It isn’t often where we look to a website like BuzzFeed for anything other than a cat and mouse video between an actual cat and mouse. Perhaps there’s an Amazon box involved, or someone in the background has on an ironic T-shirt on. Of course, all of this is arranged in a listacle of some sort that is easily digestible and quite easy to share – like food poisoning after a crawfish boil. With that being said, news out of the viral machine brings with it something quite interesting and poignant. Recently hired book editor Isaac Fitzgerald has said, “Why waste breath talking smack about something? You see it in so many old media-type places, the scathing takedown rip.” Essentially, BuzzFeed has said “no” to hatchet jobs on works of both fiction and non-fiction. While some might think this is some “Kumbaya-esque” attempt at attempting a digital landscape where trolls are put back under the bridge, I applaud Fitzgerald’s approach. They’re not merely giving books positive reviews, rather they’re only posting about books they feel strongly positive about.
When’s the last time you asked somebody, “you seen a bad movie lately?” Sure, we like to be warned if something isn’t good, but isn’t better to highlight what’s working rather than eviscerate something that isn’t? I’m well aware that each and every person shouldn’t get a trophy for trying, but killing the career of a bad writer seems to have more malice in it than supporting a new or established voice.
On the other hand, The New York Times broaches a good point. Is this positivity a stand against a generation brought up to hate things to mask jealousy, or rather a savvy SEO attempt to get more and more click-throughs? After all, positive press begets publishers and writers sending attention to that particular portal.
In the end, I think it’s wise to ignore what you don’t like rather than put it on the Goodyear Blimp. Leave that to Ice Cube.