For every action there is a reaction. I love that quote. It’s one of my favorites. Here in our little corner of the world we like to call the Jewish Blogosphere, the same holds true. We often write our opinions on anything from politics, sports, Jewish news items and music and sometimes it upsets people. The Jewish Music Bloggers in particular gets a lot of slack. Many people question what is the line between a bad review and Loshan Hara.
There is a new blogger out there taking another blogger to task. This new blogger calls themself “Mean J Blogs Suck“, a funny name with a heavy message. He does not like the Jewish Music Blog’s pre-review of the Yitzy Spinner album.
The blogger seems to be on the inside even though they deny it. He does admit to “having friends” in the industry, but his post feel too raw to just be a passing interest. Regardless of his involvement in the industry, I happen to agree with his general message. Many of us can be sometimes harsh, myself included. Yesterday I wrote “Is Yaacov Shwekey a Scab” it was mean spirited, but I was joking around. I wasn’t really looking to attack Shwekey. I just thought it would be funny to phrase it in that capacity.
I did get an email from someone in the industry who very politely told me they didn’t think it was nice. They were right, although I was just trying to make a joke.
A while ago I wrote a pretty harsh review of something and had a long talk with someone who was very involved in the album. I didn’t go public with this, but it did change my mind on how I review albums. Some of you may have noticed that certain albums I just don’t talk about. If I don’t review an album it’s either because I haven’t gotten to it yet (K’Shoshana, HASC 20, Lipa DVD, Lenny Solomon’s Osher V’Osher) or because I hated the album (other albums I don’t want to mention.) I decided that if I don’t overall like an album I am not going to review it.
On the other hand I will reference if I didn’t like an album in passing in the context of another topic. But for the most part I have been trying not to “trash” albums.
With that said, I do think that the new Mean J Bloggers Suck blogger takes his criticism a bit too far. His tone is a bit too harsh himself and I don’t think most of the personal stuff he said about Jewish Music Blog is true. I think he just feels strongly about his music and likes to write about it.
Still, I wonder myself, where is the line? At what point does it stop becoming a bad review and start becoming Loshan Hara. I’d like to hear what the readers think. Where does bad review end and Loshan Hara begin?