Dave Eggers on Criticism

I really loved this rant by Dave Eggers about criticism. He rages against the whole “selling out” idea. I used to worry about artists selling out. Now I’m with Eggers:

Oh how gloriously comforting, to be able to write someone off.

One less thing to think about. Now, how to kill off the rest of our heroes, to better make room for new ones?

The only thing worse than this sort of activity is when people, students and teachers alike, run around college campuses calling each other racists and anti-Semites. It’s born of boredom, lassitude. Too cowardly to address problems of substance where such problems actually are, we claw at those close to us. We point to our neighbor, in the khakis and sweater, and cry foul. It’s ridiculous. We find enemies among our peers because we know them better, and their proximity and familiarity means we don’t have to get off the couch to dismantle them.

Update: Steve wrote a counter-rant against Eggers’ rant. I think he (Steve) is wrong, but it really depends on what you think Eggers meant. (I’ll leave the substance of the disagreement ambiguous for the moment).

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