QUESTION: Why are some book discussions and reviews so mean? Some of the so-called reviews at Amazon are horrible.
Humans have always needed to belong to a group -- some tribe that will offer protection as well as feed the primal need to be accepted.
That's why tribes were formed by early man, why kids join gangs or fraternities, and why normally sane people paint themselves with their team colors and scream like crazed animals at sporting events.
This tribal mentality makes those who are on the other side enemies and idiots.
The Internet has allowed this mentality to splinter in so many directions that we now have a vast culture of micro-niche tribalism. Books are just another example.
Some authors have bands of groupies who trash other authors, normally against the desires of the favorite author.
These people seem to have lost the ability to separate themselves from the author because they tie so much of themselves into the author's works.
There's also the problem of intellectual dialogue versus emotional monologue. People are no longer taught how to think, as opposed to what to think, they don't know how to use reason to express ideas, and they seem incapable of doing so. Instead, it's all about emotion and being led by that emotion.
We see that in what is laughing called political discourse as well as every other form of discourse.
That book discussions have reached this name-calling low shows how intellectually bankrupt even readers have become.
And, then there are bullies who get off on hurting others, and there is no safer place to bully than on the Internet.