Friday, January 25, 2008

And a message to my critics

Okay, so anyone who has seen Blowing Whistles knows that Terry Byrne's review in the Globe was a vengeful hatchet job. (There's a far better review from Brian Jewell in Bay Windows now, if you want a more balanced assessment of the production.)

And I want to say that I understand how Terry Byrne feels. After all, I've been pointing out her deficiencies as a reviewer for months; what she did was only human nature. And her willful inaccuracy didn't violate the pseudo-ethics of her profession: after all, reviewing is entirely subjective, isn't it? (It's not, of course, not really; but never mind.)

But in another way, her actions were clearly misguided. Think about it for a minute: the obvious inference from her review is that she was trying to injure me. But how injured could I ever be by the insults of someone I don't respect? Not very. Byrne's project is pretty hopeless in that regard; she can keep throwing punches, but they're never going to land.

But of course she did injure someone - David Miller, the guy financing the production. She swung for me, but hit Miller instead, in the wallet (and I can't imagine she doesn't know that much of Zeitgeist's work is financed by Miller). And I also don't think many of us would have to write the Ethicist to understand what's wrong with that action. If you want to hit Peter, you don't punch Paul.

Now I'm not a colleague of Miller's anymore, so my advice to Terry - and the other critics I've critiqued over the past year or so - is truly offered with only their own best interests in mind. You want to hurt me, right? So save up your arrows for when my own money is on the line. It may happen one day, and then - go crazy! You'll have hit pay dirt that time, and you can all cackle at the Norton Awards over it. But till then - use your heads, will you? And if you can't do that, ask someone else to figure it out for you.

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