For many years, I have said the following truism: “Never mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend.” I think I first said it on some online forum or other in the early 2000s. Most recently, I said it at a Star Wars panel at Emerald City Comic-Con, mostly in relation to the online smear campaign against The Last Jedi because it got girl cooties on the Star Wars franchise. I got cheers for the line.
Recently, I referred to it as “DeCandido’s First Rule,” mostly because I have some other truisms. Here’s what I’ve got so far, which I may add to some day:
- DeCandido’s First Rule: Never mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend.
- DeCandido’s Second Rule: Don’t post anything on the world wide web that you don’t want the whole world to know about.
- DeCandido’s Third Rule: Don’t post angry.
- DeCandido’s Fourth Rule: The first draft is allowed to suck.
- DeCandido’s Fifth Rule: Your editor is not out to get you.
The only penalty for breaking these rules is your own mental health……