.)

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