March 26, 2010 | By: Tracy

Why Are We So Mean?

A week ago tonight, I was standing in a loooooooong line at WalMart waiting to be handed my copy of "New Moon".  While I wasn't expecting to see quite so many people, I could understand the hysteria. Heck, I grew up as a fan of New Kids on the Block -- I slept on the street for tickets to their concerts when I was thirteen (so what if my best friend's dad was sleeping in his van in the parking lot, keeping an eye on us. We were still hardcore!) 

I totally get obsessions. And I get that they can be annoying to those who aren't obsessed (Jersey Shore? I can't even begin to understand the appeal)

What I don't get is the hostility some people have towards the obsession of others. The Twilight Phenomenon being my current example.

I don't expect everyone to like the books or movies, and I can understand a lot of the criticisms against both (truthfully, I don't care for Bella - in the books OR the movies). But what I don't get are the people who feel the need to get downright mean and go on the offensive. I've seen message boards where Stephenie Meyers is virtually ripped to shreds, or her readers are referred to as mindless teeny boppers (and I'll admit, some do act that way).

What's the point? What does insulting people for something they enjoy accomplish?

It got me to thinking though. Of course most aspiring writers dream of writing a story that captures the imagination of the world at large. What about the potential backlash? Sure, making millions of dollars and having a movie deal is awesome (Um, I'd never turn either of those down) ... but dealing with such constant scathing criticism - not only on your story, but your fans as well - has got to be tough.

7 witty remarks:

Elana Johnson said...

I agree. I think it's shameful the way people tear her down, the books, AND the fans. To each his own, right? Everything about the entertainment business is subjective, but that doesn't mean we can tear into PEOPLE.

E.J. Wesley said...

Tracy,

I 100% agree. We all go a little ga ga over various things (don't come to my house in March if you don't like basketball ... just saying), so there is no reason to poo on the parade street of others (much worse than raining on said parade, imo).

It's not like SM held a gun to millions of heads and said, "Read or die." People chose to read/watch, and obviously enjoyed. As a 'yet-to-be-published' author of YA content, I felt it was my obligation to read the series and try to see what the mass appeal was. They weren't my fave read of all time, but I think the story was captivating from a character/relationship standpoint (just my thoughts).

At any rate, proudly watch your New Moon until the laser eats through the plastic, and as the New Kids would say, "Keep Hagin' tough"

Mary McDonald said...

I see you've met my sister. ;-) She hates the books and doesn't hesitate to say so. Myself, I've never read them, however, my daughter is interested. She's only nine though. Is Twilight too mature for her to read? I want so badly for her to find a book that will get her to love reading, and it doesn't matter to me what it is. It just takes one book to get a kid to realize how great reading is.

Maybe Stephanie Meyer isn't the best writer in the world (or so I've heard. ;-)), but I bet through her books, she's inspired the love of reading in thousands of young girls.

Tracy said...

Elana - Exactly. Attack the work, if you must, but leave the people alone, dangit!

EJ - I promise no stopping by your house in March, lol. And you are correct, there are much worse things than having someone rain on your parade!

Mary - I think you would be safe to let a nine year old read the Twilight Series if she wanted. At least the first three books. There's no sex in those, whatsoever. Only occasional kisses & cuddling - and mostly just longing glances. There's no foul language to worry about either.

The only thing that might be a bit of concern is the idea of suicide in the second book. Keep in mind, it's a vampire talking about ending his immortality ... which requires another vampire killing him. So it's not really stated as a suicide attempt - though they do reference "Romeo & Juliet" (and it doesn't happen anyway), but there are some people who are sensitive about that sort of topic so I wanted to throw it out there..

ModernDayDrifter said...

I have to be honest and say that I don't care for the books. I attempted to read the first one, got through the first 100 pages and put it down. It just didn't catch my attention.

However, I don't like people who say they dislike it before they even try it, in any aspect of life, not just books and movies. That's a rant for another time though. ;-)

I do agree with your blog. People ARE mean and while she does have a movie deal, it still probably takes a toll on her self confidence. I know it would mine.

SAMUEL PARK said...

My take on it is that the people with wild imaginations are usually the outcasts (it sure was in my case in high school), so this becomes just another way of picking on them. I suppose people read Twilight to escape, and to empower themselves, and often they're not the super popular rich jocks. Great post, though--thought-provoking.

Tracy said...

Jessica - I agree. Nothing irritates me more than people who swear they dislike something when they haven't even given it a shot. (Except asparagus. I can understand gagging and not being willing to try that.)

Samuel - I think you're right. Just another way for the super cool people to make me feel like a nerd.

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