Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Comment Elsewhere: Seasonal Flamewars

Usually I just let these things go by, but Scott appreciates a meta-discussion more than most, so I gave him one
Every genre has to have it's quality v. popularity debate every couple of years. They start with a screed decrying the popularity of low-quality work; the rabid amateur base (in history, we call them "buffs"; in speculative fiction and comics, you say "fanboys"; in knitting and hunting, it's "hobbyists"; etc.) screams back with the anti-elitist gambit; some people go off on practitioner v. consumer tangents while others try to bridge the gap with mollifying words about quality and popularity not being mutually exclusive. There's always a bunch of definitional arguments: what is or is not within the genre; does the genre have boundaries and do they change (and the traditionalist v. modernist argument always has its own ring in this circus); what is quality, anyway; what is popularity when comparing different media; etc.

It doesn't end: it just peters out with everyone's pre-existing prejudices about each other and the genre confirmed, and two years later someone will put out another rant and the whole thing starts over again.

Enjoy yourselves, fellas.
p.s. I'm assuming that everyone's Harry Potter posts are getting lots of traffic, which is why this is my most popular post at the moment.... or is it me?

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