Beware of Trolls

There’s a troll on the internet!  I know, we’re all so shocked by this.  In response to Jami Gold’s post yesterday, I happened to go look up said troll because, hey, I admit that Author Behaving Badly stories are kind of like train wrecks.  You just can’t help but look.   This one was another idiot detractor of romance as a genre, who declared its popularity unfathomable and claimed the content was barely above that of children’s books.  It’s not like these opinions are new.  Romance has had detractors since its inception.  Romance will always have detractors.  But I confess, I read this post and I saw red.  My brain immediately filled with the bitterest of insulting vitriol as a response to this man.

Fortunately, I had to be out of town for the afternoon for work, so I didn’t actually MAKE any of that response.  No doubt some of the 100 odd people who popped up to comment probably made my points for me without the need for me to get involved, even though the poster himself deleted any comment he didn’t like, while making responses such as this jewel:

I don’t have the time, nor the inclination to deal with a pack of throw-away housewives [emphasis mine] who still sit around thinking about romance like a 13-year old girl. You can do that if you want to, but do it away from me. I like women, not little girls. I think you’ll find most men in the upper half of the IQ spectrum feel the same way, as do most women.

Yeah, good like finding any actual women, since you think so little of our sex.  You do a great disservice to both our gender and your own.  And given your consistent restatement of your thesis and failure to support it with a single relevant example (renaming anything that is deemed “good” from traditional literature as something other than romance–my college freshmen make better arguments than that), I can’t see that you’ve provided any evidence that you actually DO belong to the upper half of the IQ spectrum, so really, you don’t know whereof you speak.

Really, there’s no point in any of us getting involved because no amount of reason or logic is going to sway his ill-informed opinion.  There’s this widely held belief that the answer to prejudice is education.  Actually, psychologically, that doesn’t hold true (most of the time).  No amount of erudite argument pointing out his fallacies of thought is going to change his grunting Neanderthal attitudes (since it’s obvious from his entirely unflattering profile picture and the statements he makes on said profile he actually IS a Neanderthal).  However, for some truly enlightening discussion of the issue, check out this post over at Promantica (and do read the comments–they reiterated several that were made and deleted over on the original post).

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19 comments

  1. I had to go read Jami’s post to know what you were talking about. Then, of course, I had to read the blog entry in question. Back here to say I don’t understand why romance gets all the flak. It makes up for 50% of the novels sold in the market.

    I noted that the troll’s position was that it was stuff that would never be assigned in a college classroom. Who cares? I think they just assign some of that stuff to see if the students will read it. Plus, many of those books were considered substandard in their day.

    You know, I don’t write romance, but it’s not because I think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s because I can’t write it convincingly. I’m a little jealous of writers who can. It takes a certain kind of talent to write in any genre.

  2. Well I think this man’s POV on the romance genre and his view of women in general can be summed up by the log line on his blog “‘I’m a sexy, single, white male with a really big, uh, wallet. (It’s where I keep all my I.O.U.s). I also write a bit.”
    I didn’t need to read any further than that. What a pro. His name will be burned in my mind forever as in, “Do Not Read”

    I missed Jami’s post. Thanks Kait. I think…lol

  3. Not only do I take offense at this person disparaging romance as a genre, because, hello, all genres are worthwhile and all genres mean something to their readers (and isn’t that the most important part?), but I got ESPECIALLY pissed at this:

    “who declared its popularity unfathomable and claimed the content was barely above that of children’s books”

    “Barely above that of children’s books”?? Yeah, because children’s books are sooo easy to write and less intellectually stimulating than adult books, and they don’t talk about ANYTHING important or tell entertaining stories WHATSOEVER. OH NO HE DID NOT.

  4. Bravo, Kait, well said. I’ll repeat something I said over on Jami’s site yesterday, because it so applies to lost souls like this “grand intellect”…If someone is that desperate for attention they should strip naked and run through their neighborhood barking like a dog. Then, they will get all the attention that is required.

  5. You know what gets lots of hits on the internet? Inflammatory posts. A lot of people like to get hits by posting this kind of crap because it gets attention. Negative attention, but attention nonetheless. And even bad publicity is good publicity, right? With the vitriol that’s been going around for the last few days about this guy, he’s gotten what he’s wanted — lots of attention and blog hits. For that reason, you couldn’t get me to click that link if you paid me.

    When it comes down to it, the old adage is true: Don’t feed the trolls.

    1. Hi Jen,

      Yes, that’s exactly why in my post (that Kait linked to above), I didn’t link to him. I didn’t mention him by name or anything that would give him SEO power. My post talked about this from a broader perspective and then gave instructions for how to search him out if someone was so inclined. And my search instructions were…amusing. 🙂

  6. He did a test run in the KDP forum beginning on Jan. 16th with the remark “Boy ain’t that the truth. Rubbish begets rubbish.”

    The reaction he received there is probably what led to his blog post.

  7. Thanks for the link, Kait! I honestly didn’t want to give specifics to his troll post at all, but in the interest of fairness (so those who doubted whether I was exaggerating his troll-ness could check), I gave the Google search instructions.

    Some people want to avoid exposure to that kind of bad behavior, and some want to know for the train wreck mentality. I can understand both sides. 🙂 I avoid all political news–for my health. LOL!

  8. Good post about the same argument I’ve heard on the topic of romance genre. He is so wrong
    about romance not being taught in college. Anyone read Jane Austen while in British Lit class? Wuthering Heights, Dracula, Jane Eyre are used in the college classroom because of their popularity in various time periods, but also because they are wonderfully tight books full of interesting characters. They basically teach students how to write.

    There are also classes featuring modern romance novels. I know I attended, and it was not a bunny class. The troll probably prefers action-adventure stories. It is hard to find complex characters in your typical action-adventure novel which focusses usually only on external conflict.
    Romance reading must be too difficult for the troll to handle.

    As for housewives, I actually don’t know any, unless you count my eighty year old mother, and she doesn’t read romances.

  9. What Claire and Lauralynn said. Yea. The worst part is the part that makes him a troll – he doesn’t even want to hear opinions (or, you know, facts) that might change is tunnel of a viewpoint.

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