The critique we read this week wasn't the only one Bill Sweetland sent out. Some recipients of his critiques have complained about the rough treatment they received.
They have a point. He asks a lot.
And really, when people enter their publication into an awards program, they probably do not expect to be greeted with a resounding and overwhelming rebuke. But when they get over their shock, they ought to thank Bill for giving them something more useful than a perfunctory pat on the back. (And in any case, as my mother would say, "Fuck them if they can't take a joke.")
But as for the critique we've been reading this week: Months later, Bill received an e-mail from the impaled editor, who said offhandedly, "You may remember it from the critique you provided after we entered the magazine in the 2010 Ragan Recognition Awards. Your feedback was very helpful, and we’ve been addressing most of your suggestions."
Bill—who only appears not to care how the recipients of his critiques feel about them—got a big lift out of that. In fact, he sent the critique to me so I could see for myself "how I threw [the editor's] publication on the floor, shot it, and danced on its tattered remains, and he STILL pulled an act of incredible magnanimity and humility on my arrogant asshole self."
Not magnanimity, I think, but rather appreciation of not being coddled as poor a downtrodden corporate communicator with a hopeless handicap and a pathetic need for validation, but rather confronted as a real, honest-to-goodness working communicator who can bear to look at the vast distance from the real to the ideal, and set his course in the proper direction, and start flying, against the wind.