Critiquing the Critter

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JJWilliamson
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Critiquing the Critter

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:34 pm

Does PG have a policy regarding the critiquing of critique? In my experience it tends to clog up a thread and lead to general discord between members if one person objects. There's a difference between discussion and assumptive negative assertions, I think, and I have no objections to the former. My point is that one person's pov may vary enormously from another's, based upon their own sensibilities and understanding of the presented material. I'd have thought these differences simply provide food for thought, a positive outcome. Any thoughts on the subject would be very welcome.

JJ
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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by David » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:12 pm

Well, the idea is obviously always to play the ball, not the man, but it's often difficult to comment on a poem without reference to some earlier comment. I have no objection to that - in fact I do it a lot myself.

Do you have anything particularly inappropriate in mind, JJ?

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:36 pm

JJWilliamson wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:34 pm
Does PG have a policy regarding the critiquing of critique? In my experience it tends to clog up a thread and lead to general discord between members if one person objects. There's a difference between discussion and assumptive negative assertions, I think, and I have no objections to the former. My point is that one person's pov may vary enormously from another's, based upon their own sensibilities and understanding of the presented material. I'd have thought these differences simply provide food for thought, a positive outcome. Any thoughts on the subject would be very welcome.

JJ
Hi JJ,
I don't critique critique. I enjoy the spectrum of reader opinions on a poem. PG rarely achieves consensus and when it does...we have a featured poem :D

cheers

mac

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:48 pm

Yes, I do myself, and enjoy the discussions. I wondered about individuals making assertions about another person's understanding of a poem, when a genuine point was being made. I've noticed a few emphatic moments where opinions have been questioned/condemned in the critique of others, as if it was the last word. It seems a bit inflammatory and counterproductive to me, that's all.

JJ

PS

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23554

This is just one example of the kind of thing I mean. It's not really a big deal but I did just wonder if there was a general policy. No real prob's. Perry doesn't agree and he's entitled to his opinion. I'll bear it in mind.

J
David wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:12 pm
Well, the idea is obviously always to play the ball, not the man, but it's often difficult to comment on a poem without reference to some earlier comment. I have no objection to that - in fact I do it a lot myself.

Do you have anything particularly inappropriate in mind, JJ?
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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by Mirrorball » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:58 pm

I'm a hopeless critter so I have no objection to my crits being condemned. I'm here to improving my critting, I already know my poems are crap. That said, there's a polite and courteous way of brushing off another's crit and perhaps an additional commandment from Mod would help.

Also, if there has to be a consensus to achieve 'featured' poem status then does that not encourage tactical critting?

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:01 pm

Macavity wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:36 pm
JJWilliamson wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:34 pm
Does PG have a policy regarding the critiquing of critique? In my experience it tends to clog up a thread and lead to general discord between members if one person objects. There's a difference between discussion and assumptive negative assertions, I think, and I have no objections to the former. My point is that one person's pov may vary enormously from another's, based upon their own sensibilities and understanding of the presented material. I'd have thought these differences simply provide food for thought, a positive outcome. Any thoughts on the subject would be very welcome.

JJ
I'm in the same camp, mac.

Hi JJ,
I don't critique critique. I enjoy the spectrum of reader opinions on a poem. ...Yes, I welcome the differences, and actually don't mind discussions, but I'd prefer it to be precise, instead of general dismissive comment.

PG rarely achieves consensus and when it does...we have a featured poem :D ...I find it's good to keep critiques close to hand when revising. I always manage to find a way there, knowing you can't please all of the people all of the time. Takes a bit of time, mind you. :)

JJ

cheers

mac
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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:39 pm

Mirrorball wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:58 pm


Also, if there has to be a consensus to achieve 'featured' poem status then does that not encourage tactical critting?
:) Just joshing MB...the last nomination was in Feb. 2017 :D

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:59 pm

Fair enough, Mirror, but I wouldn't like to see your critique condemned by anyone. It tends to discourage further crit and ruffle a few feathers.

Still, I take your point, and applaud your reasoning.

Best

JJ
Mirrorball wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:58 pm
I'm a hopeless critter so I have no objection to my crits being condemned. I'm here to improving my critting, I already know my poems are crap. That said, there's a polite and courteous way of brushing off another's crit and perhaps an additional commandment from Mod would help.

Also, if there has to be a consensus to achieve 'featured' poem status then does that not encourage tactical critting?
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by ray miller » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:45 pm

Mirrorball wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:58 pm
I'm a hopeless critter so I have no objection to my crits being condemned. I'm here to improving my critting, I already know my poems are crap. That said, there's a polite and courteous way of brushing off another's crit and perhaps an additional commandment from Mod would help.

Also, if there has to be a consensus to achieve 'featured' poem status then does that not encourage tactical critting?

Tactical critting will get you nowhere. I should know. I've tried all-out attack, I've held a high defensive line, I've been over the top, I've been round the back, I've exploited space, I've held on to the ball and took it home so nobody else could play. I've parked the bus and people just wanted to know when the fuck am I gonna get off? Standing in the centre circle with your hands in your pocket is as good as anything.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by Perry » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:33 pm

This is what I said which has gotten JJ so upset. It was addressed to Camus:
For what it's worth, I understand the lines that JJ doesn't seem to understand. I'm saying this because it would be a shame for you to eliminate good lines because some people don't understand them. For example, the quote in which the girl says that you look like her father is very poignant.
I really don't think that I stepped over any lines, and I think that JJ is over-reacting.

