UNADULTERATED: All Sides of A Coin

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UNADULTERATED is a feature I created to allow my muddled thoughts to be straightened out into sentences, but often remaining as ramblings with little to no motives behind them. (Also more commonly known as regurgitating thoughts or verbal diarrhea.) There are minimal editing in these posts, hence there will be lots of straying of thoughts and even driving off "topic cliffs". Consider yourself warned. ;)

I have the luck to enjoy company with people who are objective and are capable of seeing different sides of a coin. Recently, perhaps I had accidentally stepped on the train of Lady Luck’s dress, for I have also encountered some people who are rather adamant on their love(s).

That gave birth to this post.

At what point does love and passion turn into rabid obsession? Rabid and passionate are actually synonyms but it’s funny how their connotations set them apart.

Think of a rabid fan, do you get a rather crazed and illogical person? Perhaps.
Think of a passionate fan, do you get a reasonable yet persuasive person? Maybe.

There are bookish fans, no doubt. Think of fandoms like Throne of Glass, The Mortal Instruments, The Maze Runner, The Raven Cycle, A Darker Shade of Magic.

There are people who are in love with the books and make lots of art, great art. I enjoy looking at these, I marvel because they turn that love into something tangible, and in return their beloved authors give them more love. It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful. The amount of love that goes into the book, the amount of love that love generates, and it goes on and on.

Then think from another perspective, think from the perspective of people who don’t particularly enjoy the books in question. Or any of the books that you love so much. You probably might think, why don’t they love it? Is there something wrong with them? What is wrong with the book? Am I missing something? Are they missing something? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

But there are few definite answers. Most of the time, it comes down to the fact that people have different tastes. If everyone liked the same thing, there will be an exact formula to success and selling out. However, there is no such thing. So no, literature is interesting that way. Just like people. You might love Dean Winchester to pieces, but I don’t. I might love Benedict Cumberbatch, but you might just think of a cucumber whenever he is mentioned. Maybe over one million kids like Elmo, but only thousands of us love Oscar.

We are a minority, but it doesn’t mean the minority can be pushed over, overwhelmed by sheer numbers, stripped of an opinion, and the like. Incidentally, the minority can become the majority elsewhere, but it doesn’t mean the minority should release that pent-up stress there. It should make them more understanding, having been the minority before.

Like I said, I’ve the pleasure of having the company of people, especially bookish people, who are objective. When I say that, I meant I don’t get chewed out if I have no particular like or dislike for The Raven Cycle, or that among all of Throne of Glass, I only enjoy Dorian’s character. And I don’t get judged particularly for liking Carlisle from Twilight (or Alice and Jasper).

That doesn’t really apply to all fandoms and all people in all fandoms, unfortunately. I know there are people who jokingly questioned others in the way of “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” before easing the conversation with jokes and more logical reasoning. But there are also people who just put words into your mouth where you have not said them, and also attack you personally.

Let me take a moment to say that I am not okay with attacking anyone verbally or physically. And as Confucius said: Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.

I feel that this line is often blurred between the issue and the person addressing the issue. It’s not the virtual loudness or profanities that makes certain responses undesirable. It’s the irate manner, together with the inability to separate the author’s motives and the author, and the contents. You could probably question the author’s motive of talking from that particular perspective that touches so many nerves. This is assuming the author is one that you’ve been following for a while now, and suddenly, he/she is embroiled in a controversial issue and you know from past interactions that this author isn’t one to do this. (Then again, you can always argue that people change. Hm. Food for thought.)

That brings us to another argument of whether the author should be separated from what he/she writes. My answer is -- not really. I don’t have a definite negative because I think it’s also dependent on the author’s rationale in writing a topic that is possibly controversial.

Most authors I truly love are deep thinkers and great or decent researchers, I would like to believe they did their homework. Incidentally, I have seen friends who swore off both the book and the author because it was just too much for them to take, most of the time it’s due to very controversial issues. (Personally, haven’t read September Girls but it has reviews from both ends of the spectrum, go figure. Also, I’ve had Hello, I Love You on my TBR now because it apparently does not have very accurate Korean cultural references. Books for thoughts!) But there are also friends who disliked both book and author because the content was too gory or dark most of the time. That’s fine to me, because it’s the author’s niche, which is not every one’s cup of tea. Just like how I barely read any contemporary romances. Jenny Han, who? Back to the point, everyone’s interpretation and imagination works differently.

Sometimes, authors and readers have conflicting principles and beliefs in life. It’s similar to all those Thought Catalog and Buzzfeed articles telling you who are toxic friends, what type of friends you should have, what type of partner you should look for… I’ve said it before, but there’s no one set formula to life. The partner you thought was not thoughtful enough, might be just thoughtful enough for another. Different people have different sets of values and different ways of putting value to another thing. There is no fixed standard for any kind of “standard”.

… I forgot where I was going with this.

Ah, right. At the end of the day, if you love something, by all means, spread the love for it. But if you meet someone who feels nothing for the particular topic, book, author, artiste, movie, anything, and is unpersuaded by your undying love… that someone has probably different interests and tastes from you in that particular field. Please live, and let live. There’s enough pain and hate in this world, without us adding more to it.

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