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Subject: Critical thoughts on contest criticism

Written By: agrimorfee on 12/31/10 at 11:06 am

Hi folks. Lately I have noticed in the parody comments with regards to contests that some commentators are noting that they don't like the OS they have listened to.

I would hope that in these situations that the commenator is not factoring whether they actually like an OS Into their overall judgement of a parody. Our contests, after all, are not designed to rate quality of songs, but the quality of writing. Some of the greatest parodies ever written on this site have originated from supremely crappy songs in all genres.

Just a mini-rant which I hope we can have a diplomatic discussion about, if desired.
peace out, happy new year to all.

Subject: Re: Critical thoughts on contest criticism

Written By: WeirdAbbott on 01/01/11 at 8:09 pm

I know that sometimes I put that I don't like the original song, or that I'm a not a big fan of the original artist etc...but I don't let that take effect on my voting for the contests or anything like that. I judge the parodies on the writing themselves and I agree that is what everyone should do.

Subject: Re: Critical thoughts on contest criticism

Written By: K1chyd on 01/02/11 at 3:25 am

My biggest regret over the years I've spent here on Amiright is that I once held against two parodies in SOTM that they were based on Bohemian Rhapsody which has always been a song I dislike and at the time was used so frequently in that contest that it started to really nauseate me. One of those two went on to win the round and I reread/refollowed it, realising how wrong I'd been.

I don't think I've done that injustice more than just that once though, and I hope and think I have a rep as a fair judger of parodies, as a veteran I should be.

Though speaking of contests and being a veteran I'd like to say that my biggest concern is that Amiright has evolved from a site with virtualy no centests at all (I was in the very first one, inspired by American Idol, that Ethan Mayer ran back in 2003 or 2004) to a site where way too many songs are written with the purpose of being entered into a competition. I think that in itself lowers the number of votes and comments on the day the parody is on the front page of Amiright. When I was a noob here a good parody could get 10-15 votes and comments on the first day, because feedback came faster that way, if you had a new parody up yourself you went online to read and comment on others that had one up the same day, hoping they'd do the same for you. Now I fear that first day commentary is down because many of us think along the lines of "that one will be in a/the contest, so I'll catch it later".

And a lot of us, including the noobs, were "winners" that way anyway because a frequent comment used by whose who were veterans back then was "best one today" or along those lines. It totally made my day the first time one of them wrote that for one of my parodies.

That said as a contribution to the discussion you wanna start here.

Moving on to something else.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I'll probably be missing in overall action for at least six months. That has NOTHING to do with my opinions above, it's all due to some personal stuff including the possibility that I might be moving house etc, lotsa personal stuff going on, I've stepped up to the plate and now life is predictably throwing me some curveballs.

I plan to be in the December round of SOTM, there should be room for that and I've been in all year so I'd like to do that one too, but after that you'll probably see no new parody songs from me until my summer vacation, maybe the occational comment now and then, but no more than that. December SOTM will also be the last round of the FUCA Award as run by me and for reasons that do HAVE to do with my opions above I might not return to being in contests at all once I do get back to writing parodies. Though I do know the importance of never saying never... ;-)

Subject: Re: Critical thoughts on contest criticism

Written By: agrimorfee on 01/02/11 at 5:12 pm

K1chyd, nice words of wisdom from you as always.

We all have our personal lives intruding on our art, thats something I have felt quite keenly over the past year and a half. In fact, I would venture that personal issues are the main factor as to why participation on the site is the way it is nowadays. My best to you during your quasi-sabbatical/readjustment.

Subject: Re: Critical thoughts on contest criticism

Written By: scottim50 on 01/05/11 at 3:20 pm

I feel that the "likeability" of the OS should have no bearing at all on judging the parody.
I am just a BIG fan of creativity.
If you are creative, that bypasses politics, religion, AND bathroom humor.
If it's CREATIVE, it's worthy off positive criticism....
Now I'll get off my high horse and tip my cap to ALL my brilliant peers on this wonderful site.
:D :D :D

Subject: Re: Critical thoughts on contest criticism

Written By: MikeJ on 01/06/11 at 11:07 am

But the parody is not a stand-alone work, typically.  The original song is always there, and the writer uses it, plays off it, reacts to it.  A parody cannot be understood well, in most cases, without reference to the original.  More than that, writers are inherently borrowing at least some creative content from the original--tune, if nothing else; meter and rhyme scheme of course; narrative and dramatic structure and technique and even content, very often.  And that is to say nothing of the audience's pre-formed and transferable reaction to songs that may form a well-loved part of their cultural experience.  These things make big contributions, for good or ill, to the emotional and aesthetic effect of the parody work.

To the extent that it is the writer's intent or effect to borrow, benefit, or recreate the aesthetics of the original, it is fair to allow one's opinion of the chosen original to color one's view of the derrivitive work.  An example for me is the recent 'parody,' entitled 'Jigsaw,' of Enigma's 'Sadness' (or 'Sadeness--one sees the title both ways on Youtube....)  The original is a moody 'pop' number that builds implied sexual tension with contrasts between traditional Christian music and images, and a 'Sade' image (stylized as an attractive young man in the video).  Now Sade is just being appropriated here as a sort of 'forbidden sex' symbol.  But for me Sade has other meaning, with a bunch of insane cruelty in the mix.  Sade for me is a figure of revulsion.  I am thus revolted by the original song.  And since the parody author obviously appreciates the original song, and his 'parody' seeks to do nothing but emulate it's aesthetics with 'other' content meaningful to the writer, I am left unable to appreciate the 'parody' as well.

Basically, if the original is dislikable in some way, I think it is fair to say that is a fact that the parody must deal with.  When you choose an original song, you have to take the good with the bad.  If the one may help you, the other may hurt you.  This is not to say bad songs can't make great parodies.  It all depends on what you make of it.

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