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Arts Vanity: Undying Adulation in the Age of the Internet

By Aziz B. Yakub, Crimson Staff Writer

In this wondrous age of communication into which we have entered, the critic has become as susceptible to criticism as the artist. In light of this expansion of intelligent discussion to the masses, I—your gentle critic—will enter into the rich historical tradition of responding to one’s critics. The following comments, compiled from Reddit, Facebook, and the comment section of The Harvard Crimson, are thematically organized, all in response to my two-star review of “DAMN.”—widely thought of as two stars too few (from my perspective, half a star too low). Some are presented without comment, for their merit stands on their own. Others are presented with editorial comments in brackets. I can only hope that these comments form a historical document—a lesson to anyone stricken with the scourge of independent thought: don’t have it.

On Love:

Tupac Shakur: “wow i fully hate you and your opinions”

On Intelligence:

-OmnipotentPotato-: “I think this guy may just be stupid”

J-Dot-Dot: “This dude is a moron.”

On Insecurity:

fuckwhoyouknow: “Damn how'd this reviewer get into Harvard”

[Sometimes I wonder the same.]

A_CC: “Money”

redlumxof: “Affirmative Action”

On Racial Stereotypes:

oprahsworstnightmare: “there is like a 300% chance this was written by a white dude”

subverted: “The dude is actually black (somali?). lol”

[I occasionally forget how important Kendrick Lamar is to the black community. And, without attempting to rewrite a review but simply to explain myself in a less contentious environment, I have always loved Lamar as an artist. I thought at the time that it was not too much to ask that those beacons of artistic genius in the black community live up to the full realization of their potential each time they rap, sculpt, dance, or write. Perhaps I did not live up to my potential with those critical words. Is it too much to notice the same in another?]

On Premeditation:

poopmailman: “Shut the fuck up hoe, I'll shoot your fucking brains out on your bedroom wall and lick them all up and blend em up with my protein shake BITCH”

[That sounds unsanitary.]

Ooomar: “I'll chipa n**** then throw the blower in his lap”

Jason Mejia: “these hands are free to be caught my guy”

[I’d rather you didn’t do that.]

On Family:

Michael Darer: “damn my guy when i embarrass everyone who's ever known and loved me i try to do it on a less public scale. think of how your parents must feel knowing their child has the worst opinions in history. that's gotta be rough”

The_Mister_Rager: “Delete this nephew”

[Uncle John? Is that you?]

On Critical Liberty and Harvard:

Sharky1289: “This is why we don't let snotty Harvard students critique anything. This dude listened to Hip Hop for a week”

[That is factually false, but I’ll allow it.]

On Gender and Sexuality:

NAS: “Bitch you're a hoe”

Richard Cipian: “Punk ass bitch”

Arno Demeulemeester: “eat a dick bros”

On Happiness:

thirtiethst: “hey aziz, when you read this thread, don't take it personally - we just think you missed the mark. […] don't stop being creative :)”

[Of course I did not take this personally. Of course I did not hide in my room, resentment turned to half-blown depression in the days that followed. Of course I did not realize that I cannot take the criticism that I occasionally give. Of course not—taking it personally would require being a person in your eyes. Of course not, because to you all, I’m nothing more than the institution on my degree and the color of my skin—a name behind an article. Personally? Don’t be daft—on the internet, none of us are people.]

On Standards:

Andres: “Crimson standards are dead.”


—Aziz B. Yakub is the outgoing Television and Blog Exec. He cannot be reached at

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