To the Editor:
I write to express my disappointment with the views put forth by Aaron Roth ’05 in the February 29 edition of The Poly. Quite frankly, he has no grounds to make such a claim that Colton Schroeder ’12 should not be allowed to express his personal opinion in a review.
The line, “Schroeder is a biomedical engineering student, not a professional drama critic,” is nothing short of elitist drivel. Schroeder, having actually gone to see the plays, has infinitely more experience than someone who openly admits they haven’t even seen the show. Furthermore, Roth, in case you didn’t know, the general public (not those “professional drama critics” who, in your eyes, are the only ones worthy of judging theatre) can, in fact, have opinions about a play. “He has no credibility”? No, Roth, he has much more credibility than you. He at least watched the plays.
In addition, Roth comes out and states that he did not see the performance, yet praises the plays because students “undoubtedly put significant effort into their performances” and makes the baseless claim that he “can almost certainly guarantee that it will be better than Schroeder makes it out to be.” It’s akin to if I had said that I didn’t like the movie Avatar, and I thought it was a sub-par film. Yet someone who hadn’t even seen the movie claims “You have no grounds to make that claim! James Cameron and the actors worked hard on it!” That’s simply childish.
Roth tops off his rant with the Glenn Beck-like statement, “I am not sure why such a scathing commentary would be published unless deliberately aimed at reducing the revenue of the RPI Playhouse and the Players.” This is a completely baseless accusation that would belong on no reputable news source. He then follows up this line by implying strongly that Schroeder is close-minded simply because he disliked a set of plays that Roth had not even seen.
I have an open mind when it comes to matters of religion. I like Woody Allen. I was inclined to go see the plays, despite not having the time. However, what I will not do is make baseless claims about a show I have not even seen, and publicly attack someone simply for having a negative view of that show. This is not grade school. Grown people don’t whine when others watch their favorite movie and don’t like it. People have differing views. Schroeder expressed his honest opinion as someone who saw the play.
I say again: This is not grade school. No one has the right to not have their feelings hurt.
Sincerely, “not a professional drama critic.”