Sunday, February 8, 2015

Being nice really isn't very interesting.

Let my apologize for today's blog from the outset. I'm going to try to write about something without writing about it, and whether or not this proves to be a worthwhile exercise . . . well, I'll let you decide.

You know what I love about Sherlock Holmes products produced by corporations for the commercial marketplace?

When they're crap, you don't have to hold back. Somebody got paid to produce whatever it was for the public, and with that job comes the expectation that one can handle public criticism. As a member of the public, therefore, I feel like I can freely criticize said commercial work a bit more -- whoever paid them for the job will judge their work on its own merits and either pay them for more, or not. It's the marketplace. You produce stuff worth buying or nobody buys it, and that's how it works.

But when you get to fan productions, things produced entirely for love, because the person doing whatever it was just couldn't help themselves . . . well, that's another story. We love people who love Sherlock Holmes, and if their talents don't quite live up to their enthusiasm? You still have to give them points for trying. And being really critical of a gift given out of love seems just mean.

Well, I finally looked up something I had been hearing about this morning. It might have been a podcast, or it might have not been. It might have been an e-book, or this entire sentence might be a red herring. And it might have had something to do with Sherlock Holmes, or it might not have, depending upon a certain point of view. And . . . oh . . . I'm just sorry.

As the digital age has brought us new mediums for creativity, we've gotten to see art forms taking their first steps, learning to walk, as it were. And we've see the common mistakes that get made time and again. Some of those mistakes even get built into the format of a particular creation, as the creators apparently don't ever step back and take a look at what's working, or what isn't.

Or maybe, because it's a fan thing, whose primary consumers are friends of the creator, no one has ever sat them down and went, "Sweetie, this just has a few problems you need to work out."

In any case, sometimes you run into something that has had a whole lot of time and energy put into it, which you have to admire, but, oh, my dears, there are some problems here.

And, out of the fear of hurting someone's feelings, I can't even come close to giving an honest opinion. I mean, they're just trying so hard!

Only trying hard should also include some attempt at objective self-criticism or finding someone to give you an honest opinion on occasion. You shouldn't be over two years into something and still come off like you've been doing it for two weeks.

Because you don't want people feeling like they have to be nice. Which this morning, I am.


  1. Brad, we are uncomfortable when you try to be nice. Our world is off center. Things just don't run nice. Stay as you are. Give up nice.

  2. Makes you understand why editors were invented.

    Also, what John said. :-)