Ligaya Mishan goes to see Haruki Murakami at the New Yorker Festival:
[Murakami] began by telling the story of a jazzman who, when accused of playing “just like Charlie Parker,” handed his saxophone to his critic and said, “Here—you try playing like Charlie Parker.” He said that we should draw three conclusions from this:
1. Criticizing somebody is fun and easy.
2. Meanwhile, creating something original is very hard.
3. But somebody’s got to do it.
I know many bloggers who take point 1 very seriously—and stop right there.