Everyone’s a critic

I went to my buddy Jeff’s place last night to hang out – Gail and the kids are up north visiting Gail’s dad, so I’m solo this weekend. It was Jeff’s birthday yesterday, so a bunch of us went out for dinner, then went back to Jeff’s place to relax in the hot tub, then catch the Rock game on TV.

While watching the game, I’m not exactly sure how it came up, but someone, either Steve or Lynda, made the point that one shouldn’t criticize something if he or she can’t come up with something better. Kerri mentioned a similar policy at work – if you’re going to complain about something, you must have a better solution. I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Just because you personally cannot do a better job, that does not mean that you cannot criticize something or someone.

If this were true, then there only four people alive who would be “allowed” to criticize George W. Bush in his role as President – former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. And yet millions of people all over the world criticize him every day.

This comes up in the lacrosse message board that I belong to all the time – people criticize the refs, and then someone who maybe refs minor league lacrosse, or knows an NLL ref or something asks “Do you know how hard reffing is? Could you do better?” No, I couldn’t, and that’s totally irrelevant.

A lot of art critics can’t paint to save their lives. Many music critics can’t sing. People who suck at sports criticize athletes with far more talent than they have all the time. I don’t need to be able to replace someone in order to criticize them.


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