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A friend sent me an article a couple weeks ago, and it’s been twitching under my skin ever since.
In the piece, the author was making an argument for watching and consuming fun and light content. Their argument was that not everything had to be a work of high craft.
Now, I’ve spoken before about my glee in the resurgence of people’s interest in “craft” and quality, especially when it comes to their media and content. Not just because I don’t have to explain as much that I don’t run a business centered around decoupage and knitting.
So it took me a while to figure out what my issue with the article was, as I’m obviously someone who believes in the importance of craft.
There’s an old phrase, furthest attributed to an English humorist Thomas Hood in the 1820’s, that “the easiest reading is damn hard writing.” Mr. Hood, you hit the nail right on the head, and that observation is even more important.
I’m always perplexed by this elite and rather ridiculous concept that for content and media to be high-quality and crafted, that it has to be obtuse. So outside our grasp and understanding that we have to work to understand and appreciate it. Slogging through any 1000+ page tome of literary drudgery will turn even the most curious reader off.
Maybe it is my affinity for reading “trashy” chick lit as often as I can? Maybe it is my binge-watching tendency on cult television darlings like Community and Arrested Development? (Season 5 coming soon on Netflix…after a Season 4 re-edit that makes it SO MUCH BETTER!) Maybe it is my guilty pleasure movie secret, which is that Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and Midnight in Paris are the only movies I have ever downloaded to every laptop I have traveled with?
The twitching, the itching, the uncomfortable feeling that I had with the article lies in the fact that someone would perceive work that isn’t critically acclaimed and lauded to not be crafted by its creators.
It’s easy to create content and media that only you understand. But to craft something that appeals to people, that resonates with them, that persuades them to become fans who eagerly anticipate your new releases…that’s quality. That’s talent. That’s devotion.
To have someone write that it isn’t, about how you shouldn’t feel bad for consuming things that aren’t “crafted”, well…that’s someone who doesn’t understand and appreciate the craft that goes into creating something great. Even when it’s “not.”