Sunday, November 27, 2011

On Criticism

I found myself, though no fault of my own, watching Strictly and Xfactor last night. It was horrid.

One observation. The panels of judges in both programmes know something about the subject they are critiquing. Why, in both cases, are they so hated if they offer suggestions for improvement? Most of the acts nod in acknowledgement. Why do the audience boo?

When Craig Revel Horwood enjoys a routine but suggests some correction of posture or hand positioning he is booed. When Gary Barlow applauds a singer but points out pitching issues in verse 1 (I like 'pitching issues' for what we would call 'out of tune') the audience goes mad at him.

We seem to want our developing stars to be fully formed and unmentored. Even the babies. How do you learn without comments?

I suppose the good cop bad cop routine and falling-out-judges makes for good tele but I can't help feeling that giving the impression that every piece of advice that is not encouraging is somehow wrong is, well, wrong.

We used to run a summer camp and each day would review the performance of everyone at everything the day before. One sign of growth as a Christian leader was the ability to sit in the meeting and hear feedback on your talk/music/game-leading/cooking. Those who listened and learned were the best; those who got all defensive were in for a life of under-development. It was also good to learn to give feedback, positive and negative.

Criticism is good. Anyway the TV was all too loud for me. Went to bed with quiet music. Getting old.

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