Thursday, May 24, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Grrrr

Well, I'm sitting here,stewing mad in my jammies, no coffee, new computer to acclimate to (so please excuse any typos) and no updated calendar. So, my apologies for this post being late, off the cuff and a tad grumpy.

Incidences of similar types have characterized this week for me, from different sources but still touching on our YA world in one way or another. Sensationalism in the media, and nasty reviews of other peoples books, both points in a pattern cropping up in this seeming consequence-free environment of the Internet and media.

What started this, you might wonder. Well, ABC News ran a segment on the national televised news--NATIONAL TELEVISED NEWS!!--titled Real life Hunger Games. I watched, aghast, thinking something horrid had happened because some one took the concept of the book into the real world. YES, what happened was truly terrible. NO, it did not have a damn thing to do with the book. The only thing similar was a child and an admittedly tragic shooting with an arrow. I didn't hear one mention, not ONE, of the book, the film, the franchise. Here's the LINK.

Why the hell would they point fingers at such a huge YA franchise? Popular culture sells. People come running when they hear negative references to pop culture icons like The Hunger Games franchise. Especially if the media can scandalize something including violence. Think about the people claiming to be bitten right after Twilight released in theaters. It was all about getting attention by using a pop culture icon. Name dropping for the sake of attention.

Do they stop to think about the possible negative affect they can have on the author, the publishers and readers?? No. Look at me, look at me.  

While I'm at it. I've been pointed to a couple vicious book reviews lately. I won't say what huge review site they are on, or what books because that's not what this is about. This is about the bigger picture, and an illness taking hold. People can say what they want, spray vitriol and hateful comments, and it gets them more page views.

Go ahead, crucify me. I think it needs to be said. Nasty, it seems, is getting popular.

Whatever happened to saying nothing if you have nothing nice to say?


  1. Well said. I guess some folks need to examine what's really important.

  2. I love that proverb you included in the picture. Unfortunately, in addition to bringing attention to themselves, the internet also lets people be anonymous. They can say any hateful thing they want and don't have to worry about hurting someone's feelings or negative repercussions.
    Then again, as authors, once our books are out in the world, they no longer belong to us. People pay money to read what we've written and they have every right not to like it. Does that mean there's not a better way to express their dissatisfaction with a book? Certainly not, but readers have a right to hate what I've written.

  3. Agreed, but I still don't understand why anyone would want to place that kind of negative attention on something that so many other enjoyed and still enjoy. This is why I find it hard to write actual "negative" reviews because 1) if I'm not enjoying a book, I won't finish it and 2) if I do finish a book, I try to find some good things about it to go along with what I felt could be improved in future books.

    It's not right to tear down someone just to make yourself "look good" no matter what you have issues with. Reviewers can be honest, but be respectful about it. There are people behind the books we read, and anyone who's ever been to an author event knows that truth.

  4. Plus...doesn't the vague, not-really-related reference just make the news look stupid? I mean, it clearly had as much to do with Hunger Games as figure skating does with ice cream (they're both cold! yay...). I hate that so much of the media has become about grabbing attention but not putting much substance behind it.

    As to reviews...I appreciate honest ones, even if they're negative. But you can give an honest negative review without being brutal or cruel.

  5. I hate, hate, hate when people use a platform or attacks to "gain" anything. Whether it's views, ratings, or political nonsense, so many are willing to drag others through the mid for their own gain. It's selfish, thoughtless, and unprofessional. Sad thing is, they do it because it works. How long have The Enquirer and such crap magazines been in (lucrative) business?

  6. I had this SAME discussion last night! It amazes me how the internet and "fame" has given us a barrier between the person/thing we're discussing and their humanity. I was talking about celebrities and how we feel like we have free license to criticize any and everything about them, but it applies to anyone who puts work out in the public eye. I have bad opinions of plenty of books, but I can't imagine ripping them apart in a public forum. It's so mean, and I would never want that put back on me. I feel you!

  7. I love this feedback!!

    @Sheri Thank, hon. Y'all know I dn't stand up on a soapbox often. I really felt it needed to be said.

    @Jessie I totally agree that once the books are in the wild, they are no longer ours. It's the spreading vitriol for attention's sake that bothers me so badly. It's not necessary at ny time to be nasty. It's intentional, and I find the fact that as a whole, society seems to pander to the attention mongers now.

    @DJL "Reviewers can be honest, but be respectful about it." Exactly! Maybe what this all boils down to is the flagrant lack of respect, for authors,for books, franchises, etc.

    @Rowenna This "doesn't the vague, not-really-related reference just make the news look stupid" is why I'm losing faith in our media. Misrepresentation and rampant sensationalism. Hell, even storms are getting sensationalized now.

    @Hope "It's selfish, thoughtless, and unprofessional." So true, and so sad. What does this say about us as a society? Ambulance chasing rubber-neckers looking for the next train wreck? *sigh*

    @JEM Yes! Like the lengthy airtime over Charlie Sheen's meltdown. If that was an average man, it wouldn't be on the nightly news. Where do e draw the line? Where and when does privacy stop and start?

  8. I agree with you. There is a proper way to state things. Even in the case where the comment isn't in favor, it isn't necessary to be ruthless and brutal. Such characteristics as you describe come from a mentality of "look out for No. 1, step on No. 2".

    It is considerably difficult to create something out of nothing, which most artists including writers do incredibly well on a daily basis. However, it is quite easy to criticize another person's work. To tear it to shreds and expose all the faults of the works while expounding raucously how they would do it better. These people are all critics, few have any talent.

    It is also unfortunate that their sensationalistic negative reviews get so much publicity and acclaim. What is society degrating to?


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