Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Have People Lost Their Minds?

It's occurred to me lately that some people are bonkers. I know, most of you realized this a while ago, and I thought I knew it. But, every now and then I get surprised by the sort of things that push people over the edge. I'm talking about things like books and television shows.

That's right, people have threatened murder of books and things on TV.

Are they kidding me?

These people realize we're discussing things that occur in books and on TV, right? These, almost invariably, are not real, or, at least, aren't real enough to get this worked up over. So why are people contemplating murder because of them? I haven't the foggiest.

Now, because death threats will invariably be linked in my mind to this man, I'm embedding a video of Russell Brand. It's definitely worth watching. (WARNING: This movie would, if there were a Ratings Board patrolling it, probably weigh in with an R-rating, because of the cursing and some minor sexual references. I, personally, would call this more PG-13, but I'm told I'm not the one who gets to make these decisions. So, you have been warned.)

Okay, for those of you who haven't/wouldn't/wanted to but for various reasons involving monkeys and screw-drivers couldn't watching the clip, I'll pull out the main bits:

"How do you get riled for something on the telly? 'I'm not enjoying this. I'm really not enjoying it. I don't like him. I don't like him at all. I'm gonna kill him!' What's the tipping point? It's silly. Turn over, or turn it down, or look over there. There are so many options. I mean, take murder a bit more seriously."

I've got to agree with Mr. Brand. People should take murder a bit more seriously. (Pause: I am not, in this post, condoning any sort of murder. However, I do believe that murder should, by and large, be taken seriously. Which means, people, that I think it should be committed for good reasons. Not, say, because you didn't like someone's joke, or you thought their book was in some way sacrilegious, or really any motivation involving Carmel Machiattos. I take murder seriously.)

This thought process all came about because of a post I read online, which contained an article about two authors who are adapting Little Women by Louisa May Alcott to include paranormal aspects. While I have no specific feelings about rewriting older novels to include paranormal creatures, I was absolutely stunned to hear that these authors had received death threats.


Seriously, people?

These authors are actually in pretty good company. J.K. Rowling has received threats. (Because, you know, when she wrote love is the most powerful form of magic, what she obviously meant was, 'Okay, kiddies, let's go worship Satan.' Yeah, I think not.) I'm told that Stephenie Meyer is not immune either. (Regardless of my opinion of the series, it's certainly not something I'd ever die or kill over.) And a bunch of people apparently threatened to kill a reality TV show star because they thought she was dating Justin Bieber. What gives people? What happened to moderation, self-control, and priorities in life?

I have, in the past, been seriously riled up things I read in books or on the internet, heard on TV or the radio, or realized were actually comments made in earnest and not amusing parodies of win-nut crazies. And, despite this fact, I have never sent someone a death threat.

Why? Because, as mentioned above, I take murder seriously (most of the time). Oh, and because sending people death threats because of books or jokes they tell on TV is pretty freaking stupid. There's that too.

So, a shout-out to, well, everyone. Please, don't kill anyone, and, I beg of you, reserve your death-threatening for truly deserving situations.

Okay, minor rant over. Have a charming day, all. :-)


  1. My 7 yo is always getting in trouble for making threats like this to his little sister. When he gets in trouble for it, his reply is,"But I was only kidding." After reading this, I'm going to make sure he really understands the seriousness of his words.

  2. Yes, people are bonkers. They never cease to amaze me.

    I agree with your shout out. Let's keep the killing and death threats to a minimum, people.

  3. I don't understand people like that either. What's their damage anyway? They need to get over it and move on, find a life, or something.

    Great post!

  4. Hilarious post! I'll be excited on the day my writing earns me my first death threat--hopefully by someone who doesn't really mean it.

  5. LOL! I'm with Davin. I was just saying to Simon Larter, who apparently has already had trouble with an angry fan, that you know you've made it these days when you receive your first death threat.

    It seems there are a ton of cybernerds and TV-obsessed sofa tumors who get off on threatening or insulting famous people, usually anonymously. Bullying is easy from behind a computer screen and attractive when one's life is empty of anything except media characters.

  6. Stina -- I think threats have a habit of slipping out of people's mouths. Even I do it sometimes. But, when I hear these stories, I think, "okay, it's crossed a line." I think maybe it's a habit we need to break in our cultural mindset.

    KAH -- Yes, if we could all keep the murdering to a minimum, that would be nice.

    Karen -- Indeed.

    Kathi -- I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Davin -- Glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully, your first death-threatener won't mean it. ;)

    Genie -- I think you've got a point. To get this riled about the television or a book, you've got to have very little going on in your life.