By Bill Anderson
I HAVE been off the Olive Press radar for a little while, and was reprimanded by the editor Jon Clarke when he came on my radio show recently.
I have no excuse other than the pressure of work. I still have my day to day stuff which these days often is summed up by answering questions online in one form or another.
This has led to me struggling with criticism. Don’t get me wrong, not that I can’t take criticism, but with criticism as a concept, as a driving force, or as a way of life.
Social Media, well, what can I say? It is a cesspit of criticism. Someone spells a word wrong, and the spelling police jump from behind a bin. Someone writes a ‘must of’ instead of a ‘must have’ and the grammar police are there with their truncheons.
Criticism is the ultimate tool of the impotent. The Spanish political world is driven by criticism. PP criticise PSOE, PSOE criticise PP: and Cuidadanos? Well, it depends on which side of the fence they are sitting on any particular day.
A number of years ago, I naively tried to make a point that you cannot develop a strategy based on criticism. I got told off by one of the ‘heavyweights’ in the party that I didn’t know what I was talking about. “We have to criticise,” he said, figuratively banging his hand on the table.
To my mind, criticism is an attempt at mind control. Not only are we pointing out the perceived errors of others, but we are telling our readers/listeners what they should think about it.
I would rather present the facts and let the readers make their own mind up. In a recent social media post, someone commented on a rather hideous statue that was erected in Mijas Pueblo.
I merely made the comment that it cost us €80,000 and that was enough. The readers took it from there. It is arrogant to think that we have to tell the readers what to think about it.
I have tried to follow the advice of Marcus Tullius Cicero, who said: “I criticise by creation, not by finding fault.” By doing a job well, you are not exempt from criticism, but that very example highlights the failures of others without you having to say anything.
Yes, I’m sure you have spotted it. This very article is a criticism of criticism. Well, nobody’s perfect.
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