An open letter to arts critics

7 Aug

Dear Critics,

Would you permit us, respectful as we are towards you and your profession, to point out that your star, which once shone so brightly, has dimmed?

The problem is not your ideas, but the ultimate tool of evaluation at your disposal: the five star system. Stars are most readily associated with great balls of burning gas. Is that really what you wish to associate with humanity’s finest achievements? If your answer is anything but “dear God, deliver me from the tyranny of the star system!” you are beneath contempt.

Fortunately God has provided another way: our way. The system we propose is a radical break with the past, a paradigm shift in the field of arts criticism which raises questions across swathes of interelated fields such as microfinance and global governance.  Developed over a number of decades and rigorously tested in certain laboratories, we have created a fully objective tool for rating artistic merit. It looks something like this:

The ratings system is known as “Adams and the Wolfs”. At its core lies the idea that art is most accurately rated by a duo, rather than individuals. Those two individuals should be us. The system works as follows:

  • Adam Levy is allotted a maximum of five “Adams” with which he expresses his affection or distaste for any given work of art.
  • David Wolf is allotted a maximum of five “Wolfs” with which he communicates his admiration or scorn for any given work of art.
  • The Adams and Wolfs are then combined, to provide a score out of 10. A higher number of Adams and the Wolfs indicates that the artwork in question is objectively good, a lower number of Adams and the Wolfs proves that the piece is worthless.

The beauty of the system is its simplicity, its aesthetic merit and, most importantly, that its verdict is objective, final, and better than yours.

We humbly suggest that if you wish to salvage your reputation as both critic and human being, you save yourself from the mire of the star system. We are throwing you a life jacket and life won’t give you a second chance.

Yours respectfully,

Adam Levy and David Wolf


2 Responses to “An open letter to arts critics”

  1. Dan Casey August 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    is this a joke?

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