Monday, March 20, 2006

Gutless Conservative Visits Art In NL

In the blog business, we refer to this sort of thing as a "drive-by": Comments that add nothing to the conversation and are just bullshit name calling. For whatever reason, this person posted this comment under my review of the Daryl Vocat/Catherine Ross show at Eastern Edge... perhaps thinking that a comment there wouldn't get noticed. How my being a pervert has anything to do with my art writing is beyond me. Although maybe this is supposed to be a joke or something.

Here's the comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if jpohl read this entire "review". You are such a pervert Craig, and to be frank I'm don't think you would know great art if it hit you in the side of the head. Pity the concept behind this blog had such potential.Pity the task was taken up by such an angry boy. Good luck with that grant application.Here's a insightful review of Craig Power's writing: It sucks and he can't!

When I receive comments like this I know I'm doing something right. Thanks Anonymous, this blog was intended for people just like you.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe it's a flaming liberal who is tired of your angry and condescending tone and thinks you have little understanding and appreciation of traditional genre or art in Newfoundland. Who is being closed minded here? Maybe you got a taste of your own medicine. If I were you, I wouldn't bother to continually get into fisticuffs with people who comment (drunken or otherwise), nor would I bother to post about it. It sets the stage for this level of debate. But hey, it's your blog.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, an NDP who got out of the wrong side of bed. Half of my best friends are gay so I was not shocked nor offended by anything in the post. Other than that I'd have to agree with the comments above.If Craig can name one traditional landscape artist whose work he truly enjoys and explain why in a coherent manner, and if he has one original and insightful thought I take it all back. It's true I've come across much better writing (although generally not in art reviews it has to be said), but I was out of line in that regard. Bloggers don't have to be great writers, and anonymity can be a little too intoxicating. Sorry if I got a little too honest in sharing my thoughts.This blog might have worked better if Craig remained anonymous himself. Then he could get away with being as much of an arsehole as he wished.Very few individuals can pull that off.

3:16 PM  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

look anonymous, if you don't like something i've written, address the writing itself. that's what this blog is for. coming on here and just saying my writing sucks and claiming i'm incapable of original thought and calling me an arsehole doesn't refute things i've said about the art i've seen. i love plenty of landscape painters, but i don't really see what that has to do with anything. as i've pointed out to similarly angry commenters, most of what i've written has been positive.

thanks.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gutless? uh... doesn't that undermine your concept behind this blog? How can you attack anyone for being "anonymous and honest" about how they feel about your blog, or is that the one thing that is off limits? Why even bother to go on the defensive? Unless you are into bear baiting and trying emulate Jerry Springer's brand of success. 'fess up, Craig! You come across as pretty angry and resentful when it comes to Newfoundland and art.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I guess I don't take it back, if you are not up to the challenge.

My thoughts were in reference to you many previous comments about tradional media and your off handed remark about landscape art at the end of your review which pretty well summed it up for me. Again, and lets be honest, you have had very little to say that was positive about it or any other tradional genre. I can only assume you have little understanding or appreciation of it.

If I am wrong I would love for you to prove that I am. I would love to hear you have something meanigful to say. I would love for you to give Newfoundland and Newfoundland artists more credit.

4:06 PM  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

gutless because it was just an attack on me personally. not on anything i've written.

the idea for the blog is a frank discussion of ART. not on whether or not i'm an angry, resentful, perverted, close-minded, talentless arsehole. when a discussion of art takes place between you people, i'll chime in.

thanks

4:41 PM  
Anonymous chubby said...

craig don't listen to 'em. youre doing fine.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh but it is a comment on what you've written time and time again in comments and posts. I'm sure denial is easier. All those things shape what you write and determine the things you choose to not understand. For what it's worth the "pervert" comment which needs to be taken in context was as much a joke as anything. I was making note of what you consider "good" landscape art, while you continue to deride more traditional work.

Have you made one positive comment about traditional work? No.

Are you angry and resentful in the way you have written about Newfoundland and non conceptual art forms? Yes.

How does this not determine what and how you write? You've got me stumped.

