Thursday, July 28, 2005

Horse Still Dead, Film at Eleven

I have no idea why I find this so fascinating, but I do.

So, Mr. Goldberg has rewritten and reposted his erroneous previous entry, but the tune is the same, including the vitriol aimed at another author who doesn't agree with him.

Which you know, disagreeing is fine. He's entitled to disagree, and believing as strongly as he does, one could argue that it's his responsibility to disagree and continue in his attempts to dissuade people who are an affront (in his opinion) to his profession from, well, affronting him.

His primary beef, as far as I can tell, is not with fan writers who have permission to write in a given universe, even under restriction (say, Anne McCaffery or the creators of Battlestar Galactica 2003) but with those who don't -- or barring an outright statement of denial from the writer or studio, haven't been given permission. Fair enough as an ideological/ethical stance. (Not that I agree, only that the position has some ethical merit.)

But there's an interesting incongruence of attitudes here. One of Mr. Goldberg's objections is that, in the appearance of violating the creative rights (which isn't the same as copyrights, else parodies and satires would also be in violation of copyright) of authors, the fan writers show disdain and disrespect for the very source of their inspiration. And yet he seems to show nothing but disrespect for the fans themselves: the ones who may not only write fan fic, but also buy the tie in novels he himself writes, or the ancillary marketing for fannish items from mousepads to T-shirts to multiple copies of books and DVD releases. It is entirely possible, that his level of respect rises somewhat for fans who agree with him (and perhaps he has a greater degree of respect for fans who don't write fan fic, or who, if they do, keep it safely in their desk drawers). He certainly seems to display a greater portion of respect to other professional writers who agree with him.

Then again, he seems to have a fairly narrow range of opinion on what actually constitutes being a writer, in that real writers (as opposed to calling them professional writers) a) create their own original characters (Which he does for some novels, but doesn't for others, i.e. tie-ins) and b) that they get paid for their work.

All of which brings me to very few conclusions at all, save that I don't think respect means what Mr. Goldberg thinks it does. Merely agreeing with someone is not respect, nor does it work only one way.

So, I can respect his opinion, as it has merit, but I fear my respect for Mr. Goldberg is on somewhat thin ice.

Not that I think my opinion matters one whit to him, since I disagree with him.

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