Pete Wells, the Times’ restaurant critic, answers a question about being criticized by people who think food culture is taken too seriously. You know, basically, anti-“foodies” sentiment.
I really love this answer and agree with it strongly. I think a lot of negative reaction to arts criticism comes from this emotional place that boils down to “I feel left out,” or jumping to the conclusion that your own tastes are being marginalized or dismissed. This is very human, and even people who have been critics for years respond this way all the time. But it is what it is, you know?
It is aggravating when you run into people who do not take pleasure seriously, who don’t seem to value it – in its many, many, many forms – as one of the very best things about being alive, and sharing a life with other people. Creative and constructive endeavors of all kinds - whether it’s music, writing, building, crafting, science, visual art, food, dancing, acting, engineering, design, telling jokes – is a huge part of what makes life worth living, and we should take it all seriously, and take our pleasures in it seriously. Because otherwise, what is there? Just horror?