With enough searching, you can find just about any suspect opinion in some dark corner of the web. Case in point: An unexpected conversation about literature is unfolding online—all thanks to a meme.
The meme comes from one of the best scenes in one of Disney’s finest creations. (Tangled is hands-down among my top five favorite Disney movies, don’t @ me.) Here the film’s male protagonist, Flynn Rider, needs more motivation than your average Disney character to launch into song. Thankfully, a few dozen swords do the trick in the film, motivating Rider to dazzle the audience with his dashing voice and less-than-wholesome motivation.
The still from this shot—of Rider being menaced by a handful or two of sharp weapons—became the meat of the literary meme when user @wordsbornn shared it with an extremely pressing question: “what book opinion will get you in this situation?”
Soon, answers were flooding in.
what book opinion will get you in this situation? pic.twitter.com/JgCGDIpsxQ
— casper (@wordsbornn) September 27, 2020
Having a POC love interest doesn’t absolve authors of racism. https://t.co/uKGnXbGvuk
— Amparo Ortiz 🔥 PREORDER BLAZEWRATH GAMES🔥 (@amparo_ortiz) September 27, 2020
A female character can be strong and stubborn without being a cold heart bitch https://t.co/GK6gXG0qOA
— Caro🖤🎃 (@stainedwthlight) September 28, 2020
Graphic novels are books, don't be a snob https://t.co/4AZPnfLZGd
— Rachel Charlton-Dailey (@RachelCDailey) September 29, 2020
Many people used the opportunity to call out specific books and authors they considered overrated or contrived.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is overrated. It’s a dull read, and the characters/plot points feel contrived. https://t.co/lz6qZEvf0R
— Mihir Shah (@elmihiro) September 28, 2020
Stephen King is a washed up anti-Black, anti-Semitic, homophobic, pedophilic all around racist, and we should really stop letting him and his Goosebumps knock-offs monopolize the horror writing game. https://t.co/NalKtEECHS
— Yah Yah Scholfield (@ariesconceptss) September 28, 2020
Catcher in the Rye is crap. https://t.co/ANUD2Qodgr
— Single Scalpel (@SingleScalpel) September 28, 2020
Shockingly few people went after the ever-controversial J.K. Rowling, instead opting to aim criticism at the Harry Potter series.
harry potter was a boring & unoriginal series. there are better fantasy books out there that u should give a chance to. https://t.co/C7tNcgSkTT
— freyr (@sunfloweraidil) September 29, 2020
snape didnt deserve a redemption arc https://t.co/e7ZTp1yMAN
— teereks. ✨ (@theeonann) September 28, 2020
The Harry Potter books got a thousand times more attention than they deserved. The writing is bland, and stylistically they are only marginally better than The Da Vinci Code.
I dragged myself through the first book and gave up halfway through the second. https://t.co/X8nOuqpx1g
— Kerry-Anne Gilowey (@kerry_anne) September 28, 2020
Is this a personal attack? This feels like a personal attack.
Reading books isn't a personality trait, and it doesn't make you interesting as a person. https://t.co/kW6st9BNuW
— COVID-9KWEEN (@ObligatoryToast) September 28, 2020
There are a few legitimately dangerous opinions buried in this meme. Seriously, it’s not safe to voice these things on the internet.
Lord of the Rings is boring. Watching paint dry is more interesting than reading these books. https://t.co/a5n1kTN1k5
— Lisa (@lrich1024) September 27, 2020
Bookmarks are unnecessary https://t.co/0UNZseUVCP
— nicole archer (@nicolearcher) September 28, 2020
the movie adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle is better than the book 😶 https://t.co/9Uyioe5Cd9
— Jordan Ifueko ☀️RAYBEARER OUT NOW☀️ (@jifueko) September 28, 2020
the first thing I do when I start a book is break the spine. https://t.co/WWsG3spbYN
— Jesse Mostipak (@kierisi) September 28, 2020
A handful of users took the opporitunity to push the idea of “new adult” fiction. The genre is still emerging, but aims to provide perspectives from protagonists not in the young adult range of 13-18 and not yet in the grim, crotchety, Rooster Cogburn portion of their lives. The hope is to encourage a few more characters in the prime 18-30 age bracket, which as of now appears to be when all fantasy characters disappear to get horribly scarred and jaded.
Make 👏 New 👏 Adult 👏 A 👏 Thing 👏 https://t.co/61nyIrUloB
— Hannah VanVels (@hannahvanvels) September 28, 2020
new adult is necessary, actually
even if we’re calling it ~college YA~ https://t.co/bGBUA5Zxe6
— Jupiter Wyse (@JupiterWyse) September 27, 2020
Many readers also called for the celebration of more authors of color. The sci-fi and fantasy genres, in particular, tend to be disproportionately dominated by white, cis writers.
Fantasy and science-fiction arenot a white only genre. https://t.co/ZgsokT1xNY
— 🔥 Océ Séparatisteuh 2022 🔥 (@Cworldinblue) September 28, 2020
The majority of people who claim they want diversity really want the same white-centric power fantasy narratives but with Black and Brown faces on them.
Books that really challenge those ideas, not just on a surface level but through the fabric of the book, rarely get attention https://t.co/fzsj8dsA3R
— Roseanne A. Brown But Spooky 🎃 (@rosiesrambles) September 28, 2020
Y’all don’t do right by Black American fantasy, in particularly written by and about Black American women. The same goes for romance. Fight. Me. https://t.co/Xd9D21nyYt
— LL McKinney (@ElleOnWords) September 28, 2020
The meme trend is populated by hundreds of diverse, sometimes contentious, opinions. In a year when our timelines seem inundated with an unceasing deluge of negativity, this trend comes as a welcome reprieve.
The post Express your unpopular book opinions with the ‘Tangled’ sword meme appeared first on The Daily Dot.