Life under the bridge, part 2

El Pusso Supremo George R.R. Martin snivels in his latest Live Journal post as follows:

I am, however, getting bloody sick of all the off-topic comments, and the trolls who use any LJ post of mine, regardless of subject, as another excuse to slam me about DANCE being late. I can't stop you from posting such comments, of course... but I can and will remove 'em, and ban the posters. LJ makes that pretty easy, I'm glad to say. And life is too short to deal with trolls.

It is, of course, Whinemeister Georgie's absolute right to delete any messages and ban any person he feels like from commenting on his blog, and I may well have already been banned and don't even know it. But it's interesting to me that Prince Hissy-Fit has chosen to typify as 'off topic' anyone who 'slams' him for being late with A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, a volume originally promised for (I believe) 2002, and whose current excerpt/sample, on his blog, carries a 2004 copyright date.

In other words, the book itself is five years late, and even the SAMPLE he has up was written three years ago.

Beyond that, while Martin has certainly seen some success over the years with his other writing projects, I have to assume that the phenomenal success of the ICE AND FIRE series has put more money in his pocket since the late 90s than every other project he has ever been paid for... perhaps even, combined.

All of which means, complaints that the latest installment of his book are late can never be 'off topic', because the completely unacceptable tardiness of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is absolutely the only germane subject when it comes to George R.R. Martin right now, and it is absolutely the only topic he should be concerning himself with.

Martin clearly doesn't like that, but what he likes and does not like is entirely beside the point. We ICE AND FIRE fans are the people who are paying his bills, and WE are the ones who will decide what is 'off topic' and what isn't, and he has only himself to blame for it. All his bullshit about the new NFL season, or whether or not there will ever be ICE AND FIRE miniatures or an ICE AND FIRE movie or when the next WILD CARDS anthology will come out, is stupid and pointless and, by definition, 'off topic'. He needs to be working on ICE AND FIRE. He needs to be doing that exclusively until the fucker is completed, or until he announces that he gives up and there will never be a finished ICE AND FIRE series.

It's interesting that he seems to think this attitude makes me a 'troll', though.

I've often pondered how one would legitimately define the word 'troll' in its Internet context, as it seems to largely be a word that means whatever a certain person is pointing to at the time, in terms of comments on a blog or other message board. I've been called a troll many, many times, and what I get from that usage is, a 'troll' is anyone who posts anything to any website that the owner/operator of said website doesn't want to read or be troubled with.

This seems to be the definition the perpetually tardy (and pissy about it) George R.R. Martin is using. He's tired of having people chide him about how late A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is, and he's certainly not going to bring the topic up, so anyone who does is off topic, and a troll, and he'll delete said off topic comments and ban said trolls from his site.

Still, I'd like to think that if intelligent, well meaning people of good intent got together to discuss the issue, they could come up with a more objective definition of the world 'troll' than simply 'anybody who posts anything I don't like on my website'.

It seems to me that if a necessary component of 'trolling' is personal invective. Someone who talks about a professional's work product, or about whatever the topic of a particular blog or a particular blog entry is, without lapsing into insults aimed at the blogger him or herself, is probably not a troll. Unless, of course, the person only seems to be hanging around a particular blog for purposes of being contrary... but even there, I think being a 'troll' is something beyond simply being unpleasant. I think, to really qualify as a troll, you have to be deliberately trying to fuck with someone (or someones) because it gives you personal pleasure to fuck with them.

Now, I do not doubt that Martin has many angry fans out there (I'm certainly one of them) and maybe a few of them have become so resentful that they would, indeed, qualify as 'trolls' by this definition... but honestly, I doubt it. There's little point to fucking with Martin simply for the fun of it; most of us who are screaming loudest at him to FINISH THE FUCKING BOOK FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET BABY JEBUS are people who are avid admirers of Martin's work. We don't want to fuck with him; we want him to finish the goddam book... and then write the next one... and the one after that.

And this is hardly out of line. If Martin didn't want to have hundreds of thousands of people screaming for the next ICE AND FIRE volume, he should either (a) not have written the first three so well and/or (b) have been professional enough about his writing to get the subsequent volumes out in a timely fashion.

Thus and so, Martin typifying every comment he gets in regard to DRAGONS' lateness as 'off topic', and everyone who posts such comments as 'trolls', is just more self indulgent petulance from a man so massively unprofessional that he not only can't finish a particular book in five solid years, but he's willing to blame everyone else for this personal and professional failure but himself... especially the people whose money he's been taking this whole time, and whose money he will continue to take, not just when he finally finishes the next installment, but whenever someone decides to market yet another ICE AND FIRE line of merchandise.

At first, last, and always, here are the only words George R.R. Martin welcomes from his fans -- slobbering, sycophantic adulation of the most utterly nauseating persuasion... and his own name filled in after PAY TO THE ORDER OF.

Anything else is off topic, and anyone offering it is a troll.

I gotta think, George R.R. Martin's reality must be just loaded to the gunwales with trolls, these days.

Postscript - as it turns out, I already discussed this general subject in some detail in this previous post, which is why I've belatedly hung a 'part 2' on this one.

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