Author Topic: Little Piece I Wrote, Would Really Appreciate A Harsh Critique. Thanks! (1004)  (Read 2419 times)

Offline CAMPBELL

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THE PERFECT WORLD OF A 17-YEAR OLD

Now, to begin, I am going to assume the role of the spokesperson for an entire generation of millions of people across the world, or at least, in my culture. I also realise this means I am wrong. I am also going to be wrong for whole host of other reasons: the ultimate one being my inexperience and ignorance to the world I live in. But hey, I’ve read a Chomsky book and seen a couple youtube videos. What else do I have to learn?

This is, in essence, the expose of my conceit of being the world’s dictator. I just think so much is wrong in the world and I can solve it. Not because I am great - although that helps -, but because I know how to solve it all. Why? You may ask, do the fuck i know what to do. Well, as aforementioned, I’ve read a book on politics - and am a teenage narcissist.

To give you an idea of the person I am, here’s a quick summary; a far-left - but don't yet understand why - pretentious know-it-all who thinks an opinion different to my own is not that but a false statement. I drag myself through the pits of self-deprecating irony (see why I said pretentious) to avoid criticism. Or, at least, to pretend the criticism that I do receive doesn't affect me. I am also an asshole. And I can prove why: it took me four times to get the spelling of ‘narcissist’ right in the preceding paragraph and I still kept in. Because I sounded clever.

Maybe this will be one of the things I implement as Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of the World - sorry, Kim but I like the sound of the name - a ban on trying to sound clever. One of the things that has driven me most mad about the world I’ve lived in, as a man who is 17 and only been slightly politically or worldly aware for, say, a maximum of two years, is the words wasted to lack any substance. It’s fucking everywhere. Of course, the ‘everyone knows what politics is like’ bullshit is clear as the fucking blue sky, but also the entertainment in our world - to be fair, equally as obvious utter shite. Now, there's always going to be a pop song and a Fast & Furious parading through your life like a loud air horn screaming down your ear, or is that just Sia? However, as I sit at my ‘desk’ with my Apple MacBook Air, in a simmering smug of self-righteous hipsterism, I scoff at the poor lyrics and films that coarse down the public’s throat. But they keep selling! They still make money!

Y’know how everyone knows Adam Sandler is a shit, unfunny and lazy ‘comedian’? One of his most recent classics is ‘Pixels’, which made over $70 million and is agreed by most to be awful. And no-one tries to defend the god-awful Fast and Furious, cue a bunch of 12 year-old boys to start screaming their little spunk, car fuelled minds, but that rakes it in ever year. I don't know. Of course, most of this shit, for example, Adam Sandler, lots of pop songs and many other mainstream media catalysts are aimed at children; and are consumed, mostly, by children.

But isnt this as much of an issue? I mean, c’mon, the shit I sometimes hear in these songs is so phenomenally and monumentally awful and shallow and meaningless I wonder what it does to the mind. Now, I am fully aware this is beginning to sound like I am going to ban video games and blame media for gun-violence, as ritual in the U.S., but that is not my point. I mean, firstly, that conceit is quite seriously mental, but my point on this shallow writing in media is that it dumbs the population down. Without ever challenging the child with what they find fun, how can you engage with their deepest abilities and interests. My point is that, with this constant flow of diarrhoea media, we are enabling - in fact, perpetuating - a society of drones who can only look on the surface.

Now, this rant - i mean, book - has finally made a somewhat very unclear point. I will move on, assuring myself that the only reason you, the reader, do not understand my point is because of your inferior intelligence. And not at all to do with my incoherent, tangent galore ‘style’ of writing.

To actually proceed though, my next point is an improvement on education that nicely flows from my last argument. It’s that philosophy should be a mandatory subject in school. I am not sure about high school, I am sure as fuck I would I would have liked it - I mean, c’mon, I am writing a politically spiked, dressed up journal of a troubled teen - but everyone else… Not so sure. However, I am certain about it in primary schools. Philosophy makes you think. Not just about the big issues it can challenge you with directly: does God exist? What is the meaning of life? But also with everyday, with politics, with what your dream is, with how you socialise, with how you perceive the world. It is obvious, I feel, that i am not suggesting that little Timmy should burst into tears because he discovered that it is perfectly possible and reasonable to expect us to be nothing more than Carbon based dust in a meaningless, pitiful existence that will disperse in the blink of the universe. But my argument is this, we need to imbed independent, intelligent and nuanced thought in ‘our children’ that will offer harvests of new ideas in a future we not need fear for. We do this with philosophy. That’s what I think, anyway, told you I think my opinion is fact. Might have forgot to mention i like ramming it down people’s throats. 

