In a previous post it was pointed out that we do not sing or make music as much now as was done in the past. Programs such as American or Canadian Idol entertain many people and encourage ridicule of musical performances.
I once knew a little girl who loved to sing and dance and she did so with gusto. One day a classmate told her she sang too loudly, so she stopped singing altogether.
Sarcastic, critical "humour" is very hurtful and can make people afraid to express themselves, especially musically. My nieces and nephews in Mexico are all very musical and perform confidently. My niece recorded her first CD of songs she wrote the lyrics for when she was 15 years old. (You can listen at her My Space website) The recording was done by amateurs, but she has talent and should be encouraged, not belittled.
We should be able to enjoy playing an instrument or a sport without feeling that we have to be as good as a particular music or sports "idol". And if we are part of the audience, we should be gracious and liberal with our praise.