On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I’m not one for “reality” shows, but I succumbed and watched “America’s Got Talent” last night. What I saw shocked me: people booing those on stage. It was bad enough that “American Idol” has perpetuated the acceptability of people cheering for every high note or trill a singer attempts (can’t they just listen to the song and cheer later?), but to see them booing those poor souls who had the sheer guts to get up there and (in many cases) make fools of themselves, just made me feel sick. To quote Kander and Ebb, “Whatever happened to class?”

What does this have to do with writing?

I see a great contrast to this trend in my writing workshops, where we write something, then sit mute while the class discusses it. It has been my experience this past year that my classmates (and I) are unfailingly positive, eager to find the good in my writing. In fact, we almost apologize when we have to make negative comments. I for one appreciate that consideration, and at times even hope for a little more pummeling to help me find what aspects of my writing are lacking. Still, it's nice to see that courtesy can prevail--wish I could say that it does all over, but I see a growing trend toward brutality in the form of honesty. Are people just getting meaner? If so, I am doubly grateful for the students in my classes.

Oh, and I don't think I will watch that TV show again.