*From what I hear — what you think I have time to read them? I’m overdue on three stories and five novels, guys — the other side didn’t understand the meaning of “Go ahead, I have no objections.” So today I’m bringing ESL guest lecturer Tom Knighton to explain the meaning of “I don’t care.” ESL, you ask? Well, I don’t know what they speak, but it’s CLEARLY not English. They keep insisting we don’t mean what we PLAINLY say we mean, so they must be reading what we say in some other language. Brutopian, likely. (Readers of Disney Comics will know exactly what that means. Why the happy people of Brutopia know everything) – SAH*
How hard is “I don’t care” to understand? – Tom Knighton
There are people who are just going to have an opinion on what you do, think, or say. It’s not any of their business, mind you, but they’re going to have an opinion. It’s a free country, more or less, so they have that right. However, it’s amazing how their opinions are often based more on the voices in their own heads, rather than anything you’ve actually said.
For example, I recently wrote a post over on my blog about how I really don’t care what the other side of the aisle reads, writes, or gives awards to. I just don’t care what they do. I care what I write. I care what Sarah writes. I care what Brad Torgersen writes. I care what Larry Correia writes. The list goes on.
You see, I care what those folks write because I love what they write. I want to know what they’re writing so I can read it. I care what I write because, well, it’s mine.
For anyone else? I. Don’t. Care.
However, not caring apparently means different things to different people. For example, while linking to my post, Mike Glyer of File 770 commented, “If Tom Knighton hadn’t titled his post “Why I no longer care” it would be easier to focus on his actual point”. Which is funny because my actual point was that I no longer care. Luckily, I have someone like Mr. Glyer to discern my real point.
Gee, thanks Mike.
You see, while Glyer’s been given a relatively free pass and considered by some to be a neutral party, he has also managed to try and set me up to look like a sexist schmuck by linking to a post where I take issue with a woman who wants to ban men from literary readings. Oh, I wrote that, sure enough, but he linked it in the Puppy roundup, despite it having nothing to do with Sad Puppies, but he left out the post from a few days after where I took men’s rights activists to task for calling for a boycott of the new Mad Max movie.
However, Mike’s not alone in apparently knowing what I mean better than I do. At least one commenter on his side took a post where I said I don’t like message fiction to be condescending towards people who do. I’m going to be as clear as I possibly can for a moment. I don’t care what you read, write, or seek to give Hugos to anymore. I think the stuff you like is absolute shite, but since so many of you have said the same thing about the stuff I enjoy, I really don’t give a flying flip if that offends you.
Still others have taken my comments about preferring action oriented stories as evidence that I don’t like “mushy stuff”, as one person put it. I almost gave myself a concussion from the facepalm I gave myself on that one.
I’m a married man, with a wife I love. I get plenty of “mushy stuff” in real life, so no, I don’t seek it out in my reading. However, I don’t close a book because there’s a romance subplot either. The key word is “subplot”. Not plot, subplot. I don’t want it to be a driving force in books I read, but I have no issue with it being there. There are some books were I all but demanded it, as a matter of fact, but as a subplot.
One comment I made was: I don’t need to be told that the protagonists are gay, straight, trans, or whatever. That’s not pertinent to my interests. Whether the story is fun, is.
As I’m sure my fellow Huns can imagine, this was taken as something completely different than what the words actually say. You see the word “need” up there? I don’t need to be told. I need to know whether the story is fun.
Now, some seemed to act like a gay character in a story made it unfun or something. This, boys and girls, sounds like what we like to call “projection”. Do they have it in their own minds that gay characters can’t exist in a fun story? I said nothing of the sort. I think nothing of the sort. I just said whether they’re gay or not isn’t pertinent to my interests. How difficult is that to understand?
Another took that comment to mean I don’t want the “mushy stuff” in my books. Again, I invite you to go and read my original post, if you haven’t already. Where did I say any such thing?
You see, I don’t care what these people read. Hell, I don’t particularly care what people I consider friends read. I care what I read. Nothing more, nothing less.
And yet, for some reason, there are perfect strangers blathering on about what I like to read. Am I just that interesting? Is my patronage that important to these people? Somewhere along the way, did I become the arbiter of good taste in fiction, and therefore what I like has some significant bearing on the publishing industry?
No? Kind of what I thought.
So why then does my choice of fiction offend so many people?
Of course, to those offended (and I’m sure they’ll be linked to this post soon enough), understand this: I. Don’t. Care.
I don’t care what you read, write, or vote for. I also don’t care if it bothers you that there are some books I like that don’t meet your oh-so-learned approval. I don’t care if it bothers you so much that I don’t actively seek out books with minorities, gay, trans, or whoever else you think I should seek out. I just don’t care.
In fact, I urge my comrades over here to not care either. We have argued that they’re irrelevant, so why have we given them so much relevance? Let’s read what we want to read, and let them read what they want to read. Let’s buy as many of those books as we can, so that publishers will produce more of what we want.
Will it force them to create less of what the other guys want? *shrug* Don’t know. Don’t care. I won’t lose a moment’s sleep over it either way.
Let’s just read what we like, don’t buy what we don’t like, return books that we hate for a refund, and let the free market sort it out.