This train of thought got started from an "open letter" which was linked to by tazira
, An Open Letter to Peter Marks
Now, I don't know if you've noticed, but I actually go to the trouble of trying to write well in this journal. Because I teach writing, I think about it a lot. And although I may not always succeed in my mission, I do try.
I would like to note, therefore, some things that do not
necessarily good writing make.
Swearing and using scatalogical and obscene language does not automatically make you edgy. It means you don't own a thesaurus or an imagination. Seriously, swearing for effect is something 12-year-olds do. I know. I used to work with and discipline them. I'm supposing that if you care about the D.C. theater scene, you're older than that. But I could always be wrong.
Assuming a personal enough relationship with a public figure to call him by his first name does not bring him to your level. If your point is to criticize someone in authority, don't you need to recognize that authority? If the impetus behind your writing is to point out that someone is not doing his job right, don't you need to recognize that he has a job? Calling someone by his or her first name does not help either of those endeavors.
Also, assaulting New York theater does not build up D.C. theater. Rather than complaining about the commercialization of Broadway and the low quality of independent performance artists, perhaps the point would have been better made pointing to the myriad resident theater companies and plethora of plays that the area does have. Why not point out that most productions that end up in New York try out at least once at the Kennedy Center?
Oh, and ad hominem
attacks speculating about someone's failed career ambitions are just bad form. They're also bad arguments.
And frankly, the 12-year-olds I mentioned earlier called better names. They were at least creative in their immaturity. I mean, 'pillhead'? Are you kidding me? And 'bitch' is just so last month. (Not to mention its misogynist leanings, but I'll let the hard-core feminists eat you for lunch there.)
Avoid these pitfalls, and you, yes, you
, can manage to avoid looking like a bitter, discontented "ar-TEEST."