I can get annoyed. I usually have a rather high tolerance to trolls, but sometimes it gets to the point that it is annoying and deserves a reaction. So this time I’ll voice an idea that I’m getting more and more, and that isn’t circumscribed to trolling.
It seems that nothing can be learned and that everyone is destined to commit the same mistakes. We think we’re better, but we aren’t. This happens inside the fantasy community at large. The fantasy community has a predominant trait of being discriminated and be seen through prejudices, yet the fantasy community, at large, discriminates and is filled with prejudices itself. How can this be? I am dismayed.
It seems everything is trapped in a circle of reaction where what you suffer you have then to retort precisely onto someone else. Is that what gets us satisfaction and makes us feel better? Why one can’t, simply CAN’T, enjoy a book and an author without feeling the impelling need to go on a holy crusade against similar writers? And why this is more typical in the fantasy genre than it is outside of it?
Why is the word “fan” being constantly used with a negative connotation? What’s wrong with liking something? Why the constant need of oblique and sly remarks to diminish or ridicule a certain writer? I mutiny against this stupid idea. Having a taste, ideas and preferences can’t mean that one is biased and comes with prejudices. This premise can’t be accepted.
I have tried to find some answers. Being branded as a “fan” implies being considered “biased”. It means your opinion is worthless because you are unable to express it in a balanced and true way. You aren’t reliable, your opinion is automatically discarded, useless. You may have a taste and ideas, but by being a fan you are also a liar.
I am a declared “fan” of Erikson. This doesn’t happen because I’m born in a geographical region and so lead to root for a specific home soccer team. I am a fan because I prefer Erikson much more compared to other fantasy writers. There are motives. Being a fan is a consequence of motives, not a cause (of biased opinions). I haven’t rolled some dices to pick who was going to be my favorite writer. I read the books. Found things in the books. The fact that I (or whoever else) enjoy a particular writer is a positive. It means that I can at least relate to it in some way. But what are instead the motives of “haters”? What are the motives of those who HAVE to jump in every forum thread and spill sly and oblique remarks that they believe being soooo veeeery subtle but that instead are really not? They HAVE to make known how much they hate this and that, again and again.
Yes, I’m talking about YOU. No one is innocent. It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on, there’s always a foe deserving the unleashing of hate and scorn so that the other side can enjoy moral superiority. It can be Goodkind, it can be Stephanie Meyer, or whoever else. There are always hate & scorn festivals to be celebrated so that people can feel better.
Why this happens specifically in fantasy, a genre that already suffer discrimination and that, for this reason, should at the very least learn to not discriminate? Maybe the answer is in there:
Fantasy readers seem to suffer a form of insecurity. They try to hide their shame for loving fantasy because, deep down, they are are hollow with self-doubt and shame. The more they negate that shame and the more it spreads and fills and rots. So the need for a target that has to appear universally, objectively beyond all doubts, lesser and inferior (unable to defend itself and instill self-doubt). By marking this difference then can then affirm and elevate their moral superiority because they read fantasy but they don’t go so low as liking Goodkind, or Erikson, or the moody vampires. And then round and round. Goodkind’s fans will proclaim that what they read isn’t even “fantasy”, and Stephanie Mayer’s fans will reread the books 20 times, but always say that the books weren’t all that good.