If I am ever appointed Gentle Philosopher King of Earth and/or Global Tyrannical Despot, I might make it a rule that after anyone says or writes a criticism of a creative endeavor of any sort, he or she must conclude that criticism with some variation of “then again, it’s better than any ____ I’ve ever made” (provided that this is true of course).
I know this is an extremely unenlightened view to take of criticism. It just really boils my goat when people so easily hate without creating anything themselves. Making stuff is hard! Making good stuff is even harder. And I wouldn’t want to impose this rule to silence criticism, I would just want to help people (myself included) to check themselves before they get all high and mighty with their snark-downs.
Here is an example/actual film review I might write following this rule:
Last night I watched The Lovely Bones on Netflix. It was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Despite the bad reviews, I went in eager to like it. This quickly proved impossible. The incessant and overly-sentimental throaty voiceover, the unbelievably underdeveloped character relationships, and the unskilled juxtaposition of disingenuous Hollywood cheesiness with genuinely dark subject matter made sure of that. What’s worse, this appears to be an unnecessarily expensive bad movie. Not even admirable performances from the majority of the cast could save this shipwreck-in-a-bottle of a film. In conclusion, although staggeringly bad, The Lovely Bones is better than any film I’ve ever made.
I would probably quickly abandon this rule.