Last night, I got my first negative comment from a man who couldn’t be bothered to leave any trace of his identity when he spoke. He seems to have reacted negatively to my article Why Hans Zimmer can blow me. and felt the need to tell me all about it. He said he was a film composer and that obviously I knew nothing of writing music for movies or making movies at all cos obviously duh. It disturbs me that our rhetoric has become increasingly based around the idea that if someone disagrees with you, they must be entirely ignorant of everything. I am one to say that there are objective facts within the arts–I’m one to say it often. But I too occasionally need to be reminded that there are contrary opinions in the world. But no contrary facts.

Here is the initial comment:

There are film critics who don’t know the first thing about making a movie… they are unsuitable critics and couldn’t begin to accurately judge film. Your ‘article’ simply attacks Zimmer’s capabilities as if you hate the man; and you give no real structured argument.

I am a composer and music in film is about supporting the film, whether it’s character development, mood, anything the director wants (Nolan wanted the music written this way for the film, fyi)… if you want music to be ‘proper’ and following traditional form, you should listen to Bach and no one else… otherwise, grow up to the real world and realize that the most demanded composer in Hollywood is popular for a reason, he explores what directors and audiences want, which is his job title.

Go back to whatever you were doing before you wrote this trash.

– Anon,

I actually adore his cute little ironic quotation marks. Or would, if they were actual quotation marks. Also, note the abundance of ellipses. Clearly this guy has no idea how to finish a thought… I mean he just sorta trails off… the end of every sentence… speaking like waves… rolling in on the shore… might be more useful in ‘poetry’ but in prose it’s… only useful to make you look like you don’t know what a full stop is or where to find it… on your keyboard… sorta casual… but not really… That’s a rant for another day. I now present to you my response in full:

What I was doing before I wrote this trash was writing more of this trash. Did you take a second to look around the site to see that?

The article isn’t titled “A structured and reasoned exploration of the deficient capabilities of Hans Zimmer”, it’s called “Why Hans Zimmer can blow me.” If you honestly were looking for a structured argument in an article with that title, I applaud your fine judgment and taste.

There are commenters who don’t know the first thing about writing an article. They are unsuitable commenters and couldn’t begin to accurately judge writing. The first thing about reading an article is the title. You should have known from it that I wasn’t going to like Hans Zimmer nor that I was going to do it in a polite or reasonable way.

I find it amusing how you give me all this information about what music in film is supposed to do. I know what music in film is supposed to do. If you’re actually a composer, then so do you. It’s funny that you tell me that “Nolan wanted the music written this way for the film, [for your information]…”. I know that. Anybody knows that. He’s Christopher Nolan, why would he have anything in his movie he didn’t want? He doesn’t answer to anyone, least of all me, but I hope he starts making better creative decisions. I just want his movies to be remembered as gold standard filmmaking instead of “popular”.

That’s another thing, you do this thing there, near the end of your second (and only) paragraph. You make an appeal to Zimmer’s popularity. Okay, he’s popular, yes. That doesn’t mean he’s good. Also, to go back to an earlier part of your comment, when did I say I wanted music to be traditional or structured? The only appeal I made to tradition was that a score be written to picture in order to be called a score. Whether that’s by using a basso continuo fugue style and layering multi-instrumented melodies, counter-melodies and harmonies on top of each other or by squalling feedback overtop of distorted drum loops with a Bartok sample in the back is up to the composer.

You tell me to grow up. Part of growing up is accepting responsibility for your words. I use my real name and my real email and my real Twitter feed and my real Facebook account to link to this site. Because of articles I’ve published on this site, friends of mine have received threats from parties that felt slighted or insulted by what I published. I dealt with that situation myself because I accepted that responsibility. You, however, posted as “Anon” and left your email as “”. Sorry if I don’t believe that, Anon, as your email reeks fake. By supplying a fake email and not even using your first name or last name or some token to actually identify you by, you’ve refused to take responsibility for your words here. That shows an immaturity far greater than mine–which is rather substantial, I assure you.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with this: I know you’re never going to read this. I know that you can’t see what I’ve written here because that’s a fake email address. You likely aren’t really a composer and even if you are, I’d bet my bottom dollar that the work you put out is of such a middling caliber to leave no impression at all. “The most demanded composer in Hollywood is popular for a reason” and that reason is that he can rewrite your film’s entire soundtrack in a week and a half. And you know how he does this? Entirely by ignoring the film.

You’ve displayed a shocking immaturity here, Anon. You’ve taken great umbrage over what a nobody shut-in from Canada said about a rich white guy. Hans Zimmer’s life won’t be affected by my article here. He’ll never read it, and he’ll never care even if he does. So why do you care so much that somebody insulted a person whose work you admire? When people tell me they don’t like a favourite artist of mine, I don’t get angry with them. I recognize that music, film and all of the arts are so very subject to the eye and ear of the beholder. And I ask them to tell me frankly what it is they don’t find appealing about stuff that I really love. That way, I can see from other points of view, later on in my life. I can see how someone else would value and treasure something I find worthless, and that informs my ability to review movies. I can also see why someone else might dislike something I find precious. That too informs my worldview.

“Whatever I was doing before I wrote this trash”, incidentally, was writing a review of The Wicker Man starring Nicolas Cage. After this trash, I wrote a love letter to my cell phone. And you take me seriously? Why, I guess I’m flattered!

I don’t know why I thought this was notable enough to publish, but I do know that as I was writing it, I didn’t think it was that big. Turned out to be 831 words, all told. Let the record show: don’t diss a man who writes 1000 words a day, often in minutes. Stay angry, my friends. 🙂