You Are Entitled to Nothing

Now that I’m not writing a review website, I feel a little more at liberty to say what I’m feeling on certain things. Therefore the theme of the day, this the second day of 2016, is a simple one. It is a theme best espoused by President Frank Underwood: you are entitled to nothing…from artists.

It’s okay to be disappointed that George Martin hasn’t finished writing the next Song of Ice and Fire novel. It’s even okay to feel a little frustrated with the delay because you’ve really, really been really looking forward to his next book. However, you cross the god damned lines of common sense and good taste when your whining insinuates that George Martin somehow owes you another book.

George Martin doesn’t owe you so much as a popcorn fart.

George Martin’s success doesn’t mean he is held to a higher standard than a rank neophyte.

George Martin creates what he wants, when he wants, just like the rest of us. If he chooses to take down his shingle and watch Hungarian porn eighteen hours a day while counting his HBO money, then all the power to him. Commentary on publication delays are a conversation for Mr. Martin and his publisher. Are you a part of that formula? No? Then you need to sit down, shut up, and find something more productive to do with your time than bellyaching about your “fandom” as if it owes you something.

And on that note, perhaps 2016 should be the year we re-evaluate “fandom” as a concept. Maybe I’m getting old, maybe I just don’t care as much about appeasing as many readers as possible, but the culture of entitlement and ownership emerging around ‘ships, OTPs, and all the rest seems to be the same sort of toxic mess that fuels the likes of GamerGate. Certain people start thinking that because they like something in a certain way, they can somehow exert a measure of ownership over said thing – or that they are somehow greater than other people who enjoy a certain thing. Both are false. Worse, both ideas are toxic and divorced from reality.

Ownership is the perview of the creator. Fan art, no matter the form or style, is an homage to another person’s work and ownership. I fear far too many people are using the language of inclusion to work around what should be an axiomatic notion.

Discussion is the perview of the critical mind. You want to talk about something? Great! People love talking. Follow these three simple steps to having a good conversation: turn on your brain, engage your reason, and accept that the artist has an intention beyond your interpretation.

Don’t want to do either of the above? There’s the door.

You are entitled to nothing.

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