Above: exactly how many nice things Onesie Woman is prepared to say about your Art.
"Dear Readers -
We all know that it's nice to have friends to whom you can shyly display the unfurling of your creative wings. However I, Onesie Woman, am not one of those friends, so go pupate someplace else. Have you ever actually seen a butterfly unfurling its wings for the first time? Well, I, Onesie Woman, have, and it's not an amazing, beautiful process that makes you marvel at the beauty of nature then go back inside and demand your partner impregnate you then & there on the kitchen table or aptly-named shag rug. Not unlike first-timers attempting impregnation, it's a pretty fucking messy, sticky and unattractive process and while you, as an onlooker, want to help, there's really nothing you can do because this is an embarrassing antisocial problem that the butterfly/happy couple need to sort out on their own. And so you avert your gaze and wished you'd never looked out/in the window in the first place.
That's pretty much how I, Onesie Woman, feel about your Art.
I, Onesie Woman, am quickly running out of polite things to say about your band/'band'/novel/poetry/canvas/sculpture. Yeah, I think it's nice that you Arted, but I would like it if you would talk about something else now because to be quite frank I am getting bored and this date is about to be o-v-a-h.
I mean yes, I'll go to your MySpace and murmur something noncommittal about the thirty seconds of whatever you made, because I, Onesie Woman, am polite. If you're actually any good - or if I, Onesie Woman, have a mad crush on you - then I, Onesie Woman, will be impressed and whatever, but this is not what this letter is about.
This letter is about people who will not shut up about their Art.
It is when you start saying coyly earnest things like "I really feel I've touched on something unique here" and "It's nothing much, but people seem to like it" and "It's a bit rough, but it's just a demo," and "I find that I can express myself so much better through the medium of shitty metaphors" that I, Onesie Woman, want to stop nurturing your budding creative soul and start wanting to throw your budding creative soul into a festering snake pit (festering with snakes) and see how freakin' introspective you are then. (When "Holy Shit, Biting Snakes!" becomes a world-wide hit, well, thank you.)
When you constantly go on about Your Art, you're not only being annoying because this song is terrible, but also because a) you are being pretentious and b) if you're plastering it all over your MySpace then obviously you're proud enough of it to want people to hear it, so stop with the 'oh it's not really any good' bollocks. Unless you want me, Onesie Woman, to agree ("yeah, you're right, it's not really very good, is it?") then you should at least stand behind your Art (metaphorically speaking - I, Onesie Woman, find metaphor speaks so much more eloquently than I, Onesie Woman, ever could) and say something like "I think this is fucking amazing, and you should think the same." Because I, Onesie Woman, know that's totally what you're thinking. And so does everyone else.
If you actually do think it's a bit shit, then, well, you're almost undoubtedly right. Why would you inflict your crappy, unfinished draft on anyone but the closest of friends? Random visitors to your turd-varnished MySpace will surely revenge the rape of their eardrums by posting your melodramatic song about someone who is totally not you but actually is you (yeah, you heard me, everyone knows it's you) on youtube and turn you into an international celebrity. For all the wrong reasons. Carry on like this, and you could be the next Numa Numa guy!
Which leads me, in a very roundabout way, to my next point; the completely shitheaded convention of "I don't really like to define my work by genre." Tough. Your work is totally genre-definable, even if that genre happens to be 'self-indulgent wank.' Just pick a fucking genre. I, Onesie Woman, have just now made a rule about not listening to anything where the genre description involves more than one hyphen or compound word (example: 'electronic-influenced synth dancepunk trip-hop') unless I, Onesie Woman, am allowed to add the word 'wank' at least twice ('electronic-wank influenced synth dancepunk wank-hop.')
If you want to invent your own genre ('farm metal') then that is fine with me, but I am still only going to listen to the first 30 seconds, no matter how often you say, "Wait until the duck solo comes in at 2.16! It's so fucking dark, man."
