Hype, Bullying & Extinction Of The ReviewerJuly 18, 2012 - 24 Comments
I have noticed a large amount of posts about the incredible lack of respect going on around the blogosphere.
The text ahead is just my opinion. Before you continue I only ask that you please be respectful and have an open mind about this – it’s my blog, my place to write and share my thoughts. If you can’t do any of that, you shouldn’t read what’s ahead. Comments that do not follow this will be deleted.
There has been a commotion online towards people who strongly share their opinion. Not only book reviewers but also movie critics, Youtube channels, online games, and sports fans.
What am I talking about?
As Robin Reader @ Dear Author described here: “What is wrong is the “outing,” threatening, shaming, and silencing of readers who are perceived to be too critical of or hostile to authors.” As I mentioned, not only readers and authors are included in this situation, but the society today.
The first part is inspired by this article in Portuguese that I took the liberty to loosely translate and insert my own opinion:
Let’s start talking about the hype culture. “It’s not enough to have the desire to watch a movie, read a book or play a game; there’s the need to crucify anyone who doesn’t share their pre-formed opinion about it. That’s not the evidence of a fan, but a marketing slave – a not paid employee of the company.”
Marshall Fine was recently condemned to death by Batman fans. “He’s hated by hundreds of fans only because he was brave enough to risk his life by writing a not so glowing critique about The Dark Knight Rises.” That’s all he did. You know what’s even more absurd? “The disproportionate reaction to the reviewer’s analysis about a super hero film was about a movie that none of those people who commented had watched yet.” Is it something to get your life threatened about?
The hype I’m talking about doesn’t come from the object itself, but the context to its release. The logic is: “any big product, especially if it’s part of a saga or an universe already known is anticipated with blind passion by the fans and treated as the best thing ever made even before experiencing a second of it. When the reviews start coming out, the good ones are glorified while the ones who point flaws are irrationally hatred.”
Can you notice that something was left out here? The product itself: “It isn’t about the product but the expectations towards it”.
Pablo also mentions the famous quote by Pauline Kael: “The critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.” What he really means is that the debate caused by the critique is moved by a true interest in the movie, bit the money you’ll spend in the movies. There’s a need to go back and focus on the art, the work itself.
The movie critic brilliantly ends the article with: “Saying that, I expect to like the new Batman. After all, I want to meed my grandchildren.”
You can certainly see how easily that can apply to books, especially series, and also authors, though that happens more usually with books to movies. Where I live, people are so obsessed with their soccer teams that fans hate each other so much that the fighting ends up in death more often than not. They fight for something that certainly will give them nothing back by behaving like animals without brain.