Are you alienating much of your audience by attacking anyone who disagrees with you? Quite likely. But I hope not, because it was not a bad idea for a blog. And that's as honest as I'm getting for one day. I gave you every chance to change my mind.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Jennifer B. said...

I don't understand these anonymous comments myself -- if they don't like what's being written here, and don't have anything constructive to add, why waste their time? This is getting very "high school". Do these anonymous writers have anything concrete to say about any actual art that is being made here, aside from that it "deserves credit"?

I think this blog is serving its purpose -- when people actually use it for what it was originally intended: critiquing local art.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with this blog is the fact that art is being used by Craig to thinnly veil preconcieved insults about Newfoundland. Debate conservative / traditional all you want but don't be surprised when someone gets insulted or fed up with one sided arguments.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dear Anonymous,
I'm sure nobody would mind if in response to Craig's exhibit reviews you posted your own review in the comments section of the page. To me, that would be more constructive than typing out all the reasons why you don't like his blog.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you hit a nerve here. this Anon person reminds me of roomate i once had. there was a priest that lived in the apartment below us and she would be insulted that he didn't shovel our front steps.
craig hasn't insulted traditional art. He critiques what is here. Because something is traditional in style or reference doesn't mean it's good. I think there is room for more. And what is with these continual conceptual comments? What makes you assume so much about Craig? i gotta go for a coffee right now but i will be back because this person is nuts

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon,
this is not one sided, craig gives his opinions and we can resopond. Did anyone say craig was the say all - end all or whatever you call it? I don't think he ever claimed to be. We all have an opportunity to voice our opinion and i think that is great. P.S though, this is his blog and he talks about what he wants to. For some reason i can't picture him kicking over chairs and then getting on here and telling everybody that they suck. If it was about that then i don't think too many people would respond. too all the people that think this is all about NL bashing, why don't you read some of what is being written. I really don't think that saying a show sucks means that you think the whole province is shitty. what is wrong with having a different opinion? Nobody has said there isn't a ton of bad conceptual art being done have they? Usually reviews are made about current shows and so far people are having mixed feelings about them - that is life. PS craig, i hope you don't avoid getting on here being honest the way you have been so far. i look forward to more of the same, it is always an interesting discussion.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"too all the people that think this is all about NL bashing, why don't you read some of what is being written."

I did.

"Maybe I'm just not Newfie enough"
Newfie is offensive even if there are worse insults out there.


"i just think most art made in NL sucks"
Pretty broad statement for no Newfoundland bashing.

"i find for viewers in NL, sitting down to invest time in a video piece no matter how it's presented is too much to ask of them."
A question of quality blamed on the audience?

"a place like Newfoundland, a place whose history has been fraught with poverty, alcoholism, Catholicism, violence"
Has Newfoundland had more of that than other areas?

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because something is traditional in style or reference doesn't mean it's good"

It doesn't mean it's bad either.

2:25 AM  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

Anonymous: all of the comments that you've quoted above are directly related to art if you read the actual context in which they were written. i've apologised to people about comments i've made here before that were out of line but you certainly haven't proven your "point" to anyone here. have a nice day.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, by publishing anonymously, you forfeit any expectation to be taken seriously. Or, to be engaged in at all for that matter.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey anonymous,
buy publishing anonymously you forfeit the right to be taken seriously? that is funny. i read what is said here and i respond that is what this is about. a discusison. Nobody's trying to prove that they are the bigger person. You are obviously taking this way too seriously. personally i don't care who you are. If nl wasn't such a small place i don't think you would care who we were either.I hope i wasn't out of line by saying it is small. I'm sure you will want to debate that too.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

too offended anonymous,
you think it is nl bashing by craig saying that most art being made in nl sucks. well i haven't said that so am i an NL basher? I just think it but i haven't said it.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bashing would be a verb so you would need to act to be basher. So you weren't but you are now,,,,,,How's that?

6:07 AM  
Anonymous stopping said...

