A coherent, insightful, intelligent, helpful, honest request to review from the heart
I stepped in dog shit and said, “Bleugh.” Occasionally, I’ll eat something that is off or not tasty and will say, “Bleugh.” Maybe, very infrequently, I might have watched a movie, read a book, or listened to a new tune and said, “Bleugh,” but I would never, ever, ever – Ok you get it, I’d never do it – ever, publicly review someone’s hard work and simply say it was, “Bleugh.” Are you fucking kidding me? How disrespectful. At least have the decency to say something like, I didn’t like this because I was expecting more action, or the acting was poor, or it was too slow.
Where did Bleugh come from anyway? It is the sound one makes when something disgusting happens and the closest sound you can make to mimick vomiting is – yep, you guessed it.
After spending months writing an apocalyptic book called Mr 303, paying over $1000 to get it edited – which in itself took months – then re-editing, re-writing and finally getting it out to beta readers who all came back with various suggestions. Many, many, many months later, the book was completely different to the original version and was finally released on Amazon. I didn’t expect much, because I’d never written a sci-fi book before but I was pleasantly surprised to get a few 5 star reviews. Hell, I was stoked. Then the 1 star came, then another 2 star and I realised, the book didn’t suit everyone. THEN, I happened to be on Goodreads a few days later and discovered that not only had I received a wonderful 5 star review by a happy fan who’d also read Monique, it had also been reviewed and given 1 star by a troll who eloquently went ahead and put all of his intellectual competence into a nice little review. He wrote, “Bleugh.”
Then I discovered that it can also be a good thing. For instance, a Cordon Bleugh Chef is someone who mixes foods that aren’t usually meant to go together. Many of the Cordon Bleugh Chefs make mistakes, like chocolate with fish, custard with fish fingers etc. Some of these could work in certain cultures, perhaps not in the mainstream and would only appeal to those with particular palates.
So I’m going to take the review as a compliment. I’m a master author who has managed to intertwine several things which would not be combined normally. That’s talent and appreciated by those with exquisite tastes. Right? Getting me? How else would you deal with such a horrid review? What else could I possibly take from this that is helpful? Why would someone take a second to write that one word that means so little and so much?
I’ve talked about trolling behaviour here before. This blog isn’t about that, it’s about being respectful and avoiding use of that ugly word because let’s face it, it says more about you than it does about the subject you’re trying to rate. Unless of course you do want to be considered an inanimate, unintelligent troll. Then please, go ahead and completely trash someone’s hard work.
The problem with so many sites online is that they allow anonymous input. That can be a bad and a good thing. If you’re wanting to get some public opinion on whether or not you should let your best mate shove his thing up your ass or not and don’t want to ask it publicly, then fair enough, let’s go with anonymous. But if you’re providing a review on a product, you shouldn’t be allowed to comment anonymously. Where’s the accountability that we have come to expect in real life transactions? Or do we no longer live in the real world of respect and understanding or integrity?
Would you walk up to an author at a book signing and say, “hey, I thought your book was Bleugh?” No? Why not? Because it’s not respectful and it would make you look like an absolute idiot more than it would show the author as incompetent. You’re also not really helping the author to understand what your particular tastes were expecting and if there was anything actually genuinely wrong with the book or you just simply picked up a book expecting it to be romance only to discover that 90% of the world got wiped out in a super-virus and the romance was only a small part of the story. Was the book terrible? Or was your ability to pick the right book for you terible?
Either way, provide a decent, honest, respectful review that helps someone understand what exactly was wrong with the book or what you didn’t like about it.
We have all gone out of our way to do something at one point of our lives that forced us outside of our comfort zones. When you were a kid, you probably jumped on a bike for the first time and before you knew it, you thought you were being super cool when you took your hands off the handle bars and cycled along while screaming, “Look Mum! No hands!” Before crashing into the neighbours bins. Did anyone say Bleugh to you? No? Why not? Because they aren’t fucking trolls. They might have thought you were an idiot asking for trouble. But they were probably more concerned about your well-being than your stupidity. They probably also commended the very fact that you took a risk and did something different – yes, riding without your hands on your bike is so super-original.
Here’s a list of to-do and what not-to-to when leaving a review:
- Provide an honest and respectful opinion that would help the creator of the work and also other potential viewers/readers/listeners
- Provide some details – you don’t have to go into detail – comment about the work’s strengths, weaknesses, what you loved/hated etc.
- Provide the review. You’re not helping someone else by not saying anything at all
- Understand and respect that someone took weeks/months/years creating that work
- Be an ass-hole – you’re helping nobody and you’re showing your true colours. Hopefully your own friends and family will see it
- Say anything you wouldn’t say to that person in real life – don’t be a troll
- Don’t troll, it’s so been done before by too many
- Ignore that work and not review it. Unless you really have absolutely nothing nice to say about it, then say something that helps someone else
There are a gazillion artists out there who create plays, movies, paintings, books, poetry, songs etc. and the most disrespectful thing you could ever do is to say, “Bleugh.” Want some advice on writing a review? Look here.
I’m going to say it, because many others won’t. Artists have feelings. You may not appreciate all of the effort that went into that baby that someone created but you can at least provide useful, intelligent and helpful comments to provide essential feedback. Perhaps you might help the next Stephen King – who incidentally, wrote some very bad work in his earlier days but with the help of some respectful people, he learned from his mistakes and is unarguably one of the greatest writers of our time. Imagine if someone told him, “Bleugh?”.
Cheers for tuning in.
Steam valve closed!