The Dark Side of Book Lovers
Darkest Warrior Controversy and the Internet Attackers
This post really won’t focus much on the the controversy of The Darkest Warrior. I am not going to argue a side or do a book talk. However, the animosity that has been directed at the author and the book were the catalyst for me to write this post.
I’m all for criticizing a book and an author but I do not believe in personal attacks. Especially over something so inconsequential as the characters you didn’t want to together- get together. That doesn’t merit the firestorm that has been going on. It doesn’t. No matter how mad you are. I’ve thrown books across the room over an ending I didn’t like but I didn’t go on the attack and try and hunt down the authors! I defiantly wasn’t pleased but I handled it (mostly) like an adult. So, bare with me while I explain the backstory and then I will get to the crux of my annoyance.
Anyone in the romance community that has been paying attention to Gena Showalter and her Lords of the Underworld series knows she is a paranormal romance writer and her newest book, The Darkest Warrior, has come under fire because of the main characters. Now, that may seem silly but here is the reason: The Darkest Warrior is the 14th book in the LOTU series and focuses on the romance between Gilly and Puck. People are extremely mad because they feel betrayed by Showalter for not pairing Gilly with William- who has been Gilly’s love interest since the second book.
So me, being the overly curious person that I am posted a question about why people were so upset. For me, I knew Gilly and William were NOT going to be a couple about four or five books back. It was obvious to me. Although, judging from the reactions of others it was NOT obvious to them. I was pretty appalled by the responses to this book and thought it was a little extreme. All I kept thinking about was the fact that these books are HER books. She writes them, she can do what she wants with them. However, as I quickly discovered I was the minority in that opinion as well. I was immediately attacked for “defending” Showalter and I was accused of being Showalter’s “minion” that had been sent out to fight the angry pitchfork carrying masses (I wish I close enough to Showalter for her to ask me to defend her honor!!!). I posted my question of my own free will (I think it is ridiculous that I even have to CLARIFY that) and curiosity, not really thinking anything about it. Boy, did I get more than I bargained for.
(I know you all are curious on where I stand on the Gilly/Puck Gilly/William relationship. I’m totally for Gilly/Puck! William is a jerk!)
Here’s my problem though- people feel they can be horrible to you on the internet because they are hiding behind their keyboard. They hurl insults and call you names because they feel empowered. I was completely shocked that I was on the receiving end of this attack. The reason I asked the people of the internet a simple question was because I wanted an answer- not an onslaught of scorn directed my way. I was horrified by the way people were acting on Goodreads. It was wrong and (silly me) I thought that by speaking up people would realize how stupid they were acting. I was mistaken. The more I tried to reason with people the more they attacked me, to the point that I had to start defending myself. I was kinda astonished. And pretty pissed off.
I’m not very active on social media and when I was, I interacted with my family and friends. I never got into fights with strangers over pointless things, I never read through comments on pictures just for fun. It just never occurred to me to do that. Mostly because I thought it was pointless. And it is by the way. Completely pointless. When I posted on Goodreads I was expecting to have a debate or at least a (civil) back and forth. It never even crossed my mind that by posting my question I would be attacked. Maybe that’s naive. But the internet is not really where I spend my time, I’m usually buried in a book not the comments section on a random post.
The horrid behavior of people on the internet has been rattling around in my mind for a while. The incident that sparked this mind rattling was #cockygate. During that entire #cockygate scandal I was soooo stunned by the language used by BOTH sides (sides being those defending the author and those attacking the author). People were calling each other cunts and threatening to fight one another. Sidebar: how do you fight some random person you argue with on the internet? Do you trade address? Meet at a previously agreed upon location and get ready to rumble? How does this work? I was completely blown away by the behavior of GROWN WOMEN!!!! I mean, come on! Yes, that author was wrong, and her career will never recover but good god people! Don’t you know how trashy it is to act like that? You come off looking utterly ridiculous and your argument loses all its integrity. I understand being infuriated with someone or something but the minute you dissolve into a raging Hulk you have already lost.
Now, I’m not being all high and mighty. I know that’s what you’re thinking. But I’m not. I have a horrible temper. I mean horrible. Of course I’ve cussed people out- not to their face but man, when I’m in my car all hell breaks lose. I have gotten into arguments and have let anger rule me, everyone has but that’s not the point I’m trying to make. I’m trying to say- when you attack a total stranger on the internet for having a different opinion than you ABOUT A BOOK you are just mean. Same with the #cockygate stuff. I was outraged that the-author-who-shall-not-be-named tried to copyright a common word and then was completely awful about it to other authors. Although, I was upset and incensed on behalf of the authors being targeted, I figured that it would not last. I knew the romance community (and the author community in general) would rally and fight it. And they did. And they won. No one needed to call someone else a cunt to get it fixed.
I just don’t understand how people can act that way. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It especially doesn’t make sense to me when it is over something so mundane. I realize Showalter’s fans felt betrayed and were mad but it doesn’t give you the right to throw a temper-tantrum. If you’re going to get all up in arms about something make it something important like: world hunger, sex-trafficking, the rise of the KKK and racism, the lack of literacy in the world, the cost of text books and education, women not receiving the same pay as men, poverty, rape-culture, the crumbling economy, trade-wars, wars, the rise in homelessness, literally anything horrible going on in the world. There is so much out there that deserves your rage.
I guess, after writing this rather long rant-ish style post, all I am trying to say is, you don’t have to be a dick to get your point across.
Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. -Mark Twain
It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person. -Bill Murray