I hope that you post something else soon. This is what happens when you slack off craig. People will find all kinds of ways to sabotage contructive dialouge. This to me is little more than name calling. bytw If you stop critcizing your culture that is the day you give up on it. Without forums like this the language would rot, dialoge connot exhist and we would be exatly where we were before the civil right movement etc. It is crucial to have an open ear, to provoke and challange.

what about freedom of speech... saying it the way you need to.

-Language reclaimation?....... Newfie.... why not? I am a CFA seems almost on par


<"a place like Newfoundland, a place whose history has been fraught with poverty, alcoholism, Catholicism, violence"
Has Newfoundland had more of that than other areas?>

In my experiece, living in Quebec, I would say yes, slightly worse off. I would also say that Qubec had a revolution and has conpletely rejected the church in the last thirty years. (From highest birth rate to top5 lowest in the world's regions in 30 years. U.N. study) Nfld has not been so fortunate and seems to me to still be plagued by the church.

I would like to see more art in Newfoundland that understands it's important cultural position in North America. Unfortunately to few artists from Nfld show interest in "forign" work and that leads, in general, to refer only to Nfld without a larger cultural context. You can see you own culture better once you have left it and returned..... the same is true with art even within the analogy of painting to achive contrast we might need a horizon to appreciate the texture of waves. So the art does suck when it made with cautious regard for all things self referential.

I would like to plug my favorite Nlfd artists now but I'll resist.

Just some thoughs. I hope thay are welcome.

5:48 PM  
Blogger craigfrancis said...

your comments are always welcome, stopping.

and sorry about slacking off. tomorrow, i promise.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopping I like some of your points on Newfoundland Art but it reminded me of something that Bernard Landry said a few years back in regards to Quebecois culture. "Dallas is a great show but I would be a shame if everyone in the world spoke with a Texas accent" (that is quoted from memory so I don't know how accurate it is) While Newfoundland Artists can be a bit inverted with self examination, it would be a shame if the culture lost that all together.

In regards to the word Newfie, the conotations of that word are not positive. I have lived abroad, in several places across Canada, and it has never been used as a postitive description. It is not a word to reclaim because it has never been ours. (Think of the use of Frog in Quebec) How can I take a discussion on anything related to Newfoundland arts seriously when Newfie is being used?
I hope I am not labled as a guttless conservative for for dissagreeing about its usage.

Freedom is a balance of everyones rights, sometimes you just have to consider other views in balance with shock value of certain words. Look at the reactions to the "high school comments above" "Newfie" like "Pervert" sabotages constructive dialouge. I would love to take part in an open minded discussion on Local art where the conservatives and the leftists can all debate.



When did Canada have a civil rights movement?

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would like to agree with some of what "stopping" had to say but have to disagree about the sabotaging of constructive dialogue. You are obviously not happy with some choice of words that have been used. Although i don't agree with the attack on craig i'm glad that they voiced their opinion. it seemed angry and what is wrong with that? they obviously had something they needed to get out of their system. Isn't it great they had a forum to do just that? Please don't tell me that you have figured out the best way to have constructive a dialogue. Please leave some advice in future posts. You critcize the way dialogue is happening and then you talk about freedom of speech. so we can say what we want as long as we choose the right words and the right tone of voice?

1:06 PM  
Anonymous jpohl said...

I've had visitors refer to me as newfie on my blog. I don't think it's as much the word as the spirit in which it is intended. I'm sure other people have different experiences and I have to respect that, but till now I've always taken it as a sign of affection (and a compliment, as I'm only partly Newfoundlaner and technically born a mainlander). While it's true that Newfoundlanders have experienced perhaps more than their fair share of abuse from certain individuals the word "Newfie" does not hold the stigma of rascism for me. Whether or not the sports writer for the Toronto Star could have legally insulted any other group is another matter for debate.

Intention is everything. I might be called a woman and see it as a great compliment, but some stranger might have to nerve refer to me as "Hey you, woman!". These are not the same thing. Perhaps in the effort to be politically correct we have overly complicated language and simplified truth.

It should go without saying, but joking that someone is a pervert is not quite the same thing ...

5:30 PM  

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