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People are insane.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: People are insane. Reply with quote

A friend linked me to this thread. Honestly, this scares the crap out of me. What on earth . . . it's just a BOOK.
O______________O;;;;
(Language warning on the individual links)

I swear though, lately it's almost like Twilight has become a religion. I like the books ok, but I don't think they call for this sort of obsession. It's not healthy and it's becoming seriously dangerous. In my opinion, it needs to be pulled from production. This is thousands of miles past too far.
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TheBritishInvasion



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is truly insane. I read one of the links and after looking at the descriptions of the others I won't be reading any more. I just hope they're made up.

But I don't think pulling the book from production will fix anything, it'll create a backlash from the insane fans and from the sane ones alike and it isn't going to stop the ones who have already read it from acting crazy.
The people who are doing these things are bullies, if you take Twilight away from them, they're just going to find something else instead.
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Rechaana



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang. That is disturbing. http://www.mercedeslackey.com/features_laststraw.html
But check out this. Book obsessions aren't just Twilight-related. Apparently this book got a little too real for some people.
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone else remember Pottermania? And by the same token anti-Pottermaina. All the parents and religious leaders who were convinced it taught devil worship and the furore caused over that. Star Wars too. And The Da Vinci code. And the Bible. And the Qur'an.

It is a short step from punching a kid for not liking the same things as you to announcing war on a country for not believing the same things as you.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were different. If you’re different you can’t be predicted, or at least not as easily; if you can’t be predicted then you’re a threat.

People will kill over almost anything. We like to tell ourselves otherwise, that people are all rational, but caring at its basest level isn’t a rational generalised thing. We live in highly concentrated groups; cities; and most of our society is built around not knowing the people we meet. The people you get on a bus with to go to work, the people you walk by in the street every day, most of them you don’t know. Our interactions become systemic, because we can no longer rely on all sharing the same values. Our degree of trust in the integrity of those systems to maintain the status quo largely determines the degree to which we tolerate that which is different from us. We don’t really trust the people, we trust the system.

A lot of this descends from limitations in your neocortex: you just physically can’t know all the people within such a large society even if you had time to meet them all. People and creatures in general can only really conceptualise so much, in part due to our brain structure. It determines the size of peer groups that can be supported before emotional integration breaks down, (in humans about 150 Linky, and then you’d be spending about half of every waking hour socialising and be under survival conditions which tend to promote group solidarity anyway.) More importantly your neocortex also determines the degree to which you can transfer your approximations of their emotions from one thing onto another. Beyond this group people become sort of two dimensional cut outs. You might know of the person who delivers your mail in the morning and you might even assign him the label of ‘human’ - but how do you think of him, in terms of his emotions and so on - as a human that is - or in terms of being the person who delivers your mail - as a functional machine?

The closer you can place a person to that group you're capable of conceptualising the more you're able to transfer that conception. This is why when any tribe wants to go a conquering it creates an ‘us and them’ separation, it’s why when people wear masks to deindividuate themselves from their society – and by extension the social rules of that society – the level of violence they are prepared to use goes up. And it’s also, unfortunately, why if someone chooses to show themselves to be different from you on a major issue it’s very easy to separate yourself from them to a degree where you can do nasty things to them. To each of us ourself is the centrally weighted average of humanity used in estimation.

Which isn’t to say you don’t care at all just that you’ll naturally care less. There are good reasons for our brain working that way. If you cared about every case of attack as much as you cared about the specifics that you become aware of you'd just be unable to function. If you really cared that much about people being hurt you'd be in a corner curled up crying all the time.

So people come up with socially acceptable ways to abstract the ideas away from themselves. They vest their care and their value systems in specific cases: a TV show, a book – Twilight for instance - and by that measure show them off to society; or at least sections of it; assure people that they work by similar moral codes and share the same kinds of value systems. This way you don't really need to think beyond that 150 to have a kind of integrated society.

Two problems with this really, not everyone shares the same interpretation of symbolism – which is tied up with its utility since people who are like you will be more likely to share the same interpretation. The other problem, and the reason this is such an unhealthy thing for a society in general to do, comes in terms of what it does to those individuals the abstraction concerns; because as we know from observing societies the world over: the more abstracted you become, away from being an individual to being a member of a group separate to the main body, the easier it is to do things to you. Both in terms of media manipulation and in terms of actual physical abuse. Developing an ‘us and them’ mentality is instrumental in nearly all cases of violence.

I suppose you could say, to a certain extent, people are just hardwired to attack anything different to themselves.

No-one’s really incharge of the system; we tend to think governments, police, and so on, are. But that’s not really the case; these institutions are just collections of people, not very different from you or me. At the best, working together, they apply a rather limited sense of penalty if we’re clumsy enough to do something too against the common idea of what the rules are and get caught. The rules don’t have to apply to us if we don’t want them to.

So we make plans instead of thinking about people; because deep down we can’t think about people that much, it’s just not what we are. We vest our trust in governments and so on, to varying degrees.

And so we can live together without going crazy, love as much as we do, hate to the depths we do; we can aspire to be something other than pure evil.

