Once again, as always, I'll be addressing my four favorite topics: fantasy writing, video games, Japan, and pro wrestling. The common connecting topic this week will be "fans."
What are fans? Is it short for "fanatic?" Or are they just people who decide who is popular and who is not with their pocketbooks? How much should a fan expect? How much should someone famous let fans dictate how they approach their life? Some thoughts below:
So this is a common complaint especially about George R.R. Martin. Some group of fans seem to think it's OK to demand their favorite author to only work on the series that they want to read. I'll admit, at some points, I felt that sense of entitlement as well. But here's the thing: are you a writer? If you are, then you know how difficult it is to get your vision absolutely right. Sometimes it's not going to be perfect when you sit down and write. As a fan, it's your job to read and enjoy what someone writes and not demand perfection at every corner. I think when the series is all said and done, everyone will be happy that Martin took his time and gave us an awesome series.
So the job of the fans? Go read something else. Here's a list:
J.R.R. Tolkien, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Richard K. Morgan, R. Scott Bakker, Brandon Sanderson, China Mieville, Daniel Abraham, David Gemmel, Robert E. Howard, David Anthony Durham, Terry Pratchett, Andrzej Sapkowski, Ursula K. Guin, etc. etc.
2. Video Games
With the coming of Dragon's Dogma to my doorstep, I've been reading tons of reviews. Not all of them are glowingly positive. But they're not all awful either. I think fans of RPGs expect certain kinds of things in their games at this point. From what I've heard of Dragon's Dogma, it takes some risks, and some pay off and some don't. At the end of the day, if fans of RPGs don't like the game, then they won't make another one. But I think the overall feeling is that the game can be another great series for Capcom, who has had gang-busters success here in Japan with Monster Hunter. If this can be a new franchise for them to hang their hat on, then I'm sure they're excited.
And let me just say, I sort of predicted this. Um...yeah, I did.
East Meets West?
So I heard that KARA is now in trouble for not agreeing that some islands belong to Korea because they don't want to obviously offend their fans in Japan, where they are huge. Because they didn't firmly support one side or the other, they are now facing dwindling popularity in their home country of Korea. It seems like a case of the Dixie Chicks type thing, except KARA didn't go looking to get involved in a political situation. Do fans of music really care what someone's political affiliation or whatever is? They're just young women who sing songs. Let them do their job and leave politics to politicians.
4. Pro Wrestling
So CM Punk hit a fan? It was a mistake, as he admitted, but where do we draw the line? I'm not so much thinking about the incident itself, but the way the fans seem to treat wrestlers like they're sub-human. If it's true and some fans said "Let's push (Punk) down the stairs" then I don't blame Punk for lashing out. True, security should have been in place, but if someone is threatening to do you bodily harm and you feel you're in a volatile situation, sometimes the only reaction is to lash out. I've always personally been against shows where wrestlers go into the crowd. It can be a potentially dangerous situation in any case. Suffice to say, I don't think WWE will be letting people go through the crowd anytime soon. Like Punk said, I'm just glad no one was hurt. I don't think he meant to hurt anyone, but when you touch a wrestler, you've become fair game.