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The Uncharted Nether Reaches of the Internet

I’ve been following my friend George’s incredible and well deserved success with much joy and a general feeling of Squeeee!  So I’ve been wandering around the Internet reading reactions to the Emmy nominations, and the reviews of Dance, and reports about the signings, and in my wanderings I stumbled into a fetid swamp.

Otherwise known as a website devoted to attacking George and his work.  I won’t name them because I don’t want to drive anymore traffic in their direction.  Bottom line, I was amazed, stunned, saddened and infuriated that there were this many people who spent their time attacking an author because he didn’t meet their expectations.  And they’re still bitching even though they have the book.  All I could think was “Are there no other books being published that you can read and enjoy?”  “How about taking a nice walk?”  “Maybe you could volunteer someplace?” “Play a video game.”  “Play with your kids.”  “Take you spouse out to a romantic dinner.”

And beyond all the attacks on the writing, the book, the show there were these incredibly ugly and personal attacks which sent me pacing around the house, and talking myself out of responding to these unfair and personal attacks, and generally lowering myself to their level.

On the plus side these people have become irrelevant given the enormous success of George’s series both book and television.  They’re like squeaking, little ghosts churning impotently around the feet of a massive monolith.

Which got me thinking about the internet and social media, etc.  I know on many levels it’s a good thing.  It’s helped fuel revolutions against autocratic governments, and helped folks find long, lost high school buddies, and kindled romances, etc. etc., but it’s also allowed assholes to achieve critical mass.  It’s removed any sense of polite behavior because they are acting from anonymity.  It’s allowed bullies to propagate because there is no risk, no cost to their ugly behavior, and because they can’t see how their words and actions may have  hurt a living, breathing human being.

In short — I wish there was a visual map to the internet that warned us that “Here Be monsters”.

 

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