I'm irked, yes, but I also have the hope that all this will cease.

There are a number of things I've come across during my past week as a law student, debator in training, listener, reader, commentator, writer and musician.

:bulletblack: First and foremost, critique. I've noticed that people do take things personally, when in actual fact, they're not supposed to.

Now I've received fair critique and unfair critique - not on DeviantArt, but from May 2010 when I started singing on YouTube. Some people were discrete about their liking ; others stated it out in the open, others were just plain vulgar. Whilst I'm against vulgarity and nastiness, regardless of whether a comment is in the positive or the negative, I'd take it. And I reckon the same happens here : you post something, and you receive feedback for it. I remember it was on one of my earlier covers which was recorded on a phone - I remember that someone called me something which anyone would find rather offensive, and involved a body part - I could've gotten my 102 subscribers to bash him. Or maybe one would've been enough. The one subscriber who responded to him responded honestly because the comment was offensive. He wasn't even sucking up to me, because I know him to be one who tells me if my work is memorable or worth throwing into the trash bin.

And the same applies if we're even thinking of getting a job. I don't have to mention the amount of times people have been ridiculed for taking comments from their employers personally. I believe you and I have seen it all.

If someone can't even accept critique gracefully, no matter how harsh it is, or if he has to get his friends or colleagues to bash the commentator with responses, then I recommend that he should never at all costs write something along the lines of "Critique greatly appreciated !". He should, in the words of my friend, grow a thick(er) skin.

:bulletblack: Ad hominem attacks. Now by my standards, calling someone a douchebag or a dickhead should never be done at all costs. The Malaysian Parliamentary debates are the best examples of such ad hominem attacks - MPs are calling each other pigs and other immature names (I shall stop here, thank you very much). But it doesn't mean that we have to suck up to the other person, cower at his feet and say pleasing words to him all the time. I lament the fact that society's become so obsessed wtih all these highs that we actually forget that at some point in time, we're gonna experience lows. If someone is rude, we tell him. If someone is fouling things up big time, we tell him. Full stop, end of story. The commentator should have the right to express himself if someone else is being rude to him, and the person to whom the comment is addressed should review his remarks and see if he's done any wrong. If he hasn't, that could be taken to the round table. But seriously, no, I'm not gonna apologise through my teeth for making an honest comment about how someone's attitude is showing. Not only is it moral to be honest ; by UK standards, honest comment is also legal as of 1 December 2010 via a ruling by the Supreme Court. So don't even think of suing me (or threatening to do so) if I admonish you for showing me your attitude, because your words will speak for yourselves. The proportionality of comments towards a particular subject is not a question of opinion ; it's a question of fact.

:bulletblack: Quality. A work of great quality will always be upheld, remembered, circulated... you get the point. This explains why Bingham LJ's judgements are often upheld. Very few people dissent because he knows his reasoning, why a certain point of law has to apply, why it cannot work otherwise. Fail to give substance to your work, and you miss the point of your very occupation, no matter how many people say your work is good. Every field needs to have works of quality. EVERY FIELD. The same applies if you're doing illustration, videos, technical sketches or documentaries, or even writing a critique.

On DeviantArt, I'm aware that sometimes it can really lack on my part. I've done potboiler sketches, covers and writings just to keep people occupied. Some of them are concept drawings, but some of them, by artistic standards, just shouldn't be there. But seriously, guys, what are you and I looking for ? Something to pass the time, or something memorable ? I'm sure most people can tell the difference between a potboiler and a masterpiece, and that's the key in commenting. It's gonna be even better if the artist says something in his description. :) All safe. But if someone's gonna pass off a potboiler for a masterpiece, then I'm gonna have to be honest and tell him how memorable it is... or not.

:bulletblack: Opinions are not negligible. It doesn't matter if 100 people tell me that my cover of Tri Martolod is exceptional, for example, and then suddenly out of the blue, one person jumps in and tells me that my pronunciation or accent is wrong, etc., etc., etc. I'm not gonna just dismiss it as some random person's opinion : he has managed to point out what I did not see, and possibly what the other 100 people did not see. Depending on my usual style, I'd see how to incorporate what he has told me, and if I can't, I just can't. Styles are bound to differ, but if that one person is fond of the style I use, there's an aggravated reason to open up my eyes and look, to open my ears and listen. If he isn't fond of my style, I look into it nonetheless because for all I know, he could be more skilled than I am.

:bulletblack: Objectivity. I am not going to comment on the various styles which are available. But there are several rules no matter in which field we stand. For the visual artist, clashing colours are a no-no - they're gonna do harm to the eyes. For the musician, there should be proper use of chords and dynamics, for example. There has to be some degree of adherence to general standards at the very least. I'm not a pure traditionalist, to be honest : I do sketches of chibi figures, which, at a time when art flourished, would not have been considered as something worth looking at. But I do know that I want my colours to be vivid, well-balanced and not clashing with each other, and my lighting well-toned, because it's a general rule that vivid colours do attract people's attention !

For the law student and legal practitioner, objectivity is the key rule when it comes to applying principle, because if everything were subjective and subject to people's opinion, then there'd be no use for upholding the rule of law ! I'm not sure who said this, but in Public Law last year, I came across a quote which read, "Be you ever so high, the law is always above you." And that applies to every person no matter what his opinion thinks.

My heart is broken the more I think about what I have seen and heard. But I've not lost hope that the wrongs will be corrected.


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