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Yes sir, I’d give that comment five stars, too.

The evaluation of art is a really strange thing.  Ratings and numbers cannot possibly explain a person’s understanding and digestion of art, but it is as close as an instant approximation as we can get.  Agnostic of context, ratings are pointless, almost silly.

Ratings are also targeted outside oneself–a social exercise, not a personal one.  They are meant to be consumed by others, and are, again, pointless otherwise.  Sure, the act of rating and explaining why you liked or disliked something may lead to a greater depth of understanding, but that is just the act of focused, critical thinking that can be achieved outside of assessment……. mountain-surprise-in-the-middle-of-the-sentence-well-it’s-really-the-end-oh-well.


The real question is, of course: are people really idiot?  When they troll around in the comments, yes, I’d say they are.  Though their antics consistently provide me with invaluable entertainment.

A logical next question, as an author, is how people will respond to my book.  What will those ratings look like?  Impersonal data has the potential to eviscerate us creative types.  Especially the one star reviews, which are as inevitable as the heat death of the universe.  There’s some funny videos of authors reading one-star reviews of their books, which goes to prove that it happens to everyone.  I hope that in their place I can be as cool-headed as they are.  It is absurd to think that everyone will like my writing, yet I consistently catch myself hoping for that very absurdity.  I know that there’s a certain quote about pleasing all the people all the time, or something… but the soundest logic dies a grisly death to people-pleasers like Zachary Barnes.

It makes sense to stick to your guns, knowing that not everyone will enjoy my art.  But that’s hard to stomach given the amount of time I put into writing.  It’s hard to divorce critique of art from critique of creator, but hating a book isn’t the same as hating the author.

In conclusion, I don’t know.  There’s a lot of crazy stuff out there to think about.  Big thinks.  So attempt to please people while sticking to your guns.  Care about the readership, but don’t care too much.  Create your own art, but understand that your creation is not in a vacuum.  And brush your teeth.  Fin.

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Don’t steal my words.  They’re mine. Zachary Barnes 2015©

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