Reading From Dawn to Decadence
, Barzun describes the restrictions on plays during a certain period:
The poets had to observe excruciating rules. The three unities were rarely violated, never the code governing rime and meter. These prohibitions suggestive of bureaucracy at work had the force of etiquette. The public knew the rules and enforced them without mercy. The vocabulary too was more and more limited as pedants kept extending the veto of the Precieuses against calling a chair a chair or saying "It is midnight."
These constraints seem plainly silly, and it seems like the public enforces the rules out of an pedantic insistence that the play meet their arbitrary standards. Like the feel that if these rules are broken, they aren't getting a quality product for their money.
What are our silly rules, that we would be better off doing away with?
You might say we shouldn't do away with such rules, because it would be accepting inferior products. But from my own experience, if you open your mind, relax, and try to enjoy the work the way it is meant to be enjoyed, sometimes you can.
Here are some that come to mind:
"3 hours is too long for a movie"
"The song lyrics are trivial, without meaning"
"The story isn't original"
"The plot is simple"
"Not historically accurate"
These are all things that are at times legitimate, but often applied arbitrarily. Some of them are hard not to apply, but I've found that silencing your inner critic can greatly enhance enjoyment.