Ever since people have been alternately complaining about and glorifying things-whether food, music, someone else’s opinion, or in this case, a book-others have had to take skepticism into account when in contact with it. They’ve had to ask why something was being said, instead of what. Sure, sometimes this can lead to trouble. But writing is special. There’s an unwritten rule that whenever you mention or use something controversial you’re getting a shit ton of hate mail. Doesn’t matter how well you use it, how delicately you treat it, how well you wrote it, how pretty the fucking font is. People are naturally opinionated and the anonymity of the Internet only helps bring that out. This is why every comment section ever is a killing field: Someone’s gonna get pissed off eventually.
Only question is what’s worth fighting about. And whether you’re smart enough to keep your opinion to yourself or be filled with insatiable fury and bloodlust and get away from your screen and shut the fuck up. The latest victim is a charity anthology. Innocent enough, yes? Good stories in a good book for a good cause? Lord knows Paladins would never get that level of treatment, and all proceeds there go to fucking cancer research.
But the anthology in question is controversial. Unloaded is a collection from some of the greatest crime writers at their very best removing the cliché of gun violence in crime fiction (find out how many times a cop pulls a gun in an average movie versus real life) for the sake of bringing the gun violence epidemic in this nation to the limelight. I’ve got something in common here with them, and before I continue, this must be known: I have not read this book. But this is not a politically motivated book. It’s simply about addressing a problem and admitting that it exists. There is no bias here. This is for charity, and for awareness to a problem as real as global warming or world hunger. Unloaded’s crime is bringing this topic up and daring to have its writers make something about it. But some people didn’t like that. Some didn’t like possibly having their version of their Second Amendment rights suppressed so they decided to use their First Amendment rights to attack the writers’ First Amendment rights.
It is nothing short of petty to attack a book, let alone a fucking charity anthology, for the sake of flexing your political opinion hard-on. Openly admitting in the reviews you post that you haven’t even bothered reading the damn thing and are only there to whine and bitch helps show that you have rushed to a conclusion and feel absolutely disgusted at the fact that words you don’t like have been put on paper. A question: Would you attack an anthology based around abortion awareness? If there was one story from a fetus’ point of view? It’d help to prove your point that they’re living things, wouldn’t it? And that’s all that matters. Doesn’t matter how well written, the quality of sentence flow, the writer’s treatment. You agree with it, five stars. What if it was immediately followed by one that puts an expectant mother in a sympathetic light, a young girl stuck between a man who doesn’t love her and a baby she knows she can’t support, with pressure from all sides? One star, naturally, and a review three pages long hastily typed because you’re too mad to think because abortion . How would you justify yourself if it was, say, a memoir about homelessness? How about adolescent homelessness? Would you attack it because you disagreed with the existence of welfare and maybe that was the only thing keeping somebody alive?
Is it really even a review if you haven’t read it? Nope. It’s a rant. And if you disagree with something you are reading, watching, listening to, whatever, then your judgment on the work as an art form has been compromised and if you can’t separate belief from a subjective opinion about the art itself then a review is useless. You aren’t one-starring the book. You’re one-starring the idea that a book can be written about it, and that’s what really pisses you off.
I’d like to thank them for being petty and ultimately useless and making your ideology look shallow and uninformed. And also thanks for the excuse to promote this anthology.
Looking forward to the shitstorm in the comments.