Offline lamont cranston

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Was this written for a debate or discussion blog?

Offline Gyppo

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I don't normally write reviews like this, but just occasionally I see something so outstandingly awful I find it impossible to resist.

Well...  Seeing as you asked for a harsh critique.  It's a pile of rubbish.  I see nothing entertaining or even particularly thought provoking about it.  You rely too heavily on the word fuck, or variations thereof, for emphasis.  (I realise there are so-called comedians who make a career from this, but they're rarely funny.

May I quote?  Well, I will anyway.

'You may ask, do the fuck i know what to do.'  I think 'the fuck' needs to be relocated for this sentence to make even marginal sense.

'I scoff at the poor lyrics and films that coarse down the public’s throat.'  In your efforts to be deliberately coarse you overlook the fact you mean course.  Although I day say you will tell me this is a deliberate error.

Enough is enough.  If you want to be taken seriously as a writer then write something we can take seriously, which doesn't mean it can't be funny.

For anyone else who may be surprised this is unlike my usual gentle and hopefully helpful responses, fear not.  I won't make a habit of it ;-)

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Artemis Quark

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I agree, Gyppo. I got as far as "teenage narcissist" and stopped reading. Life is too short for reading rubbish, although it is useful as a learning exercise. CAMPBELL did ask for harsh. There you have it. Good luck, CAMPBELL.

AQ
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 06:18:16 PM by Artemis Quark »

Offline Jack of Hearts

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What some would call 'rubbish,' maybe others would call 'required.'

'Required' because, like in any art, there are steps to take on the journey. This piece is not a piece for audiences, but it is developmental.

Were Jack of Hearts to roll the dice, he might make this prediction: somewhere, about 5 years from now, a competent writer (who once used the handle CAMPBELL on a web forum) will stumble upon an old piece and shake his head at himself.

And so, CAMPBELL, while what you've shared doesn't inspire or entertain any readers... the elements that you are playing with and learning about one day could, if you continue to practice.






J


Offline CAMPBELL

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Thanks for all the replies! Got quite a slating but I was prepared for that.

I would just like to ask Gyppo if there was any element in the text that had some chance of being refined and worked on to create something actually good?

And the misspelling of coarse was a deliberate mistake... Just kidding it was a first draft and I didn't proof-read well enough.

And also, thanks to J for the words of encouragement! Needed a bit of that to not completely destroy me hahaha
Thanks!

Lin

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You write this as if it is up for discussion.  I felt it was rather self indulgent and you, the writer, questioning the readers' knowledge. This is the writer's point of view only.

To quote you

Y’know how everyone knows Adam Sandler is a shit, unfunny and lazy ‘comedian’? One of his most recent classics is ‘Pixels’, which made over $70 million and is agreed by most to be awful. And no-one tries to defend the god-awful Fast and Furious, cue a bunch of 12 year-old boys to start screaming their little spunk, car fuelled minds, but that rakes it in ever year. I don't know. Of course, most of this shit, for example, Adam Sandler, lots of pop songs and many other mainstream media catalysts are aimed at children; and are consumed, mostly, by children.

Well no, I dont know that Adam Sandler is a shit!  I may have other views on him.  Your comment seems a dead cert that everyone will think in your direction.  I find a certain arrogance to the writing. Please dont assume you are a spokesperson for the rest of the world!  OMG!

This could put readers off reading further and I think it already has when I read back to the comments above.

First of all I have to know the background of this piece of text.  The why and the wherefore, before I can really judge what you are aiming at.  I found it hard to understand if this was supposed be a story or the writer's view and why you are writing it.  When you ask for a review, I would like to have more information about the submitted text if this is not an novel etc.    Eg I wrote this piece because... and I wanted feedback on the... I intend to...   If you don't provide this information you will get more negative reviews because the readers don't understand it or you.  I think in this case you need to be more specific and  if you read the blurb on the back of a book it tells you what the story is about.  Without a blurb, there is no story for the reader to gain their interest.  I would like to know more and although I judged this for what it is, I feel there is a more of a reason behind it. Please tell us more and then we can understand you better.

