Indeed, that was my point, not directed at you personally but rather at what I saw as a tendency in the thread as a whole to bring sledgehammers to bear on the cracking of a nut.
That's one reading of this thread. Another more honest summary would be obtained by looking at the actual objectionable comments as posted. Let's remember this is a "user critique" forum. Critique is a style of analysis, and differs from criticism in important ways (http://www.beedictionary.com/common-errors/critique_vs_criticize
). And of course it differs from personal ridicule too, right?
Here are the comments:
1. I do not get it either. How is it "untitled", when the title says "Attached"?
2. You guys fell for it. He posted this nothing snapshot just to see if anyone here would take it seriously. Pretty funny, RG. And you actually got some takers.
3. You must have had sense of humor surgically removed at birth?
4. I, too, didn't get it at first. But with the explanation, I think I do now. It seems to be sort of a Jerry Seinfeld photo: A photo about Nothing.
5. The lesser the photograph, the more bloated the justification?
6. In which case, everything and anything that comes out of a camera is "just a photograph." Can't wait to see further examples.
7. Communicating with others is strictly a subset of expressing yourself, it's expressing yourself using shared modes of expression. If you're not much interested in that, then the world of possibilities certainly agllalalaflalla blah frongnap schpeEEE! FLOOOOO! FLOOO!! Jangnaps carsint ba soy begnit, exfalla fo bashop nah. Floo? Shabnazap.
8. hoboz. Blat.
9. Leaving aside the errors in punctuation and grammar, what on earth is this supposed to mean? It's English, in the sense that the words are recognisable by an English speaker, but they don't form a coherent whole. The supposed distinction it draws between "just", "merely" and "only" is simply false.
Are you a fan of Chomsky, perhaps? Colourless green ideas sleep furiously?
10. We are simply not sophisticated enough to understand RG's ideas. It's a shame, but I am resigned to struggling through life a dunce.
11. coherent thought is not the organism's strong point
12. I don't especially like the colors. I wonder if it would be better in black and white. Or perhaps just in black. Or white.
Here's what an honest assessment of this thread reveals: None of these comments are a critique
of the photograph. More than half are comments expressly intended to insult the poster. The rest are intended as disguised insults. Three of them are not even about photography. This collection of comments is made from an originating post which contained one word and one photograph. So no, this is not a case of 'sledgehammers brought to bear on a nut,' as you have said here. It is something rather different in tenor, tone and intention.
This is not the meaning of critique. Most of it doesn't even conform to criticism. This isn't even about photography. It's called personal ridicule. Your summary of this is entirely in error. It's not all that unusual for groups like this to totally disrespect other people in this way. So that wasn't surprising. What I did find very remarkable here was the total disrespect for photography. This form of berating photographic ideas isn't even found on FLICKR groups that are often filled with teenagers.
Now, I'll bet someone is going to say I brought this on myself. Let me post this - my first introduction to the guy named RSL. This was on Feb 3, after I had enthusiastically posted my first few photographs in the "real street photography thread."
RSL: "Guy, Sorry, but what I see is one high-school type snapshot and two environmental portraits -- no street photography. You need to go to a library or bookstore, pick up a book of Cartier-Bresson's photographs, and study it."
Welcome to LuLa. Yes, very sophisticated bunch here. I evaluate people's talent and integrity by what they post, and nothing but their posts. If this is how you want to look on the pages here - have at it. But, I am not going anywhere.