Thursday, May 19, 2005

Snarky posts

I'm reading all over (well okay, in like two or three blogs) about one erotica writer who isn't happy with the general state of the erotic romance genre. Pretty much all the responses to her blog post (I only read the first few because the rest were so vitriolic and frankly, depressing) have been attacks on her and especially her writing. Glass houses and all that.

This annoys me for several reasons.

First, you shouldn't attack your own genre unless you're
a) unassailable (Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts et al could probably get away with it) b) very brave or c) brave's best friend, very stupid. It's inviting attacks on you and your work. Actually, maybe I should scratch a). People love to complain and they'd probably tell Jude and Nora their work sucks.

Secondly, she does have a point that romantica is probably not the strongest field of romance writing. There is some crap out there. I've read it. I may even be writing it. But it's like any popular genre, of writing or film or music - there's some good stuff and there's a lot of rubbish. I say to its critics the same thing I say to any critic of any genre (and I'm going to put it in really big letters to make my point):
If you don't like it then don't read it.

Thirdly, it really, really, really irritates me that a person is attacked so strongly for expressing her opinion. All opinions are valid (despite what my big brother believes) and is it not an integral part of the western civilisation we all prize so highly that we can all speak our minds? Isn't that sort of the point of the internet? Frankly I'm starting to become afraid to express my own opinion in case I offend someone with more delicate sensibilities than myself. I have my own views on religion and politics, but I rarely express them because I just don't like getting into fights over them. They're not even radical. But they're still offensive to a lot of people who probably think I go around kicking puppies and things.

Therefore it would seem that the only way to get along with anyone anywhere is to keep one's opinion to oneself. Never speak out against anything that you believe to be wrong or incorrect. Never express your own beliefs. Never be individual or unusual, because this way pain lies. After all, Plato himself laid down the rules: that knowledge is based upon what is, and ignorance upon what is not. Since opinion and knowledge cannot be the same thing, opinion cannot be based upon what is. It's nothing to do with facts. Therefore, it must be invalid, and irrelevent.

Plato really could be an idiot sometimes.

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