A note on book review blogs ‘n forums

As you can see from the sidebar I got stuck on the review of “A Game of Thrones”, that was never written. One reason is that I’ve read various reviews of it that I considered quite on the point. On the other side I have a critical position to it that I don’t know how to put without being misunderstood or without sounding overly negative. And falling in The Trap. Then I’m also lazy.

The Trap.

When I was back reading fantasy, two years ago now, I craved for opinions to direct my interest to The Goods. Swallowed entire forums and blogs. Got the handle of where the whole genre sat, and started reading. All that feedback was precious, and reflected in what I read. I saw a point. Now I see it all too well. Too much.

Two years pass and instead of seeing the freedom of knowledge I see the cage. The super-structure. The same blogs that I had read with interest and (proven) trust now hold no novelty. I know what they are going to say about a particular book well before the review appears. I see hidden agendas. I see prejudices everywhere, pre-established opinions. I see, in general, a lack of truthfulness. A lack of clinging to The Point (that is, giving an immaculate, sincere subjective-POV & analysis on a book). Basically: an honest emancipation from this or that trend, from this or that hidden intent, from this or that cultural/tribal sub-stream.

Forums, all forums are modern tribes. They have their habits, their pre-constituted roles, their rituals. And they also have their functional rivalries with this and that, and their hidden or manifest purposes and intents. The thing has boundaries, and what’s within takes the shape of The Cage. And they fall in The Trap.

That is: being ready to see prejudices in this and that, but, somehow, completely incapable of seeing the exact same prejudice that exists in slightly different form. So it gets predictable. You see people that take the shape of their Cage. When you can see that Cage what it says stops being interesting. You know what it’s saying. You know how the brain is rigged, and that it has boundaries.

There things stop being interesting that they start being functional.

What’s being written stops having a point for what’s the implied manifest intent (the immaculate & sincere subjective thing of analysis & opinion) and falls in the mind trap of justifying a certain pre-existing stance. It strengthens the tribe. Make it legitimate. Make it rise above. Upheaval and rebellion against heretics and/or rival tribe. In spectacular specularity.

That’s the point where you have to pick sides or get annihilated (or put aside, or branded as Troll). The Cage doesn’t admit ambiguity or neutrality. Or truthfulness, that is. The act of sincerity and objectivity. Or at least self-observation on 2nd or 3rd level to detect the blind spot.

So I was stuck there, finding a way to give an opinion without simultaneously building a Cage & secret intent around me. Doubting about my writing and myself. Got stuck.

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