Author Topic: Hate Mail – Why bother?  (Read 27060 times)

Snoopy

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Hate Mail – Why bother?
« on: April 27, 2008, 10:39:29 pm »

I thought about asking Patty in the ‘Ask Patty’ thread if she ever got any hate-mails and how she dealt with them, but decided it was too personal a question, so I’m posting it here, maybe someone can ‘enlighten’ me…
I thought of this because I was surfing around on mugglenet not too long ago, in the wonderful Hall of Shame (still makes me laugh every time) and there are some examples of hate mail posted there, too. All I can do is laugh at it, but I do wonder, why people even bother writing it. I mean, if you don’t like something about a book/movie, then don’t read/watch it. After all, in the end it’s only entertainment, and usually even little kids get the fact that stories like Harry Potter aren’t true (at least I haven’t met any who point wands at me and say expelliarmus because they’re threatened by my purse). I can better understand if it’s something political/religious that can actually affect someone’s life, but IMO the whole thing about HP being satanic and evil is just BS – do the people who see it like that actually read it?
I also know a family where the kids aren’t allowed to read/watch HP, but they know Star Wars and LOTR basically by heart. HUH??? Same difference, to me… but at least they don't care enough to write hate mail, so fine. I’m a firm believer in the motto ‘if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything’. Keeps me out of trouble most of the times, and on the occasions when I don’t listen to the good angel but the bad, nagging one, I feel bad about it afterwards…  :P

OK, *takes deep breath* rant over... and I realise this is pretty hypocritical, ranting about people who write hate-mail...   ::) ;D
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CheeseBK

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 11:45:32 pm »
I’m a firm believer in the motto ‘if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything’. Keeps me out of trouble most of the times, and on the occasions when I don’t listen to the good angel but the bad, nagging one, I feel bad about it afterwards…  :P

I wouldn't go that far.... I'd say as long as it is constructive critisicm and not just something like "I do not like it because...blabla" it is not only okay, but an feedback a writer can use to improve.

What i don't understand is, that some people can get all fanatical cursing books, movies whatever. What exactly forces them to spend their time with it? I mean, if I don't like - let's say - fantasy, why read it or watch a  movie that OBVIOUSLY (like e.g. LOTR....) deals with those things? And why argue over things that NOBODY, I repeat NOBODY can ever claim to judge in a totally objective way? Because books, movies, music.... everything that is entertainment is about personal preferences and therefore nobody can say it is good or it is bad...... i say I like it or I don't, because it's alaways a subjective opinion.

As for hate mail....... I think every person who is to some extent present in the public has received hate mail somewhen. There are just too many people out there who - apparently - have no other problems than to spend their time with things like that. Don't get me wrong, I don't want bad things happen to those people.... but just how bored do you have to be, to spend - with full intention - extra time with something you obviously don't like? See, I don't like what George Lucas did with the first three episodes of Star Wars *shudders* but hey, I don't have to watch it a second time, right?

I daresay that the rape and how Patricia Briggs dealt with the consequences may have stirred some voices. Personally - I liked the way she dealt with it. We did not read about the rape itself which would be - IMO - going too far. But as sad as it is, rape happens and it was very brave of her to include it in a novel.

To come to an end after all this rambling:
I don't understand people who write hate mail. And maybe - by talking about it - we even give them more attention than they deserve.



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Gerd D.

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 03:19:38 am »
Hate Mail – Why bother?
Because it's fun to read.  :D

Back from mugglenet (I didn't even now that existed before), where I learned the meaning of IDGRA and that Ron and Hermione are an item now. And fans really didn't see that coming?
Heck even I had my suspicions about that and I only read HP1/Chapter 1 and watched two of the movies.  ::)


I digress,
I suppose (or better hope) that the majority of mails I read there are written by disillusioned teens that felt cheated because the books didn't work out as they hoped for, at certain ages you do care for these things, and look back on it later and hopefully can laugh about it.

But why do people write hate mail in general?
Probably because they are angry and feel the need to lash out at somebody, anybody. And authors make a good target for that.
Look at it that way, you shed out good money for a book and it turns out to be carp.
Most everybody will get angry about that, the wiser among us just as much at the author as at oneself, others go and write more or less lengthy hate mails I guess. Whatever helps you to feel better, right?
And the invention of eMail didn't make that anybetter.

(There's a popular joke about that:
A company decided to reduce the amount of paper wasted each year and demanded from their workers that in-house correspondence should be made via eMail. But people started to write and send everything that crossed their mind. In the end everbody hard printed every message he did send or get to cover his own ass and they used up twice the amount of paper.)


Not that I'm trying to say there was no hate mail going around in earlier days, but it certainly got a lot worse with the ease of accessibility granted in the electronic age.
That's the down side to this frightening brand new century, back in the days you had to put some work into writing, even with hate mail, these days you just have to type out your thoughts (no matter how incoherent they are) and press send.

