Monday, November 30, 2009

When Fans Attack!

Disclaimer: I know for a fact I have young readers so read with caution. I don't want your parents pissed at me.

I am a very accomplished fan. Most fans have not done or seen half the stuff I've participated in. Most fans will never get to meet the man that makes them brain dead or travel thousands of miles to hear their favorite authors read excerpts from books yet to be written. I've been backstage, chatted with producers, toasted with musicians... you get the picture. Yes, I am bragging and pointing out that it is all about location and lots of luck. I'm passionate about the stuff I love. Based on those experiences, this is where this sudden tirade comes from.

There is a point when fans become too involved though.

They sit at their computers and bitch and complain about every little thing wrong about their beloved obsession and curse the production teams of said obsession to the lowliest depths of Hell.
The ratings dip slightly and suddenly it signifies the displeasure of the fan base. [Not necessarily, folks.] Critics who will never win a Pulitzer prize are suddenly trusted. They, the fans, feel the need to start voicing their opinions and start telling the producers and actors how the show should run. They're "the fans," of course they know best.

Seriously, shut the hell up for just a minute and listen to yourselves.

How many people read a novel half way through and then tell the writer that they don't like how it's progressing so fix it? How do you know the ending isn't the one you want already or once you see the bigger picture that you won't love it? If the writer is anything like yours truly, they'd tell you to stick to your day job, finish reading the bloody book, and then pass judgment. Or burn the fucking book and see how much I care. I'm not making you read. Writers already have a blurry vision of what the future will be. They write and explore the natural progression of the story line. If it takes them to some depressing and dark places, they go on because its what feels right. Some writers express surprise at how a story turns out.

Jo Rowling said something similar. Once she finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she thought, "People are going to hate this." And they did. There are still people who write to her and beg her to right her "wrongs". "Please, Snape couldn't have died!" "NO, you can't have it end with Harry alive!" "You have to write an eighth book!" She's not going to fix any of the above. It's not that she doesn't care about fans; its that Potter is her creation and what she says, goes. She has stayed true to herself and her work. For her, writing is her art. And people tend to forget for those thousands who hated it, millions cried with joy. Fans who hated it thought they were the majority like most fans who hate what's happening in their fandoms.

So if you're one of the above people who send hundreds of letters, messages, emails, tweets, or anything voicing your displeasure, good for you. It's your right. Just don't be pissed when you get a "thanks, but no thanks" reply. They don't tell you how to do your job so stop telling them how to do theirs. Don't be a tosser and obnoxious prat. Don't become indignant because "they aren't listening to ME; how dare they!" Who the fuck are you to them?! Really, the complete narcissism of some fans is astounding.

So to end on a (kind of) positive note: be patient, trust that the writers know what they're doing [because they do], and then judge the whole story once it is revealed.

[To the fans this is directed to: take a deep breath. We know the story is going into some serious shit, but keep faith and stick it out. We'll be okay.]

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