Consumer Obligation

“Is this worthy of your time and money, of your attention?”

This is a kind of artistic criticism  – or review, in the parlance of the internet – that one can seek. It is valuable: both time and money are limited resources.

But the answer is different for each reader, for each viewer, because different people look for different things.

Are you looking for self-knowledge? Are you looking for leisure? Are you looking for status? Are you looking for challenge? Are you looking for intellectual stimulation? Or validation of your beliefs?

The critic can not read the thoughts of his audience. The validation of one person’s beliefs is another person’s intellectual stimulation. Therefore, the duty of the good critic is to expose what the work does, and what it does not.

The consumer’s obligation is to know what he is looking for. Not what work he seeks, but what he seeks from the work.