On rewarding the assholes
The truth of the matter is, being an asshole isn’t some sort of creative thing, it’s just being an asshole. It’s not part of being driven, it’s not the thing that helps make good art, that’s something people could do without being an asshole. They just fucking don’t. And people don’t do it precisely because there’s a climate around our cultural touchstones where we happily excuse asshole behaviour, applaud asshole behaviour providing it comes attached with some creative work we appreciate. It’s pretty gross and a massive injustice to the hundreds of people who write and create amazing things without saying boo to a goose. As if their talents are somehow lesser because they’re not tools to other people.
And you know what helps assholes be assholes? Saying it’s OK and desirable to be an asshole. Even when you mean it in “a specific context” it all goes towards one big fat thumb up to being an asshole.
There seems to be a growing popularity for nasty people at the moment. The ‘angry’ commentator/critic does well especially among game fans and I can’t help but think it’s breeding a behaviour that we excuse even though we just don’t like.
I’ve met a lot of wonderful creative people in my career and I hope that creativity and positive attitudes are rewarded far greater than some artsy wanker who thinks he or she can get away with being nasty just because they made something good that one time.