As for the satanism accusations fantasy authors are apt to receive, well, never try to understand religious nutcases.
It's impossible to second guess what might go trough the minds of people that actually believe that there's a place in the afterlife just to punish infidels ... or people that think a childhood believe in magic was the way to the dark side...
It's only a pity for those children that have to realise that their parents are a lot more immature than they are, and in a pathological way so. :(


Quote
See, I don't like what George Lucas did with the first three episodes of Star Wars *shudders* but hey, I don't have to watch it a second time, right?
Good point, but I still believe that I would feel a lot better if was to finally write down that go to hell, George letter and send it to him.  >:(
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”

Terry Pratchett, "Hogfather"

Good Mazoku

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 05:54:33 am »
Oh well, I'm among those who really don't understand people who write hate mail: I'm with Cheese on this, how bored do you have to be to spend time like that? ::) I'm not against constructive criticism, I even sent an email to an author to point out an historical incongruency, but always being polite: hate mail is all about "I don't like this and since I didn't like it, it is crap, you should have done it like I'd have done it and you're wrong and I'm right". Well, duh, some deep thoughts there, we might have the next Nobel prize among these... ;)
In the end, I think a good use of your mail wastebin gets the problem solved: unfortunately for us, brain transplants are still unavailable ;D
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Has

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 10:24:12 am »
I don't get hate mail at all- and I cant see the reasons why people would want to write them. Although I can understand criticisms like historical inaccuracies or factual errors- but I wont go out of my way to write something negative to an author especially if there is no basis for it.
If I have to write something negative then it would have to be the my lack of enjoyment or the weakness of the story but I wont go out of my way to write this to an author.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 10:28:20 am by Has »
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nottled

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 10:39:35 am »
Hate Mail – Why bother?

Look at it that way, you shed out good money for a book and it turns out to be carp.  >:(

When I pay for a book, it better not be carp...or trout..or salmon......(giggle..snort...wheeze.. :D :D :D)

Sorry Gerd, I couldn't resist. I'm a dork. ;)
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Nifty

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 11:00:56 am »
Ha!  I'm sorry, I had to laugh, too. 
I could not deprive you of the realization of all you could accomplish together, and of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot begin to imagine.

Patti L.

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 12:25:17 pm »
I have an urge to carp on the fish theme, but it's a squid on the mantle.
It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

Snoopy

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 12:29:28 pm »


Squid on the mantle??? Is that slang/a saying for something??
*is sorry for being such a nuisance with not understanding stuff like this*


Hey, carp can smell just as bad as what Gerd actually had in mind...  :P
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dsgholam

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 12:48:31 pm »
Hey, no need to resort to flinging fish! I love how it goes from rants about hate mail to snorting about fish!  :D

On the topic of hate mail: I can't really understand sending hate mail to people like authors and actors, because they don't actually affect anything. The only time I can kind of see sending a hate message is to someone like a politician or law maker that does in fact have the power to impact people's individual lives and quality of life in general. I would not ever send hate mail, I don't see how it would do any good, but I can see someone who feels powerless in a situation trying to gain some control by instilling fear through hate mail. I think that that is mostly what people who send hate mail try to do- instill fear, but it seems like most people would be underwhelmed by what are mostly empty threats.

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Snoopy

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 01:08:12 pm »
Dshgholam, you're the first person I've ever heard (well, seen) using the word 'underwhelmed' except in 'Ten Things I hate about You':
Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed. And you can be underwhelmed. But can you ever just be whelmed?
Bianca: I think you can in Europe?
*LMAO*

Ok, to stay on topic:
Hey, no need to resort to flinging fish! I love how it goes from rants about hate mail to snorting about fish!  :D
I think it's funny, too. Fun surprise!!
Eh, I meant off topic...  :P

Okay, now on topic:
I don't know if hate mail doesn't affect anything. I mean, knowing myself, if I ever were an author (fat chance, haha) worthy enough to even deserve hate mail, I would have a really hard time ignoring it. I know myself too well, I'd just keep thinking about it and doubting myself and my work. Of course, you don't have to read it, but I think just the fact that I got it would make my self-esteem low, at least for a time. It'd be there, nagging in the back of my mind...
I think as a famous author you have to put on a 'thick pelt' considering stuff like that. I suppose you get used to it, after a while, too.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 01:15:34 pm by Snoopy »
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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 01:15:33 pm »
I think everyone would be affected by hate-mails, at least in the beginning, most of all, probably, because you get to think "Well, if someone went to all the trouble of writing me this, maybe I really f*cked up big time". This because we would be entitling the people who write it of a brain, that they probably don't have, but whatever... ::) It likely hurts, but if you have good people around you, who believe in what you do and support your work, then it might be easier, and after a while you learn that the people worth listening to don't waste time writing hate-mails. ;)
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Snoopy

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 01:19:53 pm »
This because we would be entitling the people who write it of a brain, that they probably don't have, but whatever... ::)
What's a brain?? Dang, my head hurts from the hollow wind inside it. And what's this piece of paper I've been writing on?? 'Dear X, your stories are dumb' - dang, I forgot what 'dumb' means again...
 :D ;D :D

It likely hurts, but if you have good people around you, who believe in what you do and support your work, then it might be easier, and after a while you learn that the people worth listening to don't waste time writing hate-mails. ;)
I agree. Couldn't have said it better, Mazoku!!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 01:24:47 pm by Snoopy »
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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 01:24:38 pm »
Yeah, I had a moment of profound insight, so prize it ;D :D
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Snoopy

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Re: Hate Mail – Why bother?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2008, 01:28:03 pm »


*bows to the Great Good Mazoku*

*chants* I praise you, oh Insighted One!!


No, honestly, I think you hit the nail on the head, just like Dr. Seuss once said: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
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