It’s not that these people who go around slashing people up over books are necessarily crazy, although some of them probably are; it’s that they’ve looked at the world in a certain way, maybe not even at a conscious level – perhaps for they never believed the world was any other way or perhaps they don’t realise they’ve stopped thinking of it in a certain way – and at some level or another realised that the rules don’t have to apply to them, or to anyone else. The trust in the system isn’t there anymore, if it ever was to begin with; and so they can’t aspire to the social harmony that others can. At best, depending on their self confidence, it sets them a little on edge - wakes them up a bit; it can even be a positive thing if you use your freedom that way; at worst you get varying degrees of violence over books and things. This whole sorry mess.

That's my take anyway. Razz
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Last edited by Nem on Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this is almost as crazy as when Anne Rice decided to write a reply to people who gave her bad reviews on Amazon. She ended up hunting them down on JournalFen as I recall.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheBritishInvasion wrote:
That is truly insane. I read one of the links and after looking at the descriptions of the others I won't be reading any more. I just hope they're made up.

But I don't think pulling the book from production will fix anything, it'll create a backlash from the insane fans and from the sane ones alike and it isn't going to stop the ones who have already read it from acting crazy.
The people who are doing these things are bullies, if you take Twilight away from them, they're just going to find something else instead.

Well, most of them happened to people on the forum - but whether they're telling the truth or not is another story . . .

Along the lines of bullies, several of the characters who exploded were reported to seem nice and occasionally even shy at first. But then again, you can't always tell.

Hahaha, I feel like cheering for Mercedes Lackey.

Nem, your posts are long and wonderful as always. I'm filing away some facts for later. Unfortunately I agree with you and can't add anymore. ^^;
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*applauds Mercedes Lackey*

I personally can't get that worked up over it. I do have ideas about how magic is supposed to work in stories, but really - death threats?

I take Misty's advice, and stay far away from people like that.
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny thing, Squee has actually had several discussions with various people recently about fanaticism. While the word fan did not stem from fanatic, there is no coincidence that they are so similar. The line between mere fan-dom and fanaticism is fairly thin...And has been shrinking in the modern era. Fanaticism comes from the word insane, and that's exactly what such people are. Once, fanatics were drawn to religion or political ideology. Nowadays, with the vast proliferation of entertainment media, they are instead drawn to fiction with that same zeal. Perhaps some of what Nem mentioned places some reason behind fanaticism, but at its heart it is inherently irrational.

Again, there is a line between being a fan, where you simply like something (taking a fancy to it being the original usage) and being a FAN, where it becomes part of your life. There's a reason Squee avoids conventions, even if Squee may like what is presented at them...There are FAR too many fanatics that go to those things keeping Squee from feeling comfortable.

Heck, even normal fans are often over-protective of their likes...
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sunshine



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Squee - I'm with you about the cons, though my reason for wanting to go is a completely illogical need to dress in costume and go out in public :3
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theBSDude



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squeeself wrote:
While the word fan did not stem from fanatic,....

It didn't? I'm pretty sure I read that it did.

Also, I think that's only the second Nem-Rant I've read word-for-word.
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Magus Gar Kan



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Sigh* I have to learn to avoid posts like this, they always point out something that makes me angry.

I don't know which is scarier, the fact that there are rabid fans of this book or the fact that the book hit the right formula to produce rabid fans.

The issue of sanity aside (we all know the issues humanity has), from what I hear it is an extremely mediocre book by the standards of writing and even it's genre. One theory I've heard is that it was originally written as a mundane story, and the publishers made the author go back and add the supernatural stuff as a way to target the kids who have now grown up on things like harry potter.

Whatever they have done, their formula worked and they will try it again and again until they have burnt out the market. So expect to see this continue for a long time, as depressing as it is.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magus Gar Kan wrote:
One theory I've heard is that it was originally written as a mundane story, and the publishers made the author go back and add the supernatural stuff as a way to target the kids who have now grown up on things like harry potter.

No, it actually stemmed from a dream the author had, and developed from there. She wrote the whole thing down within a few months and as I understand it, it's hardly changed at all except for a few minor details.

They are fairly mediocre actually. I like them alright - I'll admit, there's something a bit enthralling about them - but I've read far better. However, I've also read far worse, so they're not "horrendous" just "ok". The writing's alright, the characters, while shallow, express themselves better than some, and there are several plot holes. Ah well.
In my opinion, I'm flabbergasted because it's not anything brilliant to get worked up over. If you read through the list the fanatics (a very apt word squee) are claiming that it's "a classic" and "real literature."

Sigh. I doubt you all want to listen to a full out book review, so I'll stop now.

Point: This entire thing is extremely irrational and completely baffles me.
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Claen'tor



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much agreed Tinu. And my sisters wonder why I'm scared of extreme Twilight fans. I put them in the same category as extreme anime fans. Freaky, obsessive, and dangerous psychopaths.

I've had my own nasty experience concerning said obsessive fans, wince I made the apparently bad choice of cosplaying Aizen Sousuke very accurately three years ago. I'll spare you the general details, but the end result was me getting decidedly disheveled, running like a madman, and getting back to my hotel room to change into semi-normal clothes.

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unimportant



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a Twilight fan, but luckily my friends who are are fairly accepting of my dislike. I can't imagine running into someone crazy like this, I'd probably run the other way.

Any fanatic is frightening though. It could be Star Wars, Twilight, or Starbucks coffee. If you're obsessed, it's creepy.
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