Martin Decries “Anti-Fans”

Author George R. R. Martin says debating films and television isn’t as fun as it used to be. He says fandom has definitely taken a turn and he thinks he knows where the blame lies – social media. He said it has fuelled toxicity in fandom.

We held the mirror up to ourselves and had a debate on this a few months back, and it was both invigorating and enlightening. Now, in a recent post on his Not a Blog blog (reported by Dark Horizons), Martin has discussed the phenomenon and how it seems as if, sometimes, fandom celebrates failure more than success.

“I take solace where I can. In books. In films and television shows… though even there, toxicity is growing. It used to be fun talking about our favorite books and films, and having spirited debates with fans who saw things different.

But somehow in this age of social media, it is no longer enough to say ‘I did not like book X or film Y, and here’s why.’ Now social media is ruled by anti-fans who would rather talk about the stuff they hate than the stuff they love, and delight in dancing on the graves of anyone whose film has flopped.”

Thirteen years and counting since the last Game Of Thrones novel. Maybe he could take solace in writing that? I kid, I kid.

He has got a point, but the Germans have a word for this – schadenfreude – that means pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. I generally find I only enjoy other’s misfortune when they have done something to make me think they deserve it…


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