Saturday, 12 December 2015

On the nature of critical review

Whew, that's a pretty off-putting title, isn't it? It's almost like I'm trying to convince you not to read this post.

And, sorry people, but it's going to be a bit of a serious one. yes, I know, two in a couple of weeks - what can I be thinking of?

Don't worry though; I promise to liven it up with a few fun spanking pictures.

So, when I post pictures I often add a comment suggesting that the reader might like to check out the websites from which they have been harvested. 

There are two reasons for this; the first is that these sites need our support, and I'm always pleased to promote them (I don't use pictures from sites, such as Girls Boarding School, that I don't like). 

The other is just that I simply enjoy the videos that these sites provide.

I've had an email accusing me of talking up any site that will give me free access; in all fairness in the past I have accepted the odd month's free membership, in order that I can write a review. There's nothing unusual in this; very few film critics actually buy tickets to see the films that they talk about.

I haven't done this for over 12 months now; each month I join one site and download everything that I don't have, and that is the source of the pictures that I use.

This is not to say that I wouldn't accept free membership if it were offered, hey, I'm not entirely stupid. I do not, however, go out of my way to seek them. 

The thing is, I'm not trying to tell you that these sites are great; I'm just trying to tell you that I like them. You may well like them too. I certainly hope so, but we all have our own likes and dislikes.

The science fiction writer and critic Spider Robinson, when he took the role of reviewer for Galaxy magazine in the 1970's actually said this; he would not tell his readers whether a book was good or not, but he would say whether he liked it, and if so, why.

This seems to me to be the best possible approach to criticism. Well, let's call it reviewing, shall we? There are far too many negative connotations to the word "criticism".

It also seems to me that there are very few absolutes in reviewing. Whilst I may find Fifty Shades of Grey to be turgid and badly written, millions of readers world wide have a different view. Of course, as an individual, I think my opinion is the correct one, but undoubtedly everyone else feels the same way about theirs.

I read very widely; I appreciate what I consider to be good writing. Whilst I love the Library of Spanking Fiction, I do find a worryingly high percentage of stories there to be unreadable, due to defects in the writing. A lot of writers are unable to follow basic rules of sentence construction, they use poor grammar and tenses waiver.

None of this is to say that the stories aren't imaginative, or filled with spanky goodness. I'm not saying that anyone other than me shouldn't enjoy them. I'm not saying that my standards are higher than those of the writers. Or the readers.

I'm just saying that these stories do not provide what I want. 

In the same way, I admit to a bit of an obsession with over the knee spanking. For me, it's really not a proper spanking unless OTK is involved.

You may well disagree; perhaps what really excites you is a pretty lady bent over a desk. Certainly if the lady in question is being caned I would agree. Hand spanking for me equates to over the knee spanking.

I am so inclined to this that I will flick through a video that does not have over the knee spanking, even if my favourite models are involved. 

We all have different desires. We all have certain things that work for us. We all like what we like.

The intensity of spankings is also an individual issue; I tend towards the lighter end of the spectrum. I like to see a well reddened rump, and I like to see a young lady squirm whilst being spanked, but when we get to the point that there is bruising, or the skin breaks, I look away.

Well, actually I turn the film off, and delete the file.

I quite like to watch men being spanked by women. Actually, that's the wrong way around. I quite like to see women spank men.

I invariably ignore the man entirely, and mentally put myself into their position. Which is, of course, ideally over some stern lady's knee.

When I play, as a switch, I like to receive a firm spanking, but my limits aren't that high. I don't enjoy receiving the cane so, generally, I don't like F/M films that include caning.

I do quite like the odd M/F or F/F film that has caning, because I experience these differently,

These type of things will inform my opinion of any film that I watch, and, logically, any web site that supplies them. It doesn't make one type of film better than another; it's simply a matter of taste.

There is a myth to criticism, that it can be unbiased. That's bullshit; everyone carries baggage around with them, and this will always have a bearing on how we perceive the world around us. This of course includes the things that we do for entertainment.

That's okay though, as long as the critic declares his biases. 

It's cheap and easy to deride something that you don't enjoy. I particularly object to reality tv shows. I like my television viewing to be escapist. I live in reality.

I'm entitled to this opinion. I'm entitled to express it. I'm not entitled to say that these shows are utter crap.

For one thing, I don't watch them, so any criticism I may make is instantly irrelevant. Secondly, I don't suppose that the production values are any lower than on any other show. Thirdly, well, I'm not qualified to comment on their quality.

I don't like them. That is all that I can sensibly say.

I mentioned above that I don't like Girls Boarding School. That doesn't mean that the site  is poor, or that the subscribers who keep it going are idiots.

It just means that it does not meet my needs. I don't like the way that the girls are often demeaned, I don't like the harshness of many of the punishments and I don't like the somewhat cold feel of the site. 

If you appreciate the elements that I decry it doesn't make you wrong. It makes you an individual. I'm just saying that I don't like it, and trying to explain why.

Some critics attract a regular following. Arguably that is the best way to use a reviewer; if you read the same one frequently, you get to know the type of things that they like, and you will know whether the same things appeal to you.

If you find yourself regularly agreeing or disagreeing with their views this will enable you to make an informed decision as to whether you will like something that they talk about.

If you managed to make it this far through my meandering thoughts, and you're a regular who keeps turning up at my blog, it's not unreasonable to assume that you at least appreciate some of the things that turn me on. Perhaps not all of them, but enough that you don't think clicking into my blog is a waste of your time.

It may be that, as a result of seeing some pictures here that strike a particular chord with you, after checking out one of the fine websites I offer images from, you decide to join it. If so, that's great.

If you're just happy to browse through the pictures that I post, I'm fine with that as well.

Ultimately I don't provide this blog as a service to you, the reader, or as a promotional tool for any fee charging site; I keep writing it because I have fun doing so. Spanking is about fun. 

I love the fact that I have a number of regular readers; at the moment this blog attracts between 1200 and 1500 page views each day, and a lot more than that when one of my posts gets Chrossed. I hope that it entertains you.

If it informs you too, well, that's a little bonus.

All the best


All pictures this time are taken from Chelsea Pfeiffer's Good Spanking Classics, because that's where I've been spending my free time this week. And more about that next week.

Oh, as I'm feeling particularly lazy, they're all from the same film as well, CP Invitational Two. Lots of good, clean spanking fun. And here is one last screen grab, just to finish things off nicely.

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