If you can’t say something good…


I think there should be a padded room with locked doors somewhere for critics. It seems the only thing left to do when one has no talent is criticize.

A good case in point is the recent viral video of Rebecca Black singing “Friday.” YouTube stats say that, as of this writing, the video has been viewed 35,027,848 times.

Whether the music is your cup of tea or not, that the video is far more than a back yard recording of little kids splashing each other in the swimming pool goes without saying, and I’d dare say it’s above and beyond the production of a typical 8th grader.

Some “critics” slammed the video for the heavy vocal effects, the nonsensical lyrics and the overall fluffy feel. Some even went so far as to say that the girl has no talent, is unattractive and that she should take the video down immediately. Her response was to perform the song acoustically. Yes, she can sing, and she’s far from ugly. Thankfully, she’s a strong enough person to withstand the negative onslaught of ignorance.

Yes, Rebecca Black can sing. And like every other singer out there, there are a few that are better singers - and a whole lot more that are worse. That’s the way it is with any art form. It is subjective. Some will like it, some will hate it, and some won’t care either way. That’s just the way it is.

My own experience behind a microphone is case in point #2. I can’t think of a  more hurtful thing than to hear, “What the hell is she doing to that song!” or “Man, that sucked!” or “Play something you know!” The blow to the confidence is astronomical, and it could be fatal to a budding talent. All I have to say in reply to such ignorant crap is, “If you can do better, then do so – or shut up.”

What if Rebecca wasn’t strong? What if she read all those cruel comments about her fun video and decided to kill herself?  What harm has her video done? Oh right: Nothing. Not a thing. So, what’s the point of all the negative, hurtful comments?

Once again, I find myself embarrassed to be a member of the human race.

I remember a story a wise teacher once told, and I’ll paraphrase: An elderly lady asked him what he thought about her new hat. It was a big hat, all feathers, flowers and outrageous looking, but you could see the old woman was fond of the hat. Not wanting to hurt her feelings – and not wanting to lie either – the teacher told her, “It is such a beautiful color!”

If you can’t say something good, then don’t say anything at all. Just shut up.
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