No comments, please.
As I’ve wrote in an earlier post, the Internet has brought many revolutionary options for artists, but equally as many annoyances too. On the very top of my list are definitely nowadays ubiquitous comments. You can find them on the bottom of almost every website, ranging from the global newspapers and their articles written by award-winning journalists discussing hot topics from the world of politics, to the website of your local supermarket. And of course, if you put your own literal, musical, visual and any other work online, you can be pretty sure that someone will always have something to say about it. Personally, I cannot understand this mentality where everyone just must publicly express their own opinion on anything and everyone, regardless of their own competence and background. Not that I’m for censorship of any kind, but this unlimited freedom and enticing the people by the Internet itself to comment for the sake of commenting is frequently just as bad. For a countless times I’ve seen comment wars that have gotten 200% away from the topic itself and that took several times as much of virtual space as the original material. Let’s face it, most of the time people are writing online comments just because they can and out of the sheer boredom. And the fact that they can hide behind a meaningless nick, gives many of them a self-important and rude attitude that can easily grow into hostility and violence.
On the other hand, there is a certain controversy about going along with these modern trends in order to achieve your own goals as an artist. The Internet has brought a potential to everyone doing creative work to present and promote their own work by themselves, especially if they’re yet to receive a deserving recognition from the others. In that respect, one is often desperately hoping to get noticed, especially by the people who can help you out in some concrete way. But in the process, you’re also exposing yourself, your privacy and personality as well as your work literally to everyone, including those whose intentions are not good at all.
So where is the line between this need to show yourself and what you’re doing to the world and the risk of being criticized and bullied just for the sake of it? Especially if you’re withdrawn and private person by nature and don't want to obtrude. Not to forget the fact that the work you’re trying to present is a result of painstaking personal growth and self-sacrifice. There is always a choice: in most cases, you can simply disable comments altogether. This is what I do for the time being although it may well work against me. I’m doing this not because I cannot stand criticism, but because of the banality of commenting itself.
To conclude, I will try to recreate a dialog from the movie “Crimson Tide” starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington. For those who’ve may not seen it yet, Hackman plays the submarine captain and Washington his executive officer. At the beginning of the film, there is a scene where the two are standing on the tower of the sub looking at sunset just before they will submerge for an indeterminate period of time. Hackman first says: “This is my favorite part”. After a few moments of mutual silence, he adds to Washington: “Bravo, Hunter. You’ve knew to shut up and enjoy the view”.