Writing is difficult. People don’t think it is, but trust us, it is. Nothing illustrates this point more than when New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante wrote a negative review of the HBO show Game of Thrones, and got blasted for it. Once the review went up, fantasy fans everywhere went wild, accusing Bellafante of not know what she was talking about, and worse:
The e-mailers have written long and impassioned defenses of the books by George R.R. Martin, on which the series is based, and of the fantasy genre in general. But they have also sent long and vitriolic attacks claiming that, in my negativity, I made it clear that I had no idea what I was talking about. I appreciate the economy of those readers who began and ended their comments: “You are a complete idiot.” Phrases like that constituted a whole subgenre of the online response.
As Bellafante notes, people often forget that just because a writer – especially a critic – composes something that a reader doesn’t agree with, it doesn’t make him or her an “idiot.” But the attacks come with the terrioritory, and it’s clear that the area around Game of Thrones is one people are pretty passionate about.
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