I wish you every success in your writing, but you submitted something that was not fully appreciated in its present form.

Lin  :D
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 05:36:51 AM by Lin Treadgold - Author »

Offline heidi52

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Be careful what you ask for, eh?

You admit this was a rough draft and you didn't proof read it. If you think it has merit, go back and edit it.

Then put it aside for 2 weeks and then edit it again.

Everybody on here wrote dreck the first time out. It's what you do after that counts.

Welcome to the circle.

Offline CAMPBELL

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Thanks for continuing to comment, I really do appreciate it!

To first reply to Heidi52, you are completely right in saying I need to continue refining and editing this piece. And I would like to also specifically thank you for the welcome to the community - I am very excited to continue posting my work, as well as starting to review others' work.

To address Lin, you are very right in pointing out the lack of context I provided and how this will affect the reading of the piece. For any other readers, I wrote this piece as a nonfiction from the perspective of myself. I intended to create a comedic piece in which I described what I think needs to change in our society. In doing this I realised the arrogant nature of anybody doing this, especially myself as a young teen with little experience and understanding of the world. So, I decided to emphasize this aspect to create a more grating, irritating version of myself whilst still trying to make coherent points.
However, I do recognise this may sound as if I am trying to avoid the criticisms of being self-indulgent and arrogant by claiming it to be part of the character. I am not. I still believe this piece could convey my own real arrogance that I may not have realised.

Much appreciated everyone, I am loving this dialogue - it is really helping me. Thanks,
CAMPBELL

Offline Simple Things

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For me, it is almost there. At times your build ups exceed their point, and a few times your sentence structure obstructs the flow, but the angst of a teen or one's first time playing in an adult sandbox, seems there. Is it publishable? Well, it needs a tidying, but that's normal. The audience would have to be willing to listen to a direct opinion from you - this is where you are lacking, you don't use the audience(readers) enough, or at least let them be active in your opinions.

The problem with these rants is that they always tend to go on for twice as long as they need to be, and so, though the writing is 'there/sharp/well done' the points so carefully constructed, get glossed over by waning interest.

Overall I thought the writing was fine as expected from something worked on but not refined. The subject, well, its something I've heard/read so many times before, so nothing was taken from it that would set it apart.

I did like the writing for most parts though.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 09:03:10 AM by Simple Things »

hillwalker3000

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I assume this is meant as an opinion piece. Everyone has an opinion so how can it fail? The problem is, this is your opinion - and you're a nobody the same as most of the rest of us on here - which begs the question why should I care what you think? The only way to answer that is to come up with something astonishingly original and enlightening. Make me go 'Wow - this guy's really got something here.'

Unfortunately you don't. And the truth is I've yet to read a single 'opinion piece' on here that came within a million miles of making me want to continue reading. You have chosen one of the most difficult types of prose to get right. That doesn't mean you shouldn’t continue. There are bloggers who make a meagre living out of writing this kind of stuff. But the reader needs to get comfortable with you first. We need to identify this as a CAMPBELL piece and have an idea what's coming. A wry comment or two. A snide, maybe inappropriate, laugh. A fresh way of looking at the world. You get the idea.

I'm not going to rip this apart. That's already been done. A few points if I may just from a reader's perspective:

Quote
Now, to begin, I am going to assume the role of the spokesperson for an entire generation of millions of people across the world, or at least, in my culture.
I hate the opening. That's because I hate it when the author addresses the reader personally. And why 'Now, to begin'? You're wasting words stating the obvious. Don't tell me what you're going to do - get on and do it.

Quote
I also realise this means I am wrong. I am also going to be wrong for whole host of other reasons: the ultimate one being my inexperience and ignorance to the world I live in.
This is filler. You're almost giving me a reason not to take you seriously right from the off.

Quote
But hey, I’ve read a Chomsky book and seen a couple youtube videos. What else do I have to learn?
This is a little more amusing - but it comes buried under a blanket of dross.

Quote
This is, in essence, the expose of my conceit of being the world’s dictator. I just think so much is wrong in the world and I can solve it. Not because I am great - although that helps -, but because I know how to solve it all. Why? You may ask, do the fuck i know what to do. Well, as aforementioned, I’ve read a book on politics - and am a teenage narcissist.
And now you're repeating yourself and becoming boring. If this was a stand-up routine the audience would be getting restless by now.

