When the Insane Clown Posse reemerged a couple of years ago back into relevance with their music video, “Miracles,” they pondered everyday miracles like “Magnets/how do they even work?” Everyone, of course, laughed, because the answer to how magnets work is documented in books or, if your bookshelves are doused in Faygo, a Wikipedia search away.
What a pair of illiterate morons, right? I mean, who treats something that has been documented in written word for some time now like it’s an unsolvable, unknowable mystery?
That would be pretty much everyone writing Game of Thrones recaps.
Does that seem harsh? Hit the jump to find out exactly why your Monday morning link bait is terrible, and you’re terrible (with notable exceptions) for writing it.
First off, no, I’m not talking about everyone who posts a weekly recap of Game of Thrones after each new episode airs on HBO. I’m not even mad if you haven’t read the books. But, if you’re writing a recap for the sake of guessing what happens next in the series and, even worse, get upset if somebody mentions in the comments — that you asked for — what happens in a book published in 2000 (A Storm of Swords, which is where Season 3 is at) … then we’ve got a problem.
I’m gonna back up a bit. Let’s say that you aren’t a complete idiot and know how to look up magnets to find out how they work. Instead, let’s say you’ve just watched Peter Jackson’s first of three Hobbit movies, but you never read J.R.R. Tolkein’s book.
What are you going to write about? You can’t write about the ending because Peter Jackson and New Line Cinemas decided to stretch The Hobbit across three films and pad it with scenes written from Tolkein’s notes and Lord of the Rings appendices. But, you can’t even discern which scenes are “new” material because it’s all new to you.
As far as you’re concerned, it’s a work in progress. To everyone who actually gives a shitt about a book that was published all the way back in 1937, however, you are an idiot, especially when you wonder and/or try to guess what happens next. If you’re really that interested in whether any of the dwarves die, then the answer already exists. You just have to read a book that is very easy to read. (Or even look it up on Wikipedia if you’re that lazy.)
Of course, Tolkein’s not for everyone. Nearly everyone, however, has read Harry Potter. Except for me.
That’s not entirely true. I read almost all of the books except the last one, which I started and after several chapters of whining in tents, put it down and decided I just didn’t care enough; I’d wait for the damn movie. (It’s OK not to care. It’s never OK to pretend to care when you absolutely don’t.)
But, I sure as hell wasn’t about to write a recap for each installment of The Deathly Hallows. I knew better than to guess which characters live and died in the second half, or to take odds. Why? Because I don’t like to revel in illiteracy.
I can fully admit that I didn’t read a book. And why not? It’s not like I didn’t read other books. Or that I was worried about having the ending spoiled for me because, if I truly cared enough that I needed to see Voldemort die in context, I would have fucking read it.
Or, you can ignore all of this and write about Game of Thrones anyway, demonstrating that ignorance is no obstacle to holding an opinion. Just be aware that I may have Photoshopped juggalo makeup over your byline pic.