Thanks for nothing.
I’m writing a funny memoir about being a lady who never wanted kids - and it’s almost done! It’s based on all of the typical things that people say -whether they are trying to be judgmental or not - to the child-free. I’ve had discussions where people say, “Just don’t talk about it and people will leave you alone” but I haven’t found that to be true. I’d love to start a dialogue here where people can tell me what drives them the most nuts after they say that they are not having kids. None of this will appear in the book - it’s just for me to see that I’m not alone here.
YM fully supports the child-free movement.
Did people actually read GOOD?
A landmark vote last week by the Conservative movement’s rabbinic committee has established rituals for wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples, affirming that same-sex marriages have “the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages.”
Last week’s position paper, which was adopted by a vote of 13-0, with one abstention, outlines two possible marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. The paper’s authors, Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner, were also the authors of a 2006 responsum titled “Homosexuality, Human Dignity and Halakhah,” which declared gays eligible for rabbinic ordination.
“But by and large, the only book reviews that should be trusted are by those who have themselves written books. And the more successful and honored the writer, the less likely that writer is to demolish another writer. Which is further proof that criticism comes from a dark and dank place. What kind of person seeks to bring down another? Doesn’t a normal person, with his own life and goals and work to do, simply let others live? Yes. We all know that to be true.”
Dave Eggers explaining why the enormously successful writers are the only people whose opinions about books are valid or should be trusted.
And he wonders why some of us go to a dark, dank place where just want to throw things.
As I’ve stated before, the internet, in particular as it lets people hide behind cloaks of anonymity to launch attacks, is often little more than a gif’d up, electronic lynch mod. As a matter of principle and emotional survival, I don’t read comments on sites that allow anonymous, unfiltered registration.
However, arts criticism was not invented by the internet and is in all likelihood as old as the arts themselves. Aeschylus and Euripedes wrote their dramas for Athens’ annual theater contest, in which there were winners, and losers.
No one is forcing anyone to perform on a public stage. If you’ve written a book about New Orleans flood survivors that is too precious to bear criticism, they you are perfectly entitled to just make copies to distribute to your family who will tell you nothing but how wonderful you are. No one is forcing anyone to take a book deal or a movie deal and if you turn it down, civilization will go on and your void will be filled.
But if you put something out into the public, it is presumably because you wish to communicate and provoke a response, and you realize not everything is for everyone’s tastes; that not all responses will be simply adoring smiles and pats on the head; that in fact, those positive words are meaningless without some opposition. That if all we hear is praise, the praise has no meaning.
And that, in fact, perhaps not every book is the best book ever written. Perhaps not every book is even your best book, inconvenient as that may be too hear once you’ve climbed to the top of the heap and feel the best thing for everyone would be just to keep the spigot of praise flowing until the end of time without qualification.
Yes, not all criticism is great or insightful - just as not all books or movies are great or insightful. In the short run, it is the loudest that gets the most attention. But eventually, if all you have to say as a critic is “I hate that” you’ll be drowned out in favor of others who have something more insightful to offer…just the same as an author who has nothing more to say than “Awww…yay for us” is not likely to be making too many people’s top tens twenty years from now.
“we infect and inspire each other like a beautiful fucking art snowball”
-some teen in Indiana with a LiveJournal about cutting