"As for judging the quality of art by general consensus, it ain't a good idea." - Coalport
I actually fully agree with you on this! ;-)
But when it comes to "experimental" music, there really isnt any way to "Judge" it is there (?) - It simply comes down to "I like it" or "I dont like it" - Or more specifically, "I like this performance" vs "I didnt like that performance".
With something on the lines of "liking" or "disliking" Shakespeare, there are arguments that can be brought into play by which the quality can be compared / evaluated - Grammar, plot, theme, whatever.. With "non-experimental" music, there are things like intonation and timing.. "objective" aspects by which one can "justify" liking or disliking - (not that this, on a personal level, actually changes anything - you like it (or pretend to like it because you "should" like it ;-) or you dont!
There are no (or none that I know of) "objective" criterion one can use for experimental.. But I like some of it nonetheless, and I like most of it more than I like much popular music which "qualifies" as "music" because it has "better" (more standard) intonation and timing.. And if these criterion were used as a means of evaluating all music, even the most (IMO) crap piece of popular music churned out by some algorythm would be deemed "superior" to any piece of experimental music I enjoy.
So yes - "The comment that the piece was "messed up" tells me nothing at all except that the individual who said that - in this case YOU - didn't like it." - is true - Thats all it can say, and all you can gleen from what I say .. Perhaps if I understood the reason why I like / dislike particular pieces, I could explain why (the closest I can come in this case is to say that, for me, it was way too "toppy" - there was a mess of interacting HF that for me was unpleasant and irritating) - but I dont.. There MUST be reasons, but I suspect we will only discover these when / if we gain a better understanding of the neurology involved with music.
ps - with regard to Shakespeare .. I am not really sure its a good idea to force young people to read it - IMO, there are some things one only really get to enjoy as one gets older, and forcing these onto young people can put them off for life... There are plenty of really good reads better suited to youngsters - Give them Lord of the Rings, Moby Dick, or any of the myriad of other classics - but not Shakespeare! ;-)
pps - "messed up" is not a term I generally use - I only used these words because you said there was no way to "mess up" an experimental performance.. I took the bait, LOL ;-)