In the video above, I posit that:
“There is no sense in which a criticism (whether legitimate or illegitimate) could not also be motivated by jealousy.”
That doesn’t automatically invalidate the criticism, but it gives a potential context for its emergence.
The examples used in the video above pertain mostly to criticism of (and as) entertainment – But let’s look at a few more examples.
Take a mother criticizing her teen daughter for staying out late at night: She is very likely Not motivated by envy/jealousy, and is primarily concerned with her child’s safety and wellbeing. But you Could infer that there is a sense in which that jealousy Could exist – that the mother could be jealous of her daughter’s youth and young abandon, her naive rebellion, and the general “grass is always greener” phenomenon in general.
Even homeless people living on the streets New York could possibly elicit envy from a stockbroker: The lack of responsibility, the anonymity, the perceived laziness and freedom, the “carefree” life (lol) – all of these could be at the center of why a stockbroker would sneer at, chastise, freak out at, or even immolate a homeless person. It’s not likely the conscious motivation that the stockbroker would be cognizant of, and may not lay at the root of the criticism / outburst at all – but it conceivably could be understood as such.
While not a foolproof absolute, I would say the evidence largely supports this assertion (that there is no criticism that could not Also be motivated by jealousy) – i.e: Not every criticism is motivated by jealously, but all criticisms conceivably (or hypothetically) Could be.
Bear in mind, this is not meant to belittle criticism, nor jealousy or envy for that matter. Jealousy / envy are not necessarily bad things, when (like criticism) they are used constructively – in fact, they can often be the impetus for true change.
I don’t mean to discourage people from criticism, nor would I look down on someone for envying or being jealous of someone. Criticism fills a crucial need, and is needed today perhaps more than ever. Instead of discouraging criticism or pointing the finger, I suppose the intention with the idea / the above video is to offer a quick psychological self-check – allowing a lens through which to view criticism, which may allow one to reflect on potential conscious or even subconscious motivations therefore.
Also, when I refer to jealousy or envy, I don’t mean ‘rampant obsession’ or ‘desire for revenge,’ or even necessarily anything conscious – I believe that the mere existence of voluntary/unsolicited criticism means you must view yourself beneath the subject of critique – you thereby attempt to assert the inverse, by tearing down the pedestal that you or others have foisted them upon.
One could say critics are offering alternatives, or presenting “constructive criticism,” (which, for the purposes of this discussion, we can consider somewhat distinct from “regular” criticism) – I would say that this also could still be motivated by envy/jealousy, as they are essentially saying “I know how/what to do, better than the people who do it.”
Now, there actually can be some truth to that otherwise pompous assertion – one of my favorite sayings is “the spectator sees more of the game (than the players),” …but the fact that someone is constantly offering their “much better ideas,” and yet has usually not elevated themselves at all in the field that they are critiquing (look at RedLetterMedia’s shitty movies, Linkara’s comics, the Channel Awesome movies – the latter of which, ngl, I do enjoy – but they come No Where Close to being as well done as the majority of the movies/media that they themselves are constantly ripping apart!), indicates that they are critiquing from the position of a consumer (in their criticism of media), yet desire to be appreciated as a producer (in the creation of their own content). This is something I am guilty of myself – perhaps we all are – so I am in no way separate from or above those whom I critique in this video or elsewhere.
Again, just because all criticism Could be motivated by jealousy, it doesn’t mean any/all of it IS motivated by jealousy – that is essentially for every person to discern for themselves.
The inferences I make about YouTube reviewers (which, in the above video, are paired with [or could be understood as] critiques/criticisms themselves) could be perceived as evidence of My Own envies: Hopefully I’m not jealous of Linkara writing a shitty comic book… or really of anything about his life specifically… but it’s undeniable that the attention and successes he’s achieved would be very welcomed in my own life… Now, I’m sure I would regret them all if I were to somehow be put in his shoes (or even were I to achieve that level of notoriety/infamy in my own way), but still, the point stands that there is a context in which a possible presence of envy/jealousy could exist between myself and Linkara (or anyone whom I would critique).
In fact, this rule goes double for me, and could be said (concerning me) of most the people in the above video (to varying and disparate extents) – namely that, to point all this out, and use the examples I chose, I clearly must have some sense of envy towards critics or content makers…
I’m willing to cede that – so long as it ensures that this assertion is confirmed as 100% right. 😎
So what do you think?
𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚙𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚜 𝚍𝚘 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚐𝚛𝚎𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚊𝚐𝚛𝚎𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚑𝚢?