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Annel Malan

Don't hate the haters

2011-09-27 12:33
I think Steve Hofmeyr still hates me.

A few years ago when I reviewed his album Waarmaker, I wrote: "Steve is a pop rebel without a pause who capitalises on Afrikaner people’s nostalgia". Basically, I said people only bought his album because it reminded them of the 80s and not because it had any musical value.

He hated me for it. He wrote a long tirade on his blog about the 'Poppie van Media24 wat niks weet nie'. 

A year later, I interviewed him at KKNK. Thank goodness he didn’t realise who I was. Otherwise I probably would have ended up with a tea cup on my head.

It’s not easy being a critic.

This morning we wrote about Diane Coetzer who is suing the director of the Parlotones’ Dragonflies & Astronauts production. After reading Diane’s negative review of their show, the director took to his Facebook page. He said he wants to run Coetzer over and will publish her photo in case people want to slap her. He later told Die Burger that his outburst was "a very natural reaction" to her review.

We don’t respect critics in South Africa. Read any movie review on Channel24, in most of the comments people disagree because the critic is an 'idiot'. There are no intellectual contributions or debates about the significance of a piece of art.

Yes, we have a culture where negative reviews are taboo. Maybe it is a hangover of political correctness. Maybe it is because the industry is small and no one wants to offend their friends.

It may not seem natural to us, but maybe there is value in creating a space where an informed critic can share their knowledge by taking a strong stand on a topic. It's kinda like admitting that there's a need for the Randalls and Simon Cowells of the world.

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