The strip is hyperbole, I mostly felt like the perspective needed to be made available. I find the show very hard to watch right now, though; I guess it partly has to do with content, insofar as it’s just the weight of it. Hitting play on that show right now feels like rigging up a Sword a Damocles and then sitting directly beneath it.
There are times when I do want to feel pulverized by a work. I read 1984 annually, and the sensation is that of two granite blocks being brought into proximity with one another until I am destroyed. I don’t really feel like it right now, I guess? By the time I sit down at night, I would prefer to be submerged in marshmallow cream. Metaphorically. My construction is such that I’ll long for the lash before long, certainly. But right now I’m on kind of a lash break.
The increasing daylight between the versions of Game of Thrones, which we might call Games of Throne, was always going to create trubs. Peter Jackson knows all about it. In 2015, treating the creator of a work as though they are a person of any import to the work, or that their intentions even matter, is outre - indeed, it hasn’t been cool for nearly a hundred years. The optimal way to experience work is to be exposed to it, like a pathogen, and then to writhe, thoroughly asphyxiated. But if you were curious for some reason what George R. R. Martin thinks about his work being forked, perhaps because you’re a hopeless reprobate, he has spoken on the matter with clarity. Particularly interesting is the idea that both stories end the same, even if they run solo for awhile. Huh.
I am beyond tantalized by the idea of a narrative as a rhyzome, where an author gives someone a piece, and they grow their own version of it. This happens in fanfiction all the time, of course, but it is rarely granted imprimatur and is generally considered to have a distinct odor. “Intellectual Property” that “protects” work is like a checksum that governs even healthy divergence. When I think about “standards” (definition 9), as in folk or jazz, it’s just sort of understood that the strange curl of the song exists in the ambient air of our culture, and performers sharpen themselves against it. Stories operated like this once, also.