Quote
To give you an idea of the person I am, here’s a quick summary; a far-left - but don't yet understand why - pretentious know-it-all who thinks an opinion different to my own is not that but a false statement. I drag myself through the pits of self-deprecating irony (see why I said pretentious) to avoid criticism. Or, at least, to pretend the criticism that I do receive doesn't affect me. I am also an asshole. And I can prove why: it took me four times to get the spelling of ‘narcissist’ right in the preceding paragraph and I still kept in. Because I sounded clever.
None of this is remotely interesting. The audience have left the theatre and are asking for their money back. The reader has skimmed ahead looking for something vaguely worth their time to read before giving up.

Quote
Maybe this will be one of the things I implement as Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of the World - sorry, Kim but I like the sound of the name - a ban on trying to sound clever. One of the things that has driven me most mad about the world I’ve lived in, as a man who is 17 and only been slightly politically or worldly aware for, say, a maximum of two years, is the words wasted to lack any substance. It’s fucking everywhere. Of course, the ‘everyone knows what politics is like’ bullshit is clear as the fucking blue sky, but also the entertainment in our world - to be fair, equally as obvious utter shite. Now, there's always going to be a pop song and a Fast & Furious parading through your life like a loud air horn screaming down your ear, or is that just Sia? However, as I sit at my ‘desk’ with my Apple MacBook Air, in a simmering smug of self-righteous hipsterism, I scoff at the poor lyrics and films that coarse down the public’s throat. But they keep selling! They still make money!
Oh dear. Out of your own mouth - these are 'words wasted (because they) lack any substance' . Sia? Am I supposed to know what he/she/it is? You're trying to show how clever you are but the entire piece has become one huge onanistic orgy. If you don't know the term, look it up. You're not writing this for the reader any more. You're writing it for your own entertainment, getting off on how clever you can be in the vain hope that we'll be as impressed as you are. It's not pretty.

Quote
Y’know how everyone knows Adam Sandler is a shit, unfunny and lazy ‘comedian’?
No I don't - and by trying to act as my personal spokesperson you've now blown it. Condescending material like the rest of this piece (making no attempt to support its generalisations with facts and figures) is fine if you're having a beer at the bar with your drinking buddies. But when you post it on public media and ask for comments on the quality of writing you're taking a huge risk.

Quote
I will move on, assuring myself that the only reason you, the reader, do not understand my point is because of your inferior intelligence.
And you expect us to continue reading?

It comes across as a self-indulgent whinge written by a preppy, snotty-nosed adolescent still finding his way in the world of adults. A great lesson to anyone else in the same position hoping to share their gems of wisdom with the unwashed masses. Don't assume that just because you have an opinion it needs to be shared.

Apart from that it's great. Keep writing - but in future maybe consider who you're writing for before publishing.

H3K

Offline Plain Helvetica

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My main issue is that I don't really understand what you are trying to send up. You position the narrator as a lazily left-wing pretentious hipster who hates shallow media culture. But is the point of this piece to mock popular culture or to mock the people who mock popular culture? I guess that you are doing both, which could work, but is ambitious and not fully delivered here.

I think that you need to consider the overall message . If it is simply that Adam Sandler does well for a terrible comedian and the Fast and the Furious films aren't doing much for society then I suspect the readership of wherever this was published would be on board with these opinions already. The part on teaching philosophy at the end seems like a tenuous segue. Continue the point. Perhaps tell us what you would do about ido about the perceived cultural blight.

Offline Gyppo

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Campbell,

Congratulations on weathering the storm and staying around to discuss this in a civilised manner. 

As you will have seen by now not every reader has the same reaction to a piece of writing.  A useful lesson which we have all learned at some point.  A lot of newcomers post on here only once and then run screaming for the hills, or turn to dramatic invective, when the members don't tell them how wonderful their prose is.  By not doing this you've made a good start, which probably means they'll give you a second chance.

My answer to your question is, from my point of view, try again with something different.  It takes a while to find your own voice, your own subject.  Then as you get older it changes, sometimes quite dramatically.

I'm probably too far away from myself as a seventeen year old to really relate to him now ;-)

I seriously invite you to try again.

Gyppo



My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1