On that note (or, on some note), please don't spout endlessly about how your work is too controversial/not commercial enough/too 'brave' to be taken seriously by the art world at large. Where do you think mainstream came from? Once upon a time, it was alternative and, just quietly, the reason that no-one will publish your Neo-Communist, post-steampunk cannibal hentai epic isn't because 'the market just isn't ready,' it's because it reads like it was written by a fervently hormonal 14-year old. Yes! Your inner fervently hormonal 14-year-old.
Not that I'm trying to sound overly negative here. I, Onesie Woman, have complete faith that when you've finished your Seminal Work it will be a thing of such imagination, beauty and grace that critics will call it the [insert famous work here] of this generation, your name will be engraved on the Vatican, and that there will be, worldwide, an involuntary moment of silence when the first copy hits the shelves. However. You haven't actually written it yet, so I'm not actually impressed yet. Phrases like "I've abandoned my [unwritten] ten-book series in favour of an examination of today's society set in a dystopian future society on the Moon" don't actually make you sound like a Proper Writer, they make you sound like a Proper Prat. Also, I'd just like to state that I didn't even have to make up that example. Someone actually said that to me once and guess what? They still haven't fucking written anything (except, presumably, their name on the unemployment checks.)
So until you've finished your Great Work and actually have something to show to the world in order to back up your claim to an honorary doctorate from every fucking university ever invented, please remove your head from your anus. Not because you're scandalising small children and holding up traffic with your amazing flexibility, but because you'll never get the bridge finished/final edit done with it stuck up there.
And another thing! Unless writing/singing/acting/being musical is your chosen career, maybe you shouldn't introduce yourself as being a writer/singer/actor/musician at dinner parties. If one is, for example, a plumber, and one writes a poem ("It took an hour to clean this toilet/ but one shit's all you took to spoil it") then until that poem becomes recognised by someone other than your flatmates, you are still a fucking plumber. Granted, you are a plumber who enjoys writing poetry, but for the love of God if you do something artsy as a hobby then please describe it as such. If you're aspiring to be a whatever artsy thing it is that you do, then fantastic! the world needs more artists (that is so untrue) but still. Be reasonable. Don't say something like, "I'm plumbing at the moment but really I'm a poet - I'm intending to submit some of my work to the Federation of International Poets but they probably won't accept it because it's just too good," say, "I'm a plumber by trade, but I write quite a lot of poetry and hope to eventually publish some." See? That's not going to make anyone want to pull your brains out through your nose.
Also! When you're describing your work, sometimes it's nice to make a comparison to an existing artist, so that people have an idea what you sound/read like. For example, if you were in a band then you might say, "It's kind of like Tom Petty, but a little more folk-y" and we will nod thoughtfully. Or you might say, "It's a bit like early Queen, but with a richer harmonic texture," and we will look at each other in vague concern. Or you might say, "It's similar to MC Hammer, but less commercial," and we will snicker behind our hands. However. If you say, "Well...melodically speaking it's similar to early Queen, but with the richer textural harmonies and catchy hip-hop stylings of MC Hammer, with a heavy Tom Petty influence and traditional folk instrumentation," then we will, to a man, a) think you're a douchebag and b) have no idea what the fuck your band sounds like, and even less inclination to find out. (Here's a good way to remember whether or not you're being sensible. Imagine you're describing the cake you just took out of the oven. "It's chocolate," "It's a sponge," and "It's similar in texture to a fruit cake" are all normal things to say. "It's a chocolate-influenced sponge with a fruitcake sort of feel about it" is not. See? I, Onesie Woman, make it easy.)
In conclusion: I, Onesie Woman, think my point here is that it's nice that you Arted, but can you please stop going on about it.
Tell me when you're famous.
PS - actually I, Onesie Woman, would be pretty keen to hear anything that is electronic-wank influenced.
PPS - in a duck solo you just squeeze him like a bellows and try to keep in time with the tractor.
PPPS - You know what else I, Onesie Woman, hate? Leggings worn as pants BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. Leggings printed to look like jeans worn as pants. This is just legitimizing something that should never be legitimized - it's pretty much the fashion equivalent of saying, "She wasn't underage! I drew wrinkles on her."