However, I will admit that I was over-reacting too. I like Camus' poem so much that I have become a little possessive of it. That being the case, I swooped in to counteract JJ's implication that certain lines (two, actually) don't work. What I should have said (and what I usually say under such circumstances) is something like: "For what it's worth, I think the poem is perfect as it is (with the inclusion of my minor suggestions). I hope you won't cut lines just because other members don't understand them. They are all understandable to me."

However, I think that JJ would have taken offense to that phrasing also, even though his name isn't mentioned.

So, I apologize for stepping on your toes, JJ. But if a new rule is now contrived that comments can't be made about other members' comments, I think that would constitute a step toward censorship.

JJ, I would like to suggest that something else in your life is bothering you, and that my comment hit a nerve that is already sore. Who else in your life is making you feel marginalized? I'm not saying this to be condescending, but this is how the human mind works. The boss doesn't appreciate your work, so the forum member gets a scolding.

Talking about sore nerves, Camus' poem hit a nerve in me, so much so that I shed a few tears over it. I've basically been a good person all my life (more pleasant in person than on the internet), but I have inadvertently hurt a few people, and I can't let go of those instances. We both seem to be in an emotional state.
If I forget to come back to critique your revised poem, don't hesitate to send me a note.

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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:47 pm

I'm sorry to read of your emotional state, Perry, and, believe it or not, I do understand why you feel protective of another's work, kind of. I wasn't actually suggesting the lines should be changed, more that I wasn't fully connecting to the subtleties contained therein. Your comments were none specific, and in that regard seemed presumptive. Historically this kind of objection (my objection) leads to bad blood between members, when it could be easily avoided. I don't mind you disagreeing with me, not one bit, but please allow the writer to respond before jumping the gun and presuming to read my mind and intentions.

Speaking of censorship: If you leap in, to force your understanding and point of view immediately, are you not applying a red-pen of your own? Is this not censorship, when the author hasn't even responded to the critique? Will you now apply this approach everywhere? Are all critiques fair game? Must I sit quietly whilst you cast your pov in all directions? Am I being unreasonable? Possibly. Instead of making oblique references to your understanding, why didn't you explain how you saw it, so as to open up the possibilities for others? As it stands it reads like, "I understand, he doesn't, so don't change a thing". Ok, that might not have been your intent and I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill, and you're right about the over-reaction, given the mildness of the comments, but this is not the first time I've read this kind of general dismissal of other critiques. I think it's a dangerous practice when one member decides what is and isn't worth considering. This thread is not just about one critique or one member, it's about an emerging pattern. If everyone is ok with it then I promise I won't say another word, nor will I go off in a huff.

I can't tell you how many times, over the many years, that I've seen this kind of critiquing lead to the complete ruination of a thread, as the poem always takes a back seat to the squabbling of the critters. It often descends into nonsense and abuse.

So, by all means show how you feel, and please DO fill in the gaps, and please explain how you understand a piece, how it struck you, but let me do the same. If you'd said " I particularly admired the line JJ didn't like, because it spoke to me of...". that would have read like a reasoned response, a considered and alternative pov, one that might have informed and delighted. However, you asked Camus to ignore a critique because of YOUR understanding and my inabilities, and that felt OTT to me. If you'd said "Please, please don't change a thing", I'd have smiled and waited for the reply, eagerly. Anyway, I'm going round in circles so I'll leave it there and wish you well. I don't want to fall out with you and nearly didn't respond for that very reason, so if you are upset by this exchange I genuinely apologise.

Incidentally, I'm not aware of any nerve hitting, and I've had a lot on my plate for an age. This is simply what it seems to be with no underlying motive or influence.

"However, I think that JJ would have taken offense to that phrasing also, even though his name isn't mentioned".

I worry when I see this sort of thing. You're predicting what I might have said and presenting it as if it was a fact. Please don't do that and please allow me to speak for myself.

If I am in error I apologise again for my shortcomings, of which there are many, but please give me some room to move.

Best

JJ
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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by Perry » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:23 pm

I never took your "room to move" away from you. You can say whatever you want. Camus can say whatever he wants. I can say whatever I want. The only issue now is that you are still over-reacting.

Having acknowledged that I could have spoken more carefully, the original issue should be resolved now. Indeed, you were the one who hijacked Camus' thread, not me, which negates most of your points.

This entire issue could have been resolved much more quickly. In Camus' thread, you could have said, "Perry, please don't tell Camus to ignore my comments. That isn't proper." And I would have said, "Sorry. It's just that I love the poem so much that I would hate to see it changed."

Resolved.
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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:43 pm

And so it continues.

JJ
Perry wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:23 pm
I never took your "room to move" away from you. You can say whatever you want. Camus can say whatever he wants. I can say whatever I want. The only issue now is that you are still over-reacting.

Having acknowledged that I could have spoken more carefully, the original issue should be resolved now. Indeed, you were the one who hijacked Camus' thread, not me, which negates most of your points.

This entire issue could have been resolved much more quickly. In Camus' thread, you could have said, "Perry, please don't tell Camus to ignore my comments. That isn't proper." And I would have said, "Sorry. It's just that I love the poem so much that I would hate to see it changed."

Resolved.
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Re: Critiquing the Critter

Post by David » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:10 pm

Let's leave it there, gents - on a note of reconciliation (of sorts). And no-one - I think - is in the wrong.

Onwards and upwards, eh?

David

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