All through my life I’ve had one set mindset regarding reviews: Stupid. And then I started reading them. These past few years I’ve been hearing myself say things like: “Well, The New Yorker really hated that. ” (In fairness they hate most things that actually gross over two dollars in the opening weekend.) OR “I want to pick up this book I saw reviewed in Newsweek.” And then I started writing them.
Up to a few seconds ago I was pretty ambivalent about them. It seemed ridiculous (You know what’s ridiculous? The spelling of ridiculous.) that one person should tell me whether or not to watch a movie or buy a shirt based off of their own opinions. I mean, watching that eighty-something year old review Barnyard was just painful, although in the end I did agree with him (a quick note: I am almost completely positive that I watched this and did not enjoy it but in full disclosure I might have just seen the preview, my memories are fuzzy). And then the idea that someone should be basing their opinions off of my crappy blog post just frightened me (not that anyone is really reading this blog but you catch my drift.)
Recently I started justifying my avid reading of reviews in two ways:
- There is just way too many books, cds, pairs of underwear, movies, etc. coming out that trying to read/listen to/wear/watch them all is damnedly overwhelming and finding a reviewer who you tend to agree can help to keep you from reading/listening to/wearing/watching crap.
- Every once in a while they just shred it (The New Yorker‘s review of Bush’s new book) and that is just terrific good fun. Like a tiger mauling a bunny.
However there was always a part of my brain where I still felt icky about reviews until a few minutes ago when I read this strip from Questionable Content. My mind feels at peace now.
I’m not writing any more about this strip because I have no idea what the copyright laws are and although I would probably meet the strip’s creator if he sued me over it (something I really want to do- the meeting not the being sued) I really, really, really don’